I’d had Eddie Anaclet down as a banker to re-sign this summer, instead he’s gone to Stevenage. Why? Glory? Well, Stevenage are Conference troupers; not a bad team, but not one that’s more likely to gain promotion next season.
Money? Aside from the likelihood of a tempting though moderate signing on fee, it seems unlikely that they offered significantly more than we did.
Something else? Anaclet always struck me as the kind of player who needed an arm on his shoulder. Even though an Oxford crowd would forgive a man for being caught buggering a dog in public if he could jink down the right wing and stick a cross into the mixer, Anaclet seemed the kind of character who would dwell on his mistakes and ignore his occasional brilliance.
Last season he played with injury in front of an unforgiving crowd and was constantly barracked by the likes of Turley. Oxford is the kind of club where a player has to deal with such a harsh reality and a young man has to build a strong backbone to deal with a pack of 30-something battle-worn old pros. I don’t condone it; a bit more togetherness wouldn’t go a miss down the Grenoble Road, but for now it’s a fact of life.
So perhaps we’re not a nice club to work for and Eddie has moved on for a quieter life. A massive shame; I liked him and what he did, he seemed like a player who just wanted to play and someone who would have enjoyed playing in the football league as the privilege it is. Hopefully the little man will do well at Borough.