Sunday 07th December 2003
Abbott blasts players attitudes
Gary Abbott, player-manager of Dr Martens League Eastern Division club Fisher Athletic, has vowed to kick out players he feels aren't committed to the team.

His mind was made up after his side crashed 4-1 at home to Stamford last Saturday in which Daniel Hollington and Paul Lorraine were sent-off in the opening 30 minutes.

Afterwards Abbott fumed: "I have got to get rid of these players, they are not helping Fisher if they can't stay on the pitch. I have spoken to the chairman about this as we are not going to go anywhere if we have play-ers who don't have discipline on or off the field.

"Michael Smith is another who has let us down - he's banned until January which is hopeless for us."

Abbott added: "Some players think they can turn up for training when they like and that's not on. I only want players who want to play for Fisher, not themselves. It doesn't matter how good these players are, they've got to go."

Abbott has acted quickly to bring in the first of several replacements, by signing Al-James Hannigan, the much-travelled former Dulwich Hamlet, Yeovil Town, Aylesbury United and Rushden & Diamonds defender.

Abbott said: "I have known him for 15 years and have had some right old battles on the pitch with him. He is a nightmare to play against for a striker. I have been after him for a while and am delighted he wants to come to Fisher because he was with Kettering Town. Luckily for me he didn't like the travelling, so being here suits him."

Abbott is also tracking an experienced central midfielder and hopes to get his signature in time to play bottom-club Erith & Belvedere on Saturday.

A goalkeeper is also on Abbott's wanted list. Against Stamford on Saturday, first-choice Michael Holder was suspended, meaning reserve stopper Michael Berger filled in. But he had to come off after a suspected broken finger in the first half to be replaced by right-back Steve Taylor, who has played in goal in the past.

Abbott said: "It would have been five or six if it hadn't been for Steve, he did really well. But I need a new keeper without a doubt and am hoping Rob O'Hara will join us."

O'Hara has been released by rivals Dartford and his 6' 7" frame will be a major plus for Fisher according to Abbott.  
Last season he played in the Kent County League for Bromley Common based side Bromleians Sports before spending pre-season at Ryman League side Bromley.

He said: "We need a keeper with presence who will claim the crosses. Michael Holder is a good shot stopper but still needs to work on other areas of his game - he is still very young."