NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Testimonial for loyal midfielder Silvanus
IN an age of players moving from club to club, staying loyal to one team for a decade is becoming something of a rarity.
Tomorrow, Shrivenham will honour their midfielder Mike Silvanus with a testimonial match as the 33-year-old has been with the Barrington Park side for 10 years.
But what is even more remarkable about the 33-year-old is that he has always had to travel for at least an hour to play for the club.
When he first joined Shrivvy in the 2003-04 season, Silvanus was living in Cheltenham, however, for the past six years he has been travelling to the club from Southsea on the Hampshire coast.
“People do wonder why I do it,” Silvanus said. “But the club have always been so good to me and they have always supported me.
“I believe in commitment and loyalty, and that is what Shrivenham believe in too, our principles are the same and that is why I enjoy playing for them.”
During his time at Barrington Park, Silvanus says that there have been at six least different manager and countless new faces.
“There aren’t any players still at the club from when I first joined,” he said. “But for me it is a great club.
“I don’t even think about the travelling now, it is just something I do.”
The testimonial match will see the current Shrivenham side, minus player-manager Sam Collier as he is out of the country, go against an outfit made up of past Barrington Park players who have teamed up with Silvanus over the last decade.
The man who brought Silvanus to the club from Swindon Supermarine, Alan Dyton, will be leading the select XI.
Dyton said: “In over 25 years of local football management I have come across a lot of different characters.
“Some very gifted, some not so good who thought they were better than they were, some difficult natured and some easy to deal with.
“Non of the more difficult facets of football ever applied to Michael.
“His attitude was perfect for any manager, a dream player because he wanted to improve and better himself.
“He always trained hard, always listened to what you wanted and carried out instructions to the letter.
“This game is testament to how well Michael is appreciated and liked by every person he comes into contact with.”
Dyton is hoping to include former keeper Chris Webb in his side, along with current Highworth Town skipper TJ Bohane and prolific striker Tate Hulbert.
Shrivenham vice-chairman Andy Timberell added: “When we first told Michael about the testimonial match he was over the moon.
“To stay with a club for 10 years is quite unusual and we are looking forward to the day.”
The match at Barrington Park kicks off at 3pm and entry is free.