Ten Questions - Zakazano
2) How long have you been an Alex fan?
About six years. As an Aussie, I enjoyed watching the sport on TV but never really had a team. Then I got into sports betting and journalism and got more into matches outside the top tiers. It wasn't until I got addicted to Championship Manager and did the Aussie thing of going for the underdog that I started barracking for the Alex.
3) Sum up your time as a Crewe supporter...
A rollercoaster. Have only been to a couple of games but I vividly recall sitting up late back in Aus for the final game of the season in 04/05 when Bopp hit a late equaliser for Forest to send Gillingham down rather than us. That season started so well but all on the back of Deano, who we could never hang onto. I won't mind too much if Maynard kicks us off this season like that, then we sell him in January for a packet with add-ons.
4) What is your all time Crewe Alex 11?
As a recent recruit to the ranks, I can't go back very far. Start with Deano, Varney and Bougherra...
5) What is your opinion of John Bowler and the board of directors?
They don't seem very ambitious. Times change, the things that made the club what it is now won't stay forever. Every club has an Academy these days, fans want better facilities and players want more money. We have to adapt or prepare to be playing in the Conference within 5-10yrs.
6) You've won the EuroMillions, say a cool £50million, and now have a controlling stake in the club. What stays, what goes?
I'd be prepared to give this season's preparations at least six months to see how it went. But if it was more of the same as last year, I'd have a severe cleanout of the administration. Bring in someone like Sam Allardyce (not his coaching style, but his ability to get a lot out of a team without any stars) and look for a few key signings. A couple of wise old heads that have played top flight football and a good young kid for a couple of mill each. Be back in the Championship within three years, spend a lot more without going overboard, then pushing for the playoffs there within another three seasons. Give Gresty Rd a facelift and develop into more of a community venue.
7) Three wishes for the next season...
We are competitive and are looking at the playoffs rather than avoiding the drop.
We sign a high-profile veteran player like other clubs have done with Dublin or Sheringham who can pull people through the gates and also teach the kids a few things.
Two of the ex-Academy kids genuinely earn their place in their team and want to stick with us for a few more years rather than chase the money when the phones start ringing.
Sorry, had to have a fourth... that we have a decent Cup run for a change and reap a decent sum from being on TV!
8) Are our glory years really behind us?
Wasn't around when we had any!
9) Has the Premiership & Sky ruined football?
It's made the gap between divisions enormous and gives people so many games to watch on TV, they're more likely to support Man U even though they'll never see them live, rather than go and watch their local team. I wouldn't say ruined it, but it certainly has changed the face of the sport.
10) You're having a dinner party, which four Alex related guests, living or dead, would you invite and why?
Not knowing much history of the club, I'd invite guys like Platt, Savage, Johnson and Ashton to try to woo them back into at least helping the club in some way.