Win a copy of Vince Hilaire's brilliant book - find out how here

Written by FYP Fanzine

Palace legnd Vince Hilaire has released an autobiography and you just know it's going to be good. (It is, btw!)

And at FYP we have three copies to give away to our followers- and all you have to do is listen to FYP Podcast 250 to find out how you can win a copy.

One of the most exciting footballers of his era, Vince Hilaire is a cult sporting figure. His career spanned over 600 games and included spells at Crystal Palace, Portsmouth, Leeds United and Stoke City, playing in every professional division.

Vince shared a dressing room with some of football’s biggest stars of the time, including Kenny Sansom, Mick Channon, Gordon Strachan and Vinnie Jones, and was managed by some of the biggest names in British football. This book offers a fascinating insight into the methods of these managers, such as Malcolm Allison’s and Terry Venables’s desperation to produce a side that rivalled the free-flowing football of the famous ‘Busby Babes’, and the contrasting rigidity of Howard Wilkinson’s Leeds.

A trailblazer in the professional game, Vince outlines the difficulties he faced as a young black player making his way in football in the 1970s, and the dread he felt playing at certain grounds.

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Candidly detailing Vince’s journey into and out of professional football, this hugely entertaining autobiography tells the story of the beautiful game as it used to be played.

One of the first black footballers to come to prominence in the 1970s, Vince Hilaire has enjoyed a career spanning over 600 games, most notably for Crystal Palace, Portsmouth and Leeds United. Capped by England at Youth and Under-21 level, he was unlucky not to receive full international honours. Managed by some of the most famous names in English football, including Venables, Allison, Ball and Wilkinson, Vince was recently awarded a place in Portsmouth FC’s Hall of Fame.

Tom Maslona currently teaches English at one of London’s highest-achieving schools. He is a long-standing Crystal Palace supporter and has contributed to a number of Palace’s publications in the past, along with other sports magazines such as When Saturday Comes.

Some reviews...

A funny, emotive, and brutally honest insight into a cult figure at clubs from Palace to Pompey - Dominic Fifield, The Guardian.

I idolised Vinny. When the Daily Mail wrote a story in 1981 saying Vince was on the verge of leaving Palace for Arsenal, I told my parents: ‘If Vinny goes, I go.’ That was the admiration I had for him - Neil Ashton, chief football writer at The Sun and host of Sky’s Sunday Supplement.

The book is out now priced £12.99 and can be bought at Biteback Publishing here and Amazon.

Simply listen to FYP Podcast 250 to find out how you can win a copy of Vince's brilliant book.


Steve Parish opens up about Crystal Palace transfers plans in January

Written by Jim Daly

You probably won't have failed to notice that Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish joined us on the FYP Podcast this week to chat all manner of things.

Alongside Steve Browett, who explained what his reduced role is these days at the club, Parish talked candidly about transfers, the stadium plans, Roy Hodgson and lots more.

You can listen to the 1hr45min interview with the Eagles chief here but we've also cobbled together some of the best bits below.

On players leaving this month

"I think there are probably one or two who aren't featuring as much as they'd hoped with the first team.

"You don't always know. You get bids and they might be attractive to the manager which makes sense in terms of the other things we can do.

"You can't stop people making a bid for your players and you can only really look at it when they do.

"I think we're tight in the wage bill, so it certainly wouldn't hurt [for some to go]. In terms of the plans we've got, we should be OK.

“We’ve [the board] got our wallets out. I’ve got partners, we’ve committed again funds for this transfer window.

“We have spent £70million in the last two windows and got £2m back in. People can say we haven’t been wise, it could’ve been better but I look at most of the buys and they have done a good job.

“The odd one or two hasn’t worked out but they are human assets. They can have problems in life that affect them. Pape [Souare] had a bad injury which forced the situation [to sign left-backs] last January."

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On buying a new striker

"The striker thing is well documented, but the striker market is unbelievably difficult. Everybody is out there looking for one. It isn't the force of your will that gets these things done, and we have to bring the right characters as well.

"It isn't as easy as me saying 'oh, I'll have him'."This manager we've got has got a very specific idea of what he wants, and so he should have. That gives us comfort.

"It's all good finding the players but you have what we call opportunities. There are players you have to get out of clubs who want to come.

"We have got one or two situations at the moment which are looking good."

On Loftus-Cheek and Fosu-Mensah's futures at Palace

“I don't think the clubs would want that [for their players to return early].

“I think the clubs sent them to us knowing it's a two-way street, we get a good player and we develop them.

“They should be very happy with what's happened to those players, the game time they've got, the coaching they’ve got.

“It's all very well playing in training and playing in Under-23 games but Roy [Hodgson] teaches players how to win football matches in the Premier League which is an invaluable skill.”

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On waiting until late in the window to do deals

"Fortunately because the manager has done such an outstanding job – along with the players – we have got a bit of breathing space. But we’re not complacent.

“If there has been one criticism which has been well-founded – if it is my fault or the managers I don’t know – we’ve had our hand forced too often in the time we have been in this league. We need to stop doing that and create architect situations where we’re making the best decisions for the football club on a number of things.

“I’ve got two fantastic ingredients for that – Roy and Dougie. It’s the best transfer environment I’ve worked in at the club.

“Dougie has got such a great work ethic, boundless enthusiasm and opinion – he doesn’t sit on the fence.

“You’ve got to find people who will start ahead of those people. Everyone is looking for first-teamers in January. If we’re sitting in our boardroom then Swansea and Southampton will be talking about the same players in many respects.

"People know about the odd player we're linked to, and you pretty much get offered every player.

"So pretty much when anyone scores against us I am slightly sort of beating myself up about it.

"The margins between success and failure are so tiny, and the difference between the players you look at are so small.

"All we can do in football is make the best decision at every turn of the corner. And we've got to remember as well we're competing against smart people."

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On his legacy at Palace

"People who run football clubs are smart. Most of them have had their own business and been successful.

"I think you have to just do the best you can sometimes, and if that makes you look smart then great, and if it makes you look stupid you have to get through that.

"In the end I hope I get judged overall. You'd be surprised how quickly you get judged.

"I remember Jose Mourinho talking at Manchester United when he was going through difficulty, and people were talking to him like he was useless.

"And he was saying he hasn't become a bad manager overnight and have people forgotten all the titles he's won?

"At a micro level, I felt like that when people thought I didn't know what I was doing. We're going to make mistakes over time.

"It's like [you're not allowed to] run any business without making the odd mistake."

Listen to Parish on lots more, including Selhurst Park plans,on the full pod below...

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson heaps praise on Jairo Riedewald as injuries pile up

Written by Jim Daly

Roy Hodgson loves Jairo Riedewald. That's not a sentence we ever thought we'd be saying but after pretty much being forced into playing the young Dutchman against Burnley, the Crystal Palace boss was pleased with what he saw.

Injuries to Yohan Cabaye, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Jason Puncheon meant Roy had to go with the 21-year-old Jairo alongside Luka Milivojevic. And it was a gamble that paid off as the young Dutchman was superb despite not having played much at all since arriving in the summer

In fact it was just his third league start for Palace since arriving from Ajax for £7m in the summer; a player Frank de Boer pleased with the Eagles hierarchy to sign.

And now it seems, the club is starting to reap the rrewards of probably the only thing Frank got right during his short stint at Selhurst. After an imperious display in the middle of the park Hodgson sang Riedewald's praises. "He's a quality player there's no doubt about that," he said.

"We had not been 100% convinced because we have not seen that much of him really. Can he handle matches like this, can he handle the cut and thrust, can he handle the somewhat uglier side of the game where you've got to win tackles, run around a lot, chase people and get a foot in and sometimes get to the ball first and clear it.

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"Compared to an Ajax game where you're totally dominating 90% of possession you're never in that position. All you're doing is picking your passes. I thought he got that absolutely right today, he and Luka were very very important duo in that centre of the midfield and they were well supported by McArthur who once again had an exception game.

"So I'm very pleased for Jairo, we've never doubted him in terms of his paying ability, the only question mark we had was can you deal with the Burnleys of the world? Can you deal with it when the ball going over your head and you've got to spin round and win a knock-down, can you make the right decision and not put them on the attack because you've tried to pass your way out of trouble and I think he comes out of that today

"If I say to him on Monday 'right how do you think you did?' I'd be very surprised if he didn't say to me 'I did what you asked, I did exactly that.'"


Julian Speroni exclusive: Crystal Palace cult hero on his love for the club and his future

Written by FYP Fanzine

Five Year Plan has been a thing since 2003 so there was only one man we wanted to interview in our 50th issue as we look back over 14 years of FYP; Julian Maria Speroni. And we were in luck as the man himself kindly agreed to sit down with us to look back over his own 13 years at Selhurst Park.

The Eagles cult hero talked to FYP about all sorts of things regarding his time in South London as well as his hopes for the future. Having just got back into the team after waiting 18 months for a Premier League appearance, Speroni was keen to keep going and doesn't see any end in sight yet.

He said: “I don't think I'm going to lose my fitness too much, but there's going to be a time where you can't really recover from game to game and that's when goalkeepers notice they are getting older. There's going to be a point where I won't be able to play three games a week and as a No.1 you need that consistency, you need to be playing regularly.

"With the craziness of the Premier League it doesn't allow that sometimes. Not just us but other clubs are going through exactly the same thing that we went through before, with managerial changes and you don't know what's coming, you don't know if he's going to like you or not. As a professional, what can you do? When that time comes if I had to take another role within the squad then I'll be happy to, but I don't think the time is now.”

On waiting for a chance to prove himself in the first team-team he added: “It's tough, really tough, when you’re not playing.But I've seen so many players complain and complain that they are not playing and get upset, but then when they have the chance they can't take it because they are not ready for it.

The full interview is available to read only in issue 50 of FYP which you can buy here.

"Because they haven't trained properly, they haven't done the right things, they're always in a mood. So when I have been not playing I’ve thought ‘OK, football changes and the chance eventually will come for one reason or another and, when it does, I need to make sure that I will be able to take that chance’.

“If you have a problem with it you go and talk to the manager and then try to work things out, but once you step on that pitch training you leave all that aside and need to make sure that you do all you can; on the pitch, in the gym, all the recovery stuff, everything. Because you never know. You may have the opportunity this coming weekend and if you're not ready you're going to waste it. And all your complaining and all your moaning about it is going to go through the window because you just had the opportunity and you didn't take it.”

He also goes on to talk about his favourite Palace memories, his thoughts on the current campaign and working under Roy Hodgson and his hopes for the future when he does hang up his gloves.

Watch a teaser of the interview on FYP TV below...

The full interview is available to read only in issue 50 of FYP which you can buy here.