As the city of Southampton gears up for its biggest derby of the year, controversy surrounds the fixture, after leaked images show a heated email discussion between the two managers last week.
This Wednesday, Peter Auf Der Heyde’s 2nd year Sports Journalism students of Southampton Solent university, play their juniors, the first years, managed by course lecturer and boss of local side, Royal Marine FC, John May.
Last week, Auf Der Heyde sent an innocent email to all Sports Journalism students, about the possibility of different activities during an upcoming conference in Spain. The email contained a purposeful spelling mistake, a tactic he often employs to test his students.
The two squads for Wednesday’s game were still taking shape at the time, but having had a first look at the players he had to choose from, May could’ve felt he needed to try and gain an extra mental edge on his opposing manager.
Just a day after the first email, May launched this spelling attack on Auf Der Heyde, made visible to all students and staff on the course, in his efforts to anger/distract the 2nd year dressing room.
When asked to comment on May’s trash talking, Auf Der Heyde shrugged it off- “clearly he’s seen the strength and depth we have in the 2nd year, and feels he has to bait us into playing their game. But it won’t work. Myself and Dave (referring to player/coach David Reilly) have spent literally tens of minutes carefully picking our squad, and are confident that we have assembled a group full of leaders”.
John May refused to comment specifically on the leaked emails, but insists it was an innocent spelling correction and nothing more.
We’ll see tomorrow whether or not this controversy has had any effect, on either dressing room, at 8pm on Wednesday.
TEAM NEWS: 2nd years Baldeep Chahal, Kalan Coupar, Jack Stevens, Kieran Wilson- all face late fitness tests, but look doubtful for the derby with May’s first years.