The other week I was filming a video interview with Carl Piergianni at York Street.
The Boston United defender was discussing the matchwinning goal he had forced home against Colwyn Bay... when a dark shadow suddenly loomed on the screen.
Attempting to keep the subject in the frame I turned around just enough to see Stefan Galinski peering over my shoulder, chuckling to himself as he pulled faces at Piergianni, attempting to put him off.
As Piergianni left to hit the showers I waited by the tunnel to interview debutant Lewis King when Ian Ross emerged.
He was wanting to head home, but Indy Aujla - who was his lift that day - was still in his kit, alone on the pitch, putting himself through a series of shuttle runs.
One of the above was an example of consumate professionalism, the other was someone pratting about.
Both equally summed up the importance Boston United’s entire squad have played in the club’s success so far this season.
Look at the Skrill North league table right now.
Makes happy reading doesn’t it?
Of course, Marc Newsham’s goals, Spencer Weir-Daley’s dummy runs and flicks, Ricky Miller’s cut-backs, Ross’ precision passing, Conor Marshall’s thumping tackles, vital saves from whichever keeper and the stoicism of Carl Pierginni and Scott Garner have all forced the Pilgrims into a comfortable position.
But equally important are the shifts being put in by the rest of the squad.
That victory over Colwyn Bay saw Galinski brought on for the final five minutes, and Aujla didn’t even get a kick.
But there was no sulking as the final whistle blew. Galinski still had time to raise a smile, Aujla put in an additional shift to make himself sharper.
Not one bit of negativity. No bitching about the manager and his decisions.
It must be a frustrating life for a footballer looking to break into a team.
While pals are out drinking and socialising you’re at home, in the gym or watching the calories (Aujla practises Yoga in a bid to aid his fitness, while Galinski has been known to spend his Saturday nights cycling in an attempt to shrug off knocks).
But what for? Why should you bother when you know you’re giving up your time for a few extra quid in the knowledge that you may only get a run out if someone gets crocked, the boss is trying something experimental or you’re being used to eat up time in the 90th minute?
The reasons why these players do bother is a mixture of pride, professionalism and belief.
These players, like those on the fringes at clubs from the Premier League to the Sunday League, have that fire in their belly too.
Just because others are currently ahead in the pecking order doesn’t mean that won’t change. It doesn’t mean they cannot do a job equally as well.
And just because a player isn’t starting, it doesn’t mean they aren’t priceless to a squad.
Fringe players are the ones who offer tough, hungry opposition in training.
Without them, no members of the squad can improve or hone their skills during the week.
They also keep the rest of the squad on their toes.
Add Sam Vince to the equation. Without him would the number one keeper have someone to get them so well warmed up?
What about the likes of Charley Sanders and Ben Fairclough? They don’t travel the country hoping just to watch, but their cammeraderie and team spirit is just as vital as their ability.
Every successful team needs that strength in depth to succeed, and sometimes that means quality players have to benched.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and can you see any of those among the Pilgrims substitutes?