A Close Season Ramble – of the none hiking variety

Swapping away trips to places like Solihull and North Ferriby (well not next season) for mowing lawns and watering hanging baskets may not be to every fans liking ......

Photo ;www.cartoonstock.com

........but there you are, little choice, but at least we can savour the Euro’s ......

Photo: TheIndian Express

........if that floats your boat.

Photo: theeventchronicle.com

 The clubs cheeky little game in making us wait for the chance to buy next seasons season tickets is over and we can all speculate on the next signings, the pre season and all the ritualistic, eternally optimistic dreaming for the next time round starts to embed. I’ve been doing it for nearly 50 years and I could not stop now even if I wanted to. I suppose this happens to every fan of every club, every season whatever the status or circumstances. I feel sure that even if we could only field a team of 10 old age pensioners with a three legged dog in goals we would reckon that this formula would baffle all the opposition and we would walk the league. 
This bunch perhaps( courtesy express.co.uk)

Strangely though I feel a little more muted this close season than the one before. I think that some of the blind hope and eternal optimism of previous campaigns has been replaced with an actual realisation that we have actually got the right management team, the right players backed up with a stabling financial situation and sensible ownership/stewardship of the club to actually push on, on a sustainable basis. Of course 3000 fans added to this mix do no harm at all.  What could possibly go wrong?

So what else has been occupying my head this spring? I will tell you what; Ebbsfleet, that’s what. I was going to pen an article based on the teams that got relegated from the Conference National with us. That would be Barrow, Telford, ourselves and Ebbsfleet.  However painful, you will recall we finished at top of that miserable pile with 50 points, an amount usually guaranteed to sustain football in that division for another season and anyway it does not usually matter if you do finish at the top of the relegation foursome because some club, somewhere always commits some sort of foppery, usually financially based but really anything normally does the trick.......
Thanks to saltairedailyphoto.blogspot.com for this.

......... the mascot caught in a massage parlour dressed as a dog/bear/lion, the finance director absconded to the Caribbean with the team physio, etc....err...... etc .......
This one via YouTube.com

 But of course we were not treated to any such aberration. Probably everybody’s favourites to make a quick return to the National League we then watched as Telford made an instant return – OK they came straight down again, to be followed by Barrow going up and then this season watching Ebbsfleet at one point running away with the Conference South and indeed in their play off final were 60 seconds from winning it in extra time when they succumbed to a last minute equaliser and then lost the penalty shoot out.
Matty Golden ( Ebbsfleet'EUFCofficial)

 In an instant my article was ruined and no longer could I ponder on the logic of watching three small clubs that came down with us, all, bar us, returning to the National level.

If Ebbsfleet have upset me then the Football League have really got to me. The now named EFL – very American don’t you think. Just to pile on the ridicule the Premier League will now get to enter teams into the Johnson’s Paint Trophy.

EFL Spokesman ( courtesy whatpoll.com)

 A competition designed to both generate income for lower league teams and also give them an opportunity to play in a Wembley final has now been infiltrated by the greed league. I feel I may be partly to blame for this having penned an article a couple of years ago suggesting that top level sides may like to compete in the FA Cup and League Cup at the early stages of those knock out competitions hence making the competitions fairer, generating income for the smaller sides and perhaps giving the top level sides young fringe players an opportunity to play competitive games. The powers that be clearly could not stomach an FA Cup final between Accrington and Carlisle but feel that a JPL trophy final between Southampton under 18’s and Manchester City under 21’s would be a good thing!

So what else, not a lot really, none football related matters – how could we miss the upcoming Euro elections.
Our PM caught by dailymail.co.uk...bless 'em.

 Stay in and 300 million immigrants will be camped in our gardens, come out and World War 3 starts in August and then we won’t have a football season at all as we will be all vaporised.
 I would be very cross indeed !

Adrian Caville 


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