Now that’s entertainment

By my reckoning today marked the first time we have won a game coming from a goal behind.  It didn’t look likely for long periods, especially after Greg’s penalty miss.  But two fine goals and Sean being a hero again saving a last minute penalty for the second week running.  Add in the two late red cards, both I think justified; and it turned into an eventful afternoon, with three more points in the bag.

One worry now is the slightly threadbare nature of the squad.  Monty has obviously gone to Dagenham, Hicksy to Chesham for a month, Carl has hurt his groin, Ben Clarke has done a hamstring and Darren Locke also had to come off with a groin problem which given James Gray’s one match suspension next week could give us a few challenges at the back, and now we will have to factor in Greg’s forthcoming 3 match ban.  So we may need reinforcements – but as always it will need to be with the budget in mind.  It’s never easy.

Stephen Hughes was at the game today and his injury is not healing at present and looks a bad one.  We wish him well and hope for a speedy recovery.  It was good to see John Christian and Mitch Swain at the game as well, once their game for Northwood was called off.  They are good lads and I’m pleased to see them going well this season.

One final thought, to all the people who said the game would be off – you just never know.  Fingers told me yesterday that there was little if any chance of the game going ahead and most contributors on the WFC Forum agreed.  When I woke up this morning and saw the frost I wondered whether this might help and but then went back to bed in the knowledge that the game would be off.  So it was as much a shock to me as anyone that it was on and maybe we did lose a few off the gate (a still respectable 433) who assumed the game wouldn’t go ahead.  For most of those who were there, I think we are all pleased it did.

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Our big transfer story

We’ve let David Hicks go out on loan to Chesham United for a month.  Hicksy needs to play regularly and we can’t guarantee that just now – hopefully he will come back firing on all cylinders and slot back in. I’ve no doubt that we’ve not seen the best of Hicksy on a week by week basis and I hope this loan spell will give him the games he needs.  It worked for Jermaine and Marvin amongst others and it doesn’t do our wage bill any harm for a month either.

I wanted to comment on the other ‘big’ transfer story of the week, Kaka’s possible move to Manchester City for a fee of over £100 million and unheard of wages. Reaction to the news has been the usual mix of shock, dismay and warnings over what this means for the future of the game.

But is it bad news?  Is it a surprise?  Should we be concerned.  A personal view is that this is no different to Blackburn under Jack Walker and Chelsea under Abramovich, in both cases an individual simply raising the stakes and being able to buy immediate success.  This simply takes things to another level in what is already a part of football that defies reality.  Already most Premier League Clubs need to be owned by foreign billionaires to compete – Sheikh Mansour just happens to be super rich by billionaire standards.

So I say a few things to say on this move

  1. good luck to Manchester City (it makes a change seeing new clubs challenge the ‘top 4’) and I hope the money brings the same success that other clubs have enjoyed in similar circumstances – but it will be a big job
  2. good luck to Mark Hughes, my own view is he won’t last too long there but I hope he does
  3. to the rest of the league – stop carping
  4. Kaka doesn’t need the money – he is already earning loads at AC Milan, but who can blame Milan, or his agents and father for accepting the sort of figures being reported
  5. Jermaine must be good enough to catch Mark Hughes’ eye – or Ancelotti at Milan as Kaka’s replacement…or is that going a step too far?
  6. This won’t make any difference to us in the Ryman Premier League

Were two papers one too many?

News this week that Non League Today has closed down, leaving us with the original Non League newspaper.

I guess the question is whether or not we should surprised?  It always struck me as a challenge for two papers to survive – even with a strong economy I’ve never seen that non league football market is big enough to support two papers and so to win Non League Today needed to be distinctly better than the NLP – but it is hard to say it was really that different, and probably not that much better.

That said Wealdstone didn’t do badly with coverage with Russell Grant’s article on us (mainly written by Nick Dugard) just a couple of weeks ago.

I met / spoke to David Watters the editor a couple of times and wish him all the best for the future but it will be interesting to see how he comes back, and whether he will be back on the Non League Show next Monday.

No football but no let up

OK, enough of the weather, we all want to play – not least the players.  I think yesterday was the coldest day of all and no one would have expected the game to go ahead – and certainly no one would have enjoyed a game in those temperatures – but looking at the pitch any decision on yesterday’s game was an easy one.

Off the field there is no let up though.  We had a long board meeting earlier in the week which covered a lot of ground, not least our financial position, and issues around Ruislip – both in terms of money we need to spend and our longer term future there.  There is never any shortage of things going on.  We are now preparing for this year’s club AGM and this is likely in late February.

We also had the New Year’s draw taking place yesterday and we were grateful to the Mayor of Hillingdon for coming to do the draw.  We had an opportunity to show him around the Social Club and educate him about the Club.  Hopefully we will be able to welcome him to a game sometime soon.  The draw went well and we will be able to announce the profit from this very soon.

Fingers and Mark Lloyd are attending a meeting with representatives from our Juniors tomorrow night, to plan for the future including hopefully to nail a date for the second Junior tournament, which will build on the success of the one that Mark ran back in May.

So fingers crossed for a return to action on Tuesday night at Staines and I hope to see you all there.

An emotional day

There may not have been a game yesterday but it was still a very emotional day for me.

Timing being everything, the new Supporter’s Club has opened at the same time as we are having a big clearout of our garage and it seemed a good thing to donate my programme collection to the Supporter’s Club, both in recognition of what the rejuvenated Supporters Club are trying to do and also in the hope that some of these programmes may one day raise a few quid for the good of the Club.

But it is not easy.  As I loaded box file after box file into the car (around 35 I think) you realise that you are handing over a little piece of yourself.  Gazing through some of the programmes awoke many memories of games for 10,20, 30+ years ago.  It was interesting not just to see the names of old Wealdstone players but the opposition too, to see who went on from these games and became decent well known non league or pro players.  And there were so many games, so many memories reawakened.

Why we do we hoard things like programmes?  I know I am hardly alone.  Having two daughters I knew that whilst they are interested in football, and occasionally even in Wealdstone, they were never going to follow my more ‘nerdy’ ways of loving football trivia and rejoicing in collecting books, magazines and programmes and the like.  I still remember the feeling of real excitement, when as something like a 12 year old, my 20 year old cousin gave me his old Rothmans Annuals.  These will also be going to the new club shop soon I expect.

I understand the plan is that the Supporters Club are leasing off-site container space and will be selling programmes on line and possibly on ebay.  I wish them luck and hope they raise plenty of money.

And good luck to Mark Barton in unloading his car without injuring his back given all those box files filled to breaking point.