WFC programme top of the league

Congratulations to Adam and Minnie Gloor, Tim Parks, Steve Foster, Martin Lacey and everyone else involved with our matchday programme as it has just been voted number one in the Ryman Premier League and 42nd nationally in The Catalogue’s national programme awards.  You can see the full awards here.

Very well deserved – I look forward to seeing the 2009/10 version!

Leeds will bring a strong team

There has been quite a lot of talk recently about the relative strength of the Leeds team likely to come down to our friendly 4 weeks today, especially after the announcement of a Grimsby match for Leeds on the same night.

I spoke to Leeds today and they confirmed they will be bringing a first team squad – including I’m delighted to say Jermaine Beckford – down to our game.  They explained that they have 24 professionals, most of whom will not have played a full 90 minutes pre-season by the time they come to us, so they will send two ‘first team squads’, one to the Wealdstone game and one to Grimsby with the Grimsby game being more low profile.

Leeds are also adjusting their website to reflect that our game is not in any way second best to the Grimsby game.

Meanwhile ticket sales continue well and have passed 100 and Fingers has been selling tonight and tomorrow night at the Club and they are of course on sale through our website – and there is just 4 weeks until the match.

Thanks to Vinnie

A really good day on Thursday and a big thank you to Vinnie Jones.

An enjoyable round of golf at the Stockley Park course during the day, my own play notwithstanding.  Perhaps a shame that not more Stones fans at the golf course but maybe we don’t have too many golfers.

Then a great crowd in the evening.  Vinnie getting up on stage and doing plenty of photos / autographs etc.  Remember he flew in from the West Coast of America, came straight to Stockley Park and then onto the Vale in the evening.  We haven’t seen him in a long time but there was no doubt that Wealdstone FC still holds a special place in his heart.

A well done also to everyone involved in organising and running the day, Dennis, Leo, Paul, Jeremy, Peter, Pauline and Nick and also Adam, Mark and Steve for taking all the photos during the day.

Wasn’t it great to see so many people at our club for a function, many of whom don’t go to games or are not regulars.  Let’s hope we take that momentum and keep it going through the Leeds game and into next season.

Our best wishes to Boony

Last week we learnt the very sad news that Alan Boon, the popular Staines Town FC Chairman, had suffered a serious heart attack.

We immediately sent a note from everyone at Wealdstone wishing Alan a speedy recovery and sending our best wishes.  I can speak from personal experience and say Alan has always been a figure who one can look to for sage advice when it is needed.  He has acted thoroughly decently with us at all and any time that we have dealt with him, whether over the crowd issue or the transfer of Davis Haule (just in the last 12 months) and he is rightly held in very high esteem by everyone in the non league game.

Staines’ promotion probably meant more to Alan than anyone else at Wheatsheaf Lane, and the debt that the players and supporters of Staines feel can be seen here very clearly on the Staines message board.  It is noticeable how many players have posted and also that the feedback seems to be that these messages are having a positive impact on Alan’s state.

Tomorrow night Fingers and I will be at the Ryman League AGM.  Last night Peter and Pauline Worby represented us at the Ryman League Dinner – both occasions will have been blighted by Alan not being there.  We all wish him a very speedy and full recovery.

Leeds update

Just a quick update on where we are with the Leeds game.

Fingers, and Gordon, both spoke to people at Leeds towards the end of last week.  They have assured us that they are aware of the terms of the contract and they will be sending a strong squad to our match on 21 July.  They said it may include a couple of younger players who will be involved in the first team squad next season but it will be a stronger squad than the one that plays Darlington on the same night. Let’s hope so.

Tickets will be priced at £12 (£6 for concessions) with the kick off at 7.45.

Last week Fingers met with the health and safety inspector from Hillingdon Council and we expect confirmation of the capacity this week.  Tickets are currently being printed and we expect to be able to take bookings through the website from some point this week (and also for the Watford game).

Peter Worby chaired a meeting with a number of people who will be helping with the many jobs that require doing on the night last week and no doubt there will be more to report from this as the game (only 5 weeks away) gets nearer.

We have started to receive enquiries from Leeds fans so far for tickets and also a company interested in sponsoring the game. The two key words over the next few weeks will be simply SELL TICKETS.

More news in due course.

5th best in the country?

I went to the Cup Final on Saturday and entertained Ron Barnes our main sponsor from West One in what was a very enjoyable afternoon in what remains a great spectacle.  The excitement as you move away from Wembley Park station remains palpable.

A couple of thoughts about the Cup Final.  Did Everton have more than two attempts on goal? – for once I’d be interested in seeing one of those Sky TV charts that show how long the play is in each part of the pitch because not much of it was in the Chelsea half.

Everton were dour – and to me their approach was summed up in the 94th minute, when Chelsea won a corner.  Given there were only 4 minutes of injury time to be played it was reasonable to assume the final whistle was imminent. Trailing by one goal surely (for once) Everton needed to leave players upfield in the hope they could win the ball and get it forward.  But even then, in the dying seconds there appeared to be only two Everton players forward – one on the right wing.

Chelsea won comfortably.  And my biggest disappointment was that Everton are supposedly the fifth best team in the country.  The gulf between the top 4 and the rest is huge. Best league in the world?  For what?

A Leeds fan’s perspective

I’ve had some correspondence from a Leeds fan. a student called David, some of which I thought was worth sharing (and he is happy to for me to do that).

David wrote how partly through this blog he has become interested in Wealdstone, as he describes it he finds himself “an intrigued and fascinated reader.”
He tells me that he would love to attend either the Vinnie Jones day or the Leeds friendly but as a student he needs to ration his trips out of Leeds.  That said he mentions that he is planning to attend an event in London early in 2010 and is hoping he can combine it with a Wealdstone home game so he can “experience the place for himself.”
Interestingly, given some of the various comments written about Jermaine potentially moving on, he admits what I’d suspect the majority of Leeds’ fans would say, that he would be extremely disappointed to lose Jermaine, but fully understand his decision and that it is only right he should test himself at a higher level and try and push his career forward. As David says, “in any other job the decision to move upwards would be a no-brainer, but in football, fans are unrealistic and forget the players are simply doing a job”
An interesting point this last one of David’s – I suspect that it is more than a job myself just as football is more than a business.  The big difference between football and ‘real life’ I have found is that football is full of emotion and passion and all the things that make people make decisions they wouldn’t otherwise make.
David finished up by saying that he had done a bit of research into the club and that he will be keeping track of our results when the new season starts, whilst wishing us every success.
Thanks David, enjoyed your correspondence, some interesting perspectives worth sharing and hopefully we can welcome you to some proper Wealdstone hospitality in the New Year.