The General Specific (Thursday 4th June ’09)

The good news is that Jamie Pullen has signed a new contract. As a Jamie fan I was getting a little worried about that situation, what with rumours about ‘other keepers’ doing the rounds. Jamie is an excellent goalkeeper (apart from his kicking) and I’m hoping Terry has him in his plans as number one next season. I think we all forget how many times he has prevented certain goals due to his excellent shot-stopping ability, possibly down to his ape like appearance. Its the extra few inches on the arms that does it.

I doubt Terry is after an experienced Conference keeper at all now, having got young Jack Turner tied down to a contract. Jack will do for sitting on the bench and only being called upon for emergency situations or minor cup games, but should anything happen to Jamie I would imagine Terry would sign a slightly more experienced guy from a League club (there’s enough of them floating around – League clubs just seem to hoard them). However regular reserve football is essential for Jack to progress, perhaps we will see someone brought in on a short term deal, or on loan, to provide some competition and act as backup until Andy Little returns.

There still remains a question mark over Andy’s future too, but I have faith he will be as capable goalkeeper as he has always been when he regains fitness – the question is whether Terry is prepared to wait. I don’t know the situation regarding his contract for next year but presumed he has already signed up for 09/10? I said at the end of the season I didn’t expect to see Andy in a Dons shirt again, and I stand by that largely because if it happened it would mean it didn’t work out with Jamie in the Conference.

It has been reported in the SLP today that Terry is closing in on signing a left-sided midfielder. Sorry, a quality left sided midfielder. Well, thanks for that, SLP, that’s told us absolutely nothing. It could be a non-story anyway as the same website told us several other clubs are in talks with the player, and as we know, in this division money rules. Just like Jack Midson and Stacy’s Mum, if he’s any good one of about half a dozen sides with a significantly larger budget than us will snap him up.

The biggest piece of club news over the last couple of days has been the news we have now shifted over 2000 season tickets. I’m now hoping we will be able to lift capacity a little further without having to complete the new turnstiles, as the way we are going we might find there are less than 1000 tickets that go on general sale for any given home game in the league.

The other thing is, as tickets are going to be at a premium, supporters who only came along to a handful of games last year face the dilemma of whether to purchase a season ticket. This includes lads who are still playing on a Saturday, and of course those of us who live far away and can’t make every game. The impact this might have is we would see an increase in crowds for the ‘minor’ cups, as well as unappealing early round fixtures in the FA Trophy.

In fact, we might find our core Cup support is very different to our League fan base. Obviously there are the likes of me (and as you seem to have carried on reading this far in an article that’s both short on news and isn’t that interesting, you as well) that will turn up for an under-fourteens reserve fixture if it was held at Kingsmeadow… or even if it wasn’t – and yes I know the under 14’s don’t have a reserve team…

But more importantly – how much of a boost will our extra season ticket sales be if you consider Setanta are reportedly in financial trouble, meaning the annual £85,000 TV payout to Conference clubs disappears? I’m not sure it will affect the clubs averaging 2000 plus, but the chaos it would cause smaller clubs, who may have budgeted for the money already, could make it an interesting year where the difference between the haves and have-nots increases. It would certainly put to bed any worries some of our more panicky followers may have that we will get relegated next year!

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