I had heard that the new look Women’s Premier League, when it eventually gets relaunched, will be played over the summer. I wonder whether the entire women’s game will switch to the warmer months as well, which will help keep bloggers in search of material, as I will be able to focus on the girls. Which is what I used to do before I got married, but in an entirely different sense (without a great deal of success I might add, don’t get me wrong, I ain’t no playa…).
And then it comes, the shock news we have all been waiting for. SW19s Army has switched to WordPress (http://www.sw19s-army.co.uk/). Well to be honest, I think it improves it greatly, especially if it encourages Mr REPD to write a bit more often in this here close season (after all I get bored of having nothing Dons related to read too). For fear of subconsciously plagiarising Rob I’ve avoided reading his reaction to our pre-season fixtures before I write this, but there’s nothing stopping any of you from popping over for a read. Go on, I’ll still be here when you get back…
So in a roundabout way I’ve got to where I wanted to be – those pre-season games. I’ll come to the game that haven’t been announced yet later in the post (it’s all part of my new thing – planning out what I write before I start… it seems to be working so far). First up – The Isle of Man Tournament. Now I’m not going, mainly because when I suggested going to the Isle of Man for a threeway, my wife threatened to catch the next flight back to Yankeyville leaving divorce papers fluttering in the wind behind her. But also, as I mentioned in previous scribblings, I just don’t have the money. A pound saved now is a pound better used later in the season when it matters. As the whole thing effectively takes place in Mike Richardson’s backyard, you wonder why he doesn’t just shell out to bring us all over!
Of course I’m gutted to miss out. The football will be ok of course, but I’ve always wanted to visit the place, and watching the TT on telly doesn’t make up for it, especially as I have little interest in motorcycles. The key game will be our 1230 matchup with what is effectively the Manx National Team – and if the Faroes can be a FIFA member then so can they? Well no, so the Manx XI spend their time playing other islands and outcasts of the international game such as Gibraltar or Greenland. Next up is Ramsey FC at 1500, not the current champions, in fact they haven’t won a title since the 50’s. Finally in the game of the day, the two local clubs square off for bragging rights in the bar after.
I like the fact the lads are going to be building bridges by giving some local kid a coaching session, if the whole thing goes ok hopefully we will win a few new friends in that part of the world. There seem to be more home games this summer than we have ever had before, so the club are obviously confident that recent years work on the pitch has created a more durable surface, and our second game sees us face the challenge of Brighton. At least we are facing some decent opposition this year (although it is on a Tuesday night so expect the crowd to be low and the game low-key) but we don’t seem to have as many games this year as previous seasons so I suppose we need to make the most of them.
The previously advertised FCUM game is our second of three games in a week, the last being against a Fulham ‘XI’. Now XI could mean anything in terms of the strength of the side they will send, it could be mainly academy players or a team with a number of first teamers in. The best way to work it out is by checking the rest of their fixtures. Fulhams glamour games are early in the month on their tour of Australia. They then take on Bournemouth and Aldershot before facing ourselves and Staines. There is a likelihood the could announce another fixture on the day they play Staines which could affect our game, but I suppose they will make a decision closer to the time as to who will play depending on who needs match fitness and who needs looking after ten days before the big kickoff.
Finally we face Farnborough in the fixture arranged when we loaned Whatshisname at the end of last season – I’m sure we only got involved to secure a fixture against decent opposition. Farnborough have made a couple of decent signings from Ebbsfleet and look like they want to make no mistakes in the Southern League this time around.
But wait! Don’t we still owe Tonbridge a game as part of the Jon Main deal? Well yes, unless we arranged to throw some extra cash their way to make up for it. I’m not sure how much Tonbridge will make from a midweek fixture though, and whether I venture into Kent will depend on an number of issues, most likely money but also what time I’ll arrive back in the Kingston/Surbiton borders.
Which leaves only one – the first home game. Now will this be against Championship opposition? Or even a Premiership giant? Perhaps even a foreign club has been tempted? Its like saving a Christmas present to unwrap later in the day, our mind races as you think of what exciting surprise you will receive. Guaranteed once the game is announced it will be the equivalent of socks from your gran though. All this fuss over nothing. But perhaps I’m just being pessimistic. I know Arsenal have been touted on the guestbook in an entirely made up rumour, so that’s good enough for me. Anything less will be an insult to us, the paying punters and club owners. So sort it out AFC Wimbledon – we deserve the best!