11/12

Accrington Stanley. Port Vale. Hereford United. Northampton Town. Gillingham. Cheltenham Town. For most football fans names like these probably bring mental images of grim Tuesday nights in February, but for us Dons fans… at the moment those places are as glamorous as Barcelona or Milan.

And how many of you are looking towards the League Cup, bearing in mind our First Round game will be our second fixture of the season? The draw might be reshuffled slightly due to one, possibly two Championship clubs playing in the Europa League next term (Blackpool and Fulham find out which of them has scooped the Fair Play place on Thursday…), but if previous years are anything to go by, we could find ourselves travelling to West Ham, Palace, Charlton…

And what of the Johnsons Paint Trophy? I have to admit I’m looking forward to our participation in this competition, as it symbolizes our ascent to the Football League – of course, prior to our first game in it I’ll be slagging it off with the rest of you, although if we have to have this sort of competition and on the night format with penalties at the end of ninety minutes is the way to go about it… and a trip to Wembley at the end of the rainbow (Surrey Senior Cup this is not)…

With next season in mind, here’s a brief club-by-club guide to the sides we’ll face next season;

Accrington Stanley – Could be one of the few clubs with a smaller budget than ours next term. Winning a play-off place this term will give TB an idea of what can be achieved…

Aldershot Town – A tasty derby, of sorts. TB will be a big hit with the opposition fans, their manager on the other hand will get a not-so-great reception…

Barnet – Former Southern League rivals meet in the Football League for the first time. One manager with ex-Dons connections has recently taken over from another, as the Mexican relieves caretaker manager Grazioli, a BIG hit at KM…

Bradford City – Saw Peter Jackson at Eastlands on Saturday. Apart from that, what goes around, comes around.

Bristol Rovers – That M4’s gonna be seeing a lot of us Dons fans next season…

Burton Albion – It’s a new ground for us, I suppose…

Cheltenham Town – Another former Southern League rival. Popular ex-Dons striker (and future Dons manager – I had a dream once…) Steve Cotterill is a Cheltenham legend, cutting his managerial teeth and guiding them into the league… which will give us something to talk to them about in the bars before the game…

Crawley Town – Ugh…

Crewe Alexandra – Another manager with Dons links, I wonder how different history would have been had Dario hung around in SW London. Made a donation to the Dons in 2002, so guaranteed a warm welcome next term.

Dagenham & Redbridge – Long overdue another merger of some kind, so let’s make the most of the trip while we can.

Gillingham – Rejected Danny Kedwell as a kid. Big mistake.

Hereford United – Were the visitors when Kingsmeadow first hosted a Conference game, losing to the K’s on the opening day of the 1998/9 season.

Macclesfield Town – Appear alongside the Dons in the ‘Cult Clubs’ section of the Rough Guide book ‘Cult Football’… upon our arrival in the Conference this blog endeared itself to the Altrincham support by inadvertently labelling their ground as ‘Moss Rose’ (home to rivals Macclesfield) with hilarious consequences…

Morecambe – Longest trip of the season. Guaranteed to be a Tuesday in February.

Northampton Town – Don’t like the Buckinghamshire Franchise almost as much as us, due to the strong suspicion a large percentage of their support used to follow the Cobblers. Are therefore alright as far as I’m concerned…

Oxford United – Hope we get to visit on a Saturday this time round.

Plymouth Argyle – I went to University in Plymouth, so our trip down there is absolutely guaranteed to be an evening game.

Port Vale – Big away end, first game please!

Rotherham United – Here’s hoping their temporary stint at Don Valley ends soon, in the mean time it does afford me the chance to visit a ground I wouldn’t have otherwise.

Shrewsbury Town – We all still remember that FA Cup defeat in the early ’90’s

Southend United – In Essex. A county Dons fans just can get enough of…

Swindon Town – John Fashanu from the half way line.

Stevenage/Torquay United – January in Stevenage or August in Torquay?

A fuller guide to L2 will follow over the course of the summer…

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One thought on “11/12

  1. BillyRainbow says:

    Hey, Another Don who went to Plymouth Uni. Was there 89 – 93. As you said, guaranteed to be midweek

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