Tag Archives: John Smiths Moaners

Second Thoughts… Luton Town 8.8.09

It was a tale of two penalties at Kingsmeadow on Saturday, and having seen the various penalty decisions from various angles I have changed my mind on both of them several times over. It really depends on what angle you see them from. First off, for those of you who haven’t yet seen this, the match highlights courtesy of AFC Wimbledon TV

http://www.afcwimbledon.tv/video/highlights/afc-wimbledon-v-luton-town/ (Sorry was hoping to inbed this but it seems I can’t do that… Oh, well, remember to come back!)

I have a habit of watching whats going on in the box and using the corner of my eye to track the ball, rather than the other way round. But even I couldn’t see what had happened at full speed. The best angle to watch from was the Sky Sports News pitchside camera (about 1.00 in below).

It was an obvious foul, however slight. Paul Lorraine lost his man, in panic reached back and grabbed a bit of shirt and the guy has gone down. Fair play to the ref, he had the confidence to give what he saw. You will hear a lot of pundits going on and on about how if every incident like this resulted in a penalty, there would be a dozen given in each game.

But the ref can only gives what he sees, and it’s really not down to him to judge the severity of the offence in the first instance, just that an offence has taken place. Perhaps if Blackett had a handful of Lorraine as well the official might have ignored it, or given the decision in favour of the defending team.

Of course no-one really minds too much if a ref goes giving tame penalties like this one, as long as there is some consistency. And Mick Harford knew that not many referees would be observant enough to have given his side their penalty when he said ‘We were worried the referee might want to even things up for the first one’…(or something along those lines…).

But judging by the damning evidence shown in both videos, I think it’s a bit rich for Mick to be moaning about that. Firstly, one absolute fact shown by both videos, which backs up what Mick and some Luton fans have said over the past couple of days, and that is there is no doubt that Blackett got a touch on the ball. The problem was, he had to go through Main to get there. Perhaps Mick still thinks its the eighties, as ‘getting a touch’ hasn’t been an excuse for hacking someone down because they got in the way of the ball since he was a trainee…

The problem is, Mick is already a manager under pressure, and following a game his side should have won, he was always going to take any excuse going for their failure to close the game out. I have no doubt it will be a very different story if some of our players don’t get up to speed before our visit later in the season, however whether Mick is still manager by then relies on Luton using their obvious advantage in terms of the quality they can field to put annoying, hard-working sides like ourselves to bed.

In fact it could be said the respective managers won and lost points for their teams. Terry Brown resisted what must have been a huge temptation at half time to haul off either Godfrey or Hatton, waiting until over the hour to do so. It’s fair to say the two of them had bad games, yetthey ran themselves into the floor making sure Luton had bodies in the way of themselves and our goal. However I think I am justified in saying neither was quick enough while in possession of the ball, yet both players are talented enough to release the ball quicker as soon as their brains catch up with them. As far as Main is concerned, he was the right player at the right time, and a huge victory for the patience shown by Terry Brown.

While we are on the subject of poor performances by midfielders, why did the moronic minority in the JSS target Hatton and not Godfrey, or even Hussey? I’m glad they didn’t because no-one deserved having ‘Off! Off! Off!’ chanted at them by their own fans… Now this really pissed me off as I only mentioned it the other day as an example of some horrific abuse given by our own fans.

Now I’m not going to go on and on about it (well I might…). It has been mentioned that this is becoming a personal crusade of mine, and I can assure you all that wasn’t my intention, but I feel I have received enough positive correspondence on the subject to justify the original article. Seriously, I can turn a blind eye to the odd muffled shout of frustration, anyone can. Rob Dunford mentioned on SW19 that he thought the idea may have been a bit naive, and in terms of attempting to create some kind of football utopia he is bang on the money, but once again that was never my aim.

All I am asking for is for certain individuals to think about the bigger picture. Once these people join together in the form of negative chanting it has gone too far. I’m not saying Wimbledon fans have always been so enlightened. I remember when Laurie Sanchez was the scapegoat for everything that went wrong on the pitch (including a few occasions when he actually wasn’t). I remember chanting for the head of Peter Withe, and screaming ‘You ruined everything!’ at Egil Olsen as he trudged off after that defeat against Sheffield Wednesday.

The difference was, on those occasions the discontent had reached a critical mass where the vast majority of supporters understood our only method of intervention was vocal, despite the obvious damage it could have caused. Today, I’m not sure any serious criticism of players or management is justified. When mistakes have been made, the time and the place to discuss them is in the bar, back at the pub, on the guestbook, or maybe as a response to one of my posts.

While we are on the subject of criticism, its now time for my AFC Wimbledon match ratings…

Pullen    7

Garrard    5

Hussey    5

Lorraine    6

Johnson    6

Gregory    6

Duncan    6

Taylor    6

Hatton    4

Godfrey    4

Kedwell    6


Wellard    5

Main    7

Moore    6

By the way for those of you who are wondering, the marking goes something like this;

Sack him    1/2

Drop him    3

Unacceptable    4

Poor    5

Average (Acceptable)    6

Above Average    7

Good    8

Brilliant    9

God-like    10 (doubt if we will see one of these performances in our lifetime!)

I’ll probably have to reproduce that guide every week now, but so be it… 

So where does this performance leave us heading into the Eastbourne game? Well, that’s a story for another article…

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The General Specific (Thursday 6th August ’09)

Less than two days now…

In fact as I write this particular sentence it is 43 hours, 28 minutes until the big kick-off. In my role of Anonymous Don I have to know this information… it’s my job. Well actually it’s not. My job is giving technical support to customers of a certain German shower manufacturer who I cannot name, mainly because they haven’t paid for an advert so aren’t going to get one for free…

It’s been long overdue, but a roundup of this weeks news, with some opinion from myself just to stop those who get a bit bored reading about stuff they already know from getting bored. First things first. The BBC seem to have caught on to this new AFC Wimbledon team that have appeared in the Conference.






The BBC AFCW page has been updated several times this week, the latest news being we have signed down Chris Hussey and comedian Mickey Hutton to new contracts. I knew the comedy nights were getting big but I didn’t realise exclusive contracts were….. hang on…. no, apparently they don’t mean Mickey Hutton, they mean Sam Hatton. Oh! Silly Me! 

Well it’s great to know that two days after the news was all over the local and regional papers, the BBC are out like lightening to make sure the news is correctly reported to the nation. It’s great to know that our best source of publicity on the web is being written by someone who doesn’t have a clue. Plus, have you tried the player selector yet? Not giving too much away, but it looks like Andy Sambrook and Dwayne Lee are in for a surprise return…

Brett Johnson signed this week. I will admit I was wrong when I said I thought it was all too good to be true. Brett, welcome to the club. For what it’s worth I really rate him. He’s solid. I would be amazed if the Luton game comes around and he isn’t in the starting lineup. Although I have a feeling one big name will miss out – so seeing as though just about everybody else has named their lineup on Old Centrals, and Paul Raymond has systematically polled the fanbase to work out what your average AFCW fan thinks the lineup should be… so, at long last I am prepared to reveal the side I think Terry will pick…

(It’s 442 Diamond for you formation fans…)

GK – Pullen

RB – Conroy

LB – Duncan

CB – Lorraine

CB – Johnson

DMF – Gregory

RM – Taylor

LM – Hussey

MF – Godfrey

ST – Kedwell

ST – Moore

SUB 1 – Judge

SUB 2 – Hatton

SUB 3 – Main

SUB 4 – Wellard

SUB 5 – Garrard

So why have I gone with this lineup? Trying to second guess Terry Brown is no easy task, especially with an embarrassment of riches (or at very least a number of decent footballers who appear to be of similar ability) at his disposal.

What I was thinking was…

  • Terry doesn’t pick a goalkeeper on the bench if that goalkeeper is Jack Turner…
  • When he picks five outfield players one of them is always a random fullback (plus Garrard can fill a number of positions).
  • Luton will be well used to that small nippy/big skillful strike partnership, so pairing Keds with Luke Moore and Godfrey just behind will give them enough creativity to keep them busy for most of the afternoon.
  • When the Luton back line show signs of weariness, bring on Main and let him at ’em.
  • Duncan and Hussey are virtually interchangeable, expect them to swap positions more often than a porn star on her wedding night.

I’ve probably over thought this. Perhaps Terry will come back with something amazingly simple? Who knows?

One option he won’t have is an out-and-out target man. Calvin McMorriston has been dispatched back to ‘a club close to the Isle Of Man’ with a glowing reference, so Peter Rapson will be an important figure in the first team squad, possibly until the end of August (when all those guys holding out for big money now will be happy to accept a short term contract just to keep their name on managers lips).

Actually what Terry said to the BBC was reported by them as ‘…Brown is still hoping to sign another striker, but admits he may not be able to bring the player to the club before Saturday’s season opener at home to Luton Town…’ Of course, this being the BBC what he could have said to them was equally likely to be ‘I’m just off home to get a bit of gardening done…’

Finally, there will be a bit of reading for you tomorrow as I will publish a ‘new-style’ Match Preview for the Luton game. Plus if you haven’t read it, read my last post, especially if you happen to be either Moaning Old Git, Mr Spits When He Shouts, or Mr Angry… if you stand near me in the JSS, you’ll know who these people are…

Get those vocal chords warmed up…

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A Heartfelt Plea To Everyone Fortunate Enough To Have A Ticket For Saturday… And For The Season Beyond.

Entering this season, one thing I noticed about the poll I ran earlier in the summer (which has now been backed up by a similar measure of fans optimism in the South London Press) was how restrained we are in our hopes for our first Conference campaign. Most people are expecting upper mid-table, perhaps a decent cup run.

The danger is, once the season begins one or two of us get a little overexcited. I mentioned last season on several occasions how braindead and counter-productive vocal criticism of our own team can be. I will probably never understand what goes through the mind these people. After all, they pay money to watch their team, presumably they want the lads to win? They wear replica shirts and buy programmes. All that money is wasted as soon as they open their mouths.

We are watching young players who came to the club for the support a big crowd can offer. Since we started at Kingsmeadow, I have chosen to stand in the John Smith Stand. I started watching the game from beside the pitch back at Plough Lane, and was delighted for the opportunity to stand next to the pitch after years of hell in the Whitehorse Lane End and the Holmesdale Stand at Selhurst Park.

The abuse from the John Smith Stand has grown over the years, until last season when I finally grew fed up with it. Watching the game wasn’t fun at times. In what was a title winning year, I witnessed supporters loudly boo their own players, criticise the manager for picking them/bringing them on/not substituting them. On one occasion after a young player had misplaced a pass, a group of idiots began to chant ‘Off! Off! Off!’ at him.

I’m not a violent person, but that made me feel physically sick. I felt the anger rise in me, I clenched my fists and my teeth very hard and did whatever it took for me not to lose it with them. This wasn’t a one-off either… I felt that several times last season. Let’s remind you once again, this was a title winning season. That’s just not right.

On Saturday a new season begins, with the chance for all of us, as supporters, to turn over a new leaf. For example, I’m going to be more vocal in my support, I’m not going to use my note-taking for match reports as a reason not to sing, or shout encoragement. If you are a supporter who has in the past criticised our players, please, make an effort this season to stop. By being so negative you are doing nothing to help the club you claim to support.

The fast takeup of season tickets this year has led to certain areas becoming season ticket only areas for the entire season, in other words some supporters who previously held season tickets and stood on the Tempest are now overspilling into the John Smiths. More than anyone you are in an ideal position to change the poisonous atmosphere in this part of the stadium.

As newcomers to this area, not only can your positive support dilute the existing troublemakers, your behaviour will spread to more impressionable sections of the fanbase. Remember what I said about the ‘Off! Off! Off!’ brigade? Only a couple of people started that. These people stand close to the home dugout, and are of the opinion that they know better than our manager. I’m not sure how many Conference sides these guys have actually managed, but it must be a few to believe they are more knowledgable than Terry Brown. Sometimes Terry makes decisions that surprises me, but it only serves to trigger curiosity in me, especially when it seems like a bit of a gamble.

If it goes wrong? I may use my blog as a mouthpiece to criticise if required, if I didn’t have the blog I would mention it to friends after the game or post on the guestbook perhaps. There are outlets for criticism, and nobody is asking for freedom of speech to be removed. But loudly criticising during the game? These are grown men, who have presumably been watching football for quite a while now. Have you learnt nothing during this time?

We also have a section of our support (and these people are by no means young supporters) who haven’t been watching Wimbledon for long. They joined up in the Premiership days, or the early years of AFC Wimbledon. I absolutely believe that some people come to games with the impression that its ok to barrack their own players. Perhaps they have seen on the TV, the likes of Alf Garnett (that going back a bit, there are more contemporary examples, but none I can think of right now!) slagging off their own team, perhaps in those ‘football special’ versions of sitcoms or when a character is a football fan. Christ, even our own Alun Armstrong was featured moaning about a 0-3 home defeat to Spurs in a friendly!

This is, and alway will be used for comedic effect, it’s more a reference to a fault in character. Don’t ever believe it should be acceptable, or even normal for you to abuse your own players at a game. The player I mentioned earlier had made a number of mistakes earlier in the game. The first time he misplaced a pass, what do you think will be the most supportive way of helping him recover. Tutting? A long audible groan?

I can absolutely guarantee the player can hear you, if not every word then at least the gist it. These players are professional, they earn good money to play for us, and therefore abuse from opposition supporters slips off like water from a ducks back. However put yourself in their shoes… if you had just misplaced a pass, how are you going to feel if a hundred people shout ‘Awwww, bloody hell!’ or something stronger…

These new young players have talent, that much is for sure, but we are in a division where we will face a strong challenge week in, week out. They will make mistakes. More importantly a couple of them will make mistakes that cost us points. That is an absolute given. But these guys are very young, even the 22/23 year olds have a good four or five years learning left in them.

I got the impression that certain players with us last year had lost the passion for learning the game ahead of time. These are players who perhaps had been there before and thought they could walk through certain games. I guarantee Terry saw this as well, and thats why they aren’t with us this year. Tom Davis and Tony Finn were talented footballers, but Terry knew they weren’t in a position to take their game to another level this year.

The likes of Steven Gregory and Ricky Wellard are already good players. But with our support and their own desire to learn, they could become great players. They really could be the players who help us into the League. But a small part of their development will depend on how much they enjoy playing in front of us, at Kingsmeadow.

You may remember yesterday, I wrote an article about Luton, and how annoying it would be if any of their supporters had managed to get tickets in our section of the ground. Well, it certainly would be, but even if the most vocal of Luton fans gets in and manages to stay in, as far as I’m concerned it would be much better for us for one of them to be there than any of our own who dares criticise a player in a blue shirt. In fact, I’d much rather have an extra ten of them, at least then we could recognise them as the enemy.

Their behaviour is not only shameful but an embarasment to our great club. This abuse is like a cancer to the wonderful support the majority of our supporters give. It may happen at other clubs – but quite frankly what other clubs supporters do doesn’t concern me. It shouldn’t happen here. We are better than that. If you consider yourself a Wimbledon supporter you should be as proud of the team after the most dismal of defeats as you are during the good times. In fact you should be more so. Never forget AFC Wimbledon are a unique club, they are your club in more ways than just simple ownership. We are the club – so lets make sure we show just how special we are.

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Ground Developments

Some of you may have noticed that the latest edition of ‘What’s The Latest From The Cherry Red Records Fan Stadium – Kingsmeadow’ featured a worrying problem in terms of ground grading – namely that if we fail to move the pitch 30cm (a foot in old money) away from the hoardings on the Strank Stand side of the field we will fail it. Apparently there are two solutions. The first being to move the pitch closer to the John Smith Stand, this being extremely expensive due to the fact a Perspex shield must be inserted in front of the supporters for fear that opposition wingers/linesmen (that’s right… opposition linesmen…) may be covered in spittle and pie crumbs sprayed in their direction should said winger/linesman irritate the incumbents of this stand.

Previous rumours the club would also have to install an elaborate air conditioning system to prevent smaller supporters asphyxiating, overcome by the dense, thick, acidic clouds that develop in this area (due mostly to the stale urine on supporters that stand here reacting in a sweaty environment to form toxic gases), have now been overcome by the over subscription of The Tempest, meaning this stand will be flooded with ‘normal’ folk next term, who mostly do not stink of piss.

That means we should be seeing the end of those horrible A-boards next year, which although ideal (but seldom used) for hanging flags on, did look a little strange compared with the rest of the ground. Taking these down and adding ‘proper’ fencing round will not only please the Health and Safety Officer, it will look more aesthetically pleasing too, thus satisfying those of us who like that kind of thing.

Finally, the KRE has been re-profiled to allow for better viewing from this terrace. Sadly it will largely be occupied by visiting supporters until the new turnstiles are built, meaning its going to get worn down by the knuckles of opposition fans by the time we get to occupy it. While on the subject of the KRE, have you noticed despite its name it’s got to be a good fifty yards at least from Kingston Road itself?

Back in the day when the AFC era was new to us all, it acquired the nickname ‘The West Bank’ in homage to our former home end at Plough Lane. This was quietly dropped after a few seasons due to the three pronged strike that was 1) It wasn’t on the west side of the ground 2) It couldn’t in any way be described as a ‘bank’, and 3) it wasn’t even the main home end anymore!

Plus as I see it now, it’s the only part of the ground that doesn’t have its own sponsorship deal yet (unless you support Kingstonian and wish to remain bloody minded, still thinking that the now covered end should still be referred to as ‘The Athletics End’… do they refer to the John Smiths as ‘The Allotment Terrace?). Now I’m sure Ivor and Keith are on the case here, and I’m sure they are doing the best they can to find a commercial partner willing to put their name to the (Not) Kingston Road End.

Now I’m one of those people who still find shirt sponsorship slightly distasteful, so it may seem strange to you that I’m hawking an idea around to have this terrace renamed. But I’ve had an idea – or rather I’ve stolen an idea from various other clubs who have done the same who I have conveniently forgotten the names of. The idea is you sell tickets for £25 (or £100 for four tickets minimum for commercial entries) and whoever gets pulled out of the hat first wins the naming rights. There should be no limits to the amount of tickets sold to any individual, so even in these uncertain financial times you should get even small firms buying them by the bucketful.

Bear in mind this part of the ground is going to be used mostly by visiting supporters, which means it will gain nationwide exposure. You could further tempt companies by adding a number of runners up prizes – a free programme advert, numerous free entries into the Dons Directory, every business mentioned in the programme. Plus the price will be cheap enough to tempt individuals to buy tickets in the hope the stand will be named after them, so again you could throw in a couple of shirts as runners up prizes for them too.

It seems to me as though the club are happy to allow the terrace to remain sponsor free – yet I’m no marketing expert, there may be a bloody good reason for this. For example how will Tempest and Paul Strank feel about their five figure deals knowing that the Fred’s Window Cleaning Terrace has only cost three figures for a season? Plus the marketing team will probably look like a bunch of mugs when they turn up at one of the big boys asking for Proper Money, only for these big time players to find one of the clubs key stadium sponsors are Bills Butchers….

Still, how cool would it be to have a part of the ground named after your business, or even you as an individual? We could even see ‘The Anonymous Don Stand’! (I can just see visitors turning up at the ‘Meadow now asking ‘Who the fuck’s the Anonymous Don?’ and home fans coming back with ‘Exactly…’. This could also open doors to other sponsors who don’t yet have a relationship with us. Am I the only person wondering why the South London Press has hoardings at Millwall, Palace and Charlton but not at Kingsmeadow?

There are probably those of you out there who think this is a reasonably good idea, and those of you who don’t. All I can say is, operating in a market where our budget is everything, if we are going to lift our skirts to be defiled by corporate cash, let’s at least make sure we rinse every penny out of it to make it worth our while. 

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Some Idle Speculation

As I write, there are but thirty-four days until a Wimbledon team take the field in something resembling a proper game of football. Who we play is anyones guess – although it should be announced this week – but I think that’s besides the point, we want to see our team and we can’t bear to wait any longer.

I can’t decide whether its down to the nature of signing players and arranging friendlies as a Conference club or extremely clever marketing by AFC Wimbledon, but this drip feedingof information has kept The Dons at the forefront of my mind this summer. I seem to remember last season that a whole host of signings were made pretty early along with pre-season games, and then nothing happened for weeks on end. I ended up getting distracted by Euro 2008, then finding other things to do with my summer Saturdays.

In fact I was so distracted I arranged to visit my old Nan bless ‘er, over in New Addington on the day we played Croydon, which was weird, as we virtually passed the ground on the tram and saw loads of Wimbledon fans milling around. I never felt like I was missing out though (these being the days before I spent most of my free time blogging about the club). In fact last summer must have been the most unappealing pre-season I can ever remember as a Wimbledon fan, perhaps excluding the Brentford game.

The only other friendly I bothered with was Salisbury at home, a mind numbing 90 minutes where the only entertainment was provided by a leaky home defense that pretty much made my mind up that we were due a ‘season of consolidation’. This year, things are different. For one the signing of players seems to be in waves. I know the ‘Whats Going Down At The Meadow’ newsletter (or whatever its called) told us to expect this, and I know I need to be patient, but its not quite happening.

If we had done as we had last year, we would have signed a load of decent young players, then watched open-mouthed as rivals started cherry-picking the cream of the Football League released players list, and realised maybe what we had wasn’t all that after all. Its not as if its not hard enough already to work out our relative strength. Terry’s policy of only signing younger players means we have to place a little bit of trust in him. Its all too easy to get carried away that players like Stephen Gregory and Luke Moore are going to turn into world beaters because the gaffer said so, despite Terry’s attempts to put together the basis of the team that will go on to win us promotion, experience tells us that perhaps three or four of our strongest starting lineup next year won’t make it, no matter how hard they try to develop.

And its impossible to tell now who will and who won’t. For example, two young players who really made the shirt their own last season, Chris Hussey and Sam Hatton, faced a lot of criticism from some of our supporters last year. Hussey made mistakes last year, but how many of them actually cost us goals? This from a player who is five or six years away from peaking as a footballer.

And Hatton seemed to get it in the neck quite often not for what he had done, but for what people perceived he should have been doing more of. Once more, Hatton featured in a lot of the moves that lead to goals last year for doing exactly what he was put on the pitch to do; move the ball on quickly and retain possession. Now I can’t be sure that either player has it in them to be a Conference winner, but then neither can anyone else.

Don’t get me wrong, those players have areas of their game they really need to work on. For example, Hatton isn’t strong enough in the tackle, and Hussey can’t pick a simple pass when its needed. Plus they are really going to get taught a lesson by a few experienced hands in that division. But that’s not something we should be afraid of as a team, learning from players who are, quite simply, better than they are is the only way younger players can learn.

Next season will tell us a lot more about these boys characters, but in the mean time and for the good of the club, one or two of us are going to have to button it a bit, these youngsters need our support, so all those knob-heads who boo and call on the manager to bring in experienced heads, you have to understand we are going to lose points at home through inexperience, but for each time that happens we will probably see them take points they had no right to on paper, just through being a young and fearless side.

We have to accept the inconsistency that a young side will experience, and if we do that for a couple of seasons we will see the results blossom into something spectacular. If that’s something you think you can’t handle and feel the need to spout of about it during games, just remember for a lot of matches next year there will be Dons fans locked out who are prepared to be positive, or at least just shut up and watch the game. Plus if you are the sort of person who likes to shout abuse, have a look round at the dozens of punters surrounding you who don’t feel the need to be so outspoken – and remember, all those people know a lot more about football than you do.

As it happens I’m relishing going to a game and watching just a game, a battle for three points rather than a minor part of some larger war – and spending half the game checking rivals scores on your mobile or what the implications of that late equaliser will be. I’m pretty confident we have the quality to avoid relegation easily next year, so everything else is just a learning curve as far as I’m concerned. And I’m bloody looking forward to it.

I think we are half way there as far as player recruitment is concerned. I think we could name a pretty decent 1-11 at the moment, one that will certainly put us mid-table, we just need a few extra faces to add competition, so we have that 17-18 man squad where the manager won’t be afraid to field any of them. No more of these Aitouakrim type players who are in the first team squad but aren’t getting anywhere near the starting lineup.

Back to pre-season, and I’m going to stick my neck out and say I think the first game on the 11th will be home to Brighton. I don’t know whether we will see any midweek visits from league clubs, although a Fulham XI rumour was doing the rounds it seemed to die out. Put it this way, if we were playing a Fulham or an Arsenal, even a Charlton, someone would have leaked it by now. After ‘Brighton’ we normally take on a couple of local-ish sides in split squad matches on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Saturday after is Ramsey, perhaps another away game (Tonbridge) in the week before FC United on the 25th. One other game before we visit Farnborough then a weeks hard training before kickoff. You see, it all puts itself together really, and you should be expecting a full coverage from The Anonymous Don for all Saturday games except Ramsey (unless someone is driving… I don’t mind hiding in the boot on the ferry…).

Whoever we play on the 11th you can guarantee I’ll be standing there grinning like a fool at the pleasure of paying entry to attend what is effectively a practice match. It won’t be until I’ve travelled half way across Surrey on the Wednesday night and walked four miles down country tracks, sweating like a pig as its so humid despite the fact its pissing down and having been stung, bitten or generally molested by every flying insect known to man (plus a few that have been hiding from us) to find my way to an ex Surrey League turned CCL club, only to find I had misread the O/S and it was a reserve game, and I appreciate this has already been an extremely long sentence so perhaps I shouldn’t waste your time further by pointing it out, in fact now I’ve forgotten what I was talking about, oh no, its coming back now, until I start getting a little fed up with pre-season games.

While I’m on the subject of that game on the 11th, the week before Anonymous Don HQ will be moving across town to a flat over looking the river on the Portsmouth Road. Ok, that’s a lie, its overlooking the reservoirwith the river just beyond that. Plus its so small the bedroom turned out to be a cupboard just off the hall (otherwise known as the living room). In fact the bathroom is just about the biggest room in the place, or it would be if it didn’t double up as the kitchen.

Still, its great to know I’m moving up in the world! Next stop a mile down the road to one of those penthouse jobs in Charter Quay… The point being there may be a service delay as far as this blog is concerned depending on how quickly I can get Virgin Media out to sort my broadband/TV. So don’t say you haven’t been warned. And before anyone tries to give me advice, Tiscali are bollocks, they still haven’t sorted out my refund from when I cancelled in January. Plus I still haven’t fully forgiven Sky for all those times it went off just because there was a thunderstorm… and I’m not allowed a dish…

The number we should really be focusing on is 61. This is the magic number of days that as of Sunday 7th June we have to wait until our first ever Conference Proper game. That is unless by some miracle Setanta are still broadcasting and select us for their first live game, which could be on the Friday (urgh…) or more likely Sunday. There is a chance another television company could come in and nab the rights on the cheap, however I’m not sure quite how appealing 5th level English football is compared to German football or example, which will also be up for grabs. I think we can kiss goodbye to that £85 grand, the good news being so can everyone else in this league, and we won’t have to worry about making arangements to travel to Tamworth on a Thursday evening.

All that is for the future however. We still have a tournament free summer to get through. Ok, I know the BBC are showing Confederations Cup on red button, and its an important tournament for world ranking and stuff like that, but by the time I’ve seen these famous brown shorts that Italia are supposed to be wearing with their sky blue shirts (http://www.whoateallthepies.tv/2009/06/italy_national.html) I think I’ll lose interest.

Of course England are in a major tournament this year, the Under 21 Championship, which I would normally follow but the Under 21’s are full of bling loaded idiots wearing headphones who think they’ve made it because they were earning twice as much as the rest of the players at the Championship side they were loaned to last year, the true England contenders at that age group are probably already in the national side. Plus its easy enough to ignore as its on Sky, which of course I don’t have.

Aide from the national team I get more satisfaction watching the ladies national sides, performing miracles when you consider apart from the lucky ones who got a move to the US Pro League, they probably think they’re quite lucky to be earning the pittance of £16k or so from a central contract from the FA.

You could try watching another sport I suppose. If you get in quick enough, and have a Dutch granny, you might be able to leap on the Netherlands bandwagon in the 20/20 World Cup. The short version of the game reminds me of baseball in a way, in theory the best side should win, but on the night anything can happen. They should play the final as a best of even series, but I suppose that’s missing the point a little. When that’s finished you could support our very own Surrey Brown Caps of course (stop laughing at the back please…).

Or in the classic words of the theme to Why Don’t You?, you could switch off your TV set and find something less boring instead… and if the worse comes to the worse I’m still here writing my blog, trying not to show any desperation that there’s still nothing worth talking about. Coming soon the Conference Files for Gateshead and Forest Green, plus Marcus Gayle get the Dons Icon treatment. Stay tuned.

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