Tag Archives: New Shirt

AFC Wimbledon v FC United of Manchester – A (Friendly) Match Preview

fc unitedTomorrow will see the welcome return of the Supporters Direct Cup to Kingsmeadow, and the even welcomer return of our good friends FC United of Manchester. Always willing to travel south in large numbers, the United support normally create a great atmosphere elevating what should be a run of the mill friendly to something worth winning, and I’m sure Terry has told the players he is expecting a win.

While we consider FCUM as kindred spirits due to their trust ownership, and the media normally straps us together as ‘protest’ clubs, it’s worth remembering that our two extraordinary clubs were formed for entirely different reasons. There’s no value in going into the details of the great betrayal we suffered, although if you want to read all about it on the BBC’s 606 you will find plenty of people who disagree with our very existence as ‘we abandoned our club’… Our aim as a club is to get into the League as soon as possible, to take back what was once stolen from us, and long term to destroy those South Midland club stealers – and to do all this without letting ambition get in the way of long term stability.

FCUM don’t have that urgency to get into the League, and are therefore content for now to focus on their own core reasons for existence. Malcolm Glazer and his collection of strange looking offspring were the straw that broke the camels back (and you have to say its a good job Glazer was loader ‘cos there was no way he was going to get laid in this lifetime without it). United fans want affordable football, to be able to sit/stand with their mates, not to be ripped off week in and week out with ever increasing ticket prices. Plus they have resisted the temptation to slash a slogan across their shirt, and hopefully when they do it will be a gesture towards a charity, as Barcelona have proudly worn the Unicef badge for the last couple of years (although cynics suggest this is to soften up their supporters before a commercial sponsor is introduced).

For them to walk away at a time when big United were at the height of their powers has drawn praise  from all quarters. How often have you heard an Arsenal, Chelsea fan, whoever, start a comment about FCUM with the words ‘I hate Man United but…’. In truth there is a great deal of jealousy for what FCUM have achieved to date from your average Premier League fan, who perhaps hold some hope that football will once again fall from fashion as it has before, and fall back into the hands of those who cherished it through the tough times, local support paying a fair admission price to watch their team.

For that reason I would have expected a greater number of clubs would have reached that tipping point where a critical mass of support decide enough is enough and decide to form another team to hold on to the traditions of the club they love. Of course there is an AFC Liverpool, but they haven’t really caught on and appear to be a cross between publicity stunt and an extension of Liverpool FC’s community arm.

Despite this FCUM have been remarkably successful in their first four seasons. Three successive promotions prior to last season, where despite being in a division full of moneyed clubs and servicing a huge groundshare rental bill, United managed to only miss out on the playoffs on the last day of the season. The Reds are learning as we had previously, that many supporters do not necessarily mean an automatic promotion. There are just as many sugar daddies in the Unibond as there are in the Ryman these days, and the economic meltdown doesn’t seem to have halted this.

FCUM face us off the back of a trip to Bucheon… hang on? Aren’t they supposed to be twinned with us? I know we turned Bucheon down as we had a prearranged trip to… errm… the Isle of Man, but it just seems like when we miss out on something, FCUM pick up the pieces. Remember when Lok Leipzig wanted to play us in a friendly during the season? We turned them down and there was a promise the game would be scheduled for some point in the future, and when it was it turned out AFCW were being elbowed out of the way by FCUM… that should have been us! And what about their trip to Sweden at the end of last season?

Let’s not forget United fans are used to travelling across Europe, it’s been part of their upbringing. On the other hand, we dreamed about playing in Europe, so cruelly denied by a European ban for English clubs that had absolutely nothing to with us in 1988, were given false hope with the Intertoto Cup campaign, even seeing perhaps our best ever team cursed with tiredness despite looking set to qualify via one of three routes. Maybe it was never meant to be. Perhaps the furthest corners of the UK are the most we can ever hope for.

So, on to Wimbledon. The big news being Bossman has gone and a new target man is being lined up for a start tomorrow. So far the mystery man is a big secret except for the information that he is an ‘experienced target man’. This type of player, perhaps with the exception of goalkeepers (more on that later), faces extreme scrutiny from Dons fans who have been spoilt by some of the best in the game over the last twenty years or so (and Danny Webb).

As for our goalkeeper, it seems as though Sebb Brown is getting another run out. At last we have a keeper who deserves the nickname ‘The Cat’, he’s certainly had enough lives so far. After his shaky performance against Wycombe (if you ignore the Hollywood saves toward the end of the half of course), Brown was given a second chance against Brighton, where his only real action was to pick the ball out of the net after seeing it drilled through him as if he wasn’t there. Is Sebb a relative of Terry’s? I think we need to be told!

The truth is my opinion is we already have a better goalkeeper than Brown in Jack Turner. Although Turner is just 17 the phrase ‘if your old enough your good enough’ spring to mind. Jack was given a game on the IOM, yet presumably will be representing the reserves for the remainder of pre-season and beyond, rather than picking up much needed experience against League One opposition. I was also hoping Jack may get a chance to go out on loan at some point to gain first team experience, in the Ryman League, or even the BSS.

The rest of the squad seem to be ticking over nicely. It’s a chance for Chris Hussey to stand up and show what he can do following Derek Duncans Man of the Match performance on Tuesday. Perhaps we will finally see us score at home? Maybe even win another trophy, to bring our tally up to two…

Catch all the action tomorrow, if you can’t make it remember to tune in to WDON and log on to the Matchday Stadium. And if you are at the ground or not you can check my tweets on the game either here in the Twitter feed in the sidebar, or by following me here (http://twitter.com/Anonymous_Don). Remember though, due to the crappy technology I can’t be guaranteed to respond to any of your replies (maybe at half time…). Don’t worry, my phone contract is up later this year and I’m going to make sure I screw the best possible deal out of them this time…

Finally you will remember the legend Paul Raymond offered me his IOM photos earlier in the week, I didn’t take him up on it, but I am now with his picture of the third kit (released tonight, available tomorrow). Enjoy!

Courtesy of Paul Raymond

Courtesy of Paul Raymond

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The General Specific (Saturday 18th July ’09)

A few things to catch up on today, the first being our first trophy of the season! At least, I think there was a trophy… normally if you win a competition you get some kind of cup, even in these piss-poor pre-season gigs. For example, during the nineties I remember a warm up victory at The Manor Ground (that’s Oxford United…) was enough to secure us the Oxfordshire Benevolent Cup back in the nineties, a trophy we originally took of Oxford City back in the sixties. Next weeks Supporters Direct Cup game against them from up north has its own trophy, usually presented to the winning captain long after most fans have departed the ground for the safety of the bar. And to round off a long opening paragraph our tenants beat Woking 2-0 at TCCRFSKM today, after their legends team brilliantly beat their counterparts from Woking 10-0. Brilliantly because apparently the game only lasted half an hour…

So now you know about the cups, who won the tournament? Well, erm, we did. After swatting aside Ramsey AFC 8-1 in the first game thanks to doubles from Derek Duncan, Sam Hatton, Jon Main and Peter Rapson, an entirely different XI took the field at 3pm to take on the Isle of Man National Team (I know, but I’m not getting involved in that argument right now… all I know is if football was ever introduced to the Commonwealth Games the side we played today would be involved).

Now to be honest, Ramsey AFC haven’t managed to win the Isle of Man league (now known as the Sure Mobile Premier Division… how clever! A deodorant you can carry about with you!) for over fifty years. In fact they found themselves down in the second division earlier in the decade. We probably played them and not the recent dominant force in Manx football, St Georges, because I would imagine most of the St Georges players make up the National team anyway. Plus Ramsey have the best ground on the island, which is probably part of Mike Richardson’s back yard or something.

Anyway, the national team (who according to Terry Brown are ‘All passionate Scousers’…) gave a much better performance, restricting ours lads to a 3-0 victory with Taylor, Godfrey and Kedwell. On top of this, and if I’ve read the text updates correctly, the returning Luke Garrard made way for Jack Turner late in the game… now did we play with two keepers or is young Jack a promising right back as well? Paul Lorraine also came off, replaced by a young triallist called Marcus Gayle. Apparently he had a quiet time and I doubt we’ll be seeing him in a Dons shirt again…

Presumably the Isle of Man public failed to turn out in droves as, like me, they were following their man Mark Cavendish and his attempts to secure the Maillot Vert. Sadly for them Cav is no closer to securing the Green jersey thanks to main rival and current jersey holder Tor Hushovd following him over the finish line on todays 14th stage. This is the 14th stage of the Tour de France for all of you Sky viewers who probably spent the day watching cricket (some of us had to wait for the highlights on Five).

Presumably a few more locals ambled down to see their National Team take apart Ramsey in the evening game. Who knows? Who cares! While the Ramsey game was going on Terry Brown was busy talking to WDON (which can be found here http://www.wdon.com/2009/07/terry-brown-talks-to-wdon/)… and how surreal does that WDON We Are Wimbledon ident sound when you have a dodgy connection with the sound too high? Anyway, Mr Brown admitted he still doesn’t have a clue how the team will line up against Luton on Opening Day. Except for ‘three or four who are nailed on’. From that I would guess he means James Pullen, perhaps Lorraine and Main, probably Taylor. And that’s just starters. Personally I could write a dozen team sheets right now and not come up with the same lineup twice, so I’m glad Terry is prepared to admit he has a lot more to learn about how his side will mesh together.

Next up is Brighton on Tuesday where Brown admitted he may go back on his initial plan to field two sides in each half, and may give his first half side an hour before changing, reversing the sides for FC United of Manchester. I suppose Fulham XI is seen as a freebie for last minute experimentation, with Farnborough perhaps the first time we will see anything like what Terry sees as our strongest side.

kit3

Aside from the three remaining warm up games, there is a busy schedule at Kingsmeadow over the next couple of weeks. The kit launch for the third shirt is on Friday 24th, from 7-9pm. I have had a few requests (well…one…) regarding what the new shirt actually looks like, so I’ve decided to reproduce the original plan on here. At the same time, lasting slightly longer, is the FCUM pre-game comedy night. And finally on Thursday 30th Terry Brown will be fielding questions from the fanbase for his annual meet the manager night. The Anonymous Don will be present with my 1980’s tape recorder and little notepad, sitting on my own in the corner dedicatedly reporting back the news of the night to you, my loyal readership.

Last but not least – apparently my match reports are not only popular for my enigmatic writing style… in fact the most viewed Anonymous Don post ever featured no text at all, five photographs and a video clip (what that tells me about the quality of my writing I’m still not sure…). In fact I often get asked for originals of the photos I feature in my match reports, which still comes as a surprise to me…

Anyway, I upload all of my matchday photos, occasionally with ‘hilarious’ captions and in all their out-of-focus glory, to the photos page of the Official Anonymous Don Facebook Page (although some of those fan sites are pretty good too…) which can be found here http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Anonymous-Don/73526524635. If you’re a regular user of the Facebook you can sign up as a friend of mine (or fans as the page system refers to you as, so only if your comfortable with that…). The benefits being you will see whenever a new article is added, in fact it’ll even give you a little link to follow, as well as those photos I was talking about, and occasional random outbursts.

As for the previouly launched Twitter feeds (see the little box on the right), I’ll be experimenting with giving my opinion in real time from the stadium during the next week… I’ll tell you all when as part of the relevant match preview.

I also haven’t forgotten I promised my opinion on the first Anonymous Don poll which will come in the next few days. In the mean time you can still vote on the second poll right up to the end of this month (its that box in the top right).

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