Tag Archives: Radio WDON

WUP 8.3

This article was originally published in the October ’10 issue of WUP, as I pondered my (now abandoned) plans to relocate to New Hampshire, and the quality of media our far-flung fans rely on…

I’m writing this safely ensconced in my temporary home in Kingston, surrounded by black plastic sacks filled with a combination of clean clothes, dirty clothes, kitchen utensils, DVDs and god knows what else, all jumbled together in no particular order, with the pleasant task of finding a home for everything being put off until I finish writing this. It’s just a temporary move, because it looks very much as though come January I’ll find myself heading over to New Hampshire to join Mrs Anonymous Don, currently doing up our US residence and trying to find gainful employment. Naturally I’m looking forward to it, in every direction I look my life in the UK has become less and less appealing over the last few years – career heading sideways (then backwards, then sideways again…), lifelong friendships turning to dust (mainly thanks to the twin evils of women and kids)…

Yet there is one part of my life where everything is pretty frickin’ sweet at the moment… watching the Dons. Some of our football this season has been a joy to behold, almost ridiculously composed considering we barely have a player over the age of twenty-three (we already supply three England C regulars, if any more get called up they may as well play home games at Kingsmeadow…). So while my family, remaining friends and work colleagues first instinct when I told them my plans to move across the Atlantic were along the lines of ‘Good luck, we’ll miss you but it’s going to be an adventure, you go for it!’, the reaction of those who share my love of Wimbledon has been an almost identical – ‘What do you want to move there for?!’.

I’m kind of understanding where they are coming from – the timing isn’t great. At the moment nothing is set in concrete, so mid-January could turn into late-January, which in turn could become February – but I know the missus patience won’t stretch to the playoff final in May. I could face the horrific scenario of the Dons getting promoted to the League and not being there to celebrate, in fact being thousands of miles away. And much as I love my friends and family over the ocean, it won’t be the same. Still, I’m missing my wife more than I thought I would, for a thousand reasons, the overriding one at the moment is that for the time being I have to WASH MY OWN FUCKING PANTS…

I’m not even sure what I’m going to do with myself when I’m over there. I presume I’ll somehow integrate myself into the New England Revolution fan base. Although their supporters group is known as the Midnight Riders, which kind of sounds like a gang of stereotype gay bikers – I’m fairly sure they featured prominently in the Police Academy movies… presumably they meet at the Blue Oyster? I could change the name of the blog to The Anonymous Revs, maybe contribute if they have a similar publication to WUP? Although as my columns are largely self-indulgent it will presumably resolve around regular misunderstandings caused by the mid-Atlantic definition change of words such as ‘fanny’ (embarrassed apologies… police were called… had to sign a register… banned from all branches of Dunkin Donuts… that kind of thing).

My attachment to AFC Wimbledon is becoming more emotional because of the move. I found myself entering the Minithon in a desperate attempt to Do My Bit. I always imagined that in later years I’ll do my stint as a volunteer, now I can’t be certain I’ll ever get that opportunity. So while you roll out of bed tomorrow morning, I’ll be dodging dog poo over three laps of the park. Unless of course you read this on Sunday night when I’ve probably finished/collapsed. Or you found this in a box of your grandparents old stuff in 2067, if so can I just take the opportunity to say how fantastic it is the robots haven’t taken over yet? Back in the present day, I managed to raise a bit in sponsorship, but in reality I’m only doing it largely because I want to be a part of a Dons fundraising event like this before I leave. Although perhaps next year I’ll be running in the sister event in Boston along with a handful of ex-pat FCUM fans…

I’m also hoping the run will kick-start my dream of getting fit(ter) before I emigrate. As those who know me can attest, I could probably do with losing a few pounds before I head to the land of IHOPs and 20 oz. steaks. If you don’t know me, imagine someone who, while by no means obese, obviously has no idea of the concept of ‘leftovers’ – and you’ll be half way there. If I just left without any attempt to shift some weight they’ll be making documentaries about how a crane had to be employed and a wall knocked through just to remove me from my house within six months of landing… I will of course be getting fit the manly way by maybe cutting a beer or two out of my daily diet (I think I’ll opt for ‘the last one of the day’), and perhaps some kind of exercise that involves punching things. I don’t want to come across as being a misogynist so I’ll just say you’ll never catch me failing like certain sections of society seem to – namely eating nought but grapes and celery for three months before cracking and being found sobbing hysterically at 2am on the kitchen floor surrounded by empty cartons of Ben and Jerry’s… well, I won’t fail in that manner this time, at least…

I’m starting to realise just how big a deal it is giving up what I consider my given right to watch Dons games at the ground, in the flesh. Of course its a lot easier these days thanks to AFCWTV and WDON… we can relive the events of a game mere days later just by firing up our computers – hell, we can even watch Dons goals at work (provided the boss isn’t looking… or you work as a bus driver where I presume its frowned upon by Health and Safety jobsworths – such as your passengers). Even as early as the eighties there were individual match videos on sale at the Club Shop, but when I was a kid if you wanted to relive the action you pretty much had to wait for the end of season video. Which lead to disappointment on one occasion as a much-anticipated routing of Norwich was lost to technical difficulties…

Things improved slightly in the Premier League years thanks mainly to Match of the Day’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it Dons coverage, and the realisation that regular videos could be a cash cow. I remember being disappointed that my VHS recorder failed to capture the Football Focus rerun of an early season Dean Holdsworth curler into the top corner against Ipswich (you know, ex-franchise Newport manager Dean Holdsworth…), only to find a pre-Christmas video round-up scratched that particular itch. Then a boozy teenage trip to Tenerife coincided with missing a couple of victories that lead to one of the most watched videos in my collection – Seven Deadly Wins. Yes, the production was poor even by todays non-League standards, but the action wasn’t, and on football videos at least that was all that really mattered.

The first few seasons of the AFC era saw two-part season reviews produced, but over the past few seasons we seem to have moved towards regular ‘Matchday Magazine’ productions – a kind of bi-monthly round-up. Yet how popular these are is open to speculation – why buy a DVD for a tenner when you can watch the highlights online, for free, whenever you want to? We were spoiled by the Dons Online website in the early years, but regular linking on the Official website to AFCWTV opens that kind of service up to even the most detached of Dons fans. Naturally it is going to be invaluable for me over the coming years – but what of the future of this type of service? Well, ironically, returning to the League could see things become slightly more problematic for far-flung Dons. Goals are available on the BBC website – but only if you are based in the UK. League clubs provide a video service on their website, but this normally requires a subscription. The day of free internet highlights could be over, sadly just as we (or more accurately, I) begin to realise what a valuable resource they are.

And yet… I could bypass the whole problem by simply not moving abroad start with. I’ve been told about this thing they have called ‘divorce’ which I think might just solve all my problems…

Further WUP articles can be found in the Features Index

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AFC Wimbledon v Brighton & Hove Albion – A (Friendly) Match Preview

As we welcome our friends from Brighton to Kingsmeadow, lets just consider what they have achieved since a large contingent turned up at Kingsmeadow for our second ever home league game against Cove nearly seven years ago. Ok, on the pitch The Seagulls have dropped from what is now the Championship to League One (and only just scraped to survival there last season), but I really meant the progression regarding their new stadium at Falmer.

falmerLeague positions are temporary and can only be built upon from solid foundations, as Brighton themselves know only too well from their recent Championship experiences. We will hit that glass ceiling ourselves once we gain promotion to the League and expand Kingsmeadow to its physical limit. Once then we will find ourselves in a similar position they were in that glorious sunny August day when we defeated Cove 3-2. Like our delight at finding ourselves a stones throw away from the Merton border, I’m sure Brighton are desperate to get away from the Withdean. For all Kingsmeadows faults (primarily its too small) at least we didn’t have to throw up scaffolding around the Athletics Stadium to make it happen (although if we did I’m sure Lee Sidwell would have come in handy…).

And like Wimbledon, Brighton isn’t an easy place to find a site for a decent sized ground. Yet they persevered, clearing each hurdle before seemingly every time another appeal was thrown in front of them. Yet as we speak Falmer is six months into construction. It may take us twenty year or more to find land and finance to build a stadium as grand as the Albion’s new one looks like being, but we will persevere. Besides, what worse? Wimbledon in Kingston or no Wimbledon at all?

I’ve got myself in trouble before being overprotective of KM, so I won’t go further than that. I’m sure Albion fans won’t welcome me reminding them of this, but the first time I saw a Brighton team play was at KM, when the Tenants beat them in the FA Cup thanks to an overhead kick from a hungry young striker called Jamie Ndah (brother of ex Palace and Wolves George Ndah), who promptly killed his career in Torquays reserve team, then Horsham before dropping off the radar altogether.

bhaOn the pitch Albion will be hoping for a much better season in League One than last year. Priced by most bookies at odds suggesting they will be there or there abouts as far as the playoffs are concerned, Russell Slade will be looking to put together a side to spring a surprise or two. In fact, he still is, giving a run out to ex-Millwall and Palace man Paul Ifill. Sadly he is also giving the time of day to former Dong mercenary fuckwit scumbag Alan Navarro, who I sincerely hope will be given the welcome he deserves tomorrow (even though it’s only pre-season and most of us haven’t found our lungs yet…). Talking about mercenary scumbag fuckwits, Albion have also signed Mark Wright…

One scumbag fuckwit franchiser who shares a .wordpress.com address with me (but nothing else) has this opinion on Wright… ‘His end product is awful. His running is awful. His distribution is awful. His ball control is awful… I genuinely think Brighton fans think they have signed Jason Puncheon’. Which probably means Wright will have a storming career with Albion for all this fuckwit knows. 

I’m not going to give the guy the credit of a link here – he might find a few hundred people click through and think he’s popular all of a sudden – but he goes on to quote Wright – ‘I am sure he (Ince) will do well back at MK, but I’ve got no regrets at all about making the move I have. It was time to move on. I’m a Brighton player now and I just hope we can push up the League. A lot of people think MK have got bags of money, but I don’t think they have got so much this season. It should be interesting and I hope we finish above them.’

Which makes me feel a lot more positive about Wright’s move, albeit that this is the sort of quote any footballer would give when he knows the club he has moved from is reviled. Chances are Wright won’t even be on the field tomorrow anyway, so we won’t get a chance to ‘thank’ him personally…

By the way some of you may have seen the Seagull have taken Carl ‘Jon Main Replacement’ Rook on trial from the Angels but he won’t be playing against us this time. By the way Albion, I notice he’s still under contract, for your information Jon Main cost us twenty big ones, or less than £500 a goal and two promotions… don’t get ripped off!

bossmanghanaSo. What about Wimbledon? Well, as I mentioned in my last update, Terry is looking at giving certain players a full hour before switching, then reversing the starting XI against FCUM. One man on a last chance for a contract is Kelvin Bossman, who really needs to show us he can be relied on to hit the back of the net, as well as his physical prowess after he seemed to lose every aerial challenge against Duberry last week. I didn’t see him at IOM unfortunately, so cannot draw the conclusion that He Failed To Score = He Was Unconvincing. He drew the short straw of playing in the Ramsey duckshoot, and for all I know he could have laid on half a dozen. Perhaps he failed to hit any fish in the barrel because he was loading the gun for his colleagues?

Maybe the news that Terry is still looking for another hitman could buck his ideas up. The news from the Informer that Terry is chasing Ross Montague of Brentford should be taken with a little pinch of salt. After all I still remember their ‘Wellard to sign next week’ headlines that ran for about eight weeks until they finally got it right.

I know some of you see this as the most mouthwatering friendly of the pre-season, and I’m inclined to agree with you. With all due respect to Wycombe, this is a League One side that has very recent experience of actually playing in League One. This is a ‘proper’ League One side. I’m sure Wycombe will prove they are worthy of their status. In fact that’s a dumb thing to write… they deserved their status by winning promotion last year… but hopefully you know what I mean. After all we still have to prove ourselves as a Conference club in a few weeks time.

I seem to be drifting from the point once again. Hopefully playing the same side for an hour will give the team (or at least those starting) a chance to show a bit of cohesion that was missing against Wycombe due to it being our first game. In fact the full games they played in the IOM, and more training sessions, will have given them an understanding of how each other play. I presume Terry has started early work on pattern of play by now, so we should be in for a good game.

Finally, I may not have gone to the Isle of Man, but many others did including the legend that is Paul Raymond, who very kindly gave me permission to use images he took at the tournament. While I’ve restrained myself from doing so, here is a link for those of you who haven’t seen them yet… http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulnray/sets/72157621625049085/.

So enjoy the game tomorrow, and for those of you who can’t be there remember WDON is running commentary as usual…

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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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