These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the National League South in a swanky new ground. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Slough - The Other View

Article printed in AFC Wimbledon's programme Ryman Premier League game 31st March 2007 . We were already relegated before a ball was kicked - and we lost 9-0!

Well what can you say about this season? By the time we make the trip to Kingsmeadow we might already be relegated – something most of us knew was a certainty around Christmas. Infact this season has been one big soap opera at Slough Town, with less laughs than an episode of Eastenders. We’ve seen players threaten to go on strike and then leave at an alarming rate as wages never materialised; we are in a financial crisis which even by our standards is impressive. We’ve had to play games with half our squad either injured or suspended with not enough subs on the bench. We’ve visited the usual places, but also been to some new ones like Cobhams delightful Leg O’ Mutton ground, so posh it had a farmers market outside its gates. We witnessed a 25 man brawl at Worthing. We had a nice trip to Ramsgate in the autumn sun (but the less said about the delights of Margate the better) and of course a battling scoreless draw against you lot in front of a decent crowd (please don’t tell us we played so well cos it was our ‘cup final.’) Since Ocobter six teams have stuck 5 goals past us, and one team 6. Which isn’t really suprising considering we’ve had three managers and 47 players.

At least there seems to be some movement on a ground back in Slough, but i don’t think many of us could bear another season at Windsor’s souless Swamp Meadow. We were promised football on the ‘best playing surface in the league’ – but for who? Ducks? During the wet weather we went ages without a game and when we have played the pitch has resembled the Somme.

Yet despite this being the worst season in Sloughs 117 years history, when the majority of our players left (only 4 remain since the beginning of the season) us supporters have adopted a backs-aginst-the-wall you’ve-got-to-laugh siege mentality. Despite the defeats we’ve been singing throughout the games and applauding our players off the pitch. Why? Because the players who’ve remained or joined the club are giving everything and you can’t ask for more than that.

Infact all Slough has left is its supporters, and I believe we are amongst the best in the league. Of course I would say that, but you try going through a season like we’ve had and still turn up in numbers away from home (for this league anyway) knowing that you could be getting another stuffing.

But as you Wimbledon fans know, when the chips are down football can bring out the best in people. It’s up to us fans to make sure there is a club to support next season, a club run by its supporters, even if it means at the bottom of the pyramid pile. I hope it doesn’t come to that, but I reckon while you await the outcome of your 18 point deduction, remember that just eight seasons ago we finished eighth in the Conference and were semi-finalists in the FA Trophy. We then got thrown out of the Conference for financial irregularities and a lack of seats. Football has a habit of kicking you in the teeth, but as next season approaches the ever optimist in me hopes that things can be better. So if you hear a lot of noise from the Slough end it won’t be us banging our heads against a brick wall, but enjoying our day out and looking at clubs like yours, Enfield Town and Dartford to remind us that despite how things are now, they might be so very different in a few seasons time.


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