These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the Southern Premier - just seven leagues below the Premier League. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton. After nearly 14 nomadic years we finally have a brand spanking new home in Slough.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

MISERY GUTS

Printed in the Southern League Midlands Division game v Soham Town Rangers.
We won 2-0, attendance 227


The Slough Town forum has been busy of late with the question ‘To Moan or Not to Moan.’ Flying high and looking good for a play off place after season after season of utter despair it seems that some people are never happy. But apparently that’s nothing new. One supporter remembered going to Bishop Stortford in the early 70’s. Slough were a very successful team then yet their programme included an article in which home supporters suggested collective nouns appropriate for the supporters of various opposing teams. Ours was "a misery of Slough supporters".

This debate was prompted by Jamie Jarvis, Burnham’s manager, Slough boy and former player who has been putting the psychological boot in whenever he can. Talking about last weeks Burnham’s game (postponed of course – the ground was too wet this time, which at least makes a change from games being postponed because they are too hard or too white). Anyway, he said “If we can keep a clean sheet for 80 minutes their fans will get on their backs. I know what they’re like.” According to The Jarvis we also have the biggest budget in the league, and referees unfairly pick on him and his shrinking violet of players. With these sorts of mind games he’s destined to become a Premiership manager.

Slough manager Steve Bateman in his recent programme notes spoke about “expectations have certainly been raised, and I have no problem with that at all, it’s what motivates me to want to succeed.” To be fair, all clubs go through this. Take Eastbourne Borough whose manager has transformed a team playing in the Sussex County League to the Conference. But now, because this part time club, who has to travel the length of the country to play the likes of Barrow and Gateshead and play full time teams many of them ex league clubs, they aren’t doing so well and some supporters have been calling for his head! That’s gratitude for you.

So does Jarvis have a point? Perhaps; but some of the moaniest gits are also the ones that start the singing and get most behind the team. Oh the paradoxes of life! However the Slough Town choir seems to be a dwindling bunch. A lot have gone on to greater things (like becoming the Slough Town secretary) or moved to distant places (like St.Ives), become dads or lost the will to live during our ‘wilderness’ years.

And I know this will sound snobby, but I really have had enough of playing at this level. I know its where we deserve to be and no club has a God given right to be in any league, but I have had enough of visiting small towns without railway stations, that make Holloways Park look palatial. Where two men and a dog is a big crowd. It’s like we are in an FA Cup Preliminary Round feedback loop nightmare unable to get to the next round. I finally snapped at Atherstone and became one of those moany gits, Blame the weather, the lack of food at the ground, the football. After an eight hour round trip to hell "misery of Slough supporters" summed me up perfectly.

Our expectations have been seriously raised, and instead of relegation or extinction we have a real chance of a play off place this season and have been playing some enjoyable football. This winter has dragged on and postponements have played havoc with the games but I am really looking forward to the business end, or squeaky bum time, of the season. Let’s all get behind the team, get our vocal chords going, and help push our club onto promotion.

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