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.

Monday, August 22, 2016


Printed in the Southern League Premier Division game v St.Ives Town on Saturday 20th August 2016. We won 3-0 in front of 349 - our last game at Beaconsfield before moving back to Slough.

I still haven't forgiven Yeovil for knocking Slough out of the FA Cup 36 years ago. Their charming fans also tried to knock seven bells out of the hundreds of Slough supporters that made the trip to their lopsided old ground, with grown men partaking in the Somerset sport 'gob-on-a-youngster'. They also broke our hearts with a last minute goal which meant that once again we missed out on reaching the Third Round of the FA Cup. At least they lost 3-0 to Norwich in the next round.

And so on a hot August night as my family walked back to our holiday apartment, it seemed rude not to follow the unmistakeable player shouts and go and see Swanage Town and Herston take on Yeovil Under 18's in the home clubs last friendly of the season.

While Swanage's Dorset Premier League hasn’t started yet, many Step 5 and 6 clubs have already been thrown to the FA Cup lions. So many clubs want to enter, its a tribute to the glamour it still attaches at this level – and of course the prize money. But it did mean the FA Cup extra preliminary round seem to start about 20 seconds after the FA Cup final. Swanage are too low down the pyramid pecking order to enter but want promotion this season back to the Wessex League where instead of playing against Bridport Reserves they will play Bridport first team.

I had intended to spend the first day of our holiday traveling to watch Bridport in the cup but I sacked off three hours on public transport to travel just 44 miles for getting sun burnt on the beach instead. Bridport had been most accommodating with my inane questions and really at this level twitter is such an essential means of communicating all clubs should be using it. I can also spot a marketing opportunity for Swanage Railway, which was re-opened by volunteers after British Rail thoughtfully ripped up the tracks in 1972. Now its once again linked to the National Rail Network and seeing their love for retro, it would be good if they could start to put on those football special trains again so it doesn't take all day to get not very far.

Swanages ground could do with a spring clean and a Football Foundation grant but its pretty decent with loads of space to develop. The long seated stand could do with well, being replaced with a new one, with its school assembly seats and bolts that dig into your back; not that the 30 punters that paid £3 to watch the game cared about my discomfort. In the end it finished 2-2 and I managed to refrain from shouting such classics as 'cider' 'sheep shaggers' and Worzels because I'm all grown up now.

After reading The Secret Footballers compellingly brutal 'Access All Areas' book - brutal in its honesty and how the beautiful game ain't so pretty after all you wonder what's in store for these Yeovil 18 year olds. Just how many will make the professional grade?

And if any Yeovil youngters do make it, well as the Secret Footballer puts it “Footballers are still being treated like highly paid babies off the pitch while expected to show leadership and decision-making qualities under pressure on the pitch. When the merry-go round finally stops and we step off, is it any wonder that we hardly know how to cope with marriages and bills and debts and responsibilities? We're all speeding towards divorce, addiction, depression or bankruptcy."

Blimey, maybe its best to stick to playing with two jumpers for goalposts. 


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home