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.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

WE'RE GONNA WIN THE LEAGUE

Printed in Southern League Premier Division game v Kettering Town Saturday 12th August 2017. First game of the season. We lost 2-1 in front of 760.
 
And so it begins. My 40th season supporting Slough Town and what a season I reckon its going to be. As I sat high up in our new airport lounge-cum-bar trying desperately to get an alcoholic beverage, I surveyed the scene with that pre-season feeling of every supporter: Hope. So no pressure on the managers and players but I will nail my amber and blue pants to the mast and say we will win the league. Not in the Billericay financial car-crash way where mind-boggling resources are thrown very quickly at a club; a model which nearly always ends in tears. No, our club has been transformed slowly and steadily. From homeless basket case, to a club that our chairman and active supporters trust have built up a footballing head of steam. Some class additions to the squad, a squeaky new ground fully operational, the place to be on a Saturday for Slough residents and hey presto. Wouldn't it be nice to be league champions the first time since the Boer War?
The irony is that today I will be leaving some muddy camping field heading for the AMEX to watch Brighton play their first ever game in the Premier League against a team whose turnover is greater than some continents GDP. Thanks to my eldest I've got a season ticket for two Premier sides. The one I support is seven levels below apparently the best league in the world, but I know where I would rather be today.
I don't do friendlies but it would have been rude not to turn up at Super Kevs well deserved testimonial against West Brom to thank him for an incredible 32 years as physio at our club. OK it was never going to be their full squad, but our second half display against full time professionals was pretty bloody impressive. Of course the hard work is slogging it out on pitches that look like they've had minefields detonated on them in the slanting rain while being booted around the park (come to think of it, haven't all our home friendlies been in the slanting summer rain?)
As a ball thundered above the goal to the back of the stadium and the rain poured, the biggest cheer of the game came when Kev got out his well-worn magic sponge, I heard one guy say this is why he loves non league. There's an intimacy that no clubs in the top flight can match. I spoke to one West Brom fan about their previous season – they were disappointed they had finished 10th rather than 8th and yearned for a cup run, a bit of excitement, as challenging the Premier League oligarchy is out of the question. A football glass ceiling that Leicester incredibly smashed but most clubs in West Broms position will be grateful at not getting relegated. Where clubs like them lose their promising youngsters too clubs like Chelsea who stockpile players like old people hoard baked beans in case of nuclear war. The Chelsea manager had a pop at Spurs for lacking ambition because they didn't spend millions on new players this season. Millions on players who are often pants while their youngsters never get a look in. Brighton have just picked up one of these youngsters Izzy Brown on loan. Chelsea signed him for West Brom where he had became the second youngest player in the Premier League at just 16 years and 117 days. West Brom initially rejected Chelsea's approaches but they got him anyway, making West Brom consider scrapping the clubs academy as they continue to lose their best prospects for nominal fees that fail to cover the cost of running the academy. Since then he has only played for Chelsea under 21s and been loaned to Vitesse, Rotherham, Huddesfield and now Brighton. With so little Premier League game time, former Chelsea manager Mourinho even admitted that he would be to blame if Brown were not to become a senior England team player!
So Slough Town reach for the stars, we've been in the gutter (and some of us the pub) for far too long. It's Conference South or bust (ok if we don't get promoted I will make do with an appearance in the 3rd round of the FA Cup and i'm not talking 3rd Qualifying round). Up the Rebels


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