Jump to content
Fans Focus - Non League football clubs


Regular Users
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Barney last won the day on October 9

Barney had the most liked content!

About Barney

  • Rank
  • Birthday August 23

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    On the Fence
  • Supports

Recent Profile Visitors

511 profile views
  1. Seems Alex has move on to Wingate - understandable I guess given the lack of opportunities to play, he's clearly someone who should be playing regularly at this level, but with Mo and Ken playing well, and Billy returning to fitness it makes sense for us and him. Wish him all the best (apart from when he plays against us)!
  2. Congratulations Andy, thoroughly deserved - let's just hope that the curse of the Manager of the Month award doesn't strike 😇
  3. Can't comment on last nights OG, as I wasn't there, but Saturday's was quite unfortunate, and definitely not a case of too many bodies - we'd defended pretty well the whole game, and played an offside trap early in the second half which Cheshunt sprung (hard to tell whether it was a poor decision from the assistant or not). From that point onwards we were backpedaling and a bit exposed as we had to get bodies back from the halfway line. When the Cheshunt wide player put the ball into the box, Wilson might have called as he looked in a better position to head the ball, but Weatherstone stretched to head it behind, and only ended up deflecting it past McDonald. I'm not concerned about us conceding own goals per-se, these things tend to happen in clusters, but we do need to keep working hard defending as a unit - if we make the right decisions and are well organised we aren't going to find ourselves in positions where we're stretched and prone to mistakes / own goals. For me, the two centre backs are both decent at this level - bags of experience, both appear to be organisers, and both are reasonably comfortable on the ball in that they can pick a pass to a midfielder / move it on to the full backs but still know when to clear their lines. I'd have taken a point last night, even though we were supposedly below par (although hard to know whether we were below par because Hornchurch didn't let us play, or whether we had an off day).
  4. I'm certainly not saying that players aren't on contract at non league level, I think most of the National League and at least some clubs in the National North and South will have contracted players. And 4WF is correct, in these cases, should they move on, the club that holds their registration is entitled to a fee. I think comparing Enfield FC back then with Enfield Town now isn't that useful - the old club at the time of Bailey and Underwood, despite being in the Isthmian (which was one step higher then than it is now) were still one of the top (and I suspect top paying) non league clubs, and could attract the best talent and afford to keep them on contract. @Steph - I'm not saying that clubs higher up aren't willing to pay for players registrations, if a player is a good enough prospect, then they clearly will. That said, if they're looking at a number of possible prospects, they're less likely to take a risk paying a fee for the player that is contracted compared to one they can get for free (assuming they consider the players to be of similar standard). Players (and agents) know this, and this is why they elect not to sign a contract when offered. I can't believe we didn't try to get Cory on a contract for instance - as I understand it, he chose not to sign, at least partly because it would improve his chances of moving up the pyramid.
  5. I think we've found some common ground here - it's a sad state of affairs, but in this day and age, the players (and ultimately the player's agent whose advice they follow) hold the power. From an agents perspective, do they stand to gain more by having one or two of their players move up the league and make it to the big time (with associated cut of wages, signing on fees etc), or have a portfolio of players playing at Isthmian League level and getting a cut of their earnings there? Clearly a rhetorical question, and a thoroughly depressing situation - everything is geared towards agents making money, and the good young players that fans at clubs like Town love to see on the pitch will move on with very little thought of loyalty. Unless something changes with the system, this is the way it's likely to be.
  6. And there's the rub... ultimately the above mentioned young, ambitious and talented players don't want or need security - they want as few obstacles as possible in the way of them progressing their career, and moving up the pyramid. This is, I suspect, exactly what their agents are advising them to do.
  7. Caveat: I'm no expert on this, so this post is very much as I understand things, and may well be a long way from the reality - apologies if this is the case. As much as I'd love to see a much lower turnover of players at our level and more loyalty, as the system stands I think that we are doing as much as can be reasonably expected to retain players. If a good young player who has ambitions to player higher up in the leagues doesn't want to sign a contract with us, we can't force them to. Doing so would effectively mean that we hold their registration, and can ask for a fee when an opportunity arises to move up. What's in it for the player in this scenario? Assuming they are good enough to play higher, very little - a club higher up would be much less likely to take a punt on them for a fee when they could take a punt on a non-contracted player instead, without the risk of financial outlay. Of course players that we want on contract, but who aren't willing to sign could be shown the door, but does that really help us? Personally, I'd rather have exciting young players like Mo (or Corey, or whoever) for a period of time at the club where they can help us, and accept that they will at some point move on as they're ambitious to play higher. The alternative is them playing on a non-contract basis for one of our rivals, strengthening them in the process. Of course the whole situation is frustrating, but it's a fact of life for a club like ours unfortunately. To the point about introducing a club policy of players signing nominal contracts of £5 a week, I only see that being detrimental to us - there's little or nothing in it for the players, especially for the good young ambitious players mentioned above, so why would they come to Town over a rival that didn't have this policy? The only way things are likely to change in this respect would be if the whole transfer system was overhauled for all clubs, so that every non-league club had to do this, effectively giving players no alternative (and don't get me wrong LS - I think this would be great, the idea itself is good, it's just that I don't think any club can go it alone on this). The players that we do have on contract I think we've have about right - they're players that are nearer the end of their careers who have already played higher and aren't likely to do so again, so the incentive of stability of income and employment that comes with a contract outweighs the fact that if they were to move on, it would involve a fee. Putting these guys on a contract effectively stops them moving on should someone turn up wanting to offer them loads of money, but on the flip side, as I understand it, means that we have to pay them regardless of whether they're playing well, in form, injured etc. Just my two penneth as always, nice to see some healthy debate, but I don't think the club can be held to blame here for what goes on as it's much more a systemic issue. Lastly, I would strongly recommend supporters get along to one of the members meetings to speak with the board and the management about our policy on contracted players - they're clearly going to have the facts (unlike me), and as someone said upthread: we're a members owned club, so we have a right to be able to question these things and get honest and factual answers. Certainly the club website or an unofficial forum like this isn't the place for the board to be formally discussing these issues.
  8. What a disappointing result (pretty much ruined my weekend, and I'm still thoroughly annoyed with how things played out). I'm told by a couple of reliable sources that went to the game that we were much the better side on paper, played OK first half, but switched off and invited pressure in the second, effectively trying to play for a replay for the last 15... That said, that's cup football - teams in lower leagues can and will raise their games and come into fixtures like this treating it as their 'cup final' - we did exactly the same to Braintree, and it's really frustrating that our players didn't seem to have the same mindset that they’ve shown over the previous games that's seen us win two really difficult cup ties and climb up the league table. 12 months ago, I'd possibly be questioning Blackman if he'd had a bad game, but given the fantastic performances he's put in over the previous few games, I've got no issue whatsoever - the dive, mobility, commitment and attitude he shows more than makes up for any shortcomings in my opinion - at this level, playing like he has been, he's a very good player that I’m proud to see wearing a Town shirt. For me, it's how we respond to this that's key - bounce back against Cray with the same attitude, organisation and commitment that we've shown over the last month and we'll be fine, let this setback affect us and it will be doubly disappointing. It's up to the management to get our players mindsets back in the right place, but more so up to the players to have a long hard look at themselves and know that Saturday wasn't nearly good enough and it absolutely can't happen again regularly if we are going to progress. Regarding player recruitment, I don't think there will be many Town fans that will a) begrudge Mo a move up the leagues (as shaky as Bolton are financially) or b) be unhappy that we signed him in the first place, given that he's contributed considerably in his time at the club. He's a player that can play higher in my view, so good luck to him. Ultimately if he didn't want to sign a contract with us, then what can we do - bottom line, doing so would severely hamper his chances of progressing, and from what Andy has said, it was always clear that he was looking to get into the professional game at some point. Signing Read to me looks like pretty shrewd business, with Bricknell injured (any update?), and now Mo departing. It's very easy to say that we should have signed him way back when, but if another club offered him better terms, what can we do? Lastly a shout out to Littlehampton, who's 'euphoric' comments upthread were for me all about drumming up support, interest and enthusiasm for a really important cup tie for the club - if doing so encouraged just one extra fan to make the trip down south, or the ultras to sing just a tiny bit louder, then his efforts were more than worthwhile. Most fans are excited, positive and encouraging about the club, win or lose (and clearly we will lose games along the way - we're not Liverpool), but I do wonder whether some are more content with us playing badly as it justifies their preconceptions about the management, style of play and direction that the club is going. Food for thought…
  9. If Billy isn't ready, my best guess would be that Lewis would come in for Mo but play on the left, with Ken moving into the central striker role. Have been impressed with how the midfield 3 have played these last two games, so wouldn't be keen to disrupt that. All guesswork of course - just hope that we go into the game with the correct attitude, not thinking it'll be a stroll as I'm sure it'll be a really tough test. Gutted I can't make it down to the South coast at the weekend, but will be glued to Twitter with fingers crossed.
  10. Just to echo what others have said: I picked a great game for my first visit of the season (real life has been getting in the way of my Town visits so far). Town were excellent to a man all over the pitch, and worked incredibly hard to nullify a decent Braintree side, making them look pretty average on the day. Difficult to name names when it comes to standout performances, but along with everyone mentioned above, I think Muleba had a really good game, limiting their 9 (who looked like he could be a real threat) to scraps, especially towards the end of the second half when they were really pushing for an equaliser. As others have said, the depth of the squad is a slight concern, although if it means that youngsters get given a chance to show what they can do at times, then that can't be all negative. I'd also say that given the budget Andy is working with, putting together a strong and experienced 13 or 14, then relying on youngsters and fringe players probably is the best way to approach things. What will be interesting is whether we can maintain that level of intensity, workrate, application and skill throughout the league campaign - 2 years ago, we showed how high we could raise the bar against Maidstone, but couldn't maintain that week in week out, let's hope that this season is different and this excellent start to the campaign is part of a longer run. Saturday was another proud day to be a Towner - well done Andy, Mario, Steve and everyone else behind the scenes!
  11. In defence (no pun intended) of Rumens, I think he's actually pretty solid defensively with players alongside him that can organise well, and nobody can fault his commitment. Hopefully Weatherstone and the new look midfield/back four will improve our defensive shape - In my view Rumems looked better in the first season when he had Purse alongside him than he did last year. That said, he's not the most comfortable defender on the ball that I've seen... but I guess the oppo can't score if the ball is in the stand 😉
  12. Whilst I don't agree with most of the abject doom and gloom, I do agree with the above - at times last season we were all over the place, and really lacked cohesion and defensive shape. How much of this was down to the players and, how much was down to the management's system and ability to communicate this effectively is open to debate (although I agree that in either case, the buck stops with the management). I also think that injuries to key players and unavailability at times didn't help us at all (again, arguably up to the management to have built a squad with enough cover - although this clearly costs money). I do think we looked a better site when Wetherstone came in, and would hope that a pre season under his belt, and knowing the rest of the squad a bit better will only help him improve our organisation. The signings (and re-signings) so far all look decent from what I know, and what I've heard/read, and once again we look to have the nucleus of a good side. That said, I was saying the same thing at this time last season and despite some excellent performances and lots of promise, the season tailed off into inconsistency and a pretty disappointing mid table finish (cup win excepted, which was great). For me, the jury is still out on the management - I really want them to do well, especially given how they started from zero 2 seasons ago, put together a squad which kept us in the division and then in my view built on that last year. It's been stated that they're here with a long term plan, and if that means we get to where we want to be slowly and sustainably, then that's fine by me - they're clearly trying to improve us, bring in good players and be in contention at the end of the season. Yes I'd love for us to be playing attractive passing football from 1 to 11, bringing every youth player of promise into the first team, and winning games - but realistically this isn't going to happen all of the time, and certainly not at this level with a club of our budget. I will say that I think the management team (and the board, volunteers etc) get an unnecessarily rough time on here, it's very easy to be critical anonymously on an internet forum when things aren't going as well as we'd like, but I truly believe that everyone involved in the running of the club have our best interests at heart, and want to continue to grow and develop the club organically as a whole (not just the 1st team). I think people need to keep in perspective that we wouldn't have a club at all without the endless hours of their own time given up by volunteers from the board downwards - I know I only just about have enough spare time to get to some matches and post a bit on here, nevermind being able to volunteer to do anything, so I try to temper my frustration at performances and results accordingly.
  13. But surely we have to have a balance between complete transparency and no info at all - if it's in any way detrimental to the club, I'm happy to not hear anything and in this case I'm perfectly willing to bide my time safe in the knowledge that we will get told what's going on when it's the right time to do so in the interests of the club. There is of course the option of speaking directly to the manager / a board member / someone in the know - I'm not sure that you'll get the specific player info that you want, but you might get more of a reassurance than you will on here that we're actually not going to be starting against FCUM with just the 3 players. Taking this one step further, as a fans owned club, you could always volunteer to get involved in the PR side of things - I'm pretty certain that any offer of help from fans will be welcomed with open arms, and would be more constructive than being the above mentioned keyboard warriors (one finger or otherwise) 😉
  14. LS - that pretty much exactly sums up my view on the subject.
  15. A really pleasing performance full of intensity, and at times some decent football played by Town - Parcell a deserved MoM and he really set the tone with the energy and intensity he started the game with (although getting booked so early was probably a bit rash). All players worked really hard for the cause, looked to move the ball quickly and really did the club proud. On another day, with some less wasteful finishing (from Youngs, Davidson and Bricknell), the scoreline could easily have been 5-1. ...the frustrating thing for me is that we can raise our game to play like that for a one off performance, but seemingly can't string together a showing like that for more than 2 or 3 league games at a time. That for me is the biggest problem that needs to be addressed going forwards, we've shown what a good squad Andy has assembled, and what a good side we can be when we have the right approach to the game (and all that with a fair few regulars out cup tied or injured), but we have to do it much more consistently if we want to kick on in the league. All that said, I'm thoroughly proud to be a Towner today, and a big shout to the Ultras who didn't stop signing all night 👍
  • Create New...