Jump to content
Fans Focus - Non League football clubs

Beano_ATMFC

Regular Users
  • Content Count

    92
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    2

Beano_ATMFC last won the day on June 6 2016

Beano_ATMFC had the most liked content!

About Beano_ATMFC

  • Rank
    Reserves
  • Birthday April 4

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Supports
    Ashford Town (Middlesex)
  1. Yes; according to the NLP, some leagues will now start on 30th July, allowing their clubs two matches before their FA Cup ties. That's a significant advantage over an opponent that has only had friendlies. It's all very well saying "So be ready for the first game of the season league or cup.", (and that is a valid point) but it is a fact that - as useful as friendlies are - competitive games ARE different, whether you are a player, official or supporter. The atmosphere changes, the intensity is different. Sometimes, it's hard to make the transition (Camberley at Horley being a case in point). And even really good sides sometimes need a few matches to hit their stride. Anyone remember what happened the season Manchester United lost their first League game at Aston Villa and Alan Hansen said "you can't win anything with kids"? Devalued by the bigger clubs or not, The FA Cup is the oldest football competition in the world and 736 clubs from The Premier League down to Step 6 participate in it each season (this number could and would be greater if the format were tweaked). Of those, all bar 92 are non-league sides, yet only 32 clubs from outside that elite 92 can reach the First Round Proper. Some 368 clubs play in the Extra-Preliminary Round; virtually none would want their FA Cup tie to be the first match of their season with "something on it". That's the point here. I don't think the earlier date would even be a problem had the Leagues known about it in advance and been able to plan accordingly. It's the sudden change, with all the implications it has for fixture scheduling, pitch renovations and everything else, which has caused the problem.
  2. Well, clubs don't get four figures in prize money for winning their first League game, but they do for winning an Extra Preliminary Round game in The FA Cup. Consequently, no one wants to go into the Cup "cold", which is why the idea of an FA Cup tie being the first competitive game of the season has so many people throwing their hands up. As has been mentioned elsewhere on this thread, Camberley lost their first game of the season just finished 5-0, but they went on to do alright in both the League and several Cups. Had that been an FA Cup match rather than a League game, the season might have panned out differently in a number of different ways. Player turnover at this level (and the two either side) is so high that even the final pre-season game could see clubs field a different side to that which they might name after a couple of games with something riding on them, which is why clubs prefer to have got one or two League matches under their belt before their first FA Cup tie. Jeff is right that no non-league side will win The FA Cup, but the money, publicity and memories generated by a good run can transform a club. Ask Krooner of this parish about the time Camberley went to Griffin Park and both clubs changed their kits. Ask anyone at Hartley Wintney or Hanworth Villa about their runs to the Fourth Qualifying Round in recent seasons and they'll talk about the excitement of the games and the bigger crowds (ergo, more money again). Clubs might not get that experience if they are playing their first "proper" game in the Cup. What hasn't been discussed is why The FA have brought the qualifying rounds forward. Last season, the Preliminary Round fell on the August Bank Holiday Saturday, so replays wiped out Bank Holiday Monday League games, causing much moaning from clubs about the loss of local derby gate receipts. To avoid this, they have brought forward the first couple of rounds by a week. This would be laudable, had they bothered to run the idea past the Step 5 & 6 Leagues first. Instead, it just looks like Steps 1-4 have been handed another advantage, even if that wasn't the intention.
  3. Aye, there is a picture somewhere of Steve Battams with the trophy on his head with the socks still on it! I knew about the shirt change and have mentioned it in the manuscript.
  4. As someone with a little experience in securing grants for my own club (albeit at nowhere near the level that Bedfont Sports have secured over the years and more power to Sports for their achievements in that area), I can tell you that bodies like the Football Foundation won't even talk to clubs unless they have two things: 1) A 10+ year lease on their ground (or the freehold of the site) 2) Planning Permission for the project being funded That pretty much stops Epsom & Ewell applying for any sort of funding at the moment. They don't have a viable site, so they can't go through planning. Council support is also vital with major projects. Hounslow Council are clearly happy for Bedfont Sports to keep developing the Recreation Ground, which means that obtaining Planning Permission is less difficult for them than many other clubs. Meanwhile, when I approached Spelthorne Council about extending the toilet block at the Robert Parker Stadium so that Ashford could replace the changing rooms (which, in turn would have facilitated a revamp of the clubhouse), Spelthorne said "you already have changing rooms. Why do you want new ones?" They also pointed out that the ground is in the Green Belt and asked if, to prevent over-development of said Green Belt, we would agree to "knock something else down" to get the changing rooms. The planners were oblivious to the fact that knocking anything down would mean that we failed the ground grading and were working almost in opposition with their own Leisure Services Department, who tried to support the club's plans. If Epsom & Ewell Council take a similar view to Spelthorne's Planning Department when it comes to the development of sports grounds then its no wonder the Salts are still in exile. And don't even get me started on Legal, who held up one grant for so long by refusing to agree to a simple variation of the lease that the funding was nearly withdrawn...
  5. Ah, Robin, I feel your pain, because I had that nervousness last Saturday and again on Monday! However, I'm also hoping for a double celebration on Saturday... albeit at your club's expense. My "second" team is Middlesbrough; my dad was from Teesside and my cousin started his professional career at the Boro. I'm relaxed about it though, because Ashford have got the job done. He's a spooky thing about this promotion; the 1-0 win at Epsom & Ewell happened ten years and one day after the 1-0 win at Brackley Town which secured our last promotion, to the Ryman League Premier Division. I realised that when I sat down to type up the 2005-06 season and looked at the results from that particular campaign. Brackley went into that game in second place, but Ashford's win meant they were promoted instead of the home side. This caught the League officials at the game unawares; they had brought the trophy for the division runners-up with them, but only had red ribbons to tie on it! The travelling contingent improvised, with a spare pair of socks from the kitbag.
  6. For what it's worth - which I know isn't much - I would like to express my commiserations to you and all at Krooner Park. It's a horrible feeling to miss out on promotion on the last day as as happy as I am that Ashford are going up I do have a number of friends at Camberley and wouldn't have begrudged you the step up. I wish you well in your remaining Cup matches and it would be quite a feat if Camberley were to go on to win the League, Southern Combination and Aldershot Senior Cups, particlarly when placed alongside the FA Vase run. Perhaps, in the grand scheme of it, all that success in the knockout tournaments has had a negative effect in the League, as it can't have been easy playing all those matches in such a short timescale. For Ashford, going up is a massive achievement but a word to worthy champions Hartley Wintney, who put in a shift in every single game. Some of the wiser heads on the Ashford forum predicted that they would be the title winners as early as September and they could have rested players today or taken the proverbial "foot off the gas" but they did us a favour today. Given that we were knocked back for promotion four times in the 1990s due to ground grading I make no apologies for celebrating going up in second, but I wish that something could be done about the bottleneck at this level, which is the only tier of the National League System (or anywhere in the top 10 tiers of the game in this country) with only one promotion place per League and that means that bloody good teams can't progress and that doesn't seem right to me.
  7. It's a bit surreal being so far away from it all but so, so proud of everyone for getting over the line.I listened to the Radio Wey commentary on Saturday and spent the whole game convinced I was about to be sick. In some ways, today was even worse, as I could do was keep staring at my phone for updates from Hartley and Camberley on Twitter. I haven't stopped smiling since the result came through! A lot of other stuff has been flying around on Twitter too; is this what being a "big club" is like? We seem to have been a real target for some of the CCL fraternity, especially this season, but, as Oscar Wilde said, "the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about". Barring some sort of geographical gymnastics, we will be back in the Southern League next season, in the Central Division, alongside Egham Town. Chris C is right; Horsham will go into the Ryman South and we will take North Greenford United's place in the Southern, although they will probably end up in the Spartan South Midlands. There are some good clubs and good people in the CCL and it is such a hard league to get out of because of that, which makes promotion a massive achievement. Well done to all involved but this is where the hard work starts; we must build on this and do as well as we can at Step 4. Congratulations to Hartley Wintney on deservedly winning a championship they controlled for most of the season and commiserations to Camberley Town, who could yet end the season with two Cups and had such a wonderful FA Vase run but faltered right at the end in the face of a fearsome fixture schedule. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some rather nice red wine to enjoy!
  8. I'd predict Walton & Hersham charging the same for CCL football next season... I don't much like my own club charging £8, but I understand that when you factor in rent, utilities and everything else, to cut the price reduces income without the benefit of increased attendances and makes it harder to run the business. Because, once the club is incorporated, that's what it is. Up here, I can watch AFC Liverpool at Step 5 for £3 as I have an NUS card but they market themselves as a club for those who can't afford to watch Liverpool FC. AFC Liverpool also have an arrangement with Marine FC, whose ground they share, to sell their extensive range of merchandise in Marine's shop on matchdays and do a lot of fundraising. Plus they don't have to maintain a ground (yet). Most Step 4 clubs in the NPL seem to charge around £8, which is what Ashford charged when we came down and what I hope we will charge next season if we go up. The fact is, running a football club is expensive!
  9. When Glynn was the Reserve Team Manager at Ashford Town (Middlesex), I joined the club as his Team Secretary. A more dedicated football man - or nicer bloke - you couldn't wish to meet and we became friends as well as colleagues. The brief wasn't to win trophies (although we did win a couple of cups and reach some other Finals), it was to bring players through for the First Team and Glynn did that time and again. What I remember most about the seasons we spent working together was how much fun we had. Yes, we wanted to win every game but there was plenty of laughter and practical jokes along the way. We had a young side with a great spirit. Even in defeat, there were positives that were taken out of every match and there were no flying teacups - even when a player had a nightmare, Glynn would talk to them afterwards, sometimes over a beer, and help that individual to work out what had happened and how to use it to get better. As someone who knows Glynn's work, I'm a bit surprised that Dorking have decided to change direction, but not that the change is happening after the club's fixtures have finished. That's typical of Glynn - he would want to finish the campaign - and does represent a degree of respect being shown to him by the club in giving him the chance to go out by winning a pot. I hope he manages it!
  10. There were no tweets from the club during the match on Saturday, either. Having moved to Liverpool for family reasons, I find myself to be increasingly reliant on social media to keep me in the loop, particularly on match days. Neither club was tweeting updates from the match; all I could find were updates from a radio show that appeared to be Surrey-based. While not condoning the article published on the Ashford Town (Middlesex) FC website after the Horley game, I can say that it had nothing to do with the person who now administers the club's Twitter feed. There is an automated system in place which automatically identifies when a new item goes up on the home page, then sends out a tweet containing the headline and a link to the article. It might have been better for the author of the item concerned to have "slept on it" and published something on Sunday morning rather than going live on Saturday evening as they did but what the piece does show is the passion of the author for their club. I also think that most clubs would be unhappy if they were on the wrong end of the events described at the end of that particular fixture.
  11. Great question. I can't answer it, of course! Let me be clear; I would rather play the way my own club does now than adopt any other style. That is; to try to play decent football, with a predominantly young (and local) team. But, like most football people, I'm a pragmatist, rather than an idealist. Give me the scrappy, dull, 1-0 win where the goal goes in off the centre-forward's posterior over the brilliant but ultimately futile "moral victory" or "honourable defeat", both of which seem specific to this glorious nation of ours. I think that (even if they wouldn't say so on here), most people would adopt the same attitude. Moral victories don't put points on the board. In the early 1990s, Nottingham Forest were "too good to go down" from the Premier League. They finished well adrift, despite the prettiness of their passing. I think what really bothers me is the hypocrisy. When you're a manager, or a club official, you take a win however it comes. When you lose, it's far too easy to hammer the referee, or the pitch, or the oppo's style of play. I wish people would actually say "you know what, Team X had a plan, they stuck to it for 90 minutes and it won them the game. Fair play to them." instead of knocking each other all the bloody time. After all, if we all took the same approach to everything, we'd have nothing to talk / moan about.
  12. To be fair, Jeff, Doughie did correct his typo by replying to himself. Johnno, I can't answer your (rhetorical) question, as Camberley aren't my club and I'm 200 miles away in any case. My point is that the way they set themselves up obviously works for them and has got them results. Maybe some of the players have adapted their own styles, curbing their individual flair in favour of the collective that is their team. I'm aware that sounds like hipster nonsense but there's a truth to it; how many managers at this level favour "two banks of four" over a bit of creativity in midfield? That's the same principle - organisation and a clear plan prioritised over individual skill. It's up to Camberley Town to determine how happy (or not) they are with the club's current progress.
  13. But there's no guarantee that changing their style would win Camberley that promotion. My own club, Ashford Town (Middlesex) are capable of breathtaking football at times. But we have a young team who are occasionally naive defensively and there's been the odd lapse in discipline. We haven't yet achieved promotion, despite that being the club's aim, but no-one slaughters us to the extent that Camberley get, so results alone aren't a justification for some of the things that get posted. Edit: why do any of us do this? To win things. Last season, Camberley won the League Cup and Johnno makes reference to "minor senior trophies". The League Cup and "minor senior trophies" are precisely what he won at Cove as a player. For many of us - especially non-players, like myself - winning a trophy is the memory that makes the horrible season(s) a bit more bearable. I didn't put countless hours of my own time into my club so we could finish third or fourth, as Arsenal do; I did it to make the club better and in the hope that I would get to experience things like the Middlesex Charity Cup Final of 2012, where Kofi Lockhart-Adams came off the bench to score four goals and the winning penalty in the shoot-out. Or the 2007 Isthmian League Cup Final (on my birthday) where Ashford were 4-1 winners over Dover Athletic. Or beating Woking in the 2009 Surrey Senior Cup Final. It was Danny Blanchflower who said "the game is about glory". While his Tottenham side played some lovely football, I believe that, for him, glory came from winning things. Ultimately, it doesn't matter how your team approaches the match; what matters is the final score.
  14. A great quote and very true. However, if you give me a choice between a dull game which my team wins, or a wonderful fixture full of pretty football in which we get beat, I'll take the dull 1-0 all day, every day. At the end of the day, we all want to win. I couldn't give a flying toot whether my team plays like Brazil 1970 or Wimbledon 1988, as long as they finish the game ahead. Of course, I want my team to pass the ball brilliantly and I expect their approach to be competitive but fair. Cheating is, for me, a no-no. But, more than anything, I want to win. How many of the people on here who have slaughtered Camberley's style of play have actually ended up victorious against them? The Krooners might not be easy on the eye (or the ear - the Radio Wey commentary on the game at Ashford last weekend didn't sound like a great game, not that I cared when it finished 1-0 to the Ash Trees), but they are effective and therefore must command respect. I do enjoy watching quick, passing football and I'd prefer to watch that than a more direct style of play. But I hate losing. In Ashford's Ryman Premier days, there were a few occasions where we launched the ball into the box in the last few minutes and got a goal that got us either a win or a draw. Those goals made me seriously happy, because we got a result. So, the next time you want to make a comment about "hoofball" or something like that, have a look at the League Table. Or last season's Honours List. Then ask yourself this: 'Where would I rather be? Where my club is now, or where Camberley are?' As an Ashford fan, I'm quite happy with footballing life. But I respect Camberley for all they have achieved in the last few years and I couldn't care less how they do it. Give me boring over pointless any time.
  15. It came from this: http://www.isthmian.co.uk/league-statement-farnborough-fc-061115-27411 Unless they pay all their debts, the club will be relegated one step for breaching the Standardised Rules on insolvency. If they finish in a relegation place, that drop will be added to the one step they got for not honouring their original CVA. The bottom club in each division can't be reprieved, so that would put the "copper bottom" on their demotion. I don't know if finishing last this season would put them in Step 6 next, but it would serve them right if it did. After all, Farnborough FC has only existed since 2007 and is a reformation of Farnborough Town (itself only formed in 1967), which went "pop" not long after a run to The FA Cup Fourth Round which ended at Arsenal. The Town club milked that particular cash cow so hard the rules were changed to prevent ties being staged at the "big" club's ground (to the detriment of all the little clubs that followed them), having previously played West Ham United at Upton Park twice and presumably made some decent money out of that. To have racked up a seven-figure debt in less than a decade as a "phoenix" club strikes me as a demonstration of everything that is wrong with the game. In their eight years of life, Farnborough have never played below Step 4 and have racked up debts they could never pay. By contrast, the oldest club in the CCL, Colliers Wood United have been going since 1874 but, as far as I can tell, have never played at a higher level than they're at now. I have masses more respect for the people running the show at Wibbandune than I do the people at Cherrywood Road because, to the best of my knowledge, CWU have never left local businesses out of pocket for the pursuit of trophies. The same applies to every club in this League who is battling on and doing what they can to develop as a club, as opposed to throwing money at players. Let Farnborough go down. Hell, let 'em go bust again and let's see if anyone has the energy or patience to give AFC Farnborough Town 2016 the time of day.
×
×
  • Create New...