Friday, 12 August 2011

Ready to Go!

It's the eve of the football season, and all the moan, the groans, punches of delight, dodgy offsides, disallowed goals, and the ups and downs of the football season all get underway again tomorrow, and thank god for that!

Chester v New York Cosmos (..almost)
I think we're all a bit friendly-weary now, and ready to start our league campaign - when the results do matter of course. Friendlies have been a bit strange this year, and I do feel disappointed that we were not able to get a Premier League team down here, but unfortunately most of them were flying away from the UK - yet another reason why the big boys don't help the small clubs, as those 2 weeks they could be playing lower teams from their own country rather than swanning off to shores elsewhere in the world - ah well, gripe over, and we'll be trying our best to get some quality opposition in next year. For the record, we had tried (and failed) to get Liverpool, Aston Villa, Everton, Man City, Man Utd, Stoke, and Wigan, amongst others, but had little success. The closest one I guess was Pat's attempt to get the New York Cosmos in for a match ahead of the Paul Scholes testimonial match, that would have been a classic to reveal had it come off, but sadly their players were jetting in to the UK just a few days after 30th July.

Our friendlies were mucked around of course with the pull out of both Fleetwood & Stockport, which left us reeling a bit as we had to find other opposition very quickly.

Anyway, glad to see the back of them, and it's time to look ahead now to the bread and butter, as the league gets underway tomorrow, and it's been a busy old week this week, with football yet again dominating everything!

Last Saturday of course was the friendly against Bangor, and my time to stand in front of the players in the changing room - not to give them a pre match talk you understand - no this was to give them a bit of a media chat, and what I was hoping for them to do to give the fans some good features in both the programme and also the new website which we'll be launching very soon.

It was a bit never wracking, and I sort of felt like a supply teacher, with the fear of being heckled in their, or thrown into the cold bath - thankfully none of that happened, and they all listened to what I had to say, so thanks lads!

Was this the Bangor massive?
The game last Saturday was a good open one I thought although not impressed whatsoever that we had to open the West Stand for away fans only, based on the fact that Bangor fans had previous - we counted about 49 Bangor fans through the gates, a whole stand opened for 49 people, a stand that had to be stewarded for that very reason, costs costs costs.

Anyway, the match passed without incident, and an entertaining 2-2 draw was played out, and plenty of talking points from the match with some cracking goals.

Onto Monday, and after work, and a few e-mails / cfu calls to make, off to the near on 4 hour board meeting - as ever, plenty of things discussed, debated, and actions to be taken by all, most notably to pick up a bottle of wine on the way home, thank god they stayed open late these days!

Then Tuesday, and another match, this time against Hyde, and this one was very low key, we knew that this game would produce the lowest crowd of pre-season, as I said above, I think we were all fed up of friendlies by now!

Never have I seen a game where Chester had so many chances in the first ten minutes, and had we taken just one of those chances I reckon we'd have ended up with a different score. I sat with Alan Tarbuck most of the night, discussing the various chances, but it was all positive with the chances being created.

Cracking finish by Simmo...
  Then a cracking goal by Simmo, who exchanged passes with Alex Brown before picking out the corner of the net, and we seemed set for a win, until two goals in a short space of time turned the game on its head, and we were all of a sudden losing our 3rd game of pre-season, totally undeservedly in my view.

Onto Wednesday, and a chance to key some more CFU membership forms, we're now heading towards 2000 which is a great achievement considering it's difficult to retain members when things are going well as it's the nature of the beast that when things are going wrong, i.e. crisis times, people tend to pull together more, but I'll keep on banging the drum as the more people that join, the better.

Thursday, and time for the Seals Podcast to return, and I'd been delighted to accept an invite to the first show back, I remember when I sat on the very first show last season, with Tom Jones, and we both thought this could go places, and boy did it!

Last night also featured the Bellis Brothers, sounds like a 70's tribute band that, but no, Richard & Neil have come up with a new fanzine, called "The Blue & White" and I've had some interaction with the two lads, who have put a great deal of effort into the new mag, which is out in time for the FC United game on August 24th.

Looking forward to seeing the result of their efforts, and hopefully it will successfully follow in the footsteps of Hello Albert & The Onion Bag, which became legendary fanzines at Chester.

I did some dodgy predictions in last night's live podcast, from memory I think I said 2-0 v Rushall (Simm first scorer), 5-0 v Burscough (Horan first goal), 1-0 Hednesford (was it Wright first goal?), and 3-2 v FC United, although my enthusiasm got the better of me here and I predicted Robbie Booth would score the winning goal in the 90th minute, I forgot we were supposed to go for the first scorer!

It's now Friday morning, and plenty to do today whilst at work, all done in breaks of course (!) - press pass requests to deal with, also the match schedule for tomorrow to draw up - we've got a Junior Blues Guard of Honour tomorrow, and also the visit of Ray Crofts, who without any doubt was our last popular chairman (at least one who didn't turn on the club's own fans!), so it will be great to see him back!

Til tomorrow then!

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