Tuesday, 12 June 2018

England's dreaming?

So are you gripped by World Cup fever yet?  Is the wallchart ready for its first entry?  Three Lions echoing round your head?  Giant flag dangling from the front bedroom window?  Fridge fully stocked with goodies?

Only one of the above?

Following England through tournaments does this to you. From “here we go!” and the golden generation to "here we go again" in, er, a generation. Absolutely no one is predicting we’ll win it or even get close. It comes to something when the Sun sends the boys off with the rallying cry

So at long last we have a realistic view of the team’s prospects, which fits very well with sensible, realistic Gareth and his style of management, very much the thoughtful new teacher in charge of a bunch of unruly teens and gradually persuading them to stop bringing knives into the classroom. 

The new England might not have the big names of previous years but they are comfortable with talking about their feelings. That’s obviously a good thing, and would be even better if those sentiments shortly include how it feels to beat Belgium. Gareth has wrapped an emotional blanket around the troubled Sterling, quite correctly understanding ‘that tattoo’.  Most of us are able to simply make a mental note not to possess an automatic weapon, but Gareth sees it from the player’s point of view and that’s fine. If Sterling can stay on his feet long enough to make a mark on this tournament, he can have a bullet belt inked around his other leg for all we care.

So much rests on Sterling, and obviously Kane. The BBC have included Harry as a central figure in their Soviet-style opening credits for the competition.  That immediately makes me very uneasy.  Last time, I think it was Gerrard, which was harder and harder to take during the many weeks of viewing after we left the party. But there’s that ingrained England pessimism at work again.  One day, surely, on the monkeys with typewriters principle, we will manage not to stink out a World Cup and actually cheer up a nation rather than plunging it into yet more post millennial gloom. This time?  More than any other time, this time?  

England expects...

Monday, 4 June 2018

Linnets Board misses the mark by even further!

For any slight gripe we, as Poppies fans might have about the pricing structure for the forthcoming season, one has to feel for supporters (well, not their pig-ignorant faction perhaps) of Kings Lynn FC.

For Level Seven football Kings Lynn are charging a rather hefty £13.00 entrance fee.  Attending all 21 leagues games next season will cost an adult bumpkin £273.00.  A season ticket will set them back £260.00.  So, for paying out in advance for several months football will save a Linnets fan the grand sum of £13.00.  One "free" game for shelling out £260.00 to their charming Chairman -

Would you buy a used season ticket from this man?


Mind you, can you put a value on not having to queue twice every match, once for a ticket and then 10 seconds later to hand over the ticket you've just bought?

The cost of £260.00 is more than four Championship clubs charged for their cheapest season ticket last season!  That's Level Two football, by the way Mr Cleeve.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Poppies Board misses the mark

In a decision akin to watching Paul White juggling during a Play-Off Semi-Final our club board has badly fumbled the ball with regards to admittance pricing for next season.  Not across the board though.  No, if you pay on the gate, or reserve a seat, or reserve parking, nothing has changed.  The only difference is we a more manageable league 21 games, rather than the unwieldy 23.

The Board has taken the decision to reflect this reduction in games by reducing the season ticket price by a £15.00, down from £200.00 to £185.00.  So what?  You might ask.

Last season by buying a season ticket you effectively "got in free" to three games over the course of the season if you considered it would cost you £230.00 if you paid on the gate every match.

For 2018-19, a season ticket holder gains just 2 full games for the pleasure of shelling out a thick wedge of cash months in advance, without knowing how many games they might have to miss over the course of a year.  This may seem like a minor thing for anyone who doesn't hold a season ticket, but is enough of a disincentive to make a lot of season ticket holders think they are getting a bit of a rough deal out of the club.

The club can point to the free access to Poppies TV as a selling point for getting a season ticket, and it would be were it not for the fact that the very people unlikely to benefit from this excellent service are the very supporters who are season ticket holders!

Take away this "benefit", and the rest of the advantages of being a season ticket holder are thin on the ground.  First dibs on tickets for big Cup ties held more sway when we actually played big Cup ties. 

The pre-season event at Latimer Park for season ticket holders has, in the past couple of seasons given us a long-winded, and sometimes worrying glimpse into Marcus's psyche, plans for developments at Latimer Park that don't seem to be getting any closer, and a look at a new club shirt that won't be available to purchase for several months.

And that's pretty much it.  But, generally, you don't buy a season ticket for a long list of benefits.  It's usually more to do with convenience, and thinking you're doing your bit to help the club a little.  It just seems unfair that the only reward you get this coming season for paying up front is one less "free" game.

At the end of the day, it's not the fact that all logic would dictate a season ticket price of  £180.00 to keep it in line with the other pricing at the club, that grates.  A fiver one way of the other is not a problem - this is my usual weekly contribution to never winning the Klondike!  It's not the amount.  It's the principle.

A look across what other clubs in this division are doing throws up a lot of interesting season ticketing detail.  Leaving aside money-grabbing Kings Lynn and their "colourful" owner, who probably still believes his club was promoted, there are a lot of good offers out there.

Most clubs offer a cheaper season ticket price than us.  And at most of these clubs you don't end up with more mud on your shoes than the players!  Some clubs offer free admittance to reserve games and pre-season matches as part of the deal.  A lot offer "early bird" discounts (AFC Scum have announced an early bird offer fully £26.00 cheaper than our season ticket (offering fully 5 "free" games) and extending the term "early bird" to it's fullest by extending this offer to mid July!

At a time when our lack of facilities mean we struggle to attract and keep appreciable amount of new or returning fans, punishing the hardest of the hardcore, even in a very slight way, seems like an unnecessary own goal from the club.

Saturday, 26 May 2018

How about this for a thought....

Perhaps less time spent in the tattoo parlour, and more practice catching a football?

Friday, 11 May 2018

Hopefully this will be a team effort.....

As much as we take great pleasure and joy from thoroughly researching our articles on Patgod, sometimes we really can't be arsed.  It's much easier to tag a few lame gags to images we've dragged off the ET website.

Or, as in this case, we are naturally assuming Paul Cooke will chip in with the relevant detail to enable the following paragraphs make some sort of sense.  Hopefully.

Let's talk penalties!

What a season it's been for efforts from 12-yards.  We started the season with Rhys taking on the mantle, scoring [Paul to insert number here] goals, but following a costly miss at Biggleswade, in rapid succession we ran through very moderate efforts from the spot from Rene, missing [Paul to insert number here] Aaron fluffing [Paul to insert number here] and Matt chipping in with [Paul to insert number here].  Each of them basically took penalties like complete drains.  Between all of them we managed to miss [Paul to insert number here] penalties which cost us [Paul to insert number here] points, and an extended FA Cup run. 

Strangely, even though our team was almost genetically incapable of scoring penalties, and Paul White never even goes the right way when facing spot-kicks, we somehow managed to win two penalty shoot outs this season.  Madness.

With opposition teams more than happy to keep giving us penalties, safe in the knowledge that Aaron would hit the goalie, or Rene would not reach the goal, we finally played our Ace in the form or Brett Solkhon.

The penalties kept coming.  Not all won by Rhys........and Brett managed simply hit the ball into the f*cking net, and scored no less than [Paul to insert number here] consecutive spot-kicks, giving him an amazing goal tally this season of [Paul to insert number here].  

During 2017-2018 we were awarded a record number of penalties - [Paul to insert number here].  In terms of total Poppies records, it was the fully [Paul to insert number here] more penalties than we have ever won in a season.  In fact, with [Paul to insert number here] penalties in total we have beaten the world record of [Paul to insert number here] penalties awarded in a season.  Scored by [Paul to insert number here] back in [Paul to insert number here].

Over to you Paul!

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Slough of despond

It was, of course, disappointing and a hard way to end a long campaign - or "journey" as everything seems to be these days. On the night we made too many mistakes, and probably burned too much fuel in the first half trying to get back in the match. It was a bridge too far after an exhausting run of games. There’s not too much more to say about it.  By Monday night, another club will be rueing the freakish nature of this division, where nearly 100 points isn’t enough to guarantee promotion.  Ten years ago, exactly the same total as this season won us the league by 17!

It has been a weird season in so many ways. We’ve grown used to winning by wide margins, along the way discovering that Brett should have started taking penalties as soon as Craig Norman gave up the gig. While Brett was making a late run for the over 35s Golden Boot (golden slipper?), we ended up with a scarcely believable 122 in the league alone.  If this is some kind of record for a team that didn’t go up, it would be a typically Kettering kind of claim to fame, like finishing runners up in the Conference the most times (probably, it sort of feels true). So whilst it would have been good to take the season one game further, there’s a lot to look back on fondly – unless of course you prefer to air your views on social media, in which case the big question is – why hasn’t this dismal showing earned Law the sack?

It was also the season in which the curtain finally fell on Rockingham Road, and we all had to finally move on. Talk continues about a new site in the town.  All we need is for Kettering BC, who own the land, to make a grand community-minded gesture in return for some hard cash. Everyone hold your breath…

If they need any encouragement, they should have sent someone down to Slough to see yet another club benefitting from local council support.  For the umpteenth time since our departure from RR, we looked around an away ground and thought, yeah, we’d take this. I’ve even found myself thinking that at some right old sh*tholes but Slough’s Arbour Park definitely ticks the boxes. Plenty of seating, two covered ends, 4G pitch, outdoor bar and balcony!

And somehow, in the overcrowded south east in a town adjacent to the M4, a main railway line and Heathrow, the local worthies managed to find a site within walking distance of the town centre and resisted the urge to cram in a few two bedroom rabbit hutches or a new warehouse instead. Quite remarkable I think you’ll agree, and obviously an example of the kind of misplaced priorities that you could never accuse KBC of.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Three Positives from the Play-off Semi Final

Kings Lynn are likely to hammer the snot out of Slough in the final, meaning the newly formed "Midland Division" we'll be in next season will be eminently winnable.

The last time we lost to Slough in a play-off, we stormed to the title the following season.

Er....we're are likely to have a nice Bank Holiday weather wise!

Which way to the beach?