Thursday, 29 April 2010
Our squad being, of course, Darren Wrack and Damien Spencer.
Our attacking options include Spencer up front with Wrack playing off him. Or Wrack upfront with Spencer playing off him. Perhaps we will shake things up by playing Wrackie up alongside the Big Fella. Or perhaps Wrackie "sitting in the hole" behind the front one. The possibilities are endless.
If we are called upon to be a little more circumspect there is the option of Wrackie dropping back into midfield, feeding Spencer up front. If the pressure increases, perhaps Spencer can drop into midfield too to help Wrackie out.
If we are well and truly under the cosh one or both of our players could theoretically drop into the back two, with the possibility of breaking forward in numbers on the few occasions the ball doesn't end up in our unguarded net.
There are also enticing Commercial opportunities for the forthcoming season. The Club is keen to run a slightly amended version of the sponsorship where you pay £1 for every goal we score. Next season they would very much like sponsors to pay £1 for each goal we concede.
Both players are available for individual sponsorship of both their home and away kits. The sponsor will get a signed photo of the chosen player, as well as the player's signed shirt at the end of the season. Please bear in mind that we cannot guarantee exactly which shirt Spencer will be signing as he has shown a certain reticence to pull on the Poppies red for several months.
If this continues we may have to look again at our playing formations, which are likely to the centered even more around Darren Wrack!
Sunday, 25 April 2010
The best feature of the City was the Cathedral.
Our best player at the match was Abbey.
I'm here all week.....
Nathan has heard about what passes for humour on PATGOD these days and offers his gloves to anyone who will take them.
"Thank f*ck that's all over" chorus the relieved Kettering supporters.
Thursday, 22 April 2010
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
Can you guess what those tactics are? Choose one from the following: -
1 How best to con the ref
2 How to encourage their players to act as though they have been shot whenever a defender is near them
3 How to wallop the ball 90 yards down the pitch every time one of their players gets it
4 How to waste time
5 How to scream at the ref to blow the final whistle when you are under pressure
6 How to moan and swear for an entire game
7 How to get seemingly shorter and fatter on every visit to Rockingham Road
This is a trick question of course. They were discussing ALL OF THE ABOVE!
Sunday, 18 April 2010
Saturday, 17 April 2010
Friday, 16 April 2010
This news has obviously stoked the rumour-mongers into a frenzy. Some are predicting a return to the "glory days", whilst others are talking about a Father & Son Cooper Empire, which may or may not be based at Cecil Street. Others are awaiting the sparks to fly when Imraan and Mark lock horns once again, because, supposedly, they don't get on.
I could never quite believe the "not getting on" situation. Imraan had a Manager who won games and titles. Mark had a Chairman who backed him very well at this level. Admittedly, Imraan probably wanted to see better football being played, whilst Mark probably wanted even more money to spend, but they both did pretty well out of the situation surely?
Presumably at this juncture, Lee Harper must feel like a man crawling along on his belly in the Sahara, with the only shade provided by the circling vultures. His crime, as it appears to a mere supporter, is to try to get his teams to play better quality football with worse quality players.
Not for the first time, it will be interesting to see how things play out behind the scenes at Rockingham Road.
Friday, 9 April 2010
Our swooning social commentators usually ignore the fact that McLaren was simply trying drum up interest in order to shift some shoddy clothes that his missus was "designing".
Outside of image-obsessed London, Punk was viewed as something-weird-you-saw-on-the-telly. Like Bagpuss, It's a Knock-Out, or one of those serious plays with lots of nudity. At my school we had just one person who believed himself to be "punk", but this extended only as far as wearing a safety pin on their school blazer!
In Kettering we were still content to be listening to crooners, prog-rock and disco. We wore our flares wide and our sideburns wider. Ask anyone around then who was the more relevant group of people I'm pretty sure you would get the answer of "Kellock, Clayton and Phipps", ahead of "McLaren, Rotten and Vicious".
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
Allow me to explain....
Poppies No.1 Line-Up (The "Facebook" XI)
New season, new faces. Francis Green and Damian Spencer to be knocking them in from Lee Fowler's telling through balls. Football League HERE WE COME!
Soon numerous players are griping on their social networking sites about everything under the Sun, except, strangely, their own moderate performances.
Poppies No.2 Line-Up (The "Mercenary" XI)
Moses Ashikodi, Anthony Elding and Simon Heslop provide the quality the Facebook Team lacked. Football League, and FA Cup Final HERE WE COME!
Big players on big money playing the big games. Unfortunately in front of smaller and smaller crowds.....
Poppies No.3 Line-Up (The "Bring Your Boots" XI)
No money, no crowds, no wins. Bargain basement trawling has "unearthed" the likes of Elliott Charles, James Dance and Pascal Egigbo.
Plenty of graft but zero guile. Cricket season HERE WE COME!
Sunday, 4 April 2010
However, casting the net a little wider, the Poppies fan can continue to claim an advantage. It has already been noted that we retain the edge in the 'metric number of fingers and toes' stakes, and that's before we start comparing IQs. Yes if it came to a head to head in a game of Trivial Pursuit, our money would be on the Kettering Town manager every time. Even Kevin Wilson. Put simply, all Diamonds managers are thick.
This is now so ingrained it must be part of the job description. After Garry Hill, who gave a passable impression of a shuffling extra from Dawn of the Dead - and that was before he tried to speak, we now have Justin Edinburgh, whose dull ramblings enliven many a Radio Northampton broadcast. "Justin you must be happy with the win today?" "yeh well as I say we set our stall out zzzz".
This can be traced back all the way to the founder of the dynasty of denseness, Emperor Brian the First - a creature of such primitive intellect, he reputedly could only master simple hand tools, and lacked any sense of space or time. Talbot once asked the Nene Park groundsman, who had just mowed the pitch in stripes, how he managed to get the grass to grow in different directions, and had a national radio presenter in stitches as he struggled with the devilish poser "Why are the team nicknamed the Diamonds?" Maybe BT just assumed there was this place called Rushdenundiamonds.
This was thickness so absolute that 'talbot' should really be designated as a scientific measure of stupidity. An internationally recognised unit, with an xray of the interior of his skull locked away in a secure vault. Let's start the campaign now - tell your friends, drop it into conversation - hell even make a wikipedia entry - and wait to see how long before it becomes part of the language.
"Are you saying your client is of limited mental capacity?"
"Yes your honour, he's nearly a full talbot"
But underneath that sturdy veneer of inarticulacy, Edinburgh - unlike his predecessors - is regrettably showing a certain amount of managerial nous, so he may be destined for better things. In which case the Diamonds board would be well advised to line up a replacement. Judging by his performances on the Final Score sofa, Les Ferdinand seems just the man. He talks like a Nene Park natural, plus he is rumoured to live in Thrapston, so is already accustomed to life in a nondescript genetic backwater.
Friday, 2 April 2010
As we near the end of our second season back in the league we were so desperate to rejoin, it's time to take stock and ask whether life in the fifth tier is all it was cracked up to be.
In those heady days as we closed in on the Conference North title, we looked ahead to a fixture list peppered with ex League names, some of them quite substantial, and could be excused for thinking that bumper crowds would flock to Rockingham Road as we competed on level terms with the likes of Oxford and now Luton - clubs that many remembered in the old First Division.
Plus the away trips would be massively better than outnumbering the home crowd at places like Vauxhall Motors, and in a virtually full time league, the standard of football would be undoubtedly higher.
So what have we seen? Some great away trips to be sure - twice drawing at the Kassam Stadium (surely easily the biggest stadium we have ever visited for a league fixture?), twice winning at Cambridge United and taking all three points at Kenilworth Road - where teams like Liverpool once came to grief on the plastic pitch.
But after an encouraging start, home attendances seemed to peak at around 1,500 excluding away fans, and this season have dipped alarmingly. So much for the theory that casual supporters would be drawn by the calibre of the opposition - the recent Saturday fixtures against York and Mansfield attracted a three figure turnout from the great Kettering public.
Ok we all know there are certain reasons for that - an idiotic pricing policy which puts some home games on a par with matches in League One, dismal home form and a general dearth of entertainment in a long string of low scoring draws or defeats. Why cough up £16 to see another makeshift combination struggle to test the keeper even once?
But even games where the prices have been more realistic haven't bucked the trend significantly. A large slice of our support has simply stopped coming. They've broken the habit and won't easily be tempted back. Merely competing at a higher level than two years ago is not an attraction in itself - in fact before this season has finally expired we are in danger of recording some truly Rymanesque attendances.
And as for the football - well maybe it's just me, thoroughly fed up with watching a team who never score when I watch them (last goal I saw at the Cowper Street end - Francis Green in late September, when I really should have been back at school), but the stuff on offer certainly this season has been no better than the Conf North. Is there a single quality side in this division? If so where have they been hiding?
Being full time may make the players that little bit fitter but it doesn't seem to make them any better. What do they do in training all week - run laps around the pitch? We still can't muster a decent free kick routine or do anything at corners other than aim for John Dempster at the far post.
So the novelty has well and truly worn off, and at a time when we should have been looking to kick on after consolidating our status, the likely prospect is a truly difficult season to come. If that is the case, let us please at least peg the prices at a sensible level - say £12 to stand, £14 to sit - and if necessary risk shipping a few more goals in order to have a better chance of scoring a few. Watching the Diamonds game the other night was a case in point - both their first two goals could have been scored by any one of several players who had surged into the box, whereas whenever we whipped in a decent cross there was no one gambling to get on the end of it.
But Lee's heart seems to be in the right place, and if he is given a proper opportunity maybe he can deliver a team that will at least entertain for as long as we remain in this league. We can but hope, otherwise Rockingham Road will be a lonely place to be.