Saturday, 31 July 2010

Where did all the Glory Hunters go?

That's a question that's always bothered me.  We all remember the thousands of glory hunters who used to flock to Non Park during the infamous Griggs "Open-Chequebook" period.  Within a couple of years their gates mushroomed from a couple of hundred to several thousand.  All who thronged to the ground declared their lifetime support of the team that hailed from the town of Rushdenanddiamonds.  Unfortunately for theses band-waggon jumping Trappists, Uncle Max suddenly came to his senses and realised that he was just pissing his money away.  A couple of relegations later and the Glory Hunters were in search of a new team to offer their life-long devotion to, provided they won every week of course.

They didn't have to go far either.  A couple of miles away the cricket team from Finedon was beating all-comers.  Finedon, or County League Champions Finedon, to give them their full title, hadn't always been the all-conquering heroes of the modern era.  Even my old team at Rushton used to give them a bit of a pasting back in the day.  Then one day a midgety little Roberts turned up, followed by another midgety little Roberts and the rest was history. 
Look at me Mummy!  I can get it all in!

Suddenly attracted to unbridled success, more and more people suddenly found themselves utterly devoted, life-long Finedon Dolben supporters.  Just today I watched an hour or so of their game at Rushton, and I can honestly say that the crowd there would give an average day at the County Ground a run for it's money!  It took me fully five minutes to actually recognise a Rushton face in the gathering. 

As County League Champions Finedon cruised towards their victory target I felt suddenly plunged back into the Direones Glory Days. I was surrounded on all sides by people bragging about great their team was, whilst wearing smug grins and clutching their seat cushions.  And just like Direones fans, they were all heading for the exits before the game was over in order to beat the rush, and wondering about who they were going to beat next week.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Plastic Jocks 2 - Portly Poppies 1

OK, forget the last piece - IT'S TIME TO PANIC!!!

Friday, 23 July 2010

"Don't Panic!"

It's not often that the worlds of "Dads Army", "The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy", and the "Poppies" collide, but perhaps they should do so more often.

In view of the near hysteria generated by a couple of under-par pre-season friendlies, and the Club's inability to sign at least half a dozen stars from the World Cup, everyone should bear in mind where we are in relation to the forthcoming season and calm down a bit.

We are a few games into the warm-ups, with the start of the season almost a month away. Our strikers are absent, presumed crocked or missing on honeymoon, and we are losing to teams that are much better than us. Of course we're not firing on all cylinders yet. Football is these people's jobs, and they are just "clocking-in".

If we equate a football season to a day at work, the pre-season friendlies sort of come before the real working day begins.

You know - you've accidentally turned up a bit early for work and have decided to put the kettle on and flick through yesterday's "Sun", pausing to admire the enormous norks on Page 3. "Surely they're not real...?" You pour yourself a cup of tea and have a rummage in the kitchen units to see if there are any biscuits kicking about. You find Rich Tea ones and leave them on the shelf.

You take the weight off and delve further into the scant reading matter of the tabloid. After a while you stand, stretch, yawn and have a quick delve into your colleagues desk draws to see if they have anything interesting there. You then make yourself another cup of tea and have a change of heart with regard to the Rich Tea biscuits and grab a handful. You colleagues begin to arrive and after an bit of a chat about last night's "Big Brother", which although you don't watch, you always know what happens, you grudgingly switch on your PC and begin the work day.

For a footballer, the pre-season training and games are their version of the above. By the time the working day, or league season starts the mind is on the game and all will be well! Honest. Unless Imraan gets bored again, in which case we're all f**ked.

Monday, 19 July 2010

Ah, Corby!

We spotted this hilarious story at the online ET site: -

Teach ASBO lad a lesson

Published Date: 19 July 2010

"A shameless Corby teenager was caught red-handed breaching his ASBO by a magistrate within seconds of leaving court......"

Oh, if only, if only. If only this worthwhile member of Corby society had a tattoo on the exposed forearm which read, "Mum, Dad, 'Gers", this would have been perfect!
On the subject of that fair Borough, work is due to start today on a £3 million project to turn the road which runs through the middle of their much vaunted shopping utopia into....another road which runs through the middle of their much vaunted shopping utopia. In this startling re-imagining, George Street will be turned from a road with paths either side into a path area with a road in the middle.
Traffic will be disrupted for several months, and the town centre taxi rank will have to move a matter of metres from it's present location, which may cause severe unrest as the locals aren't used to having to physically move themselves more than is absolutely necessary between scheduled appointments at the benefit office and the local off-licence.
Hasn't the news emanating from Corby in recent months centered upon the fact that the funds have dried up? It seems they've still got the readies to build a road that everyone uses and a football ground almost no-one uses, twice over. Recession? What recession?

Friday, 16 July 2010

One from the Vaults?

The news that Paul Furlong may be signing for the Poppies comes a bit of a shock to us supporters of a sufficient vintage to recall him terrorising us for Enfield (younger readers should consult their father or grandfather) back in the 1980's.

Over the decades since he last slapped us around he's been glimpsed still scoring goals on the Football League show. In recent years he has generally been seen on this programme scoring Barnet's odd consolation goal. Of course, these days he is always referred to as "The-forty-one-year-old Paul Furlong"

What's most depressing is that if he does join us and plays for us at the ripe old age of 42, he'll still be younger than me....."sob!"




Paul maintains high levels of fitness whilst aiming to impress the young whipper-snapper Lee Harper

Monday, 12 July 2010

Damian Spencer - A Poppies career

Now that Damian has finally left the Club after many desperate want-away months, we take a look back at a player who in many ways was our very own Emile Heskey. Minus the goals.

I was fortunate enough to see all THREE (count 'em) goals big Damian scored for the Poppies. There was the all-important 4th goal at home to Gateshead, when the away team were already contemplating the coach journey back up the A1. There was his curious, slow-motion, dibbly-dobbly goal down at Wrexham. And there was the goal against a Diamonds Youth team which aided our Northants Cup run by at least one more round.

And that was pretty much it. He added a couple of more goals for Kiddy during his A.B.K. phase (Anyone But Kettering), but 4 league goals in a season is hardly the sort of return you expect from someone on his reported nigh on £40K p.a.

Damian soon fell foul of the Brit Road moaners. And the Cowper Street ones too. And, probably best not to mention the reaction of the Main Stand.... However, he didn't help himself a great deal by not seeming to put in much effort.

Note for all future Poppies forwards - goals and quality play are second and third on the list of priorities for the Kettering faithful. Lung-bursting running around, no matter if you are never likely to reach the ball, is the pre-requisite talent for any forward we take to our collective bosom.

Damian was OK for flicking the ball on (usually to the opposition defenders as Cooper rarely played a second striker alongside him, even at home), but didn't understand our DESPERATE NEED to see him put in pointless chases after bad passes, and chasing down defenders from 60 yards away.

So long Damian - no doubt your name will come up again one day when a couple of crusty old fans are discussing forwards back in the Noughties, but don't let that go to your head, as you will probably be confused with Jason Lee!




Damian watches on patiently whilst his colleagues put in effort.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Spain - The Poppies in disguise?

Having just sat through the Netherlands attempted mugging of Spain with my better half I thought some of her comments deserved a wider airing. Not that she is one of these non-footballing females who inconveniently ask you to explain such tricky situations as the offside rule and why some free kicks are direct and some are indirect - thankfully! No, she knows her stuff, and is a Poppies fan of many years standing. And here is where her comments are worth repeating.

Iniesta has received many accolades over the course of the competition, and deservedly scored the winning goal. However, earlier in the game when he kept jinking into the box and losing the ball before getting his shot away, my beloved heaped further "praise" on him by saying, "Why doesn't he shoot? He's just like Darren Wrack!" I don't know how high up on the list of praise-worthy comments this ranks for the Spanish superstar, but I figure, probably closer to the bottom than the top!

As another Spanish corner drifted harmlessly away, she exclaimed how much they needed John Dempster to make his circling run to the back post and convert the cross. The Spanish central defenders might argue that keeping 4 consecutive clean sheets might show that they were doing a reasonable job, but the missus wasn't having any of it!

The Dutch didn't escape mention either. A Dutch substitute (Elia?) skipped to the byline and took forever to swing his boot at the ball. By the time he did so it had run out of play. 'Er indoors snorted derisively, "Why did he let it run out? Just like Greg Taylor!"

I look forward to the Poppies starting up again shortly when I hope that the balance is redressed, and that every time a player moans at the ref he is referred to as "Robben", each pulled hamstring gets the shout of, "Get on with it Torres!", and every goalkeeping howler is followed by, "well, at least you're not as bad as Robert Green!"