Saturday, 30 June 2012

The West Country W*nkers Part Two of Two

Due to unprecedented demand (thanks John), here's our second installment where we try our damndest to annoy more bumpkins ahead of them spanking us in the league in a few week's time.

Gosport Borough FC

Miles from the Holy City - 160
Population of borough - 80,000
Ground Capacity - 4500
Home Colours - Yellow & Blue
Nickname - The Boro' (Yawn!)
Average Home Attendance Last Season - 263

"Must Know" Facts - Promoted from the South & West Division into the Premier via an extra time play-off win, with 73 year old Steve Claridge scoring a brace in his last ever game (unless George makes him an offer too good to actually pay refuse. Gosport is a stone's throw from Portsmouth, and currently are due to overtake Pompey in the footballing pyramid by 2015.

AFC Totton

Miles from the Holy City - 147
Population of town - 28,000
Ground Capacity - 3000
Home Colours - White & Blue
Nickname - The Stags
Average Home Attendance Last Season - 442

"Must Know" Facts - The town boasts two football clubs. That's right, they are 1/3 the size of Kettering and manage to accommodate twice as many teams as our Borough. Perhaps their Council doesn't consider their number one priority to destroy their number one asset?  Not to be confused with "Tottenham".

Weymouth FC

Miles from the Holy City - 200
Population of town - 53,000
Ground Capacity - 6600
Home Colours - Kinda purplie-type colour
Nickname - The Terras
Average Home Attendance Last Season - 549

"Must Know" Facts - Hey, a team we actually know and have played against!  Woo-hoo!  Could prove to be an interesting afternoon down there for our would-be-will-he-be-allowed-to-be-possible-future-owner George.  He certainly seems to have left noses out of joint and knickers well and truly in a twist with his comings and goings on the South Coast.  That said, he's left there now, and they still exist.  I hope we're in a position to say the same one day.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Nailing an Unfounded Rumour!

Pedro - the first of many Italians to put
James Milner securely in their pocket.
PATGOD has no hesitation in nailing the unfounded rumour that the last Italian that James Milner managed to get past was Pedro during a pre-season game at Rockingham Road a few years ago whilst he was still with Leeds United.

There is absolutely no evidence to suggest Milner got past Pedro either.  Rumour quashed.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

The West Country W*nkers Part One of Two

May as well start as we mean to go on, and offend as many people as possible in our new league! 
Let's start with the Granddaddy of a journey down to Devon.

Bideford AFC

Miles from the Holy City - 236
Population of town - 14,500
Ground Capacity - 2000
Home Colours - All Red (time for us to break out the QPR kits)
Nickname - Robins
Average Home Attendance Last Season - 193

"Must Know"Facts - Swept to promotion last season, without losing a home game (er....)  70's superstar and managerial bottler, Kevin Keegan is an Honorary VP at the club.  Bideford is NOT Barnstaple, apparently.

Chippenham Town FC

Miles from the Holy City - 110
Population of town - 42,000
Ground Capacity - 2800
Home Colours - All Blue
Nickname - Bluebirds
Average Home Attendance Last Season - 372

"Must Know"Facts - Club formed a full 12 months later than the Poppies - bloody Johnny-come-latelys!  Birthplace of former Norwich forward Darren Eadie.  A, for once, genuinely interesting fact is that they lost the last ever FA Vase final at the old Wembley, mirroring our own defeat in that season's FA Trophy.  Ooer!

Frome Town FC

Miles from the Holy City - 165 (according to Google maps, although, curiously Chippenham and Frome are only 22 miles apart.....)
Population of town - 24,000
Ground Capacity - 3000
Home Colours - All Red
Nickname - Robins (What? Again?  C'mon guys, show a bit of imagination!)
Average Home Attendance Last Season - 279

"Must Know"Facts - The less miserable of England's top two Formula One drivers, Jenson Button hails from Frome.  As does the slightly more miserable of the top two stars of the "Fast Show" - Charlie Higson.  No one is quite sure whether the place is pronounced "FrOOme, or "FrOWme".

Monday, 18 June 2012

Snapshot of the Poppies

So, as of Monday 18th June how do we stand?


Well, we've finally decided to let John Beck have a (literal) punt.  Hasn't really managed a team in over a decade, but must have been a hero to a teenage George Rolls back in the day.  PATGOD can proudly claimed to have seen this move coming some weeks ago.  Almost.  Back on April 7th we wrote,

"Poor old John Beck has applied for the job for what seems like the tenth time - leave it John, have some pride for heaven's sake!"

Not the most obvious endorsement of the new gaffer, unless you concentrate solely on the words we've helpfully underlined!


Who knows.  The last one still hasn't quite been shaken off, and the new one is drowning under an avalanche of FA betting charges.  It's fair to say, GR's reputation has preceded him, and worrying signs that it may be getting tarnished further.  It's not so much that some Poppies fans trust him and some don't.  More that he's simply not trusted at varying levels between, "No-one else wants the club, we might as well let him have a go", through to "If he shook my hand I'd check my watch, rings, and count my fingers afterwards!"


The news that Diamonds-bubble perm Thompson is set to become operations manager at Non Park has gone down like the proverbial rattlesnake in a lucky dip in Poppy-town.  Not content with presiding over the destruction of the Inbreds it looks like she'll be given the chance to do it again with us.  We cannot believe that she is the only person who can do this job (administrating the club that is, not the destroying part).  GR should think long and hard before getting into bed with HT (as in employing her, not.....eeugh!)

The Team

We might have a goalie, a full back and a midfielder.  Perhaps.

Poppies supporters

We're more split than a multi-faction Banana-Splits convention taking place in the Croatian city of Split.  No two fans have the same opinion on anything, beyond a tenuous hope that the club somehow survive, get back into the Conference, and magically move back to Kettering.  And there are roughly a thousand different ideas about how this should happen.  Friend has turned on friend.  Families are at loggerheads.  It's all very sad, but it does give us something to moan about, which is always welcome!

Rockingham Road

Rocky Road is being systematically sold off bit by bit by one time saviours, now chief architects of our downfall - The Pickerings.  For all the sh*t-for-brains Ladak posturing and KBC's vindictive attempts to thwart the club at every turn, the ugly greed of our former landlord has dumped us several miles away, playing Mickey Mouse level football.  Good luck with putting housing our ground you bunch of leeches - there are plenty of us who will raise about a million planning objections every time you even breathe the words "affordable housing".

But with our home being slowly carted away to places like Alfreton FFS, I'm starting to fear that this ridiculous Non Park experiment may actually be for real.....

The Southern League - it's the PATGOD lowdown on 2012-2013.

With neck braces and the Reader's Digest Guide to Great Britain at the ready, lets look at what awaits us this coming season.  John Beck's appointment gives us a fair indication of what football we'll be playing, but where is another thing entirely.

We're not going to disrespect the other teams, or the division itself, and give them ample ammunition to kick our sorry arses.  No, Peter Mallinger tried that tactic back in 2004, and the denizens of the Essex Ryman League spent the next 12 months sticking it back down our collective throats.  Rather, we intend to give a balanced rundown of the teams we will be welcoming to Non Park in a few months time.

Curiously, the Southern League Premier division seems to divide into three rather neat geographical sections. There's a swathe of teams in the South/West stretching between Bideford and Gosport.  Another group of teams in the division seems clustered around the A1-M1, whilst the third group nestle in the old kingdom of Mercia, around Coventry and Birmingham.

Or, as we will call these three groups: -

The West Country W*nkers
The A1 Arse-bandits
The Midland Muppets

Part One - The West Country W*nkers - coming soon, where no doubt the words, "bumpkin", "inbred" and "cider" will all feature strongly!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Reasons To Be Cheerful

Poppies creditors agree CVA!  Local businesses voted unanimously for 10p in the £.  Well done them!  And the club hopes to count on their support in the future!  Better install extra phone lines to cope with the demand.   

Admission to Southern League approved!  Yes it’s a new dawn in the 7th tier, where most grounds have floodlights and ALL have a fence all the way around the pitch.

Manager to be appointed “soon”!  We can’t wait. Let’s hope he has previous experience at Cambridge Utd involving cold showers, long grass and booting the ball into the stratosphere.

Squad to stay full time!  Disregard anything you may have seen to the contrary in the CVA proposal – George said full time and he means it!  It’s such a brilliant idea you wonder why no Evostik Premier club has tried it before.

Rolls vows to fight betting charges!  Way to go George!  The FA must be mad if they think they can prove every one of those 3076 breaches.

Diamonds Centre renamed!  Yes in a welcome break with the past it’s now the Jubilee Centre. And what could be more fitting than a colour scheme of red, white and blue?

GR celebrates the CVA with friends

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Kettering - Playground of the Stars!

Our little corner of Northamptonshire has been waiting a long time for Hollywood to come calling – but no longer!!  When the Les Mis production crew were scouting for a location that conjured up 19th century France, naturally they headed up the A43 towards Geddington rather than fruitlessly searching across the Channel.  And so it was that proper bloody celebrity A listers got to spend a week of their lives in “Keddering”. 

Boughton House may have been where the cameras were rolling, but the whole area was abuzz, agog and aflutter with star sightings.  Russell Crowe in Rushton!  Hugh Jackman in a Kettering gym!  An unconfirmed report of Helena Bonham Carter armwrestling in the Wayfarers!  

X man meets XXXL man. 

For a town so starved of glamour that local boy Jim Dale still counts as our most famous export, despite a film career that ended in about 1972, and consisted of little more than saying “Cor!”,  this was like winning the lottery. 

(Growls) “I will have my vengeance, m'sieur” – Crowe gets into character on set.

By all accounts the stars were refreshingly approachable. In between takes, Wolverine star Hugh pumped iron with local bodybuilders in School Lane, in the very room where I once attended cubs!!  Meanwhile Russell managed to get through the whole week without punching anyone, and even borrowed a bike to pedal over to Northampton. 

We’ll have to wait until the premiere to learn if Russ's renowned ear for accents produces a Frenchman every bit as convincing as his Robin Hood, which only occasionally strayed into Geordie or Irish. With a bit of Aussie cockney. 

Maximus may have cycled past this very bus shelter. Or one like it.

Meanwhile, with its usual efficiency, Kettering Borough Council is already talking about creating a Hollywood walk of fame to commemorate the famous visitors, during their fleeting visit to the area.  They’ll be taking that forward to the next discussion phase just as soon as the feasibility sub-committee has reported back with its preliminary recommendations.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

How much wronger can football become?

Just when you think that no other group of supporters have had to put up with as much crap as we have comes the news that Cardiff City's Malaysian owners have decidedly that from next season their team should play in red and have a dragon motif on their badge.  Out goes the blue shirt, bluebird badge and nickname which has worked well enough for over a century.

Supposedly this re-branding will help raise Cardiff's "profile", "marketability", "development" and no doubt a dozen other crappy buzz-words.

The upshot is that the new foreign owners couldn't afford to buy Manchester United, so have decreed that the team they have should at least look like them. Perhaps they believe they'll shift a few shirts to particularly short-sighted Malaysian teenagers, thinking they're shelling out for the latest ManUre kit.  They'll need to.  I can't imagine Cardiff's new owners will sell a single red shirt in South Wales!

You can almost see chief apologist at Cardiff, Chief Executive Alan Whiteley squirming and looking suitably embarrassed when he poured out this guff -

Basically, football is so screwed up in this country we all need dodgy foreigners who have assembled suspiciously large fortunes in third world countries wanting to own English football clubs.  Football can't stand on it's own two feet without such "investment", which, as we are all painfully aware, is actually a loan that the new owners will want back.  Even when they are introduced to the crowd before the game, holding up new scarves and beaming from ear-to-ear, those evil bastards are already counting the days until they can screw the club out of everything its got.

When a club of Cardiff's size, with unprecedented TV money and £40 a pop to watch the game can't generate the funds to keep a bunch of players and administrators going they, and the rest of us are going to be continually shafted and find our game drifting further away from us all the time.  Hopefully once the top four or six teams in this country are creamed off into a permanent pan-European league the rest of football can take a step back from the financial precipice.  Sensible prices to the supporters.  Spend only what you make.  Perhaps bring back a payment cap?  Do we have an obligation to turn people who can kick a ball moderately well into millionaires? 

Shirt colour, badges and nicknames mean nothing to these people.  They have no heart or understanding.  And when a football club is shaken lose from the foundations that bind it to the fanbase all things become possible.  Who knows, teams may be transplanted into other towns just because their ground looks nicer!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Euro Trash

Just a week to go before the Euros and a nation is gripped by expectancy.  That nation clearly being one of the other competing 15, because across the length and breadth of England, Euro-fever is noticeably absent.   St George’s flags may be everywhere, but the people waving them most enthusiastically  (dotty middle aged ladies, horsey types, the entire population of Eastbourne) are not gearing up for events in Poland & Ukraine, and the bunting will be safely packed away until the next royal occasion by the time our 11 remaining non-crocks take on France. 

It seems that finally, after years of watching England teams stink out World Cups like a gas leak, everyone is determined not to get carried away this time.  In response to the inevitable question  - how will England do? – pundits and commentators are giving a nervous cough and NOT PREDICTING WE’LL WIN IT.  Some are even daring to suggest it might be an achievement to get out of the group.  A group containing Sweden.  What a change from talk of the Golden Generation.  True, Graham Taylor is saying he thinks we’ll do rather well, but this is the same Graham Taylor who told the public before Euro 92 to sit in their armchairs, make themselves comfortable, and watch us triumph.  As indeed we might have done if he wasn’t the manager, the players were considerably better, and we employed different tactics. 

Euro 92 sticks in the mind as perhaps the last time England approached a finals with less than rampant expectation.  The Taylor factor had that effect, plus a team that boasted the talents of Andy Sinton, Carlton Palmer and Keith Curle. Anyone mercifully too young to remember that trio, just wait until the next repeat of one of those clip shows listing England’s worst players ever.  And in a spooky parallel, our group also contained France and Sweden.  Hopefully that’s where the comparisons end.  Hodgson will have to go some to match the lunacy of Taylor as he slowly unravelled during the matches, ending with the inspired decision, with time running out, to bring on Alan Smith, scorer of only 46 fewer international goals than the man he replaced.

The Euros and England have never really hit it off.  Maybe it’s all in the name – just too continental, and guaranteed to arouse suspicion and distrust.  Like their peculiar toilets and dodgy currency.  Almost the only time we have ever done well was when we happened to be at home, meaning the team never left Wembley and their nice familiar hotel.  Even the one exception, in 1968 when we actually finished 3rd (out of 4 finalists), was a ‘could do better’ for a team packed with World Cup winners. However it remains statistically our best performance since 1966, not to mention being the sporting backdrop for The Italian Job, so gets double points for that.

Ever since, our hopes have ended up spinning off the road just like that dangerously loaded bus, but with John Terry determined to show those Ukrainian racists who’s boss and Andy Carroll scoring goals for fun (on PlayStation), who knows, this could be our year. *

And to think this was one of our better Euro campaigns

*to not return home in disgrace