Monday, 28 August 2017

Two emails David Mahoney really should get around to sending

David Mahoney to 
Committee of the Southern League

"Hi Darlings

I know we have registered red and black as our home strip this season, with a change strip of white, BUT, what are the chances we could change our home kit very slightly from red and black, to, er, blue, with white stripes?  Just for this season.  I appreciate this might cause the odd problemette or two,  but what do you think?

And, if it's not too much of an ask, could we nominate our away kit to be white, with blue stripes?

Let me know?  It would be much appreciated.  And sooner rather than later as our kits are getting a bit ripe......

Love to all,


David Mahoney to
Captain Wang of the Orient Shipping Line

"Captain Slow

Christ alone knows what you're up to!  What are you doing with your ship?  F*cking rowing it? However, do us all a favour and continue to take the f*cking scenic route.  And if you are in danger of losing a container or two during a storm, don't worry if shipping container ACR15654 - 566A looks like being swept away.

In fact, even if you don't encounter a storm and that particular container looks like slipping overboard, please don't risk yourself or your men....


"Hi Ritchie

I don't know what your problem was.  
This Chairman lark is a doddle!

And, maybe a third email?

David Mahoney to
Ritchie Juene

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Shirty, once again

As our new team and supporter shirts still wend their way leisurely across the world (if only we had someone at the club who regularly visited China, and could have brought them back with him....) we've managed to rack up three four straight wins in kits that are (a) our away kit, and (b) a few years old.

It only occurred to me when we were beating Basingstoke as to WHY we weren't playing in last year's home kit.  Presumably these shirts were all autographed and handed out to various sponsors at the end of last season.  A handful of phone calls might have pulled together at least 16 shirts....

A few more wins and we might seriously have to ask ourselves - should we cancel the kit order and carry on in the blue and white stripes?  Until we meet another team who play in either blue or white, of course!  And then what?  Skins?

We supporters may moan about the lack on new shirts, but it doesn't stop us wearing our colours.  In fact, the merest glance at any group of Poppies supporters will show us all decked out in fetching red and black.  But, usually all DIFFERENT Poppies tops.  Have a look.  Without a new shirt to get behind, we have been raiding our wardrobes, but, somehow, laying our hands on a wide range of Poppies shirts.  You will see designs from most periods of Poppies recent history.  Some excellent.  Some OK.  Some not great (Cough) Last season (Cough).

More interesting than the various strips, hoops, stripes, plain, pinky, etc. is the reminder of the variety of sponsors we have had over the years.  National companies.  Local companies.  Rent-a-Doctor companies.  Charities.  Polar Bears.

Some companies still going strong.  Some long forgotten.  And DRC Locums of course, who frankly didn't get much reward for the twenty million a year sponsorship they ploughed into the Poppies, right up until the point their owner sold the company to an ex Dragon - James Khan.  Mm....I wonder how that court case is going?

"Is this the way to Latimer Park?" 

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Is it just me......

.....or do all Football League referees end up
looking like serial Poppies friendlies ruiner,
Andy Woolmer?

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Respecting Our Elders

The new season is just out of the blocks and already two of our golden oldies have made their mark. First there’s Brett, picking up where he left off by sticking in a couple of set piece headers, just as he has been doing season after season all the way back to 2003.  He has now played (and almost certainly scored) in 14 of our last 16 campaigns. Ben Baker was in nappies the first time Brett pulled on a Poppies shirt.  A sobering thought for Brett.  And the rest of us.

Also still showing the youngsters how it's done is Rene Howe.  Maybe golden oldie is a bit premature, though it is over a decade since his first spell in red.  Yesterday he celebrated his 50th Poppies goal, something which he clearly was keenly aware of.  It has been an interesting half century.  The first 25 in a flurry of 3s, 4s and 5s, the second mostly in singles, with a fair bit of time at the non striker's end whilst serving yet another ban.  The Rene we see today (Rene 2.0 - twice as mean and twice the size), may not be as prolific as his younger self, but he knows all the tricks and very occasionally finds a ref who falls for them. Joining the 50 club places him in a fairly small club of modern Poppies, so congrats to Rene and we’re sorry for being rude about your weight. 

Meanwhile we must also doff our goalkeeping cap and wiggle it to ex Poppy Paul Bastock, who has astonishingly popped up at Corby at the age of 47.  Still with that slightly bemused look we saw on his debut at Yeovil, in 1990 for crying out loud!  That was so long ago, it was on the famous sloping pitch (younger readers, google it). Incredible to think there is someone still playing who shared a dressing room with Ernie Moss, whose own career almost overlapped with Stanley Matthews! 
For the opportunity of more nostalgic musings of this nature here’s hoping we get Corby in some cup or other before Bastock shuffles on.  Let’s face it, at this stage of his career he’s probably only got one more big move left in him.  

Friday, 18 August 2017

Racist Poppies Fans Are At It Again!

Or, so most non-league headlines will read.  Kettering - that hotbed of fascism.  Kettering - twinned with the townships of Hicksville, Mississippi and BuringCross, Alabama.  Kettering - stuck in an early 1970's episode of "Love Thy Neighbour"

Do we harbour unknown quantities of racists at Latimer Park?  All primed and ready to explode the moment a black opposition player does anything of note during a game? What possesses someone to shout out racist abuse at a football game?  They must know such behaviour is in no way tolerated?  Surely?

Should the individual be ejected - yes, obviously.  Should they be banned for the rest of the season - yes, why not?  Should they be banned for life?  Mm.  A trickier one. Should or can an individual really be banned FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIFE for uttering words, even if they are completely unacceptable words.  Should the Police prosecute as a "Hate Crime" - Of course not.  Are we getting a little too Orwellian here?  Violence is one thing.  Words another.

Perhaps this individual has issues?  Or perhaps the man in question was the most shocked person in the ground when the racial slur came out of his mouth?  Who knows.

I presume someone associated with the pinpointing and removal of this individual will be able to identify him should further sanctions be considered.  Mind you, after all the publicity stirred up by his outburst, I can't believe for a second he would dare turn up again!

So, are we a bunch of ignorant red-necks in NN16?  Or, in keeping with the rest of society we have people who rant and may shout out racial slurs, whether intentional or not.  I guess the next few weeks may give us a clearer idea?

 Is this really how some of us view the
action at Latimer Park?

Obviously not - they are wearing their
new red and black outfits.  Unlike us!

Friday, 11 August 2017

Once more unto the breach......

With season 145 only a few hours away, what can we realistically expect from 2017-18?

Firstly, we must hope that our new kits turn up!  We must be singly unlucky with our Far East purchases, as they always seem to be entrusted to the least sea-worthy vessels.  In a rapidly shrinking world our chosen shippers cling to a decidedly old-fashioned, ponderous working method.  No doubt replete with sail-ships, press-gangs and sodomy.

Assuming the kit arrives and our players and (God help us) supporters aren't naked, what else should we be looking forward to?

Although by no means the top of the list, we can only hope our unwieldy website gets some sort of update.  The player section could do with some serious work.  Either that or most of our players were actually born on January 1st 1970.  It is more than a little dispiriting that this date is the default date on the system, presumably set thus as it is so far in past.  Black and white telly.  3-day weeks.  Pre-decimalisation.  Dinosaurs.  Some of us remember 1970, albeit hazily.

 Re-ordering a Season Ticket online this Summer was a task more befitting the Krypton Factor than Kettering factor.  Cutting, pasting, copying, guessing.  The Club really must make it easier for us to open our wallets and pour our cash into their coffers!

Not that the Club isn't trying to encourage us to part with the readies in other areas.  What with "Sort the Pitch", "The 12th Man", "Poppies TV Fundraiser",we're all likely to be paupers in no time at all.  Pause for 5 minutes in the bar too close to Martin Bellamy and you find that you've sponsored the following Saturday's game!  Once you enter the ground you are relieved of whatever money you have left in purchasing some Klondike tickets.  I'm not sure what they are exactly.  I'm told these pieces of paper are some form of raffle, where you can win something?  I've heard this rumour, but have yet to see any hard evidence.

And what might we expect to see on the pitch in front of us.  Other than dust blowing off it if it hasn't rained for an hour, or splashing mud if it has?

We have signed some players who may or may not improve our performances over last season's efforts.  Most of them, if the website is to be believed, turned 47 years of ago on New Year's Day, but let's not hold that against them...!  We all know that the club is missing a f*ck-you central defender to bully the rest of the back four and the opposition.  Who knows, if Ollie Thorne ever (re)gains any sort of fitness, he may be the man?  If....

Marcus Law may have an interesting first few hours / weeks / months this season.  Not quite Arsene Wenger interesting, but still could it could be tasty.  Some of our more forthright, internet-savvy supporters will see a conceded corner as enough excuse to dispense with Marcus' services.  Others will be more patient, and give him until the first goal is chalked against us before demanding his head.

The opposition teams look tougher this season than last.  A number of clubs have, "money behind them" if the dark rumours are to be believed.  And among the newcomers is Hereford FC, the lastest phoenix from a club that made very little effort to save itself, and now strut around because they've won a couple of lower divisions.  Some of their supporters have been particularly repellent with their "banter" on various Facebook Southern League sites.  Others of their fans have also let their newly-discovered enthusiasm spill into aggravation at games too.  All a bit obvious and "Big Time".

They seem to have conveniently forgotten their previous incarnation were, at best, basement Football League fodder, and at worst, bitches for the likes of moderate Poppies teams of a decade and a half ago.  Getting relegated out of the Football League once is bad enough.  Twice?  Smacks of carelessness?

Now their new club has beaten a lot of village sides some of their supporters seem to have got a little ahead of themselves.  Are Hereford likely to challenge for the title this season?  Given the relative size of their club and support, they certainly should.  Are they a giant club in front of whom we should all tremble and pay homage?  Of course not.  Can a lot of their success be down being able to use Edgar Street, rather than ground-share at a "tin-pot" ground some miles away?  Absolutely!  Had Hereford achieved the same whilst playing their home games, at, say, Gloucester City or Worcester they would perhaps have earned the respect they seem to be demanding.

We'll get to bask in the glory that is Hereford when they come to Latimer Park on November 11th, when, no doubt, our reduced circumstances will cause great hilarity to a club who easily surrendered their entire history and managed to reform at their former home, rather than find themselves turfed out into the cold.

10 months of fun and frivolity lay ahead of us.  Football?  We put up with it just enough to keep coming back for more until we find something better to do with our non-Summer months.