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Not Quite Random Ramblings

By David B5/5/2016 14:22Thu May 5 14:22:13 2016In response to Re: Last Night, This Season and Beyond

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And I’ll say “Aye” to all of John’s thoughts. I couldn’t believe how poor we were in the London final. Confidence is something you cannot instil or teach and there were too many players whose confidence is so low that they are scared of making mistakes so become too tentative ... and then take the wrong option and make a different type of mistake. One effort on target in 90 minutes, Casey’s header, sum up how poor we were. Finbarr's injury didn't help, but Kezie desperately needed help in the Tooting half (can't call it the final third because we were coming from too deep).

One final thought on last night: I know the reasons we wore red (as Tooting were the nominal home side, we could not wear black or midnight blue shorts, so it had to be the red kit), but if I never see Hendon in red again, I won't be disappointed. We just don't look like Hendon FC in those colours.
Last season was a glorious surprise and it raised expectations to a level which were probably too high. I certainly expected us to be contending far more for the playoffs than for Ryman League North but, in hindsight - a wonderful thing - the offseason and preseason should have set the alarm bells ringing.

The writing was on the wall in August and September when we started losing games to late goals (last year these were wins turning into draws) and it continued all season. Twenty centre-back pairings was about a dozen too many, but it is hard to imagine a better pair than our 2014-15 - from November - duo of Elliott Brathwaite and Charlie Goode (though, for those old enough, Alan Phillips/Peter Deadman and Alan Campbell/Phil Gridelet probably push them close).

It also didn't help that players in all three areas of the pitch were nothing like as effective as they had been last season. I cannot recall so many players taking holidays during the season or being unavailable for work reasons. As for departures, injuries and suspensions, they are occupational hazards, so using them as excuses is too easy, but there is no doubt we were seriously weakened by all three.

So 2015-16 is consigned to the history books (and dustbin in my mind) and we can look forward to a new dawn in 2016-17. If all goes as we hope, we will be back - well, within 50 metres - of the borough at SJP, somewhere we can call home and somewhere that should not be subject to the number of postponements that have been the blight of ours seasons for so many years.

All the magnificent work done by Rob Morris, Simon Lawrence, Mike Harte, the HFC Trust board and secretary Graham Etchell (not forgetting Lyn) has given us hope going forward. Let's hope Gary and his management team can put out a squad which will be back in contention for honours in April 2017.