This is probably going to be a bit controversial but here goes. Having walked out of the play off final having been so close to promotion I felt along with several others in the pub that this season would probably be a challenge to keep several members of our squad to sustain a challenge to win the Bostik league. Go forward a couple of months and we are in turmoil nobody could have foreseen losing our long term manager and back room staff to a team that we possibly could have been on a par with(possibly swapping places with come the end of next seaon(still a possibility).Don't get me wrong but if mr Mcann had stayed and a per centage of the players remained then promotion would have been a possibility so to watch our squad being pulled apart is painful(anybody who remains from last season will be an instant hero).Now the controversial bit am I alone in wishing Mr Gray an immensely successful season gaining promotion and replacing Hampton in conference south.
Re: next season
I have no animosity towards the constant merry-go-round activities. Everybody's a commodity. It looks to me to becoming increasingly common for players to follow the staff around. Dowse feeds of Hampton, they feed of us, that releases more into the food-chain and the cycle continues. I've virtually erased all that's gone before.
My related thoughts equate are as to if there are any knock-on effects of our move south with regards to potential player recruitment. A conversation no doubt we would all be having should we ever get promoted.
Interesting to hear the Gaffers thoughts on that one.
This season is clearly going to be like no other. Thoughts are now focused on the composition of the squad and trying to fathom out away days. The division below is like a Who's Who of Vanquished Kingdoms. I reckon there's an outside chance of meeting any of the following this season -
King Arthur, The Knights Templar, A Timelord, An Ogre, Druids, Hobbits. Miss Marple!
Re: next season
Aye. I wish them all well.
Last time this happened to us (AFC Wimbledon), what grated for me was we saw a whole host of people moving to play at a *lower* level rather than better themselves. Money aside, I understand why it may have looked appealing, but I think for most of those involved it was a backwards step. The victory in the Trophy shortly after couldn't have been much sweeter thanks to that.
In this case, almost everyone that's moved so far has taken a step up, and while I'd love them to have all stayed, there's not a single one that I begrudge leaving for a crack at Conference South. I honestly hope they all make a success of it, but remember their time here fondly. I probably won't even begrudge people taking a step sideways if they decide that the extra couple of thousand miles while staying at step 3 isn't for them. I do hope that they do give serious thought to staying around if the new gaffa wants them though.
As for turmoil... I actually have a cautious optimism. Good things are happening off the field with the people at SJP, I think the board have made an astute choice of manager /assistant and I'm hopeful that we'll do okay next season despite having to rebuild. Remember that a lot of clubs go through this regularly; we're unusual in having had a lot of continuity over the last decade.