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By Whispering Minotaur30/5/2019 08:26Thu May 30 08:26:03 2019

Views: 2250

Have to say I'm pleased with the players that James Gray has secured so far for next season. Got a good core to build on now. It's seven talented, hard working, committed players on board, and it gives him something to build a squad around.

Others I'd like to see stay, if they want to, and if James wants them, would be Lee Chappell and James Hammond. Thought Chappell was an outstanding captain, rarely bawling players out and he worked well with the youngsters. Also hope some of the now disbanded U23 squad are given a chance to show what they've got in pre-season.

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Re: Thoughts

By rwakeley30/5/2019 09:34Thu May 30 09:34:59 2019In response to ThoughtsTop of thread

Views: 2270

Personally, I would be surprised if Chaps hasn't hung up his boots. I don't do the legends stuff as I believe that is for players of a different era. I tend to highlight players of whom give their all when the going is tough. Kezie, one year at Earlsmead worked way beyond the call of duty. Similar with Chaps last season. I thought his display at Harlow as truly memorable. The lad was everywhere clearing danger that night. Top lad.
I tend to recall instances and can lose it in an instance. My memories are filed under the good, the bad and the downright ugly. A few recollections- The Good - Big Dave's late header vs Bideford - What a header! The FA Cup win at Dulwich - I beamed all week! I enjoyed that. We kicked their ass in their own backyard! The performance in a draw at Maidstone - rode our luck a tad - but earned some in the last minute. The Bad - Gosport at home last season - went home in a state of utter bewilderment. The Ugly - The 3-2 loss at Leatherhead. Spread across two seats on the train going home. A woman opposite enquired as to my well-being! I replied with words like despair, disintegration - no hope, all is lost, and the like. I had to explain it was football related at which point she completely lost interest!
I also recall 2 identical goals we let in in the last 5 mins at Vale Farm vs Horsham. Cut in from the by-line and stabbed home. Like a Vietnam Vet getting flashbacks, I can see it now. Every time I see a similar goal go in, I want to explode, taking the defenders with me into the depths of hell.
I may have some unresolved issues! Only 5 or 6 weeks to go!

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Re: Pre-season thoughts

By rwakeley31/5/2019 12:48Fri May 31 12:48:11 2019In response to Re: ThoughtsTop of thread

Views: 10014

I think this pre-season has been fascinating in this division. A lot of consolidation. Just seen Cole Brown has left Walton - destination unknown. The Met L/b become a Womble. A trend of young players seemingly being cherry picked, presumably based in some cases as budgets appear to be reigned in.
The one side that fascinates me is Slough. Keep bashing on about them. I think they've got a working model. Very young side with a few experienced older heads. Many of their players have short life spans at the club. Constantly keeping on top of developements else-where. Rough calculation of our squad to date - average age 23. By neccessity or by design, I think we are competing in the same proximity. I also believe our gaffer has an eye for a player. Ryan Hope had a stint at Slough. I think it fits the profile and the direction this manager will try to elevate. All managers are continually crying out for more dosh. Slough have shown they have a template. The word's patience and time are invaluable in this process. It's a continuation process, rather than a scattergun approach adopted by most. Short-term squad aside, I think this lad has already demonstated he can take us in a positive direction. These really young lads, have a lot of progress. Charlie Smith - another, in that vein. I think the characteristic of that profile is becoming evident. The lad Jacob has a similar profile.
I think the next couple of years, could be different to what we're accustomed style wise, but could potentially be very absorbing. I think we're going in the right direction.

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Re: Pre-season thoughts

By embee31/5/2019 22:44Fri May 31 22:44:35 2019In response to Re: Pre-season thoughtsTop of thread

Views: 2177

Having the local MPs son in the team must be fairly remarkable too!

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Re: Pre-season thoughts

By John Rogers7/6/2019 19:07Fri Jun 7 19:07:37 2019In response to Re: Pre-season thoughtsTop of thread

Views: 2050

Today's addition looks good. 13 goals in 23 games for Hartley Wintney and he was excellent leading the line against us at SJP in March, linked the play well, and got the second goal.

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Re: Pre-season thoughts

By rwakeley7/6/2019 19:43Fri Jun 7 19:43:07 2019In response to Re: Pre-season thoughtsTop of thread

Views: 2134

Interesting acquistion. Thought last season we could have benefited from a Kezie or Leon Smith type up front, complementing Connor. Equally compelling to see how this changes the dynamic with the formation - A lot depends on if Shaq is on board. We desparately need to convert more and carry a direct threat. This lad can find the net. Braintree, were close to signing him a while back. At face value, looks a good find. I think you'll be hard pushed to find a harder working front-line next season.
Bodes well.

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Re: Pre-season thoughts

By BRAMLEY10/6/2019 13:07Mon Jun 10 13:07:47 2019In response to Re: Pre-season thoughtsTop of thread

Views: 2063

You have indeed acquired a quality striker in Mikey. Was quality for us at Hartley last season and always worked incredibly hard. We wish him all the best at your Club. :-)

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By John Rogers13/6/2019 11:11Thu Jun 13 11:11:20 2019In response to Re: Pre-season thoughtsTop of thread

Views: 2055

Interesting to note that 3 of the 4 recent signings were on the verge of being, or are 30+. At times last season, Chappell aside, we were sorely missing a bit of nous and experience.

We know about Harper - he's not likely to do much running (he's even older than I am), but we know how much of a steadying influence he can be and Hamblin comes highly rated from Wealdstone. He certainly doesn't lack pedgiree.

The manager alludes to more announcements pending, really interested to see what else might be coming.

This time last year we were still four days away from the announcement of our first four signings. We already have eleven on board for the new season and you can see the basis of a team forming. Of course, that's no guarantee of success, but things certainly feel a lot more settled when observing from the outside.

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Re: Past Experience

By rwakeley13/6/2019 14:23Thu Jun 13 14:23:09 2019In response to ExperienceTop of thread

Views: 2041

I cast my over James final season at St Albans, (Sorry)! No malice intended. They utilised 60 players. Both surrounding years 45-ish. Hendon, play-off years both around the 40 mark. Every other recent season back to the norm of around 60. I love patterns. I think they reveal a lot about a campaign. If identified can be a huge benefit. Interesting to note. our first play-off season, Kezie and Leon up-front. The second recent play-off, 3 up-front, what I termed at the time as Blitzkrieg Football. Lesson learned - you have to cut your cloth accordingly when it comes to formation and personnel. I do think there are managers of whom stick to a preferred methodology. Hence, for me the priority is establishing our brand. When things start to fall apart - the wheels can come off pretty darn quickly. With regards to recruitment, given the back-drop, I thought last season James did a stellar job. Guri forced out - Cole a prospect lost and we lost a lad to the football league. Clearly, the lad has a sound working knowledge of the environment. I like the notion of un-realised potential combined with a few wise heads. I like the pre-concieved notion of our forwards in the mud on away days. Home form factors in questions raised above. Get that right - we're in business.

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