Friendly fire

In probably the slowest time it has ever taken to announce pre-season friendlies, AFCW have finally gotten round to announcing some. Check them out.

Done that? Exciting, aren’t they? No, really. Well, OK, Brighton certainly appeals, but don’t you feel just a tad underwhelmed by the rest of them? Now I’ve said that, I expect the Manchester United first team to come down on the 11th, but it’s not as though we’ve even got the Kingstonian friendly to moan about.

OK, I’m being a little bit unfair here, and I’m fully aware that PSFs aren’t really for us fans, but this is about the third pre-season in a row that I’ve felt distinctly underwhelmed. Admittedly, I’m not going to the Isle of Person tour because I can’t afford it, but this year seems even less awe inspiring than usual.

My heart sinks whenever I read Fulham XI. That’s the pre-season equivalent of having a Status Quo tribute band from Macedonia down your local pub. I’ve covered a couple of XI type games, and trust me, the entrance fee should be in pence. Their worth is basically a good excuse to have a few pints of Guinness and catch up with people you haven’t seen in a while. And that’s just the players…

The FCUM one seems to a bit of a “meh” one as well these days. Bit like the whole FCUM concept really. I guess that’s because they get a nice trip down to t’smoke yet we don’t get to go up there. And yes, I’m fully aware that Bury FC have plenty to do with that. The trouble with all pre-seasons is that you’re committed to some of them regardless of whether they’re worthwhile. We’ve finally weened ourselves away from Ks, but it appears we “have” to play FCUM.

One wonders if the game on the 13/14 July is Tonbridge away.  Half the reason why you bother with PSFs is because you do get some new experiences. Again, if it is Tonbridge it’ll be a “meh” exercise. Why not Dartford? Or even Dover? Same level, but somewhere fresh to go to.

OK, being a Conference side (ooh, that feels good to write that) you obviously can’t arrange PSFs against your own division. Getting League sides down isn’t so easy and you’re effectively left with regional Conference sides who aren’t going to inspire or indeed become massive tests. That said, I would have expected a Woking or a Slutton or even a Chelmsford. Something with a bit of a reason to attend anyway.

The one that appeals most of all (of the announced ones thus far) is Farnborough. We went there many, many moons ago in the CCL days and it appears we’ve lost Matt Pattison to them as well. Remember his “come and get me” plea in the local paper? Does seem they’re splashing the green stuff about (no, not snot), which needless to say had no effect on their fall from grace last time. I get the impression that will be one of those hot August days where we end up winning 4-0 and you spend the journey home wondering where 606 is.

The other thing that pops out at me is how few of them there seems to be. Then again, how many did we have last season? I think last year felt a lot more because we had a fair few “trial” games.  I think that’s what’s missing – the games against a Merton side, a Met Police, a former Ryman One rival. I expect that we’ll announce a few more down the road. I certainly hope we would.

Then again, if they were anything like Met Police last year, perhaps it’s best we don’t have any scheduled…

Whilst I’m here, good to see we’re about to break the 2150 season ticket mark. When you consider that Wrexham have sold 1400 or so, it does give you an idea of the potential we have.

Pity anyone who ends up in the John Smiths stand though. Isn’t the idea of being in a big boys league that you’re supposed to give the away fans the shit bit?