It was 10 years ago today…..

….. that I wrote the very first words for a brand new webzine called SW19’s ARMY. Here they are, reproduced a decade to the day:

The story until now….

Right, bearing in mind I’ve only just started doing this, I’ll do a brief recap of what’s going on….. in case you’ve been living in a place where news travels slowly, like up North for example, you will notice that we have a new manager, he is the ex-Norway and Valarenga manager Egil “Drillo” Olsen, and the man is a deity. Why? Because he says how much he loves us etc etc, and the fact that he got Norway to the World Cup in 1994 and 1998 using our style of tactics. Of course, he’s going to get slaughtered by the press for bringing back “primitive” tactics back to the hypefest called the Premiership, but then he’s probably not glamourous enough for them. Tossers

Robbie Earle has got an MBE, for services to charity, the Football Taskforce, his family, his parents, the Jamacian population and the whole black community. Oh and WFC as well. Surprising, no doubt, and some may even wonder why he’s got one, but if Alex Ferguson can get a knighthood, and Tony Adams can get one for being an ex-pisshead, surely the clean living Earle of Robert can get something. Whatever the reasons, nice going Robbie.

Chris Perry, former West Bank stalwart and shortarse Wimbledon defender is wanted by a bunch of cunts with a giant cock as their mascot, commonly known as Tottenham Hospice, or Spurz. Anyway, they want somebody up with R. Sol Campbell, and so they have offered £5.5m for Perry’s services. Now, I have two schools of thought on this: the first is Perry shouldn’t go, because he’s a true Womble, one of us etc etc, and to join a club that is the total anthesis of WFC is nothing short of sacriledge, and the second is that he definitely ain’t worth £5.5m, he was a little crap last year and we can easily get some Norge defenders out of that. My money’s on the latter, because CP has said that “the only medals I’ve got are from my Sunday League days and I want to win trophies and get an England place”. So why go to N17 then? More likely the money…still, let’s hope if he signs he manages to score loads of own goals for them.

And finally, we’ve got a new shirt sponsor. Tiny Computers. Yes, Tiny Computers. As in total shite company with wank support and wank quality. Guess they’ve decided that WFC would be the ideal club for them then. Of course, the name is bound to work against us. No doubt there will be some “funny” comment that it refers to the size of the crowd, or that the thought of John Hartson wearing one will be mirth-inducing. Likewise, I’m sure people will refuse to buy one because it may be a reference to the size of ones genetalia. Personally, I think it refers to the collective brain power of Wimbledon FC Marketing department.

Looking back, those words seemed ever so headstrong didn’t they? Guess I was young and pissed off back then. Now, I’m just pissed off.

It’s hard to think that ten years after those first tentative steps I would be seeing us about to embark on the Conference and look forward to it. Back on 11th June 1999, Wimbledon FC were at Selhurst, had been struggling and were ready to welcome Drillo to WFC. Like many I thought he was the answer. To this day, I still believe he was the right man at the wrong time.

This site launched with a pretty turbulent backdrop. Ten years ago, we were having to deal with Sam Hammam, Selhurst Park, Reg Davis, Chelsea (then spelt Celsi because of the Italian influence there), piss-poor turnouts especially for away games, cost of entrance, Carl Cort etc etc. They were tough times but certainly exciting. Come to think of it, they were innocent times in retrospect.

We’ve lived through a lot, probably too much for something that after all should just be our hobby. That’s probably why I don’t want to reminisce a bit too much. We have after all been through every single emotion possible, first hand.

I look at SW19 with a bit of a sense of pride, mostly amazement but with some bitterness attached too.

Pride is because, well, I’ve done well to build this site up. It even got mentioned on Talksport once, though it was used as a counter-opinion in an interview with Dave Anderson. And I thought I was one to defend him.

I’ll be honest, it is nice when people say how much they like reading what I’ve done. OK, you get a couple of cock jockeys, but believe it or not the amount of complaints I’ve had about this place in the past decades is only in single figures. Guess I must have honed my writing skills to such sheer perfection that my eloquence repels all known snipers and critics. Either that or I scare the shit out of them.

But yes, there is some bitterness from this past decade too. For all that happens to AFCW, and what has happened before, I would still rather be talking about the upcoming fixture list with trips to Crewe and Huddersfield. It’s only this upcoming Conference campaign that I can go back to what I call proper football supporting.

If you were to ask me whether I would have swapped the last ten years to have kept WFC (even one that could have ironically been facing Conference football this very season) I would say “yes” quicker than it took for you to finish the question. I’m not one who agrees with the notion that we’re better off out of pro football. Yes, entrance fees and the other shit that goes along with football in the League are things we haven’t had to put up with.

But I would have preferred that we didn’t need to restart AFCW in the first place. At times, writing up stuff for this place has been nigh on impossible  for the reason why I think it’s lasted ten years. Football is a game where you feel things, and it has to be said, it’s very very difficult to feel when you’re playing against Dulwich Hamlet.  At times I think the match reports have reflected that attitude. Christ, I couldn’t really get into being rivals with Chelmsford.

Am I in a minority of one? Probably. Or am I…?

Still, I suppose we’ve done our seven years of pennance now and we go back to how we were.  That’s probably the most amazing thing about SW19 today and SW19 from ten years ago – the more things change, the more they stay the same, as somebody famous once said.

One of, if not the main, reasons I set up SW19 was to challenge existing viewpoints and attitudes where I felt they were, ahem, misguided. Or to be more accurate, total bollocks.  Ten years ago, people were kissing Hammam’s arse as an olympic sport, and were being softly browbeaten into accepting life forever more at Shitehurst. Not to mention shit marketing in our own back yard.

Today? Well, we’re still in another team’s stadium (is that a can marked “worms” I hear getting opened?). I think too many of our fans are too ideological about us being a “fans club” and ownership. I do think that funding will be the major issue of the next ten years, and that some people are being distainful or even fearful of us becoming a “proper” football club. We will need to be just a tad flexible and act how the world of football is, and not how we want it to be.

Oh, and there’s the little possibility that in the next ten years, we will face off against them. The Franchise. The cunts. The disease. As much as I want them to go bust, I expect they’ll be in existance in a decade’s time. And I’m going to call it now – our games with them will be the most eagerly sought after ticket from our own fans. And at their place too.

So, it looks like SW19 will be facing the next decade with new challenges to get its teeth into. Just like in 1999. A sense of walking into the unknown, but with excitement too. Just like in 1999. Issues with transfers and lazy bastard players with shit attitudes lie ahead. Just like in 1999.

And the editor still moaning about something that everyone else ignores in about five consecutive match reports. Just like in…..