And that’s the close season gone…

So, the League Rumbelows Worthington Coca Cola Carabao Cup draw has been made, and for once we’ve finally been drawn at home. To Brentford, no less.

It’s a tie that actually has a bit of a buzz (sorry) to it, local derby, and perhaps something winnable. Although your editor watched the Bees a few times last season, and was quite impressed with them.

That was then, and it will be a new campaign. That said, I would like us to finally do something in this tournament, even just getting through to the second round, because our cup form is genuinely pathetic.

It wouldn’t be so bad if they were all heroic efforts, but the closest we came was last season. And you can thank Ryan Clarke for that.

They did the draw in Thailand, due to the sponsors, and no doubt Shaun Harvey has been to a couple of those places in Bangkok. I was going to suggest ping-pong balls for the draw, though given what else that country is known for, two more balls might have confused things even more…

(and yes, they really did draw out Charlton’s name twice).

Anyway, there has been other news since the last update. No, really. Firstly, I’m away from this Sunday and get back just before the Meet The Manager shindig, although I’m touch and go on whether I turn up for that.

Normal(ish) service will resume for Eastleigh, anyway, so enjoy the mental health break of the close season for a while longer.

As you all know by now, Deji Oshilaja is back, proving it’s easier to get better players in L1 than L2. Read the now infamous** Meet The Manager from 2015, especially this bit:

The inevitable question about Deji came up. And no, we didn’t offer him £200k, if we had that sort of money we wouldn’t go for him.

Needless to say, NA would love him back – he’s not gone on tour with Cardiff, but a couple of L1 clubs are very interested in him. We’re looking to conclude our remaining business within ten days (ie before La Manga), and the possibility of him returning is slim.

** – infamous, because it was our boss going full-on Dr Ardcox, which lasted about a game and a half in real fixtures against real teams. Still, the season eventually ended up OK…

From memory, he was somebody who we would loved to have kept back then, and you hope that like Appiah, he’s able to turn the clock back. Again, it’s another former player, and usual SW19 comment on that applies.

That said, with Robbo likely going to play less of a role next season, and Nightingale still likely to get injured by falling over a milk bottle, it’s not a bad place to make an addition.

Speaking of defenders, Sean Kelly has gone back up to Scotland. From the little I saw of him last season, he wasn’t too bad, but he was always likely to move on if chilly Jockoland came calling. Like Callum Kennedy before him, he didn’t do too much wrong, and his presence next season wouldn’t have upset people.

The confirmation of Tom Elliott departing isn’t really news, and he did seem very grateful of his time with us. Whether he’ll be a squad player at Millwall remains to be seen, I suspect he won’t start as many games as he did with us, and we’re still left with a hole up front.

Come to think of it, we’re still short in a few areas. The goalie situation in particular has the potential to be yet another clusterfuck if we’re not careful, and I’m still having visions of James Shea returning to us just before the first PSF.

Be honest – that wouldn’t be an entire surprise either.

Guess we’ll wait and see. NA is being patient with bringing in other players (and presumably ousting a couple of bedblockers…), and considering there’s going to be a lot of unemployed talent come July 1st, it’s best to hold off at the moment.

Finally, I see they’re relaunching the We Are Wimbledon Fund again. I’m sure this happens every close season, or it seems like it. True, NPL will be taking a lot more out of the piggy bank, and Erik Samuelson doesn’t send out fundraising emails for kicks.

TBH I think these sort of fundraisers never quite hit the mark as much as they’re supposed to. OK, every little helps and all that, but for this latest relaunch, they might be doing it at a bad time.

You just need to look at the financial pages to see why – squeezed incomes, prices getting higher, and if you’re a saver – interest rates are as shocking as Tyrone Barnett’s goalscoring record. Spare cash is starting to become a lot less spare after all.

And that’s the trouble with all these types of fundraising – you need people to be feeling a bit more flush than they currently are. The here-have-twenty-quid syndrome, if you will, which becomes harder once wallets start tightening.

There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting our fans are cutting back full stop – we all know somebody who “doesn’t go to as many games as they used to”, even if they’re just cutting out a trip to Swindon.

It’s still money they’re not prepared to shell out for something that is – and this point often gets overlooked within the AFCW bubble – ultimately a hobby for people.

At the end of the day, AFCW is (very) important to a lot of people, but it’s not the be-all-and-end-all. This latest relaunch will likely raise some money, but to expect a significant boost is, in all likelyhood, optimistic.

We’re getting in money for yoof player transfers, and one could argue that’s more effective than yet another fundraising drive. The club is slowly relearning that teams in our position have to sell to survive.

Plus, I suspect those who continue to plough money into WAWF will probably be the very same people who always will do it, even if they’re down to their last tenner. Perhaps they should be given a veto on who we sign? After all, if we’re shelling out big wages on shit…

Anyway, on that thought, I’m out of here until the Eastleigh game. Maybe we’ll have signed a keeper by then?

7 thoughts to “Beesotted”

  1. Brentford might tempt me… generally found this competition and the oppo a bit underwhelming in the past.

    I was wondering if you were waiting on posting this until we had another signing as this competition draw had passed me by until ping pong was mentioned…half expected Boris Johnson to be involved.

    I guess we are going to have to be patient on matters.

    Regarding fundraising, it feels a bit like charity in contributing to this sort of scheme; dont take me the wrong way in that I think it is worthwhile but well …. doesn’t excite me to part with my cash.

    Maybe its either a touch of cynicism or too many years of cough dosh for very little return that I fell a bit mheh. Give us or the contributors something in return and I think your participation rises.

    Certainly the Dons Draw is a lot more easy to justify to her indoors than a free shell out albeit she’s noticed how often the same people seem to win 😉

    Maybe this incentive idea is being held off for the big financial push for NPL… I suppose the danger is without a swelling of the coffers for the playing staff we might not be in league 1 when we arrive.

    Better go check the back of the sofa then …

    Have a good holiday Rob!

  2. Rob – have a great trip. Hope to catch you in NY for a quick pint.

    Are you planning to watch an Orlando City game when you are over? They average over 25000 a match and so could be worth checking out!

  3. New signings. Meh. We are short of goals this coming season.
    From the release list, old ars Championship keeper required as we will be right under the cosh.
    And a new keeper coach (ffs-don’t let him scout any more keepers. Mannion didn’t want to train with him and Bursik looking for another club-don’t listen to the football bullsh-t “bayzo a lad/great guy”-no young player can say anything other).
    Will be delighted to stay up this season unless St Neal pulls a couple of rabbits out the hat in the next few weeks that can dig out mid table for us.

  4. WAWF is a very honourable initiative – but now we’re in L1, with the amounts of money involved, in terms of income and expenditure, it makes less of an impact than it did when it really was/would be part of the wheelhouse in L2 (and if we ever plummet for whatever reason, the Conference).
    Every little bit helps tho.
    Perhaps we’re finally entering the stage where the club realises it does have to give a little bit in return: q.v. the DT membership (non-existent) package, discounts at club shop for ‘loyal customers’. We don’t have an issue with bums-on-seats right now, but at NPL we will be able to offer more inducements and packages, for new Wombles and first-timers/family packs etc. At least I hope so.
    Also, one decent transfer of a young talent to a top club would blow WAWF’s contribution for several years out of the water. As tbh would one crappy dead-weight signing *cough*
    But for sure, right now, it’s a case of muddling along with things like WAWF to make that little difference.

  5. Erik’s message to fans re digging deep (again) into our pockets had the feeling more of a plea than a request.

    Clearly NPL is a becoming a financial drain on the club, especially as we haven’t even struck a blow yet re construction.

    I’m very happy with our two signings to date but I suspect that we will now need to sell before we buy if they are to be decent signings. Bursik is a cert to be flogged off I’d say and he’d have to be worth £200K if Mannion was worth £100K.

    I’d say we’ve got three critical signings that will require additional funding – a keeper, midfielder and striker (for Barnett). £200K would probably just get us there but we’ll have a squad that is threadbare from the off. If a genuine rebuild is on then we’ll need to sell Reeves or LTB

    1. If anyone wants them … haven’t heard strong rumours etc like with Elliot.
      Think Erik plea is as much not to forget thus and what it stands and goes too as much as trying to convince others to join.
      Another signing about now would be good ….

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