Strange, innit? I sit here, having digested AFCW 1 AFCW 2 and I feel a bit, well, weird. It’s now going to be two months until the next game, which means 8 weeks of not mingling with any of the SW19 readership (I could try and be sociable I suppose and actually make the effort to meet people). And yet, I don’t feel so much sadness but relief. Relief that we have secured our place in history. Relief that the players won’t have to bust a gut now for a few Saturdays (and the occasional midweeker). Relief that we’re no longer on the bottom rung of English football. And, most telling of all, relief that we can now sit down in the summer, watch Euro 2004, and not worry about share issues, or fighting against relocation, or stuff like that.
Basically, we can now worry about things that normal football fans can worry about. How will we fare next season? Who’s going to be our new manager? What players will he bring in? What pre-season friendlies have been arranged? And, if you’re a fan of a non league team, what division will we be put in next season?
This season has been the most rewarding and at the same time the most energy sapping one going. To win a double in your second season of existance, remaining unbeaten in the league and still looking like we could go a couple of steps further forward is something. And that’s why I’m really looking forward to next season (bet it’s a pile of shite now), for this team CAN go the extra mile.
I have to admit that the excitement of possibly playing the likes of T&M, Fisher and Bumley Bromley will surpass this season, winning trophies notwithstanding. This will be more of a challenge, certainly more our level, and we’ve got the confidence now that I think we didn’t have a year ago. For years, the big occasions always made us choke, and now I know we can get through them.
Also, on a personal level, I really realise the power of sport. Some people might get that, and understand why I said that. Most of you probably won’t. I’ll leave it at that. I think I’m going to take up golf in the summer, according to a couple of people who saw me in action in Cleethorpes once I think I might do OK….
As for the game? Actually, I wasn’t really paying attention to it. All I know is that I missed the first goal of ours. Wallies struck a seriously good free kick which made it 1-1. The game was basically a load of nothing, until everyone’s favourite Hun Ginge made it 2-1 for us, with what looked like a ever-so-slightly-massive deflection.
The best bit was of course at the end, all the celebrations, laps of honour, trophy waving bit. But the most poignant moment came when all the players saw TE and made a beeline for him. Loads of hand shaking, couple of tears shed, and your humble/esteemed editor was right in the middle of it. Coincidentally, it appears that TE won’t be coming back to AFCW ever again – on speaking to somebody, the quote was “the door is closed”. Real shame, but considering all circumstances, it’s probably for the best all round. At least he was there….
So, for the last time this season…..
Plus points: Beating Wallingford. Away. I don’t need to add anything else. Except for Keith Ward getting a nice send-off. He deserves it after his distinguished 20 year career, despite most of us not knowing what he did for the first 18 years of them.
Minus points: Look, other people were complaining about our defence as well. So it’s not just me. With luck, next season I can give this bit over to crappy ref decisions and shite weather.
The referee’s a…..: From all accounts, he was a little bit shit. In fact, he was accused of trying to give the game to the Wallies.
Them: Considering it was their home game, they were very quiet. One of their programme sellers pounced on me and explained that the game at Hithercroft could have been off due to the weather recently. BTW, wasn’t it rubbing it in just a tad when they got their RUNNERS UP medals on the pitch? What with the singing of “AFC Wimbledon” and “We’ll never play you again” coming from the West Bank as well. All we needed was a rendition over the PA of the Laughing Policeman….
Spotted: Anyone see the British National Party leafleting outside KM today? Were they actively targeting us or was it just a general sweep of the area, and we happened to be there? As far as I know, Wimbledon has never been a “political” type of club, and while like every other club we have an element who could be BNP material, such canvassing at our games is few and far between (did the NF try at Plough Lane in the 1970s?). Not too sure if they got very far…
All heroes in Yellow and Blue: All hail Syd Neal. And Stewart Evans. And Roger Joseph. And Gary Elkins. And Lurch. And any other player who turned up.
Point to ponder: Was it only me who wasn’t that surprised at it only being 3785? I say “only” but when the talk was of 4k+ it could have been considered a little disappointing. To be honest, the weather sucked (it didn’t half get cold), there was really nothing to play for and it was an away game. And we all know what happens at away games, don’t we?
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) KC proposing to his bird on the centre circle. Despite cries of “Don’t do it” by plenty of the male members of our support – the females kept quiet for some reason – she said yes. I presume we’re invited to the wedding. (2) Quite a few Chelski shirts about. Obviously wanted to see the team that plays in SW London who can win trophies. (3) Phillo’s suit really looked iffy on him. He looked like a 50 year old civil servant.
Hello Mum: So, which male Womble came dressed in womens clothing that made him look like a cheap hooker? At least if he needed money for the cab fare home, he could sell his arse for 50p. And the St Pauli contingent came over again. Shame I missed them, I could have bored excited them with my knowledge of the legendary Lokomotiv Leipzig.
Anything else? Yeah, didn’t the CCL bloke sound chuffed? Got a nice round of applause….
So, was it worth it? I’m not answering that.
In a nutshell: So, who are we playing next week? Oh….
And finally: OK, it may be the end of the season, but SW19 isn’t closing down totally for the summer. The polls will still be running (no EOSP this year though), there’s still plenty of Franchise bashing to be done. There is at least one article in the pipeline, and when I have significantly regained my sense of humour again I will try and do more funny articles. Just like the olden days. I will try and sort the bloody archive out once and for all (nobody wants to do it for me do they?). There is the small matter of what division we’ll be playing in. So whatever you do, keep checking here regularly. You might miss something. And anyway, this summer sees the 5th birthday of SW19’s ARMY…….