Skip to content

Boss Drum Perhaps the most popular function in AFCW’s pre-season calendar off-pitch is the Meet The Manager soiree that we hold around about this time every year. The 2010 version was no different, and with pen and notepad in hand, your editor practiced his shorthand/longhand technique and gave himself a sore wrist in the process.

After 15 pages worth of notes, and in a stuffy KM main bar area, the fun begun.

Order Tramadol Fedex Overnight Firstly, we were introduced to the Dutch fan who’s been on something called the James Corden World Cup show on a wall or something. Me, I only watched it whenever Shakira or Katy Perry came on. Anyway, it turns out he’s an AFCW season ticket holder, and will be (or by the time you read this on Friday evening) doing a shoot for ITV in his bedroom. Needless to say, a few bits of merchandise may find its way in it…

TB took the mic and stated that he wanted Spain to win the World Cup, as it was “not the proper Holland”. As a coach, it was a good World Cup because of the way that teams could cancel each other out. As a spectator though, it was pretty boring. Almost effortlessly, we sailed into the new players we got (note, the actual players we’ve signed, not the triallists). We don’t have players of financial stature, unlike certain other clubs in this division.

TB was “chuffed” to have Andre Blackman, who basically shouldn’t be playing at this level. And in a good way. However, as we all know he’s had his issues, although the phrase was “messed up”. Basically, you can’t get him off the training pitch – first one on, last one off, in other words. Age wise, he’s a Prem/Championship level player, but he’s never really been involved in anything. By that, he’s always been on the fringes – he plays midweek in front of puny crowds in the reserves and gets weekends to get into trouble (which is often the case with a lot of those in his age group). With us, he will play in front of crowds of 3k plus, at weekends, and we’re effectively trying to keep him out of grief. Oh, and he’s quick and a bit Hussey-esque. You get the feeling that TB and everyone want him to succeed, and while no promises were made about taming him, it’s clear we took a risk on him and are looking to nurture him properly. Then, onto Ismail. He’s another quick one, leads  by example and somebody very high on our list. As we will be playing 4-3-3 next season, he will be an important part of that. Simon Minshull was next, aka SW19’s favourite signing. No, really. According to our man in charge, Minshull is a “proper Essex/Kent boy”, whatever that means. He’s not a great passer of the ball, but he’s a cruncher in the midfield. Gives 100% and all that, but he did give up a chartered surveying job with half the wages to become a pro footballer. I’m still in doubt about why we signed him, but then I thought the same about Mr R Wellard too.

Order Tramadol Cod Only Rashid Yussuff, aka Toks. Bit of an unknown quantity, another quick one, with a left foot like a wand, apparently. But he’s two footed, which usually helps. Not afraid to have a go. Mark Nwokeji is a real bundle of energy, can play up front or behind. Or something. And Christian Jolley has to come on but has a big heart. All in all, although you would expect him to say that, TB seems pretty happy with who he’s managed to get in.

Which led us onto scouting. Unlike other clubs he’s been at/known. we’re very good at knowing why we do scouting (some of the stories I’ve personally heard about it is gobsmackingly negligent by clubs), and it appears we’ll be putting more into that. Which considering budgets etc is something we’re going to rely on being sharp. Anyway, we employ two at the moment, one to look for new talent and one to look at upcoming opponents. May possibly be more employed in the upcoming period, I do know we’re branching out up North. A question was asked about the Fair Play award, or as TB preferred to call it the Best Discipline Award. He cited Derek Duncan’s red mist whenever he got booked, suggesting he was “hard work”. DK on the other hand was (and is) the total opposite – certainly no soft touch, but how many times does he get booked? Very important, especially with a small squad. Anyway, DK is captain as we all know – he asked to be captain, got it, and was the first to put pen to paper. Can’t say he hasn’t earnt it. Predictions for next season? Luton, because they have everything in place – they’ve hardly sold anyone and have indeed improved. That said, Richard Money is under considerable pressure to perform – like Oxford last year, who threw the kitchen sink at finally going up again. As for AFCW, although our budget is dwarfed by the likes of Luton and now Crawley, it’s still a pretty big one – we ain’t paying peanuts. We’re able to look for better training facilities, for example.

Order Tramadol 180 Tabs Then comes the thorny question of the much maligned Sam Hatton. From memory, while he hasn’t quite found his best position he can get to a higher level playing as a right back. The change of system is also likely to suit Luke Moore too. In fact, we have about 6/7 players who can operate in a variety of positions, though our biggest concern is if Andre Blackman gets injured at left back. We never fully replaced Hussey, and it killed Brett Johnson’s game when he had to play there (though didn’t he also have an injury?). There’s a possibility that Rashid could settle in there, though these triallists we have in could also do the job. TB also praised our u19 coach Mark Robinson, and we could have some decent prospects coming through in a couple of years time thanks to him. Some will be on display at Sandhurst tomorrow, so if you can get down there, do so. When asked about Kennedy, it was considered that he was “too good to let go” but he was in Gregory’s role. And Gregory was better at his own position than Kennedy was, basically. In fact, young Steven got a fair amount of praise – after playing for England “C”, Paul Fairclough phoned up TB and said that Gregory should be in the FL. Things went off at a tangent here, before they eventually got back to poor Mr Adjei. Basicially, the Slutton manager and a certain Jason Goodliffe were instrumental in him going to Gander Green Lane, and as Slutton paid the money in full for him we cannot recall him back in 2010/11.

As for this tangent, it was about the philosophy of how we do transfers. We are an “honest” club, selling players always ultimately rests with our manager, we’re not a “selling club”, and our contracts are always 1 year plus 1 year, not two years. Boring bit about tactics now. We’re playing 4-3-3, with one holding player (Gregory). It’s not easy to switch play because everyone is pressing/squeezing so much. Our aim this pre-season is to get everyone in the squad to know how to play 4-3-3 before we introduce some subtlties. We need a “ratter” in midfield (ie somebody who acts like a rat, always scurrying), and we will be spending a lot of time doing some rather robotic drills in training a la Fulham. Mention was made about those mannequins that you see about. Apparently, at some points this past week the mannequins had rather nifty ball control… One thing that really came clear was how much TB is pleased that we’ve gone full time. Last season and many other seasons before that, we basically trained one Thursday a week. When we got the bad weather over Xmas, we had to cancel 9 sessions. Now, as a full time side that would be bad enough, but when training is limited enough as it is… A cursory glance at our results when the bad weather started seemed to back that up.

Online Tramadol Prescription The big clubs like Luton pay over £1m in wages, and ours are a third of that (which are very similar to what WFC were paying in the 1986/87 season, first one in the top flight). However, we have invested a lot – Mike Rayner is full time with us now, and people like Yakubu are apparently impressed with how well we look after our players. We train as much as we did last season – back then, the players came in every single night without pay – but we now have proper nutrition, and we can have more specialist training (Marcus Gayle comes in and does the training for the forwards, for example). Our actual playing budget is less, but the benefits far outweigh that. Benefits, we’re told, will start coming into public view after Xmas.

Indeed, we do things like ice baths which often don’t happen elsewhere. TB also praised the efforts for the fundraising of the new heart monitors. They may sound gimmicky, but it means that we can track which players are blowing out of their arse and need to do something different. For example, Mike Rayner may go to TB during a training session and say that Jon Main is performing at his maximum and needs to do something less strenuous. Obviously, we couldn’t have done that by training just once a week, but even as a full time side we wouldn’t have got that without the Velo and Blue ride up to Gateshead.

Ultram Tramadol Online What also happens is that the players take said monitors home, so they can be monitored if they’re eating and training right. Needless to say, mention was made that their collective heart rates spiked to their maximum for “1 to 2 minutes each night”. In Danny Kedwell’s case though, it’s because he has a photo of his curler in front of all those people at Kenilworth Road above his bedroom door…

Tramadol Online United States After a much needed 10 minute break, we came back. TB was asked about our goalkeepers, and expressed his high hopes for both of them. Experienced keepers cost a lot, although we can get help from people like Fulham – our reputation is very good with them, and the League clubs are desperate to give their players enough playing time. It didn’t seem like there was any concern over that position, although nobody asked about James “Fuck Off” Pullen. All the players are lifting weights, and TB’s retained list relied on stats collated throughout the season as much as anything. We were going to keep 12 players, next season we will aim to keep around 15 (I think). TB does expect us up the higher end of the table again, and to do better in the FAT.

It appears that Millwall came to us for a PSF, as we were considered good preparation. That and the fact that we took the most away fans ever to the New Den (though next time we play we’ll probably be limited as much as Leeds are). Exeter too invited us down to SJP, and at an important stage of the pre-season calendar too. There was a clear sense of pride about announcing these snippets of info, especially when Ivor Heller reminisced about talking to Neal Ardley before a recent AFCW do and how jealous he (Ardley, not Ivor) was of the KM pitch. We have a decent relationship with Charlton too, and we’re hoping to get two of their loanees for this season. Nothing you didn’t really know already. Also something not particularly earth shattering – when asked about Hutchinson, TB said that although he was high up on the list, when Yak came along and we went for him instead. Though TB did hint that Hutchinson was a little bit slow in committing himself to us… Indeed, the comment about why stories appear in the press about named players (see SW19’s previous post to see this in action) was raised. Basically, they get mentioned because it gets their name – and ours – in print. It’s basically the old trick your editor was taught at Trinity Mirror Southern : to get more people buying your paper, mention as many names in the article as possible, so that they (or their family) buys it. The guy from the SLP was praised for his digging, sometimes even finding out players that TB himself didn’t know he was persuing…

As for those we have not only persued but in fact taken on trial : they usually come recommended by agents, though sometimes the players themselves send DVDs of themselves. We get a lot of good young professionals wanting a chance – about 10 a day – but obviously due to budget and just fitting in with our requirements we have to send them away (often they will come good in about 2 years time, but sadly we cannot wait that long). To put it in perspective – remember that trialist game at the end of last season, as mentioned on here? Of the 22 players that day, only one has been asked to come back. Next season, our travel arrangements will be to go up early on the Friday night and train at a pro club (Tranmere is the choice for Southport, as Liverpool doesn’t appear to be available).

Finally, in an increasingly sweltering Main Bar, Marcus Gayle’s work with the reserves will be even more important now. Both Ryan Jackson and Matt Harmsworth are chomping at the bit, although they’re likely to have another season primarily in the stiffs. But like last season, as soon as an injury occurs they’ll be on the bench. And TB himself stated that he’s not frightened to put them in at the deep end…

Overall, this was an enjoyable two hours. The questions were sensible, and precious little rambling. It didn’t seem to drag like it occasionally does. Turnout was over 100 people, which especially pleased the club, and by the looks of it the merchandise was selling well too. Reading back, there was nothing strikingly radical or eye-opening. TB is clearly happy we’ve gone full time, and I imagine that most doubters (that is, those who think we should have waited another year) have been won over. Unlike last year, where we were collectively shitting ourselves over playing Luton, that novelty factor has subsided. There seems more of a sober professionalism now, and the club seems more comfortable in being that than I expect it’s ever been since those embryonic days in 2002.

One thing is certainly clear – TB himself has a good number here at AFCW. As somebody put it to me afterwards, it’s not like he’s under any pressure…