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Amber Pura

Do I have to do something about Sluts 1 Prudes 1? Really? Can’t I take this evening off and leave you to fill in the gaps?

Or even better, can’t I just supply you with the FA Amateur Cup final in 1963 and pretend it’s from today?

No? Bastards…

While I write this, our reserves Developement team are in Guernsey, so if you’re following that instead it’s more likely to be better than this today. This is the other side of pre-season friendlydom. The one where we didn’t get out of second gear, and at times I was convinced we struggled to find first.

OK, we got a penalty, they possibly should have had one. We hit the post a couple of times. They were better in the second half, and we weren’t. And their goal was decent. And OK, we started getting into spaces and finding a few things etc etc.

But really, this was meh.

And I think it makes you realise just what pre-season friendlies are really for, and it’s not to be entertained by them. I’ve seen this game described as a training game, and when both BJ and Stuart look ordinary in a game, you realise the standard you’ve been watching.

Seriously, I’m not going to waste your time and mine dwelling on this. Sure somebody else with a higher boredom threshold can do a writeup on the contest. I’m bailing…

Plus points: We scored.

Minus points: Zzzzzzzzzz

The referee’s a…: Managed to miss a penalty of theirs, managed to get a few decisions wrong for us too. Maybe he was as non-plussed as the rest of us?

Them: Gave us a guard of honour, which was very classy of them. Seemed to enjoy us being down there too. I think they wanted it more than we did, as it showed at times. Oh, and their starting goalkeeper really was a unit and a half, wasn’t he? Suppose he went off because he had to be the doorman for that ropey looking nightclub by Wilkinsons in Sutton.

Point to ponder: Is it wrong to reminisce about some of the shittier pre-seasons we’ve had over the years? The two that spring to mind have been the Met Police one from our time before the Conf South season (full of triallists, so awful I refused to even do a match report for it), and Aldershot in the DA days. Reading back that one, I was really trying to convince myself wasn’t I? And this was the pre-season before Darlogate, so I really wish I hadn’t opined that it was going to be the most interesting season in some time…

The moral of this is that pre-seasons really have nothing to do with the regular season. I’m sure you can go back over the years we’ve had them, and pick out some right duffers even in title/playoff winning seasons. The only thing that really matters from them is the vibe you get from the squad, and while I think we have promise, I expect us not to be planning travel to the away leg of the playoff semis somehow.

Truth is stranger than fiction: Their mascot was a giraffe. Mind you, perhaps we ought to sign him/her/it up front just to give us a bit of height? Hell, put a real life giraffe in, at least it won’t slap in a transfer request after its close season sojourn to the zoo. Not unless we cut down the trees around KM that is.

Anything else? This time next week will be just after the last PSF and it’s into competitive action. Scary, really. One thing though – right now, Oxford are in the USA and so are Port Vale. This time next year (providing we escape the drop), can we have something resembling a pre-season tour please?

The States may be out of the question, but somewhere like Scotland (which clubs at this level seem to do semi-regularly) or even on the continent would do us. I wonder if the players are as non-plussed at who they’re up against this time round – and yes, I know it’s to do with the Carling Cup prelim bollocks – which might make it harder to motivate them to push up to that next level fitness/sharpness wise.

Somewhere like Belgium or Germany have some decent standard amateur teams who would give us a decent workout – Colchester are playing in the Netherlands – and if we like to think our name is as widely known as we want to believe, we shouldn’t get too much trouble in arranging some games.

Our second string are currently in Guernsey, so we do at least know where the airport is. And anyway, your editor has never been to Holland…

So, was it worth it? It’s pre-season, thankfully.

In a nutshell: Roll on Beckenham on Tuesday. Please.