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Twenty-twenty-twenty-four hours to go…

… I really do want to be sedated.


Exciting isn’t it? Just think, at 7.45pm tomorrow we’ll be back in Proper Footballâ„¢ and all that it entails. Teams you have heard of with stadia you know about playing in tournaments that don’t need further explaining.

Shame it’s this poxy Carling Cup prelim bollocks at Crawley though.

Considering it’s a competitive fixture, it doesn’t really appear it’s caught the imagination, has it? Even SSN’s coverage of Crawley has shown Steve Evans concentrating on their first League game against, er, whoever it is they’re playing. Bet it pisses them off our game against Brizzle Rovers is getting televised…

The thing is, this game is the worst of all worlds. It’s actually an important fixture because of the possible trip to Selhurst. It’s at Broadfield where we are notoriously crap at the best of times, and it’s against a not-particularly-beloved opponent. And one that isn’t respected enough to even bother to make the effort to go and hate. Although many are put off by the thought of giving £16 to a side that still hasn’t fully disclosed its backers.

It’s impossible to predict this game simply because we are, as TB says, still a good week or so away from full match fitness. Just as the last game at Crawley was a shit sandwich, this one could end up sucking in a different way. We haven’t lost a game since that last pile of whale wank but you do fear the worse…

But should we? I know you can’t base pre-season form on anything, especially those against Conf South/Ryman sides – and let’s hope that doesn’t come back to bite us on the arse – and the games we have played against better opponents than us have ironically been the best two so far.

We’ve shown promise despite not being out of first gear on the odd occasion. At T&M on Tuesday, our not-exactly-a-first-team was pretty comfortable for the most part, and apart from Slutton there’s been nothing to suggest we’re going to significantly struggle. Granted, we still need that one additional striker, and tomorrow we’ll still see the odd reminder that it’s still effectively pre-season, but who knows what will happen?

I guess what I want tomorrow as a bare minimum is that we play well and look like we’ll be a unit. A win would be great, and be a nice little psychological boost for the rest of the week. If we lose, as long as we lose well (by that, I don’t mean a 4-0 gubbing) the pain of defeat won’t  be too bad. What I don’t want is a Slutton type tossfest as that will put us on the wrong foot at the worse time. And it’s too early in the year to listen to the local bandwaggoners mocking us for losing Kedwell…

Still, we’re continuously looking at this replacement for our former number nine (who hasn’t yet scored for Gillingham by the way who hasn’t been barnstorming in pre-season as of yet…), and TB’s comments this morning are nothing you haven’t heard throughout this summer.

Of course, you tend not to think about the usual “looking to hold further talks” type phrases, but instead the possibility of getting in Jason Euell. I’ll be honest – I’m not 100% convinced about getting him in. Forget the retro bit for now, I’ll come back to that in a minute. He’s 34, he’ll likely want a wage that will probably make him the highest earner at the club, his goals-to-game ratio hasn’t been that special since 2006, and he’s currently training with (and scoring for) Charlton. This isn’t the no-brainer signing that Marcus Gayle was.

If he wasn’t called Jason Euell, would we want him on those stats? A few might, most probably wouldn’t.

But he’s Jason Euell. Jason Euell. The new Pele, according to the Lebanese camel shagger, which doomed him to failure from the off. Sod the cost, you may think, think of the PR coup it would bring. Think of the kudos of getting in somebody who played in the Prem last season. Think of the feel-good factor.

Think of the memories…

Nostaliga isn’t what it used to be of course, but then we’ve always needed that crutch at AFCW. Even as we approach Proper Footballâ„¢ again, it’s still a reminder of how deep the wounds of 28/5 still are. Re-signing Jason Euell is just another little psychological boost and one more little segment of WFC that will get retrieved and placed firmly in AFCW’s ribcrushing bosom.

It’s understandable that we “look back” more than most – it’s not because it’s an acceptance that the club in 2011 is shit. It isn’t. But only an AFCW fan would ever know what I mean when I say we’re merely trying to get back what we were told we should never have back.

This can be a good thing (CCL to Football League in nine years, getting back to SW19), but it can also be counter productive. In a way, going after Euell feels like that. Also, on this note, I would also suggest to people that we’re not going to copy the WFC youth development policy for a good while yet, and it’s possible it may never be as successful…

Which leads us onto the Halifax 77 replica shirt for the Brizzle Rovers game. Yes, it will make the club some money (the club overdoing the fundraising? Never 😉 ), and I understand the sentiments behind it.  But I hope after this we give the whole “back in the League” thing a  bit of a rest. We would have proven our point by then, and we need to focus on playing and beating the likes of Plymouth in this AFCW era. There’s only one bit of major unfinished business from the WFC days after that, although it’s the biggest one of all….

And that has as much to do with our future growth and development as righting the other big wrong from the WFC days.

So, if we sign Euell, great. If we don’t, it’s not a big deal. I doubt if he’s the only one we’re looking for, and anyway, if you type in his surname in the SW19 search box you’ll see he left WFC under a cloud. But it’s 2011 and we have a Carling Cup game to look forward to tomorrow.

Although if we win, we’ll all be wondering if Doneagles is still open…