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It’s oh, so quiet…

Has the season ended already?

To be honest, if it had then you wouldn’t be too surprised. We’re more than safe, have been realistically so since the turn of the year, and it really is time to book your holidays.

Christ, I didn’t even get any offers from anyone to do something for Wycombe.

If we could sack off Bury and come to a pre-arranged result, then do likewise for Cheltenham, I’m sure we’d do so. OK, it would skew the promotion and relegation races, but it would be fun to see the reactions 😉

Alas, we must play these last two contests, although it will be nice to know that whatever happens it doesn’t matter. We could – and many argue we should – blood some youngsters in these dead rubbers, but as we know that isn’t going to happen.

One thing about NA’s attitude to the yoof is that he doesn’t play them for the sake of it. There’s a clamour, often from certain sections of social media, to play as many of them as possible, but our manager tends to ignore that.

Why not play the likes of Harrison, or Nightingale (when fit) or other products of our Academy? Actually, we do, but they’re not over-exposed.

If they come in, they should strengthen the team and not weaken it. Being “home grown and hungry” is all very well, but as NA will probably tell you – it’s much more than that.

It’s worth remembering that this is the first season in the AFCW era where youngsters have started to come through. Youth development can be (and often is) hit-and-miss, and there’s no guarantee that any of the youngsters who have been in the first team will make it.

Some probably will, but that’s only ever going to be a bonus.

So, those who hope to see the last two games with a lot of kids in will probably be disappointed. But for the long term development of our side, that may not be a bad thing…

At least we can talk about such matters. Remember this time last year, when AFCW admin managed to ruin our season? No, I still haven’t forgotten. Or forgiven.

The last two games after that embarrassing little episode put the “dead” into dead rubber – we were mentally shot by that stage. In April 2015, we (should) have no such worries.

With a lack of any meaningful action, one turns their attention to next season. Or more accurately, to look at sides who are preparing their promotion celebrations and who is shitting their pants.

The obvious place to start is our division. We won’t get Burton next season in the league, though I wasn’t massively impressed with them at KM.

Shrewsbury pretty much look like joining them, although we’re either going to lose Southend or Wycombe. Unless Bury gub us on Saturday and, to use the cliche at this stage of the season, other results go their way.

Who would we like to go up from the playoffs? Or more likely, who do you want to stay down? If it’s the former, then probably Bury. Or St. Evenage, if only because we won’t have to put up with Westley.

To be honest, it’s all much of a muchness. Bit like the rest of League Two, really – it’s certain that if we properly replaced Tubbs in January we had a semi-legit shout of being involved in this run-in.

As ever, the real fun is down the bottom. It could have been even more fun had Mansfield remained involved, but for three sets of supporters, this is not going to be a pleasant last couple of days/weeks.

If Tranmere and Cheltenham lose, and Hartlepool win on Saturday, that’s it – Prenton Park and Whaddon Road will be putting in orders for the Non-League Paper next season.

The don’t-call-us-Scousers have to go to Plymouth, Cheltenham play Promotion Chasing Shrewsbury™ and Hartlepool get to host Exeter. Their collective fates could be sealed by this weekend.

Needless to say, it probably won’t be, and stores in the Wirral, Gloucestershire and Co Durham will be ordering in more pants to replace the increased amount of soiled grunts in those parts.

That we’re playing Cheltenham on Saturday week will either be the most surreal of all wakes (just how do you set up against a side already relegated?) or match THAT Fleetwood game for fear.

Though for them, and not for us.

The regular season hasn’t ended in the Football League, but it will do on Saturday for the Conference. Yeah, it’s come around quickly, though I don’t follow non-league football.

Barnet will do for us, though if Brizzle Rovers return to the League nobody would really object. Sadly, it looks like Woking will be a PSF rather than a competitive fixture for us next season, but those playoffs look interesting.

In a just world, whoever finishes second out of Barnet or Rovers should go up with the glory of a Wembley victory. Which has to be one of the unintended perks of winning a playoff – it really does feel like a cup final when you do that.

While I don’t like their divulgence into basketball, and while they’re effectively yet another small-club-massive-budget outfit, it would be immensely funny to see Eastleigh in the Football League.

If only to see how they handle playing Portsmouth next season.

Grimsby have pretty much served their sentence in non-league, ditto Macclesfield, although FGR wouldn’t be an unpopular place to visit.

The Conference playoff final is on the 17th May, by the way. The offer for the £10 tickets is gone, but this being the Conference they’ll put them on sale again when they realise they’ll be playing to a half-empty Wembley.

Just hope they don’t make you sing their sponsor’s jingle to get one though.

Which leaves League One. And before I start – if Franchise go up, and let’s face it they’ve got a damn good chance, just bite the bullet over it. It’ll save your blood pressure and also means it’s harder to rig the draw to face them in cups.

Yeovil are down, and by the look of it we can go to Essex for Colchester. So we can relive the days when we seemingly had to go to that county every other fucking week.

Which leaves Notts County, Leyton Orient, Crewe and Crawley. You can pick the two you want to face next season pretty much straight off the bat, which means it will be trips to Meadow Lane and Gresty Road instead.

True, everyone from Coventry downwards isn’t safe, which if anything makes this the most interesting battle of the lot. Imagine facing Orient and the Sky Blues next season?

Though if it happens to be the latter, best make sure a) Worner gets to the ground on time, and b) we don’t bring back Seb Brown if he doesn’t.

Leyton Orient is the one we all want, because in many ways it would be symbolic of our rise from the backwaters of English football to the FL.

How so? Well, remember games against Leyton? That’s Leyton, without the “Orient” suffix. Anyway, if you went to those fixtures, you may have had similar thoughts about getting out at Leyton tube station, looking at the surroundings and the signs to Brisbane Road and thinking “one day, this will be us again.”

Well, I did. Half of you lot were probably too shit scared to set foot in East London 😉

We last played Leyton on March 27th, 2007. In 2015, we could be facing their big brother. Or in other words, it only took eight years.

With all that to look forward to (?), it’s this time of the season when we can not only look forward to the close season but the pseudo-excitement of playing pre-season friendlies.

One we won’t be doing, although it’s news that is a couple of weeks old, is FCUM. I’m not that surprised, as their game down here a couple of seasons ago felt every inch a contractual obligation, and took on the do-we-have-to? vibe that Ks games became.

Obviously we felt we could do better. And besides, if you’re going to play a team from the regional Conference divisions, we might as well renew old aquaintances with Chelmsford….