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Sick Over A Parrett

The headline is from the obscure 1990s fanzine that your editor still has a couple of copies of. Bet nobody else remembers it.

So, after a month of nothing much going on, things may be happening again. Which would be typical, as your editor is off Stateside for just over a fortnight on Monday.

So no further updates planned until I get back around the 21st June, unless something major happens, like us signing somebody anybody with pace.

Enough snark. It’s the middle of close season, after all. The big news this past couple of days is Dean Parrett departing. With a somewhat matter-of-fact announcement on the OS, no less.

A bit of a shock, if only because if out of him, Taylor and Darius he would be the one I would have most expected to re-sign for AFCW.

He was out of contract, and wasn’t he one of the supposed “bad apples” from this time last year? If that’s what the management team thought of him, no wonder he moved to Priestfield instead, where he might feel more valued.

The tiny pond of creativity in this remaining squad just got a little bit smaller.

Parrett will be remembered most of all for having balls of steel in the very, very, very last minute at the Bescot. Arguably that spot kick proved the difference between us facing Sunderland next season than facing St Evenage instead.

OK, it doesn’t quite work like that, but the point stands – while Taylor takes penalties as well as an England World Cup squad player, Parrett had the guts to deliver in a very high pressured situation.

Yes, he gave the ball away too often, and his injuries didn’t help, but if he was better he’d be in the Championship at the very least.

He’s the first not to re-sign another contract offered to him. Will he be the last?

This does mean our wonderful recruitment system now has to add a midfielder to its list. Just a new goalkeeper, virtually all the defence, not to mention replacements for Reeves, Bulman and Elliott too.

No pressure, like.

On that topic, is it true Poleon was photographed training in an AFCW top today? Mind you, he didn’t leave on the best of terms either…

Anyway, we’ve still got another month between now and the first pre-season training session. Enjoy the next four weeks while you can, because that will come around much quicker than you think.

The fixtures come out the morning after I get back (and I’ll tell you this¬† – you can fuck right off if you think I’m going to get up at 9am that day), which is the sign close season becomes pre-season.

That means it’s fixture prediction time, which every single year never fails to disappoint in its complete inaccuracy.

Here goes the latest stabs in the dark – Sunderland at KM will be midweek, so will one of t’Stanley, Barnsley or Rochdale away, and we’ll get the usual long journey around Easter.

We’ll get a home game on Boxing Day, probably Wycombe, but we’ll have to go to Luton when it’s dark by about 4pm.

Everyone is looking forward to the Mackems… sorry, Black Cats (why did they change to that nickname?), although I think the Tykes could be an interesting one too.

Oh, and we’re back playing Coventry after they gubbed Exeter on Monday. Memories of dour games at a rain-soaked Plough Lane back in the late 80s have come flooding back…

Speaking of games to play, we’ve got presumably the final list of the phoney war they call pre-season contests. Unsurprisingly, nothing earth-shatteringly interesting, like Monza was a few years ago, although Brighton and Boreham Wood are a bit different.

At least we’ve been spared Sutton. And thankfully we no longer feel obligated to do Ks or FCUM, the latter of which always seemed a waste of a friendly.

Like last year though, I do question having the two final games within 24 hours of each other, especially if they become split squads. By all means do it a couple of games in, it will build the fitness up, but it didn’t help when we looked half-baked at the beginning of 17/18 as it was.

Finally, there was a somewhat alarmist piece on NPL in the ESS on Thursday – or at least, it was if you hadn’t paid attention to anything AFCW has said.

Or indeed SW19.

It’s really just confirming what we already know. The article itself is a bit of a filler one, there’s not much new information or quotes or anything like that. There’s a lot more substance in the stories about the new White Hart Lane or especially Stamford Bridge that came out a couple of hours earlier.

With regard Chelski’s problems right now, I would be very – very – surprised if it had any impact on our KM deal with them. If nothing else, our current ground is an existing structure and they don’t need to do too much with it bar a refurb.

It’s likely that the ¬£1bn costs for redeveloping Stamford Bridge is the real reason Abramovich has pulled the plug for now. Mind you, they could always play Chelski first team games in KT1 if they get desperate.

Probably the only takeaway from that piece is AFCW still apparently aiming for opening in August/September 2019. When the s106s dragged on like they did, that was always going to be a tall order.

Maybe if construction started by August, although clearance is supposed to be done by 8th October. I’ve no doubt the club would love to be ready by the beginning of next season, and it’s not impossible even in that tight timescale.

It would mean it would have to finish ahead of the 51 week and 4 day schedule, and we’ll need a fair bit of luck to do that. Plus we’ll doubtless have to play most of August/September 2019 away from home if we did.

And it can’t be anything other than a standard build, although most stadia of the size we’re doing is exactly that, if you look closer.

Mind you, the dog track is coming down rather nicely. Your editor has passed it a couple of times this month, and it’s struck me how big it was. Especially as that metal corrugated exterior skin thingy has been torn off and we can see inside.

Doesn’t half look old though. Or did, anyway.

There’s still a fair bit of it needs tearing down, so instead of a stadium cleanup this weekend at KM – how about a stadium demolition instead? Sure we’ve all got a few old bottles of turps and some matches…