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SW19 is going away

Typically, I’m doing it just after a quiet time…

Your editor will be back around the 15th June, although an update may not happen on that particular date.

Before I go, what little news there’s been over the past fortnight has been almost inconsequential.

The big one is PSFs getting announced.

I have to admit, playing Oxford at PL is a reminder that we’ll be in L2 next season, and it stings a bit to realise that.

JJ is a mate of Kunt “Karl” Robinson, and I’m sure he’ll get a warm welcome. The Oxford manager that is, not Mr Jackson.

Indeed, playing Ipswich too was a league fixture in 2021/22, and a season or two previously.

I hope it makes us realise we should be aiming for promotion, and that Oxford and Ipswich should be competitive fixtures again.

Regardless of whether we fall short in 22/23 or not, that’s our priority.

Because I don’t think we’d quite put up with middling in L2 for any more than is necessary any more.

Reading at PL is another interesting one, not least because of Incey Wincey, although one suspects Mark Bowen had something to do with it.

I’m sure there’ll be more than one away friendly, which is currently just Eastbourne Borough.

At his only Meet The Manager shindig, Mark Robinson mentioned his dislike of playing so many PSFs last close season.

He felt we should have had three maximum, as what he learned in some games could have been done just as effectively on the training ground.

That we’ve got four with presumably a couple more to come makes me glad how much we’ve dodged that particular bullet.

While you can overdo PSFs, they’re still very useful for seeing whether you’ll struggle or not.

Previous close seasons have seen us flop up top, and it’s gone on and bitten us in the arse in competitive fixtures.

A former AFCW manager once said pre-season friendlies are solely about fitness. He was wrong…

While we wait for any more announcements, we’re also due a signing or three.

I think JJ has taken a quick break this last week, and not much seems to be happening across the board.

I expect things will start moving a bit more now, pre-season training is due to start in under a month.

No doubt we’ll make masses of new signings in the next nine days, and SW19 will be behind the curve.

The new fixtures come out just after I return, and that too will sting a bit once we realise we’re at Sutton and St Evenage rather than Derby and Sheffield Wednesday.

But then, we must also remember that we forfeited the right to play them because of very poor decision making last season.

We do get some “proper” teams though, like Stockport getting promoted as National League champions.

And yesterday, Grimsby secured their right to visit SW17 next season.

With all due respect to the likes of Solihull, from a selfish point of view we do need a few more teams with decent away support coming down to PL next season.

Many think L2 is full of Barrow and Salford and Harrogate bringing about 100 fans down.

But we’ve got Stockport, the haddock munchers, Northampton, Swindon, Bradford and Tranmere too.

So yeah, the fourth tier will suck a little bit, but it’s a great opportunity to dust ourselves down and rebuild ourselves again.

It might not happen overnight, but Grimsby also had to start from scratch again this time last season.

Their collective heads this morning prove that you can get it right quickly.

Anyway, this time of year is usually quiet for SW19 updates, and 2022 is no exception. By the time I return though, I’m expecting things to be a little bit different…

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