It’s summer. It’s hot. The Euros are on. So it must be the right time for an SW19 update…
We’re most definitely in close season now, where no news really does mean no news. Especially over transfers.
It took about two weeks for the first person on social media to panic that we haven’t signed anyone yet, which is thirteen days longer than normal 😉
While we can’t add nobody, we’re in the unusual position (for us) that we don’t need massive wholesale changes.
Remember, most of the squad that looked like it belonged in L1 when Robbo got his teeth into them are still here.
We’ll need to replace Piggy, obviously, possibly Thomas and definitely the loanees we had, but right now – why worry?
Pre season training doesn’t start for another two weeks, I think, and in theory we could wait until the last day of the transfer window in August.
I expect MR to want most if not all the squad in place by the time we play our first game though, and I don’t doubt he’s spending his time doing just that.
The rumour mill is suggesting we’ve got – or are close to – a striker on loan from a PL side, so we’ll wait and see on that score.
And it’s not like it’s a hive of transfer activity generally, either. A lot of clubs haven’t done much either.
The trouble with this stage of the season is that people tend to get edgy when they see certain clubs splashing the cash early.
It shouldn’t do, and it’s not unusual for players to join midway through pre-season games and become regular first teamers.
But by the time our first PSF kicks off, I would expect a couple of new faces for us to not recognise straight away.
This time of year is also the one for the baseless transfer rumour, where you can make up any old shit and plenty will believe it.
I don’t mean the “Lionel Messi is coming to us” types, which some people still find funny, for some reason.
But it’s the one where a third choice left back from Swindon suddenly becomes as likely as the sun rising in the morning.
We haven’t had too many of those this time round. Actually, we haven’t had any that I can remember.
That could change in the next week or three, but one thing is guaranteed with our first signing – some of our fans will be disappointed with whoever it is…
Which leads us to other stuff going on at AFCW. Which is, er, quiet right now.
Before I go on, Rona notwithstanding it feels like we’re a “normal” football club again.
We don’t even need to worry about ground issues, bar when we can start holding the next test event.
It’s something that we’ll have to get used to again. It’ll be quite a readjustment.
Yes, we lost the London Senior Cup a couple of weeks ago, which was disappointing but ultimately a good effort from our youngsters.
After fourteen years, David Charles is stepping down from the Club Secretary role, which is yet another break from the non-league days.
With the exception of Ivor Heller, there’s nobody left from the days we were in the Conference National as far as I can tell.
But then, we have been an EFL club for ten years, and that’s a long time to still be finding our feet.
To be fair, and it’s taken a long while, this is something the club is taking action on now.
As far as I’m concerned, the two most important things are the “Senior Leadership Team” and the “Football Panel”.
The former is basically the nuts and bolts of actually running the football club, and I’ve long felt that side of things is much more important than people give credit for.
Then again, I’m somebody who thinks the most important part of the club is the AFCW PLC, where the money side of things is.
Finance dictates most things, which is something I suspect we’ll find out again in the next couple of years.
As for the Football Panel, we don’t seem to know too much about what’s on it. We can assume it’s a fancy name for a backroom staff, including those dealing with transfers.
I don’t think that’s a bad thing, mind you. Football is a lot, lot more sophisticated these days – even in League One.
Sports science, fitness, tactics, scouting and recruitment have long moved on from even the 2000s, and as a club we need to reflect that new reality.
Embrace it, even.
If you can be bothered to trawl through other management setups even in L1, you’ll notice more and more have more than one assistant manager.
I don’t expect MR to have his trusty assistant, in the traditional sense, but instead have more than a couple.
Maybe one beside him on the bench for matchdays, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he doesn’t.
True, we won’t have Justin Cochrane next season, but there will be plenty of others like him around.
And given it’s been a month since the season ended, and the sense we’ve moved forward is still very real, would you be bothered if we stuck to what we did from February?
Something to ponder as you watch the Euros/cricket/Tour de France/whatever.
Finally, your editor got hold of a copy of Erik Samuelson’s book, and more importantly actually read it.
I may or may not do a book review, unless people really want me to, but it’s worth purchasing if you’ve got the time and money.
No spoilers of what has been written, but suffice to say a certain Father of WFC comes out in the very way you expect him to…