Sports administrators the world over generally get a bad press, and usually rightly so, don’t get me started on FIFA, but when they get things right nobody notices much. So let me give a word of praise for whichever bright spark it was that came up with the idea of running a lot of sport’s European Championships at the same time, in a kind of mini Olympics. Athletics, swimming, cycling, gymnastics, etc. Brilliant if you ask me. And to then split it between two cities, in this first attempt Glasgow and Berlin, to end up with just enough variety, but not so much as to kill the more minority interests, was the icing on the cake. In the way of all great ideas it seems dead obvious when it happens; a case of “Why didn’t we think of this before?” Well done that man or woman. Must find out who it is. Just don’t expect any thanks or recognition, except maybe as a pub quiz question in 20 years time.
Anyway, never mind the rest of the world, what about Ryhope? Cracking FA Cup tie last week, excellent publicity as well, and of course a win for the RCA. I must admit to being very nervous before the game, I thought it had banana skin written all over it, but the lads were well up to the task, starting like trains, making chance after chance in the first twenty minutes and managing to take two of them, but very much to the CW’s credit they fought back well and kept the game alive well into the second half. Good day all round, and next the trip to Clitheroe to look forward to. Make a weekend of it? If only I could madam. Despite the wins in the last couple of games I think the best news is that I don’t think we are anywhere near back up to speed yet, a lot more to come. We will need to pick it up as well with tough games against Dunston and Stockton in the next few days. But we know we can. It certainly seems to me that despite the drop in numbers in the Northern League the overall quality this year might be quite a bit better, difficult to see anybody who is guaranteed to struggle.
And over at the SoL the new lad seems to know his business, calm and organised and not making rash promises, and capable of seeing what is going wrong during a game and putting it right. So far, anyway. He will have rougher times to come. Only two or three of the old guard still to shift off the payroll, and it looks like one of the old bosses, Poyet, is trying to help by taking Catts off our hands. Say what you like about the red and yellow card machine, but it is quite telling for me that all his old gaffers seem to retain a soft spot for him. And what’s not to like about a couple of years on thirty grand a week in Bordeaux?