Middle of July, three or four weeks to go, plenty of grass on the pitch, lots of hammering and banging in the clubhouse, level on points at top and bottom, must be time to think about the season ahead. Worked out all right in the end last year, though there were a few more grey hairs around at the end than the start, thats for sure. Usual raft of new faces at pre season training, most of them been and gone before you can learn their names, but a couple of blasts from the past even I can recall seeing before, and a promising young keeper. And Owensy returns, and is a wizz at the pre season beep tests, just wind him up and let him go.
View from the cemetery
Where have you been? I hear you cry. Yes, gap in reports from over the fence during the winter months, but I have an excuse. Thanks to the little known Anglo-Australian Corpse Exchange Programme, I spent Christmas and New Year down under watching the cricket. A tough life, or death, I know.
Good sport though, there’s little to beat the pleasure of thrashing the Aussies on their own soil. But by far the best bit is listening to the insane Aussie commentators, who all subscribe to the Japanese emperor school of mindless optimism, as in “the war hasn’t turned out necessarily to our advantage’. Well, you don’t say so sunshine!
Was that the trees a rustling, or the hinges of the gate? Or Ernie’s ghostly goldtop a rattling in its crate?
No, it is I, Leclerc, the voice of reason from over the cemetery fence, back to bring you down to earth, or possibly under it, if things go wrong, as they likely will.
Couple of 1980’s comedy quotations there for the sharper amongst you.
Cannot get my cousin stirred. Never known him have such a long lie down. Must be the excitement from promotion last season. So, I've taken the opportunity to give my view. Hope he doesn't get upset! I'm a bit further up from the Ghostly Gadgie and further to the left. Gives me a decent perspective, I reckon.
Well, closer and closer we get. Will we make it this time? Just a couple of weeks now to find out if it is to be the dreaded fourth place again, or if we can stagger over the line at last. Few interesting events since my last communication, including a very feisty game against the Stokesley lads, on and off the pitch. But such days are not everybody’s cup of tea, oh no, definitely not.
Woe, woe and thrice woe! Beware the humps and bumps of Whickham as my old grandad used to say. I knew it was going to be a bad day when the lounge bar came to life as that fine upstanding late night fisticuffs maestro Carroll, maintaining a tradition built up over very many glorious years of players' adventures in the hot spots of Newcastle, nodded the Mags an undeserved equaliser while doing his day job. Before that the clubhouse at the Glebe was like a burial ground, or so I am lead to believe. But one defeat does not make you a bad side; oh no indeed, lots of other things do that...
Well, back with a bang or what? Eight goals, a sending off and a missed pen, this will bring the crowds back; but not yet by the looks of things on Saturday. No football for more than a month, the big boys down at Portsmouth, surely this should have been an opportunity to fill the ground with fans old and new. But how many turned up? Official figure said 58 I heard, but that must have included Winston the dog, and most of them were in the bar, sorry, clubhouse, for most of the afternoon. I bow to no one in my appreciation of the hidden delights of Ryhope, but surely a dozen or so can be tempted out of the Guide Post to watch a winning team? Maybe not, maybe not...