A tough weekend of fixtures just gone and a very decent return with four points, and now FA Cup and FA Vase games to look forward to in the next couple of weeks. All is reasonably well at the minute, despite a few injuries, which maybe isn’t helping in getting a settled side sorted. But anyway given all the upheaval over the summer it was always going to be a year of change and development.
Bank Holiday Monday mornings are always popular with the fans, if not with those who have to be up at the crack, sorting boilers and putting up posts, and so it proved again, with a good turn out of the Groundhoppers from far and wide helping to provide a very decent gate for what was an excellent derby with our friends from Seaham. Overall, and it's early to judge, the Northern League seems to me to have started this new season in very good order. Lots of good competitive games, certainly at least one surprise packet at the top in Thornaby, and good interest all round. West Allotment will be a little bit concerned no doubt, propping everybody up for the moment, but it doesn’t seem to me that there is all that much between top and bottom, and over a long season then things will change everywhere.
Anyway, Seaham look a proper decent side, enjoying a good FA Cup run like ourselves, and good luck by the way this weekend, and we must also give a mention to our friends from over the cemetery. Not just the one surprise packet at the top. Five straight wins have pushed the CW right to the giddy heights, three points off the top for the Colliery and with a game in hand, very well done lads. Only the single defeat so far this season, or at least that was the case before Wednesday night, who on earth could that have been?
Transfer deadline day for the big boys as I write this, and as usual, though with good reason, those over on the dark side are bewailing their fate; seems like old Potato Head is not so good at persuading footballers from more exotic climes, or even Manchester, from taking a chance on the joys of the Toon. Would bring tears to a glass eye. Mind you, looks to me like Mike might have misjudged things a bit this time and may have to do some emergency repair work in the next transfer window if he wants to keep the price up of his prize possession. But will the ever popular Brucey still be in charge?
All remains sunshine and light at the SoL, with the recruitment of a fine selection of young players you have never heard of as the icing on the cake. Couple of young Germans to round things off, which sounds positive. An average age reduction of five years between those going and coming. We shall see how things turn out, but hopefully well, there is an awful lot of people heavily invested in how SAFC do. I may on occasion have been less than complimentary about our cousins over the water, they might not always be sensible or well run but the club is important to the City, and I suspect to clubs like RCA as well. The feel good factor can trickle down. Fingers crossed.
Finally, the Paralympics are drawing to a close. Some extraordinary performances, and more importantly, some really amazing individual stories of grit and determination to live life to the full and not let minor inconveniences like serious injury or disability get in the way. Well done all, there are more than a few lessons for everybody there.