Barnet taking no prisoners there, you were lucky to finish with the full compliment by the sounds
A tough draw to take for sure, due to the extreme physical aspect of the game.
Jack, C.J., Justice: Yeah, very tough one to take, especially at such a critical point in the season - hopefully we can pick ourselves up and keep moving forwards.
APRIL 29TH, 2017
THE GREENHOUS MEADOW, SHREWSBURY
The mood in the dressing room was dejected - even with a dramatic 4-3 win over Shrewsbury, the next game - the last game of the season - against Northampton meant nothing. Well...it meant the difference between 8th and about 13th...but in real terms, it meant nothing; we had come so close to making the play-offs, and to miss out by only 4 points, when we had 13 draws to our name; many of them games we should have won, really stung.
"Boys, we should be proud of what we've achieved here today - Shrewsbury are no pushovers...they were gunning for that last play-off spot...even if Northampton had lost, there was nothing we could do. We're sitting 10th now - we can make that stick with a win next week. I'm delighted with what we've achieved, and so should you all be! We're a League 2 side! And we WILL come back stronger next season!"
I looked around at the squad who had brought us this far....it was critcal to keep them together moving forward. I knew some of the loan guys had expiring contracts, and some were keen to come back...it was a case of getting there before anyone else swooped for them...
Next season would be tough, there was no doubt, but we had some incredible-looking youngsters, including young Khaloni Gumbs, who had only come through the Academy in March, but mad his first appearance for the club today, and made an instant impact, completing 92% of his passes, and starting the move which lead to our 4th and winning goal with an intelligent ball to switch the play...The future was bright, it just needed a bit of a polish.
The future is certainly bright, plenty to look forward to!
JUNE 27TH, 2017
BOREHAM WOOD TRAINING, 10AM
Ah, pre-season. I took a deep breath as the squad headed towards me across the grass, still slightly damp from the dew that had formed on a colder than usual June morning. Smiling, I turned to Luke Garrard, who was also grinning. "Good to see them back, eh?" I was talking generally of the squad, but Luke picked up on my undertone - 5 of our loan signings from last year had returned, and I was delighted.
Connor Hunte, who played primarily on the left wing, was back on loan from Wolves for another season, and he was followed closely by Kristopher Da Graca, a Swedish centre-back who joined up from Arsenal. The two had formed a close friendship last season, and were knocking a ball backwards and forwards as they warmed up.
They were followed by our Reading Trio, back for the 3rd time - Harry Cardwell, Andy Rinomhota and Lisandro Semedo, now 20 and 21 respectively, had been at the core of this squad for a long time now, and it was a pleasure to have them back.
Lisandro had been voted the League 2 player of the year last season, while Harry took home the League's Golden Boot, netting 22 goals in 36 matches, and making it, alongside Semedo and Rinomhota, accompanied by Joe Devera, into the player's Team of the Year.
It hadn't been enough to earn promotion, but I was quietly confident about this year. We hadn't broken the bank, but we had brought in another couple of players for the first team, as well as strengthening the youth ranks in anticipation of a rough season ahead.
The pick of the new arrivals was another former Reading player - Pierce Sweeney. Sammi had said at the end of last year that he wouldn't be able to come back for another year, preferring I suppose to rot on the Reading Bench, so I moved quickly to bring his former team-mate in on a permanent contract. He's easily the highest earner at the club, but I'm willing to pay it if he brings that extra class to our back line.
I grinned once more, as the team gathered around me
"Welcome back boys...10 laps!"
New season, new beginnings... good luck!
10 laps?! Brutal you are!
Nice update and good luck for preseason as well as the season ahead.
AUGUST 5TH, 2017
MEADOW PARK, BOREHAMWOOD
"I know it's a big day for all of us today, boys - we were so close to the play-offs last season...I'm just looking for more of the same. Well, maybe with a few less losses. So, there's a couple of you just coming back from injury, but I suppose you all want to know who's made the team."
I pinned the list I held in my hand to the wall of the dressing room, and stepped back.
Starting XI: Stuart Moore, Pierce Sweeney, Josh Yorwerth, Samuel Crossley, Gedeon Okito, Andy Rinomhota, Conor Clifford, Luke Gambin, Billy Clifford, Connor Hunte, Harry Cardwell
Subs: Scott Davies, Kristopher Da Garca, Carlos Pifarré, Mustafa Tiryaki, Lewis Aird, Owain Jones, Jamie Wootton
The first half gave absolutely nothing in the way of excitement, and Harry Cardwell had spent 45 minutes running into brick walls and chasing empty balls. He was still recovering from an injury, so I pulled him, sending on new man Owain Jones, who was a slightly different prospect for the Crawley defence to deal with. I also pushed Andy Rimonhota further forward, getting him to sit on the shoulder of the last defender and create space for Owain. A few choice words later, and we were back underway.
But it was Crawley who had the last laugh, capitalising on some sloppy defending to run out 3-0 winners, and hand us a losing start to the season.
Not the most ideal start to the season!
Losing 3-0 is hardly helpful, hopefully your boys can pick themselves up
Exam season is upon us, and uni is utterly intense - its with great sadness that I therefore must bring this story, and probably my writing career, to a close
thank you to everyone that took the time to read this, and my other stories. I'll still be on chat, but not actively writing for the foreseeable future
It was nice while it lasted!
You are reading "Zero To Hero".