31 july 2002
A strong test. A team
really trying to beat us. OK, they did beat us, but I expected them to.
Kingstonian 2 Dons 1. No shame in that if you ask me, but the scoreline
doesn't even start to tell the story.
There's still a few
people trying to come to terms with what's happened - in fact a friend
of a friend went to his first AFC Wimbledon game tonight after being out
of the country and he thought that Wimbledon FC had changed it's name
(he knew the coup before he turned up I hasten to add). There's still
some discussion "is this side the real Wimbledon". OK, get ready,
I'm about to get radical... I don't care even if it isn't. There - I said
it out loud (sorta).
When Dave Fry scored
tonight I felt a buzz of elation as good as anything I ever remember feeling
at a game of football. It helped of course that it was the bollocks of
a goal (c/o great work by Daniel Jones and cutely despatched by Dave Fry),
but it just felt SO good. This team I'm following around like some demented
stalker represents all I believed WFC stood for, and more.
The buzz of watching
a new player x 15. The buzz of having a manager that knows what this is
all about, and some. A backroom staff that are so decent and fun to meet
it's almost scary and you're on your way.
Many people will live
an entire lifetime and NEVER feel this sort of absorbing adoration. The
whole thing prompts such joy in it's purest sense. Players that not only
return respect but actively encourage it. The way the likes of Dean Martin
and Sim Johnston act is beyond decent - it's awe inspiring. Am I just
far too loved up? Is this the moment people reading start to wonder what
drugs I've taken tonight? What the hell. Life often throws up heroes only
to lift the curtain, wizard of Oz style, and prove you wrong. So far,
these players have done little to disappoint, heck that's not right, they've
done NOTHING to disappoint. This sort of pride is usually reserved for
singing the praises of close family members- but that's what we have here.
A whole host of good people that have been waiting a long time to feel
this great about life are now on a permanent high.
Football has returned
to being 'football' and not some political battle of wills against people
that have no ounce of decency in them. I'm standing with friends watching
-my- team, I am unconcerned if my badge is new, I'm not fussed even (if
I'm totally honest) about any claims of history. I know that'll be a rare
school of thought, but it's how I feel. I just enjoy this far too much
to get bogged down with theory - this just feels right.
Tonight's game was
the one where AFC Wimbledon grew up. We were pushed, and we stood up and
had a good crack at it. This sort of steely reserve and will to prevail
is why I followed Wimbledon FC for over 20 years. If this isn't technically
'Wimbledon', it sure as shit feels like it. I have a team to live and
die for - and damn it feels good.
18 july 2002
must have been the one to one training...
Tales from the brink
When oh when will
this go bandy? When will the chairman send me a letter so insulting I
feel like doing a Tony Montana at the next board meeting? When will I
open the club's programme and become enraged at an incompetent fool bleating
blatant nonsense? In short - when will the nasty reality of being a football
fan bring me down with a thump? Never is when. Those days are over. Finished.
Yesterdays news. This is planet AFC Wimbledon. I'm a citizen, and I'm
staying here forever and a day.
AM I losing it? Is
it really (really) this good? Well, it's that good I'm letting this ridiculous
Shaggy song that's on my streaming iTunes radio station play through without
channel hopping. That's some seal of approval!
A 1300+ crowd descended
on Bromley tonight. The circus was back in town. Massive flags, massive
smiles more yellow shirts than a World Cup final and a band of fans that
look like they just the all clear from the doctor of football.
A narrow defeat thanks
to a penalty decision so unfair it would have not looked out of place
at Old Trafford saw to that. A keeping fumble added Bromley's second and
the Dons lost out by the odd-goal. Hold on you cry, that means... did
we? Score? Yes siree bob we did. Any good? A scuffle that broke the drought?
Nah, drive from the edge of the box into the top right corner administered
by the hitman himself - the mighty Trigger. Fresh from his one on one
tuition with Jonesy Junior last week.
The euphoria continues.
I wonder if a lottery win high lasts this long? (I bet it does btw!).
I know there's no potion that could give this vibe out. Dons fans celebrate
this era in some sort of Terry Waite-esque release from captivity way.
I bet Nelson Mandela never got this much of a rush (OK - stretching things
a bit, but damn this feels good!).
I think born again
Christians possess a similar level of scaryness to the way I feel, except
the difference here is it's easier to attract people to our church at
I saw that first AFC
Wimbledon goal standing with my brother - damn that's a memory and a half
already ain't it!
The whole evening
was mental. Bromley started the mindfuck off with a potting shed smack
bang in the middle of the approach to the pitch after you paid to enter
- a wooden programme hut with a nice pitched roof (hope they'll have earned
enough Dons dollars to have the mother creosoted for winter). Then the
finishing touch... cans of ice cold lager at £1.50 a chuck on sale
in the snack window. AFC Wimbledon games are just like a trip to a twisted
theme park. A soccer Westworld with no bad guy Yul Brynner droid to go
nuts and trash the place. Fantasy Island... where a smooth-talking owner
and his little helper ask you your wildest dream and make it come true.
Fans, footballers that care, a manager worthy of praise before a point
has been fought over, friends together on a fantastic journey. Man, I
can't stop the drivel! It's impossible!
I'll sign off with
a nod to a W&WW section of days gone by, the songbook. Here's a couple
of songs that have either already been sung (the first two by myself even
if no-one's joining in) and the last that appeared in my guestbook written
it would seem by Jules the coach...
(to the Muppets "Mah Na Mah Nah")
Mehmet, Mehmet - do, do da-do-do,
Mehmet, Mehmet - do, do do-do-do,
Mehmet, Mehmet - do, do do-do-do, do-do-do, do-do-do, do-do-do, do-do-do-do-do-do...
etc (you get the picture)
(to R Kelly's "I believe I can fly")
I believe I 'm Dave Fry
I believe I can touch the sky
I think about it every night and day
Lace my boots and I want to play
I believe I can score
I see me running to the crowd once more
I believe I 'm Dave Fry
I believe I 'm Dave Fry...
(to the Fools and Horses Theme - as suggested by WBTB)
God bless Trigger's feet, viva Trigger's feet, long live Trigger's
feet, c'est magnifique, Trigger's feet... Trigger's feet...
12 july 2002
happy Jonesy Junior.
At the risk of this
turning me into some saddo that posts his entire life on the web, complete
with angst and aspirations (a twisted Marc Jones Diary perhaps?)
I've got the feeling that a few random thoughts may fill my desire to
say _something_ about AFC Wimbledon without repeating news from over on
the official site...
I went to training
again tonight. Now, I've been to EVERY training session, and was at both
trials. I need to break that soon as it goes, because I can see a very
disturbing uber fan run being put together - I really can't be here in
a years time bragging about "I have never missed a single AFC Dons
game OR training session". Blimey - that would out-Crabtree a Crabtree,
and that's dangerous for your health (not to mention your personal relationships!).
I do have an excuse here though... I was looking after the youngster.
He'd been there at the first game yesterday, but the delayed kick-off
played havoc with his bedtime (I'm the only one in the house strung out
enough on all this to stay up until the milkman stops outside, no-one
else in the family is nocturnal!) he went home before the end. So tonight
- I dragged him along to training. Usual list of questions were asked...
"are we going in the car... can we come home when I get bored..."
but I knew this one would work better than a trip to Ivors factory for
a meeting about the club - hell it was virtually a trip to the park!
The players down Wimbledon
way were in superb spirits - all of them as high as can be. They did some
light training (those that had played yesterday) and those who missed
out against Sutton were punished by the fitness trainer. Me and JJ had
a kickabout - but there's something mildly embarrassing about doing so
in front of 30 good players. The weird bit is the way grown men showboat
in front of each other - but I decided I was being a dad, and that was
good enough for me and I put Tom through a punishing schedule of heading
practice and taught him what a nutmeg was (that will look awesome in the
playground tomorrow). The best bit though was as I stood talking to the
almost legendary (even if hardly anyone recognises him and even less know
his real name) Trigger. JJ decided he'd tackle Trigger and then Trigger
and JJ took up a spot of kicking the ball to each other. I have no idea
if he knew it, but Trigger had gone a long way to making me realise just
how insanely superb all this has become. My son has heroes. Heroes he
can talk to, and heroes that are happy to be approached and spoken to.
The whole vibe of
the evening was great. The coaches all take their moments to stand aside
in a huddle often enough to keep the players on their toes, but the overwhelming
feeling I got was that this is - after one training session and only one
game a real football CLUB. The spirit in the camp is buzzing Brian. Or
something like that.
Right. I'm off before
I tell you what I had for tea and deserve shooting...
11 july 2002
Well, it's been almost
a month since I managed bring myself to post here on what's rapidly becoming
the least updated website out there. I vowed when I opened back in 1998
that I'd make this place somewhere fans of my club could get the latest
and the most topical news around. I did a good job of that for sometime
I reckon. Then it caught up with me. Match reports went AWOL due to a
mixture of fatigue and despondency as the club fell apart before my eyes,
and soon the news section became as topical as a repeat of the Christmas
Eastenders when Arthur Fowler trashed the turkey.
Last time I jumped
in here I talked about the new WFC, AFC Wimbledon, and told how things
were progressing. There's been much to sing about since, yet I've had
no time at all to pass the info on as I have been working hard at getting
AFC Wimbledon on the go (alongside, of course, many others).
So why am I breaking
radio silence tonight? Well, before this starts to read some bizarre suicide
note I'll explain.
Tonight was the start
of something rather arousing. AFC Wimbledon played their first match.
Many argued that it wouldn't be the same as following the previous club,
a few said it would but in the end - how was it?
I'm being honest when
I say that at times tonight it did feel totally new - and despite our
rightful claim to previous history it didn't quite feel like a logical
continuation of the team and club I've followed for a very long time.
However, something quite odd dawned on me as the night wore on...
As I watched I started
to actually enjoy the game, the game of football that is. Many
warned us of the culture shock that awaited us, tales of poor facilities
and less than impressive football. But the football I saw was the football
I love. The football that I dreamt of playing as a kid (and the football
I play in my head every Sunday). The reason I loved and love football
is it's permission to dream. To make you actually believe in optimism
in it's purest sense. The ultimate dream. That "one day..."
You can watch a match
for 90 minutes and what actually amounts to less than 30 seconds of the
whole event can make it all worthwhile. I never saw Brazilian skills.
No awesome deft touches such as those I know I'll miss however I try to
ignore and pretend otherwise, when I remember Wu Tang Agyemang. But one
moment I'll love forever was the Gareth Ainsworth diving tackle with the
head witnessed at what was ultimately to be remembered as the hospice
of WFC, Selhurst Park. I can't instantly remember the game, the minute,
nor the result of that game - but the incident is indelible - it was a
great moment in life - like a shooting star or a punchline that hit you
so hard it forced an unstoppable belly laugh. Any player, of any skill,
is capable of such a moment. It's why football is the greatest game -
I've not seen any other that can deliver such a moment.
The game tonight was
fairly unspectacular - but at it's heart was the true Corinthian spirit
- a sense of hope, of effort and of respect. This is something very special
here. A cottage industry in the middle of a globalised trading estate.
A corner shop perched between hypermarkets. A community football club
in the midst of greed and desperation. As money continues to distract
football club chairman like a young girl fluttering her eyelids at a married
man we stand proud as an example of good people doing the right thing
the right way. That reason alone is enough to make me know we CANNOT fail.
Decency in the face of extreme adversity. An example that belief is all,
that dignity and courage counts after all.
I'm waffling now,
it's getting late and I'm very, very tired (and this is straying into
that suicide note territory I'm supposed to be avoiding) so I'll end it
here. But before I go I'll attempt to make my point. As I head off for
a bit of sleep I'll be filling my dreams with visions of the new Wimbledon,
which as we all know is actually the old Wimbledon. I'll be thinking of
Dave Fry laying the ball off to Mehmet Mehmet. I'll be remembering Dean
"Dino" Martin's disallowed goal. Of Joe Sheerin's friendliness
- and of the crowds tangible anticipation when he is on the ball. I'll
remember Daniel Jones' swerving shot. Of Carlo's dads Italian restaurant
getting a quick plug as the game started. Of Terry Eames doing what seemed
like 68 post-match interviews. Of my more than tolerant girlfriend who
watched her first ever game tonight and was as excited as me. Of the people
that drove all the way down from the grim northern outposts and up from
the sleepy southern reaches of the country to take in a game played by
a team that barely know each others names. Doesn't look like I'll be getting
asleep for a while yet, does it?...
14 june 2002
share, manager, crest and kits revealed.
This is the first
w&ww update since the concept of AFC Wimbledon was born, but what
a beauty it is.
Tonight as The
Dons Trust SGM approved overwhelmingly to adopt AFC Wimbledon a flurry
of updates thrilled the 1000 odd crowd,
Former player and
Trust member Terry Eames was announced as manager. Terry has been involved
with Wimbledon since being a player between 1977-81. He spoke of how he
had worked for "the greatest manager of all time" Allen Batsford,
and how even after leaving the club as a player he had continued to follow
the club, a club that "always was and always will be in my heart".
He even said that "even if I get sacked within a month I'll still
be going as a supporter". He sent out a bullish message that we would
go up this season and spoke of how he had attracted a clutch of players
from both the Ryman League and also released youth players (some of whom
will come from Fulham FC).
The club crest was
also revealed, as were the designs for three kits - all of which are shown
The kit will be available
as soon as possible, the target being the first game of the season, and
will be made available to supporters as soon as the players have theirs.
A pre-ordering scheme is planned - more details soon.
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