Tuesday, 14 June 2011

10 Reasons to Look Forward to the 11/12 season

So the fixtures are out on Friday and the waiting is starting to get to me, so to pass the time I present to you

FMD's TOP 10 reasons I’m looking forward to next season.

1 The Battle for Promotion
PhotobucketAfter a season of battling to keep our heads above water it will be nice to (in theory) have a battle up at the top of a table. Some good wins will energise the team and fans alike. I think it's a tougher league 2 than last time we were here but I reckon a playoff push is on the cards.

2 Barnet
Der da'der der der der derrrrrrr who the fuck are BARNET!?
Well Barnet managed to stay in the league by the skin of their teeth so our little derby day is back on. Good times.

3 New Grounds
AFC Wimbledon and Crawley are of course the two that a lot will be looking at. As well as those there is Morecambe's new "Globe Arena" and as it was a Daggers away crowd that joined the shrimpers for their last game at Christie Park it will be nice to say hello to the new gaff.

4 The Cups
A new season brings new cups to get kicked out of and the prospect of a tie with a big club or one of our rivals. The first stone in this year’s paths to the cups will be laid on Thursday with the Carling Cup draw, where we will of course draw Mk Dons away and get dumped out, probably. Despite all the glib pessimism there is always the hope of a big tie in the later rounds and it has been a while.

Despite its tag of "tinpot" the Johnstones Paint Trophy is always a nice golden ticket for lower league teams to go to Wembley.  An example of a cup no one cares about till they think they've got a chance of winning, funny that!

The Fa Cup whilst also offering a chance at the big teams gives us the chance of some of a stab at some of the old non-league rivals as they endeavour to put together a cup run, I mean imagine Crawley and Boston in the same season!

But all of this pales in comparison to the mighty Essex Senior Cup! As I have said before I genuinely like this cup. A chance to see our young'ins on the way up and ties against old local rivals. I would love to see more people turn out for these games and get some atmosphere going. Especially as we're one of the teams with the best chance of winning it!

5 Bristol Rovers
As regular readers will know I have family in Bristol and both the home and away ties provide the perfect excuse for a reunion and some friendly banter.

6 Home games & The Burgers
I can smell the onions now. Even when I’m not planning on eating the best cheeseburger in the league, the smell of the onions and the steam from the cooking food rising out of the front of the Sieve all add to the match day feeling. Tuesdays under the lights, the rain pissing down, that old guy moaning about us not “keeping it on the deck”. Man I want it all now!


7 Away days

Away days to me are the best bit. Home is always great because it's home, our home! But away days they have the feeling of an adventure. It's like we're a group of pirates raiding the opposition for three points.  The camaraderie at away games seems a little tighter, everyone is out of their territory and everyone wants to make their presence felt. Add that to the journey itself complete with songs, service stations, a game of "guess whose fans they are" and if you're in our car listening to Burzums "Daudi Baldrs" (Norwegian black metal is a must on away days!)

8 The Pub
Before the game, after the game, at the clubhouse or at the Bell. The pub is the beginning and end of most home games. Will you be toasting another historic win? Or crying into your pint? No matter what happens, it will happen at the pub.

9 Crawley
PhotobucketNot so much the team, but the manager. Yep, St*ve Ev*ns. Every great story needs a villain, and boy is he ours. Even if he hadn’t been the man in the centre of "Bostongate" his constant torrent of gob-shite directed at any club or management that lays a challenge to whatever team he is managing would make him very dislikeable.

Not seen at Victoria road since that bitter time Ev*ns is now in charge of Crawley and their massive wage bill and spending more money last January that  the whole of league 2 has shattered any illusions of "non-league boys  make good" (no matter what the poxy Sun says). Ev*ns will return to what I can only assume will be a very hostile reception. To help towards this atmosphere I have penned 2 songs for the occasion


"Evans, wherever you may be"

Ev*ns wherever you may be, 
Boston scum, or Creepy Crawley
You always cheat, you dirty runt. 
You stupid f*cking loud mouth c*nt!

"We wish we were there"

We wish we were there,
We wish we were theeeeerrrre,
When you cried in court,
We wish we were there.

I even designed a t-shirt, and if enough people say they want one I shall get some printed.


10 My Fellow Daggers

Yeah, that's right. You lot! Being in the Sieve surrounded by the red and blue army in full voice is one of the best feelings I know. I have always loved the way that the Daggers bring us together. Being a lifelong metal head I can appreciate a place that brings people of all different backgrounds and tastes together. Who says football is all conflict?



Coming soon  - The awards

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Now It's Our Turn

 A little break from our normal offerings, not Daggers related but football related none the less. (and maybe it'll pass some time until the new season eh!) - FMD
 Now It's Our Turn
(or "how to try not to suck in a football team")


That was the noise my outstretched body made as I hit the floor, kicking up a cloud of dust. I looked along my arm to my gloved hand and saw my fingertips ineffectually glance at the ball, which rolled past the make shift goalpost (my back-pack) and over the line. This wasn’t going to be as easy as we first thought, well maybe that's a lie, we never thought this was going to be easy! Forming a Five-a-Side football team with a bunch of unfit 20 somethings was always going to be a tough task. It was something that had often been bandied about during late night chats and even attempted once before with little success (This being due to the futsal league we wanted to join closing down) But this time we decided plain old 5-a-side was the way to go if we were actually to get this idea off the ground.


Let’s rewind a month...

The first thing to do was see if we could actually get enough people to form said team. We had decided that Dagenham’s Goals Soccer Centre was the best place to find a league to join and in their leagues a match day squad can consist of no less than 5 players (well, no guff!) and no more than 8 (which includes 3 subs) but a maximum of 20 players can be registered to our overall squad. So messages were sent, phone calls were made and interest was gauged. After about a week or so we had a preliminary team. That team was;

Ben (Me) - now many of you that know me know I am not exactly the owner of an athletic body, what many of you might not know is that I used to be quite svelte! But this was before a 6 year absence from work which encompassed a major spinal surgery and a good couple of years of recuperating. since then I have probably put on about 2 stone (maybe more, I daren't check!) and whilst my current physiotherapy is starting to give me back my full movement it isn’t exactly a way to get fit again. Now I am a member of my local gym, BUT!!!! I find standing/sitting in some machine in a room looking at the wall, running but going nowhere EXTREMLY FUCKING TEDIOUS!! But I do enjoy riding my bike around the park and playing football as a goalie. So this for me is the perfect outlet. In the Team I will be the Goalkeeper and the Manager.

James - A friend I have known nearly my whole life and also the guitarist in my band. It was just natural getting him on board; anything we set out minds too usually gets off of the ground. The fact he was pretty athletic in our younger days can’t hurt either eh?

Nick - You know him, he's the tall/loud bloke that I quite often go football with! Another friend for a fair few years who's love for football is second to none! He has pretty good tactical knowledge, he's loud, he's got a good pass and a sweet free kick on him. All this is why it was decided very early on he would be our Captain.

Abz - A friend of mine and Nick's. He is very very sporty, he's in at least one other 11 a side team that I know of and over the years has done all sorts of stuff including pro-wrestling. A solid geezer with nary a bad word to say about anyone. His experience as an outfielder and goalie in proper teams is why he leads training, because you know... he's actually done this before!

Mark - A friend of Nicks with whom he has played many games, got a right hard punt on him.

Chris - A mate of mine who I know through my life as a musician. The lead singer of Hardcore-Punk band "Local Mad Man" and another really nice bloke (for a Milwall fan!) and built like a brick shit house, a very smiley amiable one!

So not a bad start really!

told you I used to be skinny!
Second thing to do was find a League, it was decided a Thursday league would be best as none of us watch teams that will be in the Europa League and none of us wanted to miss any vital Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday Games!! And seeing as Fridays only had a 1 division student’s league, Thursdays 3 division adult league looked the way to go!

Since then we have had a few training sessions in Mayesbrook Park and a match against some people we bumped into in the park. Despite losing said match (to some very athletic looking eastern European dudes!) we came away feeling our general organisation wasn’t too bad and the goals we had given away were more due to our own mistakes rather than them outright dominating us. So in theory if we keep practicing we'll win some! As well as the practices, smaller groups of us (mainly Me Nick James and Mark in various combinations) have met up for little kickarounds. With all this though I feel we have all improved a little and more importantly; started to feel like a team!

Sadly, Chris's new job has meant he will be on the other side of London and his band, practices on a Thursday (which can’t be moved - he tried). So in a very apologetic call from him he bowed out. Despite this he is being registered in our squad so if at any time he can make it there is always a place for him.

On the bright side other team members have brought new recruits, these are;

Si - Abs' brother

Michael - Marks cousin

Our next step is a "Grading Match" which is essentially a friendly which will determine which division we are placed in. The general consensus is that we would like to start at the bottom and work our way up. This is the most exercise some of us have done in years so we just want to build up slowly. If it turns out (by some miracle) we're too good for the bottom division at least we'll be able to win eh! But before we could register for the grading match we had to pay our registration fee (thanks to Mark for covering that!) and give ourselves a name.

We had discussed names before, knowing we would need one eventually. Many joke names were made and trying to work in "Un-Athletic" and the like into names was tried. Someone (Mark I believe) suggested "the Misfits" or "Misfits FC" which was probably the best description of our little team. I myself had liked the idea of tying the team to location, which in my mind feel a little more real identity wise, something like "AFC Mayesbrook" or "Upney FC". So after one practice, sitting in my back garden When Mark said "what about Mayesbrook Misfits?" looks of agreement were shared and it became official.

We are Mayesbrook Misfits FC!


We had our team, we had our name, and we even had enough plain black shirts (that I had spare from when I last made a batch of merch for my band) which will act as our temporary kit. All we needed was a proper match...

...and now we have one

Mayesbrook Misfits FC vs. (Unknown Opponent)
(5-a-side Grading Match)
Thursday 2nd of June (20:15 KO)

Oh shit!   That's tomorrow!


What will happen in our first match ? (spoiler - we're probably gonna lose!) and the Daggers Diary Awards are still to come!!