I was rushed into hospital before last season finished. At Senior level we had just won two Cup Finals and we were about to push Polytechnic all the way to the end for the league title. I emerged from hospital on the 26th September with the new season underway and it has been a slow process for me getting to as many games as I would like.
I have seen about 40 minutes of the first team this season. David Shaw made a great start last season as first team coach. To win two trophies in your first season is really something. David’s team are playing good football and this season we are through to the Quarter finals of the AFA, Surrey AFA, and Surrey Premier Cup. The next month is going to be all about how many semi finals we can get into. In the league we are third. I cannot say too much as I have only seen 40 minutes of football. Our approach play seems good, we are scoring plenty of goals in the Cups, we are making the odd defensive mistake. We shall see!
In the Intermediate section Nottsborough 2’s are nearer to relegation than they are to any title. New skipper Gaz Melia has been doing a superb job however. I have watched parts of three 2’s games and I am adamant we are in a false position in the league. You could not really tell the difference in general play between us and league leaders West Wickham in our last game. They took their chances and we made mistakes at the back. These things are always fundamental. There are good players in our 2’s and we play attractive open football. Maybe we will get some success in the two Quarter finals we have reached with the AFA match this Saturday a real priority. We have never won this Cup. Maybe this is Gaz Melia’s Year.
We have another New skipper in Josh Sorenti at Junior level. Josh is very enthusiatic and is doing a great job. The 3’s disappointingly have recently exited the Cups but lie second in the league with games in hand. Unfortunately Our striker Josh Baines has been injured for much of the season but I believe he is back now. A couple of league wins will do wonders over the next two weeks.
The Stars of the show in some ways are our 4’s who lie fourth in Junior 2 with some games in hand. Experienced skipper Alex Gardner has done wonders in the AFA minor cup and our win at Civil Service has taken us into the AFA semi final. Mike Denholm has been scoring goals for fun so maybe it will be our turn in the AFA.
Finally the Vets remain a source of pride for me after almost 25 years at Nottsborough. Many of the Vets are men who were in my first Nottsborough teams. The Partisans tried valiantly to make the AFA Quarter Final but lack of football fitness eventually told. The Vets under Seb Stones really should have done better in the AFA losing a game to Albanian that was clearly winnable. We still have a good chance in the West London Vets league and we must hope that our three injured strikers recover quickly.
As ever the club seems to be enjoying its football. We have seen a couple of very promising players in Lazar and Kai Beck emerge from our Chelsea Academy. We are trying hard to keep our link with Loughborough fresh and we have Ben Lancaster in our 1’s and Dom Matcham and Kirky in our 2’s, and Josh Sorenti in our 3’s as recent acquisitions. We have great playing facilities at Tolworth and very good training facilities at Chelsea Academy. We have a lot to be thankful for!