Dom Roman – @DomRoman
No game for two whole weeks. Are the Yellow Army bovvered?!! Well there hasn’t been much disappointment around the TUFC social media circles. After two miserable defeats I think most of us are assuming the ‘National League South’ writing is on the wall, and that we would only lose to AFC Fylde anyway if the game had gone ahead. They may be right but I personally would have preferred the chance to find out!
For a couple of years we had the belief that we were still a league club, stuck temporarily in non-league football. Well I think we can banish those thoughts; we are definitely a non-league club and not a good one either. ‘Non-League’ is not necessarily a derogatory phrase though. The NL family are full of honest professionals and great people who support each other in times of need.
That leads me onto Damon Lathrope. Damon has struggled with injuries for some time and the bad news of his career-ending injury was not shocking in that respect, but really sad considering Damon is only in his late 20s and a family man expecting a new baby in the summer. The funding page set up to help Damon and his family is a very kind gesture (see link below) from Woking, and it is brilliant to see over 5k raised in the last week (see below). It’s a good example of the #NonLeagueFamily coming together for an honest pro.
Damon will hopefully find new avenues and a new career after his retirement, but his predicament really illustrates the fine line lower league players walk on. These guys don’t earn lots of money and have a short career to make it. The news that United will run a collection in the near future is a welcome reminder that our club still does have a heart, and I’m sure the Yellow Army will give generously for a player who served us well in two spells at the club. His best season was that 2011-12 campaign under Martin Ling, when his fitness held up and we came so close to promotion – good luck for the future Damon.
Keeping the #NonleagueFamily theme going, it was really enjoyable to interview AFC Fylde supporters club chairman Craig Wilson last week, but also quite depressing at the same time! Fylde are clearly a team on the up and their supporters are having a ball at the moment. The owners are football people who have a smart business plan, with a new ground and adjoining business ventures to make the team profitable and upwardly mobile. This makes me envious.
Most importantly they are a club in unity – something which we can only dream of at Plainmoor. It just shows what can be achieved if the right people get hold of a club and are shrewdly ambitious for the future, meaning the fans are currently in dreamland. Clarke Osborne wants us to believe he’ll be the right person, but nobody believes in him, or respects his track record. Until he proves otherwise, then the doubters will rule and rightly so.
So on we move to the weekends game. Three away fixtures in 8 games to salvage those flickering GE hopes or endure more nails in the coffin. Maidstone have been on an awful run and have signed a number of players to get them over the rut…sounds familiar. It’s a chance for us to get out of the blocks early and have a real go, as their confidence could be even lower than ours! Owers has to get the guys revved up and support up to the strikers, forget the shackles Gary we need goals.
Sam Jones will be reporting back for TT from the Gallagher Stadium, followed by Leyton Orient (again with Sam Jones) and then across to Solihull Moors with that northern chap Luke Hunter. The guys will be taking over our Twitter feeds and giving us honest views as usual, we wouldn’t want anything less. #TUFC normally win when Sam reports back so you never know. Seven points must be the aim from those three, as stated by Sean McGinty in his dull interview with the Herald this week. Footballers don’t say much these days, mind you nobody says much in the HE.
You may not be hearing too much from me in the coming few weeks, as our second child is due around the time of the Solihull game. We’re bringing a new baby into a world of Brexit, Trump and a United team heading for NL South – but I’m sure they won’t be bothered. Ignorance is bliss at the moment! Fingers crossed I’ll be back at Plainmoor before long.
In the meantime we have another Match Preview Q&A with @stoneslive radio this week. They are a voluntary group of supporters who love their team and have seen the #Stones rise from the ashes of their 1992 bankruptcy. Find out what’s been going wrong on the pitch in recent times, what the owners are like and their match prediction for Saturday. Oh and also the best pubs near the Gallagher for our #AwayDays Yellow Army – all the big questions at TT!
Oh and apologies for repetition, but join the TUST! The ongoing sagas of Dulwich, Hartlepool, Chester (amongst others) are all warnings for us – and for all of Clarke’s big plan soundbites nobody knows how the future will play out. By joining the TUST you will help protect your club going forward, as these are real supporters who will act in the best interests of the club. The Trust is getting active and looking to engage supporters more than ever – your membership will help make a difference.
Blog Hashtags: #AwayDays #NonLeagueFamily #TUFC #Stones
Twitter Accounts: @NonLeaguePaper @wokingfc @stoneslive @savegrassroots