Showing posts from May, 2019

The Hard Work Now Begins


Well, that’s another season over. No relegation scares but plenty of improvements to be made. Strange how we can play like Barcelona against the top teams yet play like a pub side against the lower placed clubs. So a need for some kind of consistency then. 

Against Salford City last week, Pools’ second half performance was one of the finest I’ve seen all season. There was even a certain amount of arrogance as Pools sprayed the ball about – backwards, forwards and in a straight line across the pitch. How we enjoyed it.

So it now comes to the retained list. How should it shape up?

Scott Loach: Has to be retained. Without him, we might have been facing relegation.
Mark Kitchen: Definitely coming on. Keeps going for the whole game.
Gavan Holohan: A good find. Keep him on.
Peter Kioso: Maintained his good start and will only get better.
David Edgar: Never took any risks but a good stop gap. Probably will seek another club.
Liam Noble: Good ball winner but distribution a bit wayward at times. Keep him.
Nicky Featherstone: Probably epitomises Pools’ inconsistency. When on song, Pools are brilliant.
Luke Molyneaux: A good loan signing. An integral part of Craig Hignett’s attacking approach. Shame he’ll probably be seeking a Football League club. But try and get him.
Nicke Kabamba: A fantastic loan signing. Lays the ball off well and more often than not is in the right place at the right time. Get him signed on.
Ryan Donaldson: Looks to have got better after given the captaincy. Many of the attacks on the right start with him.
Luke James: Now starting to find the net. A good striking partner for Nicke Kabamba. Slowly getting back to the player we knew before signing for Peterborough.
Carl Magnay: A difficult choice as to whether to retain him. Has been injured for much of the time.
"Strange how we can play like Barcelona against the top teams yet play like a pub side against the lower placed clubs."

In terms of incoming signings , we need a centre half. Could Michael Raynes return to Pools on a permanent basis? Certainly shows leadership qualities at the heart of the defence. The squad a it stands is paper thin and we might need further signings to cover injuries and suspensions.

So far as Salford City are concerned, I would have expected their supporters to have filled the Rink End given a remote possibility of guaranteed promotion. Despite having a reputation for being money bags, they could be built on shaky foundations. Their association with ex- Manchester United players certainly makes them a target for the cynics. Some Poolies even hope they get promotion through the play-offs on the basis that its good riddance to them.

Anyway, enjoy the close season and come back refreshed. Don’t get too stressed out being dragged round shops.

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Old Pals' Act


Thankfully we are at the end of another season of inglorious failure which our manager justifies by saying "Halfway or thereabouts is what we were looking for."
If he cares to look at the final league table he will see we finished in 17th place - our lowest league position in the club's history.

With one of the most unfit squads it has been my displeasure to watch we ended up coming second best to teams of part-timers who looked infinitely more fit than our bunch of talentless losers. Indeed our first manager of the season Mathew Bates thought 70 minutes training a day was sufficient for our lot. No wonder we ran out of steam.

Giving Bates the job was a massive mistake and a case of not what you know. Likewise the case of Raj Singh bringing in his mate Craig Hignett, first as director of football and then manager. Not forgetting that when Bates was in charge he brought in his two mates Ged McNamee and Ross Turnbull who are still at the club with no signs of improvement forthcoming.

The idea of the Old Pals Act and jobs for the boys has been rife at Victoria Park for far too long now, well before Mr Singh took over and we really need to look a bit further away even though when we did for a manager Richard Money we got our fingers burned. Most people agreed with giving him the job but it seems that his time as a football manager was long gone which is a pity because in his prime would have been a real asset to the club.

The jury is certainly still out on his successor Hignett who hardly shone at the job first time around and is still liable to make some baffling decisions. His worst one was bringing Conor Newton on at left back to see out a game only for us to concede two goals in the last three minutes to lose the game. And the form in the last five games when it was back to the bad old days until we overcame the ten men of Salford in the final game. In these we saw Xavi starting every game with Josh Hawkes, Liam Noble and Gavan Holohan sitting on the bench.

Hignett keeps spouting off that he wants to get a tall midfielder, who is mobile and can tackle yet plays the little fat feller as an ever present with the obvious results. Hignett certainly needs some back up or preferably goes back upstairs if Mr Singh can't get rid of him. I would like to see someone like Darrell Clarke or Gary Bowyer or Keith Hill given the job.
"Hignett must take this chance to clear the deadwood and not just get rid of the odd player here and there."

I welcome the move to give Antony Sweeney more responsibility and would make him first team coach or assistant manager. I believe he has a big future in coaching and we may have a gem right under our noses. No mention yet of season ticket prices for next season which will no doubt take a bit of selling with the dross we have on show. And the £20 charge for pay on the day needs to be looked at. We are Hartlepool not bloody Liverpool as Tommy Widdrington would say.

At the time of writing the retained list has not yet been announced and once this has been revealed we will have a good idea of what to expect for next season. Hignett must take this chance to clear the deadwood and not just get rid of the odd player here and there. For the record these are the players I would release:
Scott Loach,
Kenton Richardson,
Ryan Catterick,
Carl Magnay,
Myles Anderson,
Mark Kitching,
Ryan Donaldson,
Conor Newton,
Paddy McLoughlin,
Lewis Hawkins,
Jake Cassidy.

Of the loan players I would try and sign Nicke Kabamba and Luke Molyneux. Obviously the money will be tighter next season with the parachute payment gone and the Academy to be closed down which is not a bad thing while we are still in this jumpers-for-goalposts league. There will be any number of players looking for clubs this summer and it is hoped we have some decent ones sorted out. Because more than one more season in this league doesn't bear thinking about. Leyton Orient managed it this season without spending a fortune but they had two experienced men in charge, Justin Edinburgh and Martin Ling. 

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Love Thine Enemy

BILLY'S CONTRACT talks about Tactical Supporting

One of my pals is a massive Manchester United fan, albeit he is not grossly overweight.
Although he is no longer a season ticket holder (got priced out of the market) he has supported United all his life through thick and thin ...mainly thick it has got to be said, and travelled home and away as well as abroad to watch his beloved Reds. Times have changed for United who are not the force they were once were and sadly no longer pleasing to watch.

My friend naturally does not like their Manchester neighbours City, but of late he has mellowed somewhat towards them. Admittedly he was delighted when Tottenham knocked City out of the Champions' League but he was man enough to say that on current form City are the best team in Europe and on their day are probably the best team in the world. You could have knocked me over with a feather if he had uttered those words to me 4/5 years back.

Mind, the same lad also said if it wasn't for the money that has been invested in City they would not even be on the radar. Fair comment, but it had overtones of the kettle calling the pot black. This from someone whose team, even before the inception of the Premiership could buy any player they desired at a whim as they had so much cash they didn't know what to do with it. That was until Mr Roman Abramovich came onto the scene and from nowhere Chelsea started taking trophies from United. A few years later City with Middle Eastern backing also wanted to join the party and also began taking big slices out of United's cake. Suddenly the boot was on the other foot with United fans crying "foul" because it was no longer a level playing field.
"...if Borer and Leeds were in this season's playoff final, most right-minded people would want both teams to lose!"

Supporters of other clubs likened this to the Steve Davis syndrome, the snooker player who for years had won every trophy in sight. As brilliant as Davis's achievements were, the British Public got bored with the same old same old and felt that he had his day in the sun and now it was someone else's turn and were delighted when Dennis Taylor beat him in the World Snooker final in 1985. In footballing terms view Steve Davis as Manchester United and Dennis Taylor as Leicester City.

So overwhelming was my friend's dislike of Liverpool (he doesn't want them to eclipse United's trophy-winning record), that prior to kick off in the United v City game he sent me the following text:

C'mon City please please win!

Further texts followed (mine in italics) during the course of the game:

Would love to see you celebrate a City Goal.

Don't worry you will. City score. Get in!

Early days. If United score, City's bottoms will cave inSterling is an Oxygen thief - done nothing all game. Luke Shaw is fat and must have the biggest backside in the Premiership. 

I hope he gets sent off along with four other United players

Joking aside, United are poor and they need to get rid of at least 6 players including Pogba. 

Pogba has to go and Lukaku is a ******. 

He looks like an American footballer. Bring Fergie back!

City Score again. Get In. City for the title!

In one way I was quite shocked at his reasoning.Cheering for a club you don't like to stop another club that you don't like winning a trophy. How can a supporter want or hope that their team gets beaten no matter what the circumstances are, let alone against their derby team?

That would be a bit like me in a Pools v Darlington match shouting for the Loids to prevent Borer winning a trophy. Hmm, yes, let me think about this just for a minute. ...Yes, hands up, I can clearly see where my my mate is coming from on this one ...C'mon Darlo, C'mon Darlo, C'mon Darlo!!!

For instance who, dear reader, would you shout for? There is a strong possibility that this could happen: if Borer and Leeds were in this season's playoff final. Most right-minded people would want both teams to lose!

I rest my case.

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Dead Men Walking


Our kid went to his first match of the season against Halifax. He went to the hole in the wall ticket office next to the turnstiles which had music playing in the backround presumably on an i-Pod or thingy or perhaps even on one of these much sought-after cassette players. The following conversation ensued:

"One Adult Concession for the Town End please."

"That will be £10"

"That's a nice song who's singing it?"

"It is so and so so." (Our Kid could not recall the singer's name.)

"Never heard of her."

"It's often played on the TV Series The Walking Dead."

"Not got Sky, so never seen it."

"It's all about Zombies."

"I'm not into watching Zombies."

"Funny, you have just bought a ticket to watch some."

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Salford City


I am beginning to think that Salford City are fast becoming the most unloved club in the lower reaches of the football leagues. I know there was an intense rivalry between themselves and Darlington both on and off field, going back to their Northern Premier League days when both clubs were challenging for promotion.

On one television clip showing the on-pitch celebrations of the Orient players after winning the league title you could clearly see one Orient player mouthing the words "F... you, Salford." One wonders why.

Obviously the involvement and investment into the club of several former high profile ex-Manchester United players, the latest to join their ranks being David Beckham who now owns 10% of the club, raised the club's profile so much that the BBC started a love affair with them and spent a season or two screening the club's highs and lows on a weekly basis. It came as no surprise then, when the Beeb had their cameras in situ at Moor Lane half an hour after the first round draw of the FA cup had been announced, in which Salford would host Notts County.

It was even less of a surprise, having dispatched Notts County, that Salford would again feature live on television, in the second round against Pools. The Beeb probably argued that, apart from hoping for a juicy cup upset, they hadn't got round to removing the cameras from Salford's ground from the previous cup tie.

As we all know the game went to a replay and lo and behold the Beeb somehow managed to unbolt their now almost permanently-installed cameras from Moor lane and installed them at the Vic so the nation could continue to view Salford's progress. Salford were getting so much TV exposure that when my license fee was due for renewal I mistakenly wrote the cheque out to Salford City FC instead of the BBC. Goodness knows how much they made from the television rights but they probably would have earned a lot more if Pools hadn't disposed of them in said replay.

I am convinced that the Beeb had them down to go all the way to Wembley. So much was the BBC's love-in with the Lancashire club that at one stage Salford were featured on national prime time television more times than Strictly, and that does take some doing.
"fans from other non-league clubs view the whole Salford model as a rich man's plaything."

Since that documentary, which initially showed a typical non league ground with one end featuring a grass embankment, City now have a brand new bespoke, if somewhat uninspiring, stadium on the same site, which is all but a glorified Meccano set.

Obviously their famous backers and the Beeb's interest has raised the profile of the club and their fans must be delighted. On the other side of the coin fans from other non-league clubs view the whole Salford model as a rich man's plaything.

I recently read that Salford for all their investment are haemorrhaging money at a frightening level. Three of their forwards are earning between them over £12k per week. This for a club whose average gate is only 2,500 and this in a promotion-challenging season. One wonders what their gates would be like if they were in the same league position as Pools.

Their last game of the season against Pools, in which Salford had a remote possibility of gaining automatic promotion, saw only 350 Salford fans make the trip to the Vic. In contrast, earlier in the season Pools took just short of 600 fans down to Moor lane for a midweek fixture. Pools might not have the money but by God we have passion and history that our Lancastrian friends could only dream of. If Salford do get promoted I can see them joining the ranks of other unloved sides such as Crawley, Stevenage as well as M.K.Dons. They surely all should belong to a league of their own.

I fear that when Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, the Neville brothers as well as Beckham get fed up with the whole Salford venture, provided that they do not go broke, could see them make a swift return down to the lower levels of non-league football and beyond.

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Photo & caption: Billy's Contract
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Bad Day at the Office

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 0 Solihull Moors 1 (National League)
Saturday 6 April 2019
Victoria Park

Soliul, remember them -the whipping boys of last season that finished below a low-performing Pools, even though we shared the points for the season? The Soliul Moors team that turned up at the Vic today were a different kettle of fish.

This has to be the best team we have seen at the Vic all season. They simply battered us for forty-five minutes and could have been four or five up, but thanks to a sparkling performance by Loach who made some fantastic saves. The first of his great saves was a superb dive to push out a ball from a long range shot that deserved a goal.

The game looked like Loach V Soliul Moors as they played some fast slick football and we could not break out as they were first to every ball and every second ball we just could not live with the style and pace of the visitors, some fans going for an early pint thirty minutes into the game. It was a good thing that we have won a few points of late as the Ditchburn commented that the Pools of old or even earlier this season may have tossed the towel into the ring. To be fair we have a number of casualties and started the game with just four fit subs but the team did not look too bad but Anderson is a centre half not a full back and we missed Amos today.

"Just a bad day at the office you might say so I wonder what kind of office staff we will have next season."

Loach blocked a header and there was a hell of a scramble on the goal line for a loose ball but but a combination of keeper and defender managed to get the ball away and the Soliul attacker who was stood a yard from the line was denied the easiest chance he will ever get. My notes read, another great save, another tip over from Loach, a third tip away and “What a miss. Another save from Loach. This was the story of the first half an hour and Pools got one break in the half and Luke got free from his shackles and sent in a cross for Kebamba whose shot was blocked by the keeper and there was a great round of applause for Pools managing to get to half time with out conceding under extreme pressure.

Pools had to do better kicking towards the Town End and they looked a little sharper as they kept the ball down and played football. This was difficult in the first half as Pools saw very little of the ball. Credit has to be given to Luke for he never shirks and always always keeps pushing the side on, some poor passing from midfield and some heavy handed treatment combined to keep Pools out of the half in the first half but after the turn around they looked a little better and were turning defenders and putting a little uncertainty in the minds of the visitors, Both Noble and Luke had chances which doubled the tally of the first half. It was sods law that the Pools keeper Loach who was named M.O.M at the end of the game gifted the visitors with a goal just after the break and after a bit of pressure from the home side. Loach dropped a ball he should have taken then dropped it again giving the visitor’s who were far ore alert than Pools to chances shank the ball over the line.

The visitors were content to hold the lead and apart from the odd break when we lost the ball they orchestrated a series of delaying tactics, going down after tackle taking far too long for goal kicks and feigning head injuries that needed no treatment other than the physio to give them a drink. It is annoying especially when you are getting beat but to watch two or even three players take turn to walk up and take the throw in deserves a card and at least one was booked for time wasting. Just as well we are nearing the end of this up and down season as the Ditchburn is getting a bit anxious as he went walk about again today. Just a bad day at the office you might say so I wonder what kind of office staff we will have next season.

I heard some rumblings today about the fans backing the fans fund raiser as a back up but missed the gist of it, I just hope Raj and Co are not going to be a one hit wonder as there is quite a list of clubs possibly going to the wall at the end of this season and rumours have a habit of becoming fact.

The rumour mill says Hawkes off to Hull City and Kioso talking to another club.

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A Knight Out


 I told this lad that from where
I was stood it looked as if he was
carrying out some sort of deviant
medieval act which could lead
to a lengthy custodial sentence.
A memorable day was had by all when Pools fans dressed up as St. George and and made their crusade to the Holy Land aka Barrow.

I say a memorable day, as in many ways, on a smaller scale, it put me in mind of that brilliant day out in Cardiff for the play off final in 2005. It was sunny, it was funny, good banter on all sides with the police and the locals. Barrow fans as well as the locals  applauding us, beeping their horns and shaking our hands. The craic was mighty, the beer good, and er hmm, yes, Pools got beat. Every joke and pun concerning the dress code must have been used up several times on the day. 

I was talking to this Damsel in this dress. Having a Knight out?

The Pools defenders had a Knightmare!

What type of soap does a crusader use? Shield.

Q: How old do you think I am? A: Middle aged.

We did not have anything to eat in Wetherspoons as they did not have a cloak room or a round table.

Half time seemed to Dragon
Q:Did Royal Mail deliver your costume? A: No it came by Chain Mail.

Q:I have a boil on the back of my neck what should I do? A:Lance it

Q:How come your kid did not turn out? A: He was on Knight shift.

...and on and on it went and all this was just in our car alone.

However, the best was saved for last, which had nothing to do with the crusades or knights in or out of armour. We had a ten minute wander round the town looking for somewhere to grab a bite when my pal said that he was told beforehand that this place was a dump but in Furness, Barrow isn't too bad. Oh what a jester he is!

Match report: On the day almost twelve hundred Poolies turned up, Pity the players did not.

The Knights of Nik, literally crowd-funding Wetherspoons

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Knights Galore Turn Up ...Unlike Pools

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Barrow 1 Pools 0 (National League)
Monday 22 April 2019
Holker Street

The annual away day fancy dress game turned sour on the 1207 Pools fans that made the trip to Barrow. Both teams on the same number of points most Pools fans were looking forward to a good result on this fine sunny day in Cumbria. There was some good points Pools helping the home team to their record home gate for a game as the home fans brought their family and friends to see the Poolie carnival. The journey took a couple of hours and we parked almost on the corner of the ground, plenty street parking and a decent size park behind the ground was also available for visiting fans.

One comment made to me was “we never expected this many. we usually only get about ten away fans for our home games. Another first could possibly be the largest number of St George impersonators in one place at the same time, the Guinness Book of records were informed but I think they would have to verify the numbers, although they did say there was a category and the record could be possible.

I took my trusty brownie with me and made my way to one of the pubs, the Owl and the Pussy Cat that was supposed to be hosting the away fans but was disappointed to find only about a dozen fans there. So another half mile trek down the road to a Wetherspoons, the Railway Inn, and it was bouncing with Knights and Ladies, [pics available] all getting prepared for the game. Feeling a bit peckish I decided to walk up to Greggs for a sarnie but doing so I missed the lads getting on the team bus from a hotel only a few doors down from the pub.

I eventually made my way to the ground, passing a statue of the Barrow / Liverpool and England Legend, the late Emlyn Hughes.

Arriving at the ground it was like the Billingham ground we are so familiar with. It crossed my mind the looking back to the old fourth division did we ever played Barrow? They have done very little to up grade since those heady days. The best you could say ‘it was a tidy little ground with a stand either side and a small club house and dressing rooms behind the goal.
"As you can see, I am avoiding writing anything about the football, simply because we never played any."

As you can see, I am avoiding writing anything about the football, simply because we never played any. From the off we were on the back foot as Barrow SIMPLY played over the top or round us and we did nowt. The only incident worth mentioning apart for the amount of chances they had and missed and the number of blocks and saves that Loach had to make, he alone saved us from a bloody good thrashing. 8-0 would not have been an unfair result. One moment of brilliance from Featherstone, yes THE Featherstone, the greatest turner of all time who usually gets it wrong, stepped in to challenge two players and I hope the TV got this but it was a touch of magic as he turned and came out with the ball leaving two players for dead.

Remember the lady ref we all praised at the Vic as the best ref we had seen all season, well she is either a homer or can only look one way in a game as at the Vic she looked in control and gave us at least fifty percent of the fifty-fifty decisions. Today she gave us bugger all and was really slack on time wasting by the home side, a ploy they carried out at Vic in the home game. We have to learn as a team to play to this division;s rules as we are too honest about the game and suffer for it.

The goal was a cracker - an overhead kick that Loach was nowhere near but it was taken very well when we were under a bit of pressure.

One bit of good news was that I got the front page on the Mail the following day with my pic of the chairman standing with the crowd on the terrace before the game. There is one on the Pools website made by A.N. Other but mine... (edited for boasting - Ed)

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A Great End to the Season

Match report by RUNNING MONKEY

Pools 3 Salford 2  (National League)
Saturday 27 April 2019
Victoria Park

Despite them riding high in the division it was always going to be a tough game for Salford. Surely they will be under pressure as there is still a chance they will not go up. 

After the Pools debacle on Monday at Barrow the home fans deserved a "performance" from the team, win, lose or draw. Hignett on the wireless (how quaint - Ed.) was scathing about the Barrow performance and hinted that some players in the squad were lazy. Harsh words you might say but a lot of fans are expecting a good-sized clear out once all the shouting is over. Although the Oracle told me today that some could still be on contract till Christmas. That might work out well for some but Hignett did say he has been chasing some players for a few months now and expects to make some decent signings.

The fine sunny day was not what was forecast so it was a pleasure to bask in the Victoria Park sunshine. Well, it was for about three minutes as the Salford goal machine Rooney scored with a free shot, so not a good start against one of the form teams. I am sure I said to the Ditchburn that it was a flash in the pan and we would be ok. I tell a lie; what I actually said was ********. It was a very poor start; gifting a promotion team a goal like we did. I call this Salford team the Manure Wannabes for obvious reasons. Not sure if any of the glory boys were there, I just hope so. The tactic of the visitors was to launch the long ball and run into any Pools player they saw making a challenge; this went on for all of the first half. Luke was taken out with what can only be called a criminal act; he was scythed down by some poof in a ponytail who was the obvious so-called hard man in the side.

It was a tough old game as every time Salford challenged and lost they fell to the ground, appealing to the ref or linesman like Manure for a decision. Pools were kept at long range for most of the half and they defended well. There was a difference in class of player but as we know these so-called class players who cost a lot do not have any heart, and when things go wrong for them they go missing.

" Pools certainly put on a treat for the home fans in the last game of the season and, despite another goal from the visitors against the run of play, it was a great end to the season."
Green, the Salford centre-back, was booked for a foul on Luke which the home crowd thought should have been a straight red as Luke was on a run and Green was the last man. The ref produced a yellow which was a big let-off for the visitors, but don’t the big sides always get this treatment. The sad part of the half was the treatment being given to the Pools players which has been common in this division because the officials seem to ignore it. I suppose the officials are learning their trade too and learn to cut corners which will carry on until something is done about it, but don’t hold your breath. A challenge on Loach by Green produced a red card, although the ref only had a view from behind and, to be honest, he was unfortunate to go off as we had seen worse in the game that had been let go. One wag in the Town End shouted to Scott "You can stop acting now", but it is was a two-footed lunge that Loach had to dodge or risk injury and it served them right for continuing the tactic all through the half. At least this ref decided enough was enough and he was off after a long protest.

Second half we got the early goal as Kabamba fed Featherstone who scored an easy goal to make it one all. This seemed to knock the heart out of the Salford players and Pools really started to make a game of it. Holohan hit the bar with a screamer as Pools put pressure on the visitors.Some great work by Pools saw the keeper drop the ball in his goal mouth and as quick as a flash Kabamba pounced on the ball to make it two nil to the Hartlepool. Pools were now swinging the ball about and it was "olé" football in the sunshine as the visitors now struggled to get the ball and were reduced to snatching and hacking the ball clear - a different game from the first half.

Luke James was the next player to hit the spot after some very neat football by Pools opened up the game for him to slip a low shot past the advancing keeper. Three-one up against another promotion chasing team was just what the doctor ordered as the 3500 Pools fans enjoyed the moment. One chant of the day was "You can stick your money up your a**e", in reference to the Manure owners. Pools certainly put on a treat for the home fans in the last game of the season and, despite another goal from the visitors against the run of play, it was a great end to the season.

Molyneux deserved the Man-of-the-Match accolade but every man played his part today; well done to them.

Luke James was named Player of the Season, Scott Loach Players' Player of the Season and Kioso Community Player of the Season. I would not argue with any of that.

I was a bit disappointed with the visitors' crowd of 300 when you consider their position. Pools took four times that amount to Barrow with nothing to play for so just maybe Salford have a similar situation to Manure, not true fans and most of them corporate invitees - "Let's all go and see Gary Neville." Let's see how far they go on that type of support. 2500 average at home wont pay the bills. It also cost them two and a half million getting into this division. And a bank balance of £195.000. Nothing like the “Never Say Die” Poolies.

Any Other Business


Pools ended the season as inconsistently as ever, with the last two games being respectively regarded as one of the worst and one of the best of the season. As on many occasions, and not necessarily just at Pools, managers seem at a loss to explain why such inconsistency occurs, assuming it's not always to do with the manager's interaction with the players.

We are always being told how footballers (like actors and other performers) respond to an appreciative/supportive audience. How then can you have 1100 fans travelling 110 miles across the country at considerable effort and expense to support their team and that team metaphorically fails to turn up?

Whether consistently bad or consistently good, at least you know where you are if you support Manchester City or Huddersfield, but this being consistently inconsistent is so infuriating.

No doubt Pools will have a clearout (and no doubt a smaller one that many fans would like), and in a few weeks we'll all be getting excited about their replacements, but no doubt we'll still have the same inconsistency.

This piece was spotted recently in the i newspaper by Shedrick:

Some pictures from the Salford game, provided by Running Monkey
On the left we see some Pools fans over from Dublin, two of whom were Anto and Gerry.
On the right are two Poolie stalwarts, Carl and Nathan Rowbotham

And finally a big thank you to all our readers and contributors, who, together have now completed 30 years of keeping an eye on Pools, Who would have guessed when that first photocopied edition came out in 1989 that it would be followed over the next thirty years by a further 179 editions spanning more than a quarter of the club's existence.

MB181 will be out on the Friday before the new season starts, but in the meantime we wish everyone a relaxing summer before the pulling-out of hair begins once again in August.
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