PADDYSBOYZ PONDERINGS - PRE SEASON
By Loco
Monday 03 Aug 2015 20:00:00
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Well here we again. The pre- season is now in full swing and in keeping with what seems like an eternity of seasons gone by: WE ARE SKINT!!

We have lost a number of last season's old guard and we can only wish all the very best to several of last season's heroes Rhys Taylor and Scotty Barrow who have returned to their Celtic roots with Newport County. We also send our best wishes to the ‘Mokey Cokey Man' aka Adriano who has joined big spenders Wrexham and of course the ever popular Waide Fairhurst aka Ed Sheeran's doppelganger who has made the most surprising of moves from his home in Yorkshire to the English Riviera of Torquay. What's the betting either or both of them score against us? No I didn't think there were too many betting against them!!

Having said this, a massive ‘phew' from PB in being able to say that we have been able to retain some of our squad from last season; most notably last years' undisputed Player of the Year George Pilkington aka Pilks; the energetic scouse midfield maestro that is Paul Lewis and Wilmslow's finest; the one and only Danny Whitaker, who in PB's humble opinion is still one of the best midfielders outside of the Football League in spite of those ageing limbs!!

PB also welcomes some new (and not so new) faces to the Moss Rose with the welcome return of PB's favourite Frenchman Tony Diagne to the Moss Rose and ex Dragons' wing wizard Theo Bailey -Jones not to mention former Shrimper Jack Sampson who ain't no Delilah!! Also returning to the prettier side of Cheshire, goal poacher extraordinaire Kristian Dennis who PB knows that ‘Sir' John has been a long-time admirer of; his footballing skills PB means!! PB also offers a HUGE Wraggs to Riches welcome to other new additions to the squad in the form of Curtis Haynes-Brown from Lowestoft and Neill Byrne who was at last season's surprise poor performers and subsequent relegation fodder; AFC Telford United.

Well PB has been to all of the pre-season games with the exception of Kidsgrove (ripping out bedroom wardrobes with a lover of egg chasing would you believe?) and Stockport Counteeh where a long pre-arranged meal (very nice it was as well) at the rather lovely Bulls Head in the very posh heartland of Cheshire aka Mottram St Andrew prevented his attendance. The first of PB's pre-season games witnessed a very humbling defeat against the Dabbers of Nantwich Town FC, who completely outplayed the Silkmen in EVERY aspect of the game and to be honest 3-0 was flattering for the Silkmen. I really wouldn't like to face the Dabbers in a competitive game such as FA Trophy / FA Cup because they undoubtedly have the ‘Indian sign' over us it seems.

Since this time, we have been inundated with pre-season fixtures starting with games against our Lancastrian neighbours from the ‘Dale (PB really misses Wilbutts Lane Chippy) and the Shakers of Bury with its Cemetery End that PB always found a particularly intriguing name for a section of a football stadium!! Both games saw much improved performances than what was witnessed at Nantwich and the Silkmen procured a deserved (albeit goalless) draw against the ‘Dale and a very unlucky defeat to the Shakers of Bury (PB is never quite sure how to pronounce Bury) with a dubious goal from the much travelled beefcake striker Leon Clarke, who was a £750,000 signing for Wolves not that long ago; 2014 in fact!

PB then missed the first pre-season victory against Stockport Counteeh (always nice but not as nice as beating Alty!) with goals from Kristian Dennis & Chris Holroyd securing a hard fought 2-1 victory for a Silkmen side who had hitherto struggled in front of goal. In this period, PB, PBJ (and other eagle eyed W2R contributors) had noted the obvious talents of ex Stockport Counteeh & former ‘happy Hammer' midfielder Danny Whitehead. It was also at this time that the Silkmen faithful became aware of the financial limitations at our beloved little club with ‘Sir' John admitting that he was hamstrung in his attempts to sign Danny as his budget was effectively spent!!

WTF is going on? This was the belligerent cry of many of the Silkmen faithful amongst the W2R faithful who could not believe that despite a season bordering on the near miraculous that one of the greatest players ever to grace the Moss Rose once again appeared to be hampered in his attempts to secure an amazing return to the football league in a situation that even with a budget that was allegedly better than last season, but would still be very much against all odds!!

Roll cameras to the friendly against the Blades of Sheffield United, a truly Mahoosive club for the third tier of English football and with players like Billy Sharp, and Connor Sammon in a very strong Blades line up, it was always going to be an uphill task. The team news did not exactly inspire confidence with no Bully, Pilks, Dennis or Sampson in the line-up (please God be fit for the new season lads) and to be fair the 4-0 battering that we took with goals from Tony Diagne (sorry Tony!!), Sharp and a brace from the very impressive Che Adams was a more than fair reflection of the game totally dominated by the visitors whose fans numbered a very healthy 551 in an overall of 999 supporters. The one bright note that PB can elucidate is that a number of Blades fans were more than complimentary about the friendliness and facilities on offer at this wonderful little club of ours. Oh and by the way, PB was rather impressed by the input of James Poole; a pony tailed substitute in the second half whose contribution more than warranted a further ‘eyeball' at!!

The news then came that the friendly against the ‘yoof' of Stoke City under 21's had been cancelled leaving us with a freebie of a Saturday before the tough opening encounter against the Gulls of Torquay United. Then on Friday, PB got the news that a friendly had been arranged against near neighbours Congleton Town with a most admirable 10% of the gate receipts going to support the Help Bosley campaign in supporting those affected by the terrible tragedy that happened so close to the Moss Rose. So to the game and PB took the opportunity during his PA duties to lavish great praise towards our near neighbours for their flexibility and generosity of spirit.

The game itself in front of a reasonable gate of 329 (not bad considering the short notice of its arrangement) proved to be a massacre in the end, but the 7-1 score-line could never have been predicted in a reasonably entertaining first half that saw PB witness his first goal of the season when lively goal poacher Kristian Dennis scored from a rebound to end PB's personal goal drought misery. The half was marred however when poor Curtis Haynes-Brown suffered a horrible Achilles tendon injury following an innocuous looking challenge adjacent to the Moss Lane Stand and which will most likely leave him side-lined for a considerable length of time. PB is sure that he speaks for the entire W2R readership in wishing Curtis a very speedy recovery.

The second half goal fest from the Silkmen was most certainly enjoyable although great credit must be given to our plucky neighbours who never gave up, but fitness clearly told as the Bears tired noticeably in the last third of the game allowing the Silkmen the time and space to simply run riot. Dennis got his second of the game with a well-placed header and Danny Whitaker netted probably the simplest goal he could ever score before trialist substitute James Poole scored the goal of the game with an exquisite curling free kick that gave the Bears ‘keeper no chance. The plucky Bears got one back through McGowan from a corner before Poole set up fellow trialist John Marsden for the sixth and Danny Whitehead added the proverbial ‘icing on the cake' for both the team and himself. This came after having secured a deserved contract with the club only 24 hours earlier following the valiant efforts of unnamed local businessmen and the Silkmen Supporters Trust (SST) who deserve a huge pat on the back for this in spite of what PB believes to be very unfair criticism from some posters here on W2R. PB sincerely hopes that helps to soften the views of several of the SST's critics and even encourages others to join or even support some of their initiatives such as Easy Fundraising so that they can continue to help to make a difference.

PB and PBJ are heading off to the English Riviera next Saturday hoping for a good start against some very tricky opposition and he hopes that when he next ponders, the omens for the new Vanarama National League are for another very good season; indeed one that is better than last season's very memorable one!!

Kindest regards

PB

 

 



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