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Preseason on the Good Ship 'Mariners'

By: Steff Keightley
Date: 28/05/2001

Well 13 weeks of Cricket now the Football season is over, with a smattering of Cup Finals, Play off's and Play off finals. No European Championships or World Cups to keep the need for football at bay.

All supporters need their football to keep them from going into 'cold turkey' during the closed season.

It's like a drug habit. It doesn't matter what team you support, whether it's Man Utd or Liverpool, down to Barnet or Torquay, stopping off at Grimsby and Stoke along the way, you always need your weekly, or bi-weekly, fix of the game to keep you going.

This is the period of flux for all supporters, not knowing who they will be playing in the opening games, who is coming and going, speculation abound for the period, speculation abound all season for most teams regarding players and future results.

If we do this we can get mid-table, do that and we could be leading the division, or if the other happens we could be the strongest team in the division, propping up everyone else. It is a game of luck, mixed with several 'P's, seven actually.

'Prior Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.'

Or another with only three 'P's is:

'Prior Planning and Preparation meets Opportunity = Luck'

Whichever one you feel is relevant, we must plan for every eventuality for next season. Division 1 was so tight last season that the spread from 11th to 24th was 17 points, but from 10th to 11th the points spread was an incredible 13 points.

So next year we could be either in the upper echelons, in the quagmire or even mid-table mediocrity, if some of the players play the way they did this season we are going to be in deep doo-daa.

So what do we need to keep our Premiership aspirations going, because we do have aspirations, somewhere, for the Premiership, because if we didn't then what the hell are we doing as a club in our position? We are here on merit, not crowd size or wallet size or how much abuse we can give or take from other fans, but on the back of our own teams hard work, eventually, sweat and tears.

At times I did think we might go down, but then I thought, why should I think that way? My team needs me, if only in voice and spirit, it still needs the fans. I have read the posts by other 'fans', allegedly, from other teams and what they have said, and I think, 'TOUGH'. We made it you didn't! Na-na-na na na na.

Sour grapes I believe it is called.

We are supposed to be building a new Stadium, which I personally believe is the way forward (I know you disagree, Marnix and the others), but we need the ability to attract fans and new players, show them we have ambition. So when a certain Mr Prescott gets his thumb removed from a certain orifice and puts his pen to paper the sooner we can break ground and get the good ship '?????????????? Stadium' rolling.

We need a Striker, a Left Back, and another Midfielder. What is wrong with promoting from within, Chapman, Bloomer et al. OK they are young, but that is no longer a reason for them not to play. If they are good enough they are old enough.

There are going to be people who do not agree with me on this, which I accept as part of life, but there are things that need to be done with the club, we all agree on that, what we disagree on is what those things are.

We need to find somebody to take control of the Good ship 'Mariners' and direct her to the Premiership shores of riches, high flyers, large gates better players and hopefully one day in the not too distant future European Football.

Editor: What is your view? Do you agree with Steff or have you got another point of view? Comments to the Message Board or if you wish please submit your article for publication on the Fishy

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