March 25, 2009
Just before Christmas I sat and contemplated my position and the capabilities of our team. Then as we began in January something had changed, we had become a “team”, we were no longer a group of individuals, we have had performances of differing standards but mostly we have achieved success.
Now for some reason this season our ability to play football has stopped when we have met Grassington, they have torn us apart twice, something they will be incredibly happy about because apparently beating me is the most important thing in their lives! As their striker exclaimed to me “Now we’ll see the headline in the Craven Herald” – quick note to the vastly intelligent striker, I don’t write those reports but you know when you’re misinformed and uneducated about a situation just shout anything and people will probably laugh! I have no quarms that Grassington have been vastly superior to us each time we have played them but we still have the same amount of points as them and they are reigning champions where we are technically a newly promoted club. Only goal difference separates us….so as much as they want to brag about their 9-0 aggregate victory over us, bottom line is we are still up there challenging at the top, we are now a force to be reckoned within this division and we are an ever improving side.
We have 4 games to go…we want maximum points – last year the Reserve team won the league with 46 points, Grassington won the Premiership with 47 points, if we can pick up 10 points or more we will have improved on last season’s tally and more than doubled last season’s first team points tally. We have already made Gargrave a stronger club, the second team is solid in their league and the first team will finish in the top four at least this year. However, this season is not over yet…I expect the team to really perform from now on…there is no pressure, we go out and we play with all the confidence our training suggests we should have!
We have at least 5 games left….let’s up that number…up our league position and go for that Cup…
Your adoring First Team Manager,
The Marmite of the Craven League
January 5, 2009
First of all I just want to say that I hope you all had a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,
Now all of the frivolities are out of the way it is time for us to get back to business.
Now I, like most of my team I hope, want to win something this year. The Craven Cup was an ideal opportunity for Gargrave to raise its profile, however, because of the level of team i was able to field this was not possible. Barnoldswick were a good side but they weren’t that good, with a full strength team we wouldve been in with a shout. Since then I’ve considered my options, I don’t see why I should have to turn up to each and every training session and never miss a Saturday if half my team can’t be bothered to do the same. I work alot and having those days off would be greatly appreciated. Yet, I have made a commitment to this team and my commitment should be echoed by my players’ commitment. If we simply want to go through the motions, turn up and play, not really mind if we win, lose or draw, we can…..in fact stirke that you can because I don’t accept playing for mediocrity. I want to win, i hate to lose, it nags at me for weeks if I believe there is something that I could’ve done differently. The Barnoldswick game brought a different feeling, I felt let down…..the lads on the pitch gave all they could but we were not a match for Barnoldswick’s quality…..with all my players available we would have been.
I am committed to taking Gargrave forward. I want to challenge on all fronts with regards to the competitions that we are still competing in and as such I am going to start implementing certain rules:
1) If you want to be considered for the first team you must attend training – if you cannot for a legitimate (nativity plays not included) then you must inform me of your reason. If you do not attend and do not inform me of your reason for why you will be dropped from the first team.
2) If every first team hopeful attends training then the team will be picked on performance and training level – this is at my discretion.
3) The level of your match performance will also be considered (I will discuss with Jimmy).
4) Due to the number of teams that I run, i sned messages regarding football on Friday night, any reasoning for not being able to attend should be sent on Friday night or before 10am on Saturday to give me chance to replace you. If this does not occur you will be dropped from the first team for the following week.
5) Nobody’s place is guaranteed, so this means that you must accept that on occasion you may have to be a substitute. I expect my substitutes to understand their position and help to encourage and support their team-mates, we are a team after all!
Training starts at 7pm – we meet down there at 6.30pm for a warm up depending on the weather – don’t be late, we pay for an hour so lets play for an hour.
Now I know this is a long rant but it gives an equitable and rational explanation of what is to occur throughout the rest of the season. I cannot go on rewarding first team places to people who simply have not earned them……
However, if you are for some reason omitted from the first team squad, make sure that you are available for Jimmy and the 2nds:
To paraphrase Bill Shankly ‘there are two good sides in the Craven League, Gargrave and Gargrave Reserves’
Your adoring first team manager,
The Marmite of the Craven League
November 7, 2008
At the beginning of the season I wrote on this website, as per usual, stating my opinions on what I expected and what I thought of the opposition. After a mixed bag of results, I haven’t changed my mind in any way shape or form, I refuse to change my mind. What I have discovered is that on our day Gargrave AFC is a force to be reckoned with….you don;t beat Ingleton 4-2 at their spot if you’re a bad side. However, when we are not on it, we can lose to anybody….no matter how poor quality they are and how much it is apparent they are a one man team. This upsets me, largely because bragging rights can be lost by inept performances! However, from the responses we’ve had over the last few weeks I am confident we can cause some significant waves within the Premier Division and continue to cause some Cup upsets. Technically, we are a newly promoted team, yet we have so far equipped ourselves well…..bring on the rest of the season and more drunken people telling me to apologise for my comments! (that’s just not going to happen…..if you don’t want to get upset then don’t read the website…it’s not rocket science!!!)
Your adoring first team manager,
The Marmite of the Craven League
July 28, 2008
Well let’s start with a review -
The first team last year somewhat underachieved. After a flying start to the season, in which some great displays were produced, they failed to maintain their form. Absentees and injuries didn’t help and the struggle for a regular goalkeeper also posed numerous problems. Towards the end of the season morale seemed low but also the lack of an imminent threat was somewhat apparent with no chance of a high finish but no chance of relegation, the last few games were almost like going through the motions. The major plus point was another sterling Morrison Cup run which was cruelly ended on penalties. It was a game which Gargrave completely dominated and a game of oh-so-nearlys. On three occasions the usually calm and collected finishing of Kevin Newhouse seemed wild and nervy, with moments to go at the end of the game he also failed to make contact with a ball dropping over his head, a difficult finish but one he knew he should have done better with. The major plus point is that Settle did go on to win the competition and when you outplay the subsequent Champions you have something to be proud of, especially when Settle ran riot over Grassington (reigning Premier League Champs and completely useless) in the final – genuinely it could’ve been 10-1.
The Second Team – “my precious” – at the beginning of the season I was told to expect a much harder task, I dismissed that as completely unfounded, we were undefeated Division Two Champs, we were invincible, first game of the new season – Loss! I was worried. I really didn’t know what to do with myself. Second game – draw (with Carleton) – I was panicking. I needn’t have worried but when you’re third to bottom at Christmas, with Oxenhope away in the league cup quarter and Barnoldswick Town in the Norman Pratt trophy – what’s your aim? Just put a brave face on it and hope that we don’t get embarrassed. Suddenly, however, came a performance, a great display at Grindleton followed by an amazing display at Oakworth, a cuple of cup victories and we were flying. We won 12 out of 13 games, we produced the goods and we ended up as League and League Cup winners, Double Winners – coming from nothing! We also managed to reach the Norman Pratt trophy final and after a replay, it was penalties which cost us an amazing treble.
This year – my thoughts & expectations;
Contrasting fortunes for the two sides but now we are finally united. Now this separation may be my fault, from years of keeping the teams separate – that’s water under the bridge now. All talk of disbanded group of lads, of ‘first teamers’ & ’second teamers’ ends here. We are Gargrave whichever side you play for, you play with commitment and passion. If you don’t want to play for Gargrave, don’t sign the form, you are more than welcome to leave. If you don’t like the way I coach then you are more than welcome to leave. I cannot make you stay. Know that I cannot guarantee anybody first team football but if you train hard and play hard you will be considered at every turn. You must also be willing to accept your limitations, I am not here to teach you how to control a ball or how to kick a ball, those are basics you should already know. As such, it is possible that you simply aren’t good enough to play for the first team, this does not mean you are not an asset to Gargrave, you can be but know that there are limitations that I have to implicate, that is that if you can’t make the grade then you cannot play.
This job has cost me numerous friends, it’s had me threatened and insulted and yet I will not change. I believe in my style of football. I have on occasion got this wrong, people are fallible, however, I am a winner, my teams are winners. I hate losing, I feel like I have let down myself and alll those around me, it grates me until I have chance to rectify it. For me, my week is not complete without football, it’s a release from a working week which bores me into submission. For most of us this could be a crowning glory, all these seasons with Gargrave and we’ve never lifted that Premiership Trophy, we’ve won it all but never have any of the current crop lifted that trophy for Gargrave – that is our holy grail. That is our dream. It’s not impossible but it’ll be hard work.
I can see that I have got the makings of a great side. A side more than capable of lifting that Premiership Trophy. That’s evidently our aim, to create a team strong enough of challenging for that title. We need winners, we need believers but most of all we need a team. It’s not going to be a walk in the park, teams are not going to hand us the title. We are not a liked side, especially not with me in charge. So we need to be a strong, united side. A group (as the kids in the hood that I live in say, “a posse” or “a crew”) which plays for one another and group which believes in one another – a group united in the belief that we can be champions.
Now for the Stats in the Premiership -
Last Season -
Winners – Grassington (useless) 47 points
2nd Place – LMS (threw away the league) 45 points
With 12 sides in the league -
Win every home game = 11 x 3 = 33 points
Draw every way game = 11 x 1 = 11 points
We would end up in the top three.
This would be a good league finish. However, we need more. Four points more. So we need 16 wins out of 22 games, this is the simplest way to succeed.
Teams in the Premier League -
Grassington FC (useless)
Oxenhope (former reserve team)
Long Lee (thugs)
Waddington (great shorts)
Pre-Season Friendlies -
Howden Clough 2 – 3 Gargrave – Watson, Tudhope & Jameson
Gargrave v Keighley Shamrocks Thurs 31st July 6.30pm Kick Off
Gargrave v Skipton Town Sat 2nd August 2pm Kick Off
Gargrave v Pendle Forest Tues 5th August 6.30pm Kick Off
Settle United v Gargrave Thurs 7th August 6.30pm Kick Off