The Dentist’s Diary – 635th

How can a team that demolished Catalans so convincingly turn around just 5 days later and play like that? Well for me the answer to that one is the 5-day turnaround bit and perhaps little else and believe me, Rovers were lucky to catch us on it!

Lee Radford’s last words on the Derby before kick-off were that, ‘Want and Desire are the key’. We had neither really, but where you surprised? I hate to be the clever bugger and as you know I always back my team against anyone, but in here last week I did fear the worst and in the end it was just a game too far after that match in France with the travel and the heat and the euphoria of that success. Plus, we were perhaps a bit too confident in the build-up!

I hate the place and I’m glad I didn’t go! All that said Thursday was disappointing. Being beaten by the great unwashed always is, but for me it was a scrappy game in which we had to play backs to the wall rugby, were lacking in energy and made far too many silly errors. Getting beaten by that lot is always a bummer and of course predictably, the way some of their fans reacted you would have thought they’d won the cup final. However, I guess that’s just what it was for them, as they have nothing to play for but their survival. Like all tired teams we forced it too much, were too lateral, made too many errors and panicked, to such an extent that a better team would have had us, big style. Looking back on it we are probably lucky that Rovers aren’t a better team!

So many folks had a go at me last week for my predictions in here. But I sort of knew what was at stake for both sets of players. Getting two points when you are rested up and in danger of losing your job, against two points to get a bit closer to the team in second place and doing it after everything we had been through 5 days earlier in France, always, for me, offered too much of a bias towards the Dobbins.

It’s a set-back but not a major one! We are still third, we still have 24 points and now have 9 games to keep that position in the much coveted top three. That ranking is ours to lose and the battle starts on Friday at The KCom against the Saints, who are far and away the best team in the competition!

I hate Derby’s!! Win or lose I’d rather be without them, they have somehow evolved over the 60 years that I’ve been around the FC from, in the 60’s, a much anticipated celebration of Rugby in the Capital of the game, through a period of becoming a necessary evil, to now just being bloody purgatory!

In here I’ve often filled pages and pages in trying to put my finger on why that is, citing over the years, Hudgell, Paul Cooke, Gwilym Lloyd, envy, jealousy and dozens of other factors, but mine and a lot of other people’s hatred of the Dobbins, particularly over the last decade or so, is fuelled by so many dynamics that it is simply impossible to rationalise. None the less we all know it is there and so these annual scheduled meetings between the teams have become antagonistic and loaded with what can only be described as hatred. In short ‘The Old Enemy’ have evolved from ‘Our biggest rivals’ to simply ‘Those bastards over there’.

Fans like me who have for decades, travelled the land supporting their heroes in good times and bad, won’t now contemplating a few miles travelling across the City to give them our money and rather like the antagonism and divisions that we see as a country over Brexit, it’s hard to now ever see those battle lines changing. OK we are probably wrong and being ridiculous, but it is a fact that fewer and fewer of us lot are making the trip over there.

A pal of mine tells an amusing story of a neighbour of his who recently had THAT conversation with his adolescent daughter which goes something like, “I don’t care who you have as a boyfriend, colour, nationality, creed, religion, ‘Remainer’ or not, nothing matters we will always respect your choice, but don’t ever bring a Rovers fans home!” I laughed when he told me, I guess it was a bit of a joke, but I daren’t actually admit that I had perhaps (I’ll agree flippantly) had the same discussion in our house once!! But that’s how it gets you in the end.

I don’t give much credit to Rovers fans, but they have managed to create a Stadium that is a cauldron of emotion and vitriol in an atmosphere fuelled by intimidation, envy and hatred. It is extremely hostile and can get to players and fans alike. They have certainly been successful in getting to people like me, who now wouldn’t even go near the place for a car boot sale!  I’m not proud to say that, but as always I’m honest and that’s the way I think these days. But at least it was a better night weather wise for those heroes in the Dock End.

The reality of these games is that you really want to win them all, on this occasion it was as important as ever, but as ‘the Faithful’ gathered we all knew that our recent form and that of those around us in the league meant that we could still probably afford to lose a couple of matches and retain third or lose three or four and still be in the top 5 play-offs. A short turn around after an energy sapping thumping of Catalans in the Mediterranean heat would, we knew, severely test our ability to get up for it and we faced a Rovers team that had never been more desperate for two points, since the days of Justin Morgan.

We started the game OK and scored first with a good try from a Sneyd kick, but the look on Lee Radford’s face when that happened said it all for me, for he looked to know already that the cracks were appearing and that we were jaded and not quite on it. Losing Kelly to a pre match fitness test was a massive blow for it was that sort of tight game when his style of line busting running would have helped us a lot, but as I say for me it was all down to a lack of energy.

Connor stepped into ‘his dream job’ in the halves, which he might believe is his natural position, but I’m starting to think that he is a better centre than he is a half back myself! It was his big chance which he simply didn’t take. However, he was not on his own for all our players seemed to play well below par and we seemed to spend all our time on our line bumbling about with the ball in hand and tackling desperately when they had it.

Rovers deserved their win, for they had more enthusiasm than we did. All those mistakes in the first half led to too much tackling and when we had the ball as a tired team always seems to do, we moved it wide early to avoid the hard stuff down the middle and to get ‘a blow’. In Derby games you have to out-scrap the opposition and then when they get the breaks and the ball, you must ride out that pressure and you can’t make the errors that fatigue invariably brings. Our kicking game was ineffective when compared with the usual stuff we see and players like Danny Houghton (who is usually the dynamo’s of the team), looked buggered by the 60-minute mark, despite him making 60 odd tackles and missing none!! Joe Westerman was brave to play on after that dislocation which went viral worldwide and stole the show but he showed real guts although, if ever there was a vindication of our decision to let him go that was it, for as I said at length last week, the condition of those knees are a real issue for me.

Still, there were positives such as the fact that in a season when so often we have seen capitulations in such games, we fought and fought through that fatigue and tackled like mad in that second half, so despite all the mistakes and lack of direction, we were still in it until that final try. That bit was certainly an improvement on some showings this year. Despite the enforced lethargy by some of his colleagues at times Faraimo impressed making a load of yards and although he was well watched Ratu put in a big defensive display and saved two certain tries in the first half, but by and large we were for me, just buggered. Taylor was flat, Griffin went well in the first half but faded, Paea couldn’t do his usual minutes, it was back to business as usual for Green, and Manu looked out of it at times. 

So, in the end it was only what a lot of us expected, as Rovers have their moment of glory in their season and we have to pick ourselves up and get back to work again on the two trophies we still have to play for. However, that’s it, it’s gone and to be honest I’m not too phased by the defeat at all. We have I think proved of late that when we hit our straps we are a good team and providing we can do that again in the big games to come, we’ll be fine. Thankfully we don’t have to play that lot again this season and that’ll do for me.

Finally, a word to the fans and well done to everyone who went, I want to however particularly highlight those families I heard from who were showered with beer at the end when a Rovers fan threw a pint over them, thankfully the local constabulary intervened and the man was marched away, but well done to the FC fans who restrained some of our lot, in what could have developed into a really nasty incident. But, we shouldn’t I guess be surprised, for that’s what happen at Derby games these days isn’t it!

I guess now that if we are to make a bid for the top five or indeed as we would hope the top three at the end of the season, with 9 games left to play the formula is simple; we will have to get better at winning at home. For, of those games, 6 are at the KCom Stadium and as far as our form there this year goes, well sufficient to say that excluding the ramifications of this week’s tough, tough turn around, we are getting the reputation for being the games away match specialists!!

Although we are really well positioned in the table we have certainly seen some poor losses at home, so I’d love to see us give Saints a good seeing to next week, because that really would flag us up as challengers and give us the confidence boost and a springboard, to do something special at home in the run in. But that’s a massive ask isn’t it?  They are bloody good!!! However, if we are more realistic, we have to look to take points from the Bronco’s, Huddersfield, London and Wigan at the KCom, all of whom will no doubt be desperate for points themselves. That will probably be enough looking at the other fixtures, to get us into the top 5 places at least. 

Well last week was certainly a busy one in the world of Hull FC. First up we got the news that Fairamo had resigned for two years. I looked up his stats this week and I can see why he is getting a new deal, he’s going well yardage wise and is a hard lad to handle.  Bureta told me he really wanted to stay and the Club has obviously moved quickly, because only last week he was still uncertain about his future. None the less, we have to trust our lots judgement and Lee’s belief that he will improve further in the coming two years.

It’s is however, ‘that time of the year’ when anything can happen and so I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised on Tuesday when I was awoken ‘in the middle of the night’, by a text from my pal and long-time Diary follower Dick with a link to the NRL ‘Moles’ site on twitter. It indicated That ‘fans favourite’ Mahe Fonua was to leave the NRL and join Hull FC on a three-year deal. After Frank Pritchard, Mahe is possibly the player that most fans look back on after the heroics of the 2016 season with the most affection. ‘The Mullet’ will sell season tickets, grab the imagination and be a great ambassador for the club. He is really well liked by the players, no trouble as a club man and a nice bloke as well. All that’s great and I will certainly enjoy watching him next season and indeed all the hype he will bring to the campaign, but he is another winger and we really do need some forwards.     

I guess the answer is that Griffin will move to Second row, and Mahe will play at centre with Ratu, Swift and Faraimo vying for the wing spots. An embarrassment of back riches? Well maybe, but the future of Ratu is still shrouded in uncertainty and of course we’ll just have to wait a see who else comes in up front first.

Invariably with all this activity in the market there was always going to be casualties and whilst I was all ready to give you a Jez Litten exclusive straight from his family, it was pre-empted by the Club and announced on Friday that he and Chris Green are the latest to be released by the club at the end of the season. Chris has been in good form for Hull of late, although I thought that form dipped on Thursday, but he’s an infuriating player that has never quite made it for me. I’ve often been frustrated by his lack of impact in contact although that has improved of late. He of course featured in the 2016 and 2017 Finals and seems to have been around the place forever, but he has never been the first choice prop on our team sheet, which I think explains a lot.  For me, if he was ever going to be a really great front row forward then at his age he should be there now and I think we will all agree he isn’t!

If we are to be a truly ‘Big’ Club and feature regularly at the top of the game, then we can’t be like say Rovers, picking up other clubs rejects and hoping that they will gel and improve. We should I believe be looking all the time to improve on what we already have, as we review regularly every player and see if there is anyone better out there. We have to go out and get the best players from other clubs even if they don’t want to part with them. At the FC we have decided on a big shake up in the forwards this year and Green joins Dean Hadley, who has signed for Rovers and Joe Westerman who is off to Wakey. As for Jez well he is, I have to say, an exciting attackingplayer, but he doesn’t cut it defensively when compared with say Roby and Houghton and I doubt he ever will, if I’m honest.

Again you have to ask yourself will he ever get to that status  and be that good. In his case he might just become a real star, who knows, but do you hang around to find out? We must with Washy and Hadley going, find some cover for Danny and Cunningham has been muted as a possible returnee, although with Ligi Sao reported to be signed and Manu Ma’u and Tevita Satae in discussions with us, the pack will certainly change a lot for 2020. But let face it, watching our lot against Rovers, perhaps it needs to as well.

Of course as I always say, in the end, the decisions we make to release players will only be accepted by the fans when we see who is coming in, but we needed a clear out and so far, I think, we are doing OK with the quality of those leaving when compared with those coming in.  

Now over the years I’ve seen some heroes, performing heroics in the Black and White shirt and in the name of ‘Old Faithful’. Some have gone on longer than they should and were fine until their bodies gave out, whilst one or two have been able to carry on through their possessing a great talent, a good body and an inspirational presence, but if truth be known, players that fit the latter category have been few and far between. Usually, in the old days, players playing into their mid-thirties was down to a need to keep generating some much needed income. Stars like Chris Davidson played on valiantly when their bodies were knackered, whilst the Alf Macklin’s of this world seemed to go on forever and all that in an era when Clubs could play 45 games a season! Heroes like Davidson are still paying the price for that record today with long standing health issues, whilst Johnny Whiteley’s kept going for one reason alone and that was his love of Hull FC, although for his time he had unrivalled fitness and the inspiration that he always brought to the team as well.

If someone had said to me a few years ago that a forward at Hull FC was thinking of going around again into his 39th year, I would have laughed at you. But, unlikely as such an occurrence is, none of us have questioned the fact that Gareth Ellis wants to play on another year at Hull FC, would we? The man is already a legend and although the days of one man teams have long since melted into the mists of time, there is little doubt that we are ALWAYS a better 13 when Gareth is out there on the pitch. I wondered when he said that he would come out of retirement to help us out this year, but any shortcomings I envisaged were swept away immediately as he just went out there and did it as if he had never been away at all. Yes, he plays a less expansive and more ‘heads down and charge’ role, but he is just as effective and just as inspiring for those around him.

The news that broke last Monday in his Yorkshire Post column that he had opened talks with us about extending his stay on the pitch another year was pretty much expected I guess, because his current injury apart he has gone really well. I was also pleased that he etched it himself as him being a squad player, who would miss games when turn arounds are tight and pick the matches that he needed to be involved in. He enjoys playing and isn’t being paid a fortune at present. He added that he felt he could still offer a lot at senior level in the inspirational side of things and of course he can. Rather like Mini who is pushing 38, he is a great ambassador for the Club, a consummate professional (diet and life style wise), and you can see too that he certainly looks after his body. However, unlike Mini who is struggling a bit with the mental side of such a long career, the year that Gareth took out to ‘retire’ seems to have rejuvenated him and I think myself that with some ‘top end’ players coming in that are all a bit younger, then his experience guidance and leadership on the field will be a big plus next year.

So, despite his age I’d certainly retain him, give him a tough pre-season and see how he goes, for if he continues in the same vein as we have seen this season, then he will be a great asset to the Club and to Lee Radford and the rest of the Coaching staff. In the end Gareth is an eminently sensible guy and if I’m honest I doubted that he would be able to do it this season, but he felt he could and he has proved me wrong and so who’s to say he won’t do the same next season as well.  

Now for a bit of a position statement on our Club, which has been something that has been lacking in here for a while. You see sometimes, after Derby defeats and such, I get to thinking a bit and that’s something that regular readers will know is always a bit of a worry.

Earlier I didn’t go into the finer points of that Derby defeat and tried to move on, because you don’t want to hear all about it again, it was bad enough in real time wasn’t it? Let’s face it that lot will be living on that victory until next season, because they seem totally obsessed with beating us. Just for a minute though   I want to try and take a holistic sort of view of the FC situation at present; where we are as a club and a team and indeed as a band of supporters.

In the bigger picture with all this activity both in and out of the Club and in a season in which we are doing pretty well (all things considered), it’s all a reflection perhaps, on Hull FC as a business. It’s good to see us looking to bring good players in and having the balls to get rid of established squad members who haven’t quite made the grade or who we believe never will make it. That is such a difference from say 20 years ago, because now we aren’t ‘organ donors’ for the rich clubs anymore, we are developing our own players and then only passing them on, if they are not up to our own high standards. What’s more, when we really want to retain a player few move on and we are now fishing in the biggest pools as far as adding to our squad is concerned.

We might still find it hard to retain a player who is on the radar of an NRL club, any British club would, but we’ve tied up all those possible targets on big contracts and so we’ll get well recompensed if a player really wants to chance his arm Down Under. However, we will pay marquee wages if its needed and if they are happy and settled and part of a real ‘team’ ethic, perhaps they’ll think twice anyway! In sport, when everything else is sorted and squads and team spending is equally matched, Culture is what separates the good teams from the great ones. Call it a family, call it a band of brothers, call it a brotherhood; call it what you want! But that’s what makes the difference when the chips are down and the fat is in the fire.

We have a great culture at Hull FC and any of the players you ask past and present will bear that out. But it doesn’t just come over night and it’s taken some time, a lot of hard work and some astute leadership and example setting from Lee, the Captain and the senior player group, to get us to where we are today. Our Captain and vice-captain are FC fans and have no ambition to play for anyone else, what’s more they play like they love the Club as much as we do. Culture wise it would appear talking to the players who have been around a bit, that we have got it spot on. Although they want to win for the fans and Lee and Adam, most of all they want to win for each other. Culture in a sports team isn’t the absolute be all and end all, you have to have, quality, belief, dedication and ability as well, but it does get you over adversity, through the tough times and up for the really big games.

Adam gets the culture bit, for he has worked on developing it at every sports club he has been involved with. He picks his coaches with that in mind and therefore he’s probably the best owner we have had in decades. He has persisted with this Coach when we all wanted him to get rid, he has defended that Coach when he has got it wrong and we’ve been baying for his head, and he has stuck to his guns and bought into Lee beliefs so much so that it would now be hard to change course even if he wanted to; and he certainly doesn’t!

In the process he has fleeced and emptied the back office to create a streamlined organisation where everyone is good at what they do and there is no waste. Making James Clark Chief Executive was a risk but he has come good and has grown the business whilst keeping its operation lean so that now, unlike when Adam arrived, the whole financial panacea is focussed on the playing end of the Club and all our spare resources go into that.

But it won’t always be like this and as fans we have a part to play as well. If there is one big priority for every Hull FC fan who has watched this current situation develop through those glorious season of 2016 and 2017 then it has to be the retaining of Adam Pearson, by supporting him in any way we can. He has proved us wrong and got it right, he’s hung in there after a record breaking run of defeats, spent when he has had to, brought great facilities and support to the players and become a real hero of the terraces and indeed a role model for all the staff who work for him on and off the field. Let’s be honest, it is a rare occurrence in sport to find a club where no one has a bad word for the owner?

So I guess what I am trying to say here is that we are as supporters really lucky. We ain’t scrabbling about for scraps from the big club’s tables like Huddersfield, Wakey, London, Salford, Rovers and even I guess at times Castleford. People want to join us because they have heard about our owner, our culture and our aspirations. We don’t have the ‘Big name’ and reputation of Wigan, Saints and Warrington or the sunshine and Sangria of Catalans but we’ve recognised where we need to be and gone for it. Those two Wembley wins was the markers we put down and we have used that profile to achieve our aims. 

Take just one example and look at play making!  We have as fans cried out for a couple of good halves for years and years (remember for a moment how we felt in the reign of Agar) and now we have three of the best in the British game; just one example of which there are many. All in all, I believe when you step back from all the ups and downs of the weekly grind we are in a good place and unlike years ago as well, players now actually want to come and play for us, not for the money, for they can usually get that elsewhere, but because we have become known as a stable and well run club with ambition.

The thing is as well that, Lee has proved himself and become a well-respected Coach, we have some good players and some even better ones to come in next year, despite the odd hick up, like Thursday, we are getting better and better as an organisation and all this that I have been harping on about here, is down to the vision and direction of the owner.

The business is good, but there is always a fly in the ointment and that is perhaps us lot out there on the terraces. For, after decades and decades of us claiming, quite rightly, to be the best fans in the game, we have players openly saying that they actually prefer to play away. What-is-all-that-about!

There is an atmosphere issue at the KCom and we are reported to be too quick to get on the players backs when its going wrong, that’s what the players say and after all that has been done to give us the best possible set up to succeed, perhaps we have to consider that angle as well. Its perhaps down to us as a fan base to put that right!  As supporters we are never happy, last weeks win at Catalan equalled the Clubs all-time record with 4 consecutive 30 point plus victories. Of course Thursday was disappointing but there were mitigating circumstances, yet in general these are good times and the club is in a good place. In fact, as fans sat there with 24 points, building a team for next season and looking around and below us, we are pretty lucky at present.

How we get more behind the lads on match days is a hard one and one about which I’m not sure I have an answer, but one day if we don’t sort it Adam Pearson might just get pissed off or feel he wants a quiet retirement and boy with would be owners and investors not exactly dropping off the trees, we can’t afford that to happen! I think we should all be very proud of where we have got to, get behind the owner all we can, support the boys in good times and bad and not be too ambitious too soon, in other words, we should I think enjoy the ride and do everything we can to keep the wheels turning. Just my view of things of course and you might not agree!   

So now, for a change in the Codgers spot let’s look at a recent game from that great 2016 season and one when on a sunny Saturday afternoon we dispatched Saints at the KCOm as we all hope we will do this weekend, in a game that included two of our signings for next season Swift and Fonua!

We were in June that year on a good run and we were all trying to enjoy it while we could! However, Saints were always a tough proposition whenever you played them and from the first set of the game they set out their stall and played some flowing, expansive rugby, so that before we knew it we were all on the edge of ours seats again. However, after the ball had flashed across their line a couple of times, our forwards got hold of the middle of the park and once we were in control we took the lead in the 10th minute. Liam Watts produced a gem of an offload to Gareth Ellis for our Captain to score under the posts and “Sneeeeeeyd” rang out across the Stadium as Marc added the conversion. That advantage was then extended when Mahe Fonua crossed the whitewash in the 16th minute after a deft pass from Sneyd and as the Hull half-back again added the two points we took a 12-0 lead.

However, then, as so often happens at Hull FC, we let Saints back into the game and, as their confidence grew, they powered back at us with two tries in three minutes from Adam Swift and Jonny Lomax. Jack Owens added the extras from the touchline on both occasions and before we knew it the scores were back level at 12-12. Then disaster struck as the Saints hit the front in the 37th minute when, while a couple of Hull players stood statuesquely watching the action, Atelea Vea was able to jump on a loose ball and crash over. However, on the hooter Marc Sneyd brought us back within four points with a penalty. Half time that afternoon seemed to go on forever, when all we all wanted to do was get the players back out there and get on with it.

The start of the second half was a real nail biting time for the home fans and although we stepped things up it still took us until the 56 minutes to get some points on the board, when Tuimavave warranted his recall by scooting through a gap in the Saints defence to slide over and score. Sneyd put the Black and Whites back in front with the conversion and everyone breathed a bit more easily. Man of the Match Scott Taylor then pounced on a measure Houghton kick behind the Saints posts in the 63rd minute and that extended the lead further before Sneyd obliged by making it a two-score differential with the conversion.

It looked as if we had the match won, until Jack Ashworth got St. Helens back in the game again in the 70th minute with a try and the conversion from Owens that made it 26-24 and once again, too close to call. It was then that Danny Houghton took on his usual mantle of ‘tackling machine’ and led our defensive line against what was a Saints attack that ‘smelt blood’. What a hero Danny was turning out to be in 2016.

Eventually the tension was eased for us all as Washbrook wrapped up the two points with three minutes left to play. It was an unusual try that had all us old timers thinking back to the good old days of the 1980’s and a similar score, in similar circumstances, by the late great Ronnie Wileman. That day was 23rd January 1982 when Hull FC played Hull KR in the John Player Final at Headingly and the game was won by a similar piece of magic.

That afternoon the local media wrote;

“….. Mick Crane was tackled just inside Hull’s half in front of the North Stand. Ronnie Wileman stepped forward, scooped up the ball and from 40 yards out, started to lope down ‘the blind-side’. Further and further he progressed with a determined yet laboured run as the Rovers’ cover, led by George Fairburn, flew back gaining on him by the second, but just as they caught him he dived over in the corner for the most memorable of scores that won the game”

There were few who attended that 2016 top of the table Super League clash that afternoon that didn’t see a similarity between that wonderful try that won us the John Player Trophy and that final decisive score by Danny Washbrook that won the game for us that afternoon against the Saints. This time around, with the clock ticking down and Saints chasing the game, the visitors had kicked a great grubber kick from Sneyd dead, but then they opted to try and get possession back by going for a short drop out angled to the touch line.

Spotting the danger Danny Washbrook collected it on the right, before twisting out of a tackle to ‘sprint’ ‘Wileman like’ for those long, long 30 metres. Further and further he ran towards the line as with every step the cover closed in on him and yet somehow he got there just as the tackler came in, and the win was ours!!

What a moment it was as the place erupted and another game that we were in danger of losing, was finally somehow ‘put to bed’ by sheer guts and determination. To the jubilant cry of ‘Sneeeeeeeyyddd’ our scrum half stretched the lead to eight-points with the conversion from out wide and as the hooter went the usual scenes on and off the field ensued. So emotional was it all at the end that I was still buzzing eighteen hours later when I woke up on Sunday afternoon!

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So there we are, we lost the Derby and boy have we heard about it since. At least it gave the bottom team in the league they moment in the sun and something to remember for the rest of a season that is going to be a real battle if they can play no better than that. They should have sunk us in that first half, but they couldn’t and that could well be their undoing in the weeks to come.

This week we face the best team in the League and have a big chance to really make a name for ourselves in the world of Rugby League. If we are rested, Kelly is back and we can find the form we showed in France and at Castleford then it could be a hell of a game. I quite fancy us this week if we can do all that, but it will be fast, it will be furious and a hard, hard game in which we have to take all our chances. I’m looking forward to it already!

Thanks to everyone who has been in touch to discuss all sorts of issues, including Tommy Ball who informed me that its said that should we get to Wembley again, then that Bank Holiday weekend there will be no trains out of Kings Cross on Sunday because the East Coast Main line is shut for engineering works. A lot of you also analysed that Derby defeat, but I’d let that go now and move on to better times. Thanks for sticking with a bit of a rambling old edition and for all your continued support.

Let’s get to the KCom next weekend and get behind the boys!

Keep Believing and  …….

Comeonyouhulllllaaaarrrr!!!!!!

Faithfully Yours

Wilf