The Dentist’s Diary – 639th

“In the end it’s the hope that kills you ….the beautiful, horrible hope!”

Hope eh? On Saturday we turned up full of it. We battled to the last man, we gave everything and yet in the end just came up short to lose our first Challenge Cup semi-final in 19 years. In such circumstances the fans can ask for no more than 100% effort and wanting, but then, when all that has been put in by both sides, as I said last week, the outcome in such games will always be in the lap of the gods!

Man it was a tough defeat to take though!! But on this occasion as a Hull fan in the end the best team won, and it’s hard to argue otherwise really.

To score three tries from our mistakes, with our two coming from well-engineered pieces of play says a lot, but of course, the ‘experts’ would retort that we shouldn’t have made those blunders in the first place. We didn’t make many individual errors but the ones we did make led invariably to tries. Warrington made a few too, but the gods smiled on them and they got out of jail. When all came to all, two great kicks from Austin did for us, yet we still had our chances. But, as the rained poured down and the ball was difficult to handle, those simple twists of fate that sometimes you can’t control, saw the scales of destiny tip toward the Cheshire Club and at the final hooter they deserved their win and it was the FC that came out second best!

But, only just and in what was a titanic battle we never gave up and we never gave in.

We fought for each other and played as a team and when that final try went in, our players were, to a man, visibly distressed with some virtually inconsolable. At the end the players were just distraught and once their statutory TV commitments were met, no one from the 17 could speak to the local media afterwards. They were hurting as much as we were, so you won’t be seeing much complaint from this fan in here this week, for that effort and passion was all I could ever ask for!

I just hope that somehow from somewhere, we can find a deal of spirit again by next Thursday, but if the lads can’t, I won’t be too surprised, for it will be a while after Thursday, before I get over my afternoon in the rain at Bolton.

It’s always hard to lose in such circumstances, someone always has to, but none of us find it that easy to handle when its us!   

This was the big one and what our season had been leading up to or so we were told and that being the case, one had to wonder just how we would prepare for it? Down at County Road it had been as relaxed a week as most of the players had expected, as the tried and tested ‘Big game build up’ methods were used again and it was more about bonding and team spirit, than drudgery and the hard yards on the training track. In any case, a few must have been buggered after all that effort in the sun at Headingley last Sunday.

So it was Cricket, basketball and a load of laughs, before they settled down to working on a plan to defeat the Wire. I guess there is no point in getting all wound up and tense too early and this was exactly how we prepared for Wembley and so no one could blame Lee for going there again could they?  

How we as fans all prepared was a gauge of our individual levels of expectation. We were, some of us felt, becoming old hands at this sort of stuff and as seasoned supporters we knew all about it, yet I was still a little excited, perhaps more than I thought I would be, because that bit of being a devoted follower never really goes away does it? Big games are always big games, but they become more significant the longer you experience all the hardship, up’s and downs, set-backs and triumphs of the week in week our devotee. We’d seen it all before and prevailed, but as fans that was scant consolation and so we had all sorts of thoughts going around in our heads as the weekend approached.

However, maybe because of my age, I guess looking back, it’s safe to say that I was reasonably relaxed about this one. My thoughts were still all over the place and as always in such circumstances, pretty random too. If we were to win it I thought, ‘great’ we would be facing another massive pay day for the Club and another day in the sun for all the fans in North London.

None the less where that to happen, I still really couldn’t see much further than a Saints win and perhaps a big one. Should we however lose the semi, then history dictated that may be we’d have a better chance of reaching our first Grand Final for years; for experience proves that a visit to Wembley usually sees everything else at worst be put on the back burner and at best just melt away. As that August Day becomes the only real focus for the rest of the season everything just evaporates around it. Having experienced of that 2016 campaign and the ever mounting, week on week excitement we all experienced and having even written a book about it, I was still quite amazed how much more relaxed everyone was with it all this time around.

That season it was like a quite amazing journey to your dream destination, whilst this time it was more like anticipating a return visit there a few years later. Have we just got used to such situations? Has familiarity bred contempt? I didn’t even think on this occasion that sleepless nights would follow if we didn’t win, and they haven’t!

I garnered all sorts of opinions and thoughts from fans as the game approached and I guess that’s all part and parcel of the process; for in such situations, anticipation is everything. So it was, that my most bazaar encounter took place in Marks and Spencer’s café, last Thursday, when I had a long chat about the game with a real old timer. I say ‘old timer’ because he’s 89 and we’ll call him Graham, but he’s still attending games and was in fact, going to Bolton with his son and grandson. Graham interestingly said that if we won the semi, he wouldn’t be going to Wembley, ‘just in case we didn’t win’. ‘What’ I thought!

He could see my surprise but explained, “I don’t want to go to my grave with my last memory of that place as a loss, never mind a big one, I have endured that feeling and the lasting legacy it brings for weeks and months afterwards, time after time after time over the years and so winning there (twice) has been so important to me in putting those ghosts to bed. At my age, it’s just too risky”. I thought I should share that with you as he doesn’t have a computer and I guess if I’m honest, I knew what he meant, I got it and it got me thinking about all those years of waiting as well!! Although in fairness, I doubt in my heart of hearts, that I could ever stay away from a final, whatever the circumstances or opposition.

So, we all awoke on Saturday morning the butterflies started to kick in. However, as I switched on Breakfast TV it was interesting to note that on the BBC there was no mention, for the first two hours at least, of the RL semi-final’s that they were televising that afternoon!! Instead we were treated to Gareth Bale on a million pound a week in China, Hail stopping the Tour de France and then a five-minute piece about the national thumb wrestling championships. That is of course the problem because we simply don’t get the exposure that our great sport and indeed this great competition deserves.

So by Saturday morning one thing was clear and that was that this game at Bolton was so many things to so many people, but there did appear to be a lot of quiet confidence around the FC army, as 6500 pilgrims loaded up the cars, mounted the buses and started the trek over to Lancashire in the rain.

No doubt as well, we all travelled as one wondering exactly which Hull FC would turn up. We hoped that our great Cup fighting spirit would prevail and come to the fore again, we knew the conditions would dictate we had to perform well up front, but this season in particular, no one really knows what is going to happen, on any given weekend, anyway do they? One thing was for sure though, as we took our seats in the South Stand Lower at the University of Bolton Stadium, we all realised that once again as FC fans we were again poised there, precariously, on the threshold of a dream. 

I’m sure most of you experienced the game either there in Bolton, as I did, or on TV and like me want to put it to the back of your minds as soon as possible. So, I’ll not labour my covering of the match itself. The weather would always play its part and true to the forecasts the rain came down as the game started and all 26 players did well to master the conditions. In fact, in fairness throughout the 80 minutes handling was pretty good on both sides.  

The Wolves shaved things in the first half and were just about worthy of their 12-10 lead. Marc Sneyd missed two difficult kicks in awful conditions, as the Wolves led through tries from Bryson Goodwin and Ben Currie both of which came from mistakes in our ranks. Our only touchdown in response came from a remarkable passage of play when the ball was shunted right before Albo kicked a massive cross field flyer straight into the hands of Bureta Faraimo on the other wing and he certainly finished it well.

We took two penalty pots at goal to grab 4 points, when perhaps we could have tapped it and kept the pressure on and perhaps at times early on we kicked for position rather than hoisting it, but hindsight is a wonderful thing and in those conditions, had we won in the end by say 4 points, as we so easily could have, then those kicks at goal would be hailed as crucial. It’s always easy to be wise after the event isn’t it? 

However, after the half time break and as three quarter time approached, Steve Price’s side appeared well-placed for a more comfortable victory. After we had pressured them throughout they had still managed to build a two score lead though a smart Toby King’s try, when he caught a looping Austin kick on our line to crash over. That coupled with Stefan Ratchford’s conversion, made it 16-8. We really did have to score next and while the Wolves held us out reasonably well, eventually the more direct route to the line proved the key to unlock their defence as Taylor charged over with Sneyd’s conversion reducing the gap to two again.

That set up a real old fashioned grandstand finish, but a dropped ball on the second tackle with three minutes to go, by Mini, just when we had forced a drop out and had them under the cosh, saw Warrington survive and grab a fortuitous late try to make it all look a lot more comfortable than it actually was.

Had Mark hung on to it, then they were on the rack and I think we could have won it in that last two minutes, but it was not to be and the Wire, who were slightly the better team, finally hung on to break our hearts and book their place at Wembley. In the end three or four mistakes cost us another trip to North London, but anyone who was there will not be complaining about the effort or the wanting, for it was just those small margins that swing games that went against us to cost us dearly in the end.

Player wise there were many big performances in the FC ranks but none more so than Captain Danny Houghton. I was proud of them all but, no doubt with the thought of captaining his team at Wembley, what a game he had and what a shift he put in. He was into everything and never stopped trying as he tackled anything that moved and made some telling breaks from acting half. Carlos had a great game too and made loads of yards often down the middle as he spelled the forwards, whilst there could be no faulting Sneyd as his kicking from hand was first class and he organised well. The problem with our kicking was not down to him as much as to the lack of field position we had when he needed to make them and to how we converted the kicks into pressure. Shaul was ever industrious, but ran down too many blind alleys and Kelly showed in the first half how important he is to us and how we simply have to try and keep him fit for the rest of the season. He’s real handful for any opposition and as a line breaking half back, a perfect foil for Sneyd and with a bit more luck, he could have won us the game.

Up front Taylor epitomised the home grown player who wanted it so badly and ran himself to a standstill, while Paea also put in a big stint. Ellis ran straight and hard, as did Westy and Griffin looked good in the centre and also when he switched to second row. If any player didn’t quite shine for me, it was Jake Connor as his quite mysterious run of none descript performances continued.

I didn’t see the reported bottle throwing incident in the Hull end,  but if the perpetrators (idiots) can be identified they want banning from the club, because we don’t need that sort of thing anywhere near Hull FC and I certainly don’t want to be associated with it either. I won’t be giving those morons the benefit of any more publicity either. However, whilst I’m on that tack, just a word about that extremely talented yet idiotic twit Blake Austin. He shone in the game and was the oppositions star player, but he really made a fool of himself as the final try was scored and he stood in front of the FC fans making knife cutting gestures across his throat directed straight at us lot. He had a great game and is a great player, but by the same rule what a stupid thing that was to do. It saw Scott Taylor, still distraught at conceding the killer try, spot him gesticulating to the fans and going for him, before a ‘scuffle’ between players from both sides broke out under the sticks. If Scott gets cited for starting that fracas, which I’m sure he won’t be, then for me Austin needs some action taken against him for inciting the fans as well. Silly man!

As for me, well I found it a hard watch, I fretted and strained as I always do on such occasions, but yet throughout, somehow, I just didn’t feel that there was quite as much riding on the win, as there was in such games in 2016 and 2017. I don’t know why that was, but I just didn’t! I don’t see the point in dissecting every little element in such a game, for Warrington were just that bit better than us on the day.

What you miss on the TV coverage when you watch it back, was just how animated all the players were off the ball, they all played their hearts out for each other, but on the day, we forced it a bit at times and in the end were just not good enough! It is always hard to lose at such a stage in a knock out competition, mistakes in such conditions usually reign supreme, as they did on Saturday, but we were dumb at times and just lacked the killer pass or move at others, none the less we battled and battled and on the terraces that was certainly recognised as we could ask no more.

The venue and the experiment of using it to host both semi-finals on the same afternoon, might have seemed good in principle, but it just didn’t work for me. The Stadium was pretty magnificent and a good place to watch rugby, the car parking at Tesco’s next door for a fiver, was excellent and the view from behind the posts in the Hull end excellent. The gridlock getting in and out was expected and manageable but the banks of empty seats for both games (caused by fans for the other game not being in attendance) made it lack that marvellous atmosphere we had experienced in the past at Doncaster when their Stadium was rocking for our last two Cup semi-finals. For me two semi-finals in suitably sized venues on the Saturday and Sunday works much better. It lacked something on Saturday, simply because of the under populated areas, so for me the experiment was worth a try but just didn’t work.

As for the fans that were there, well they were loud and proud as usual, FC fans are the best at such times and we certainly turned up in large numbers. No doubt some, like me, found themselves saddened and disappointed at the end particularly when the opposition chanted ‘We’re the famous Warrington and were off to Wembley’, but someone has to lose and it had been a long time since in a cup semi-final it had been us. That chant finally hammered home the fact that we wouldn’t be there and brought back the times when, full of joy, we had sung it so passionately in much more happier circumstances.

Mind you. whether we need to be sprayed by beer at regular intervals or suffer a thumping ‘Leeds like’ drum positioned smack in the middle of our ends, is a discussion for another day, but I’m sure that when the dust settles and we can be objective about it all again, a lot of folks will have had a good day out! None the less, in the cold light of Sunday morning I did think that as such disappointments come your way, as they will no doubt again in the coming years, it perhaps just makes it more and more obvious how significant and iconic a season 2016 was.

So, that out of the way, onto other things as once again the story behind the signing of Manu Ma’u continued to turn a few heads, something that was compounded by an interesting interview with Lee Radford last Tuesday, where he said, “I’m really pleased with how our squad is shaping up for next year and hopefully they are coming to a Cup winning or Grand Final winning side. I asked Sika Manu about Manu and asked what is he like as a bloke and Sika said he is scary, so when Sika says that – you know he’s a scary bloke because Sika terrifies me! I’m just looking forward to getting Manu over. In every interview I’ve heard, all his coaches have said he’s fantastic and I think he’ll be good for us, but for Super League as well. When I put his name forward, I thought ‘is this realistic?’ so I got every Polynesian I knew to ring him and put in a good word for us, so we did alright for that one!”

 I had a look at his record this week and Manu can play back row or loose forward, and he has so far gained nine caps for Tonga and six caps for New Zealand. And as he said on announcing the signing, Radford thinks the ‘Tongan Terminator’ will be a big hit with the fans.

You know whatever was said when he was appointed, there is a lot of credit at present flowing in the direction of James Clark in his relatively new position as Chief Executive at the Club. Clarky has gone about his business quietly and efficiently and is now the right hand man that Adam has always wanted. Clark and the way he has gone about securing the signings we were after certainly got some praise this week from Lee Radford when he said, ““Normally you miss out on a few players you identify, but the club have managed to go and get them all so far. Hand on heart, we have got the players we put forward to the chief executive [James Clark]. He has done a really good job in getting them, we’ve got a couple more to announce as well, which I’m sure will add some quality to us. I’d like to thank the owner and the chief executive for all their support!”.

In the Whiffs department this week I’m told that Rovers have approached Adam about releasing both Hadley and Litten on loan to them for the rest of the season, in advance of their signing for the Dobbins next season. They would both certainly fit the bill, as the other side are desperate for bodies, particularly in the hooking and second row departments. Quite frankly I wouldn’t help them at all, not for any other reason than the fact that I certainly can’t see their owner helping us out, if the positions were reversed, can you?

Their fans or at least the vociferous few I come across, wouldn’t like that at all! The local Derby is always a big factor income wise and should the loop fixtures continue next year we are likely to have two home Derby’s to profit from, so you can see the economic sense of such a move for us, should it keeps Rovers up.

But for me, some things are bigger than the money involved and I’m convinced they still wouldn’t help us in the same manner, so for me it’ll be a bad move if we agree to it! I’m told Green was wanted early by Wigan too, but as our main threats to a top five finish, I’d not allow that one either. But that’s just me!    

Talking of transfer news, a lot of readers and folks I met at Bolton wanted to talk at length to me about our new signings for 2020, but more intriguingly they also liked to try and list the players we are releasing at the end of the season and in general it has to be said the majority agree with the Clubs assessment of our current playing pool. In such conversations it becomes apparent that although Lee says we will be losing 14 three or four of them will no doubt be fringe youngsters, but we could still see up to 10 front line players leaving the club for one reason or another.

Then invariably the conversation gets around to those that are being retained and we soon get onto the subject of Brad Fash, and which list he should be on. That certainly splits the fans but Brad is certainly a player who has been around for a long time and although a survivor, he has certainly not quite made the grade as a regular. That said, of late I have to say that I’ve been impressed with him and his versatility, because the fact that he can play in every position in the pack has to be an advantage.

Whether I, like Lee, see him as a second string hooker remains to be seen, but otherwise he is certainly dependable. He is not the flashiest player, l‘ll grant you that, but inspired by comments on RL fans I had a look at his OPTA stats and you know what, he hasn’t made an error in either this or last season. That is quite a record and what’s more when you watch him closely, he is probably the speediest forward we have when it comes to getting up quickly to play the ball and indeed pretty good at slowing it down when we are defending. Nor does he miss many tackles and as for ‘Mr Percentage’ Lee Radford, well, I guess he will certainly value such stats and therefore we can understand his retention. That I believe is why he is still around and he is also a really genuine guy when you talk to him and a very good club man to boot, so he obviously ticks a lot of boxes. 

Well as the game struggles to develop its brand, we talk about wanting a lot more exposure on the TV for the sport and so I guess we should all be pleased that it’s looks like every game in the Championship play-offs will be broadcast live by Sky Sports, as the competition continues to prove its worth. There will be six games in total, which are likely to be split between Saturday and Sunday nights so they don’t clash with Super League matches. It should make for some good viewing I think!

About 6 months ago I featured the best number 1 I ever watched play our great game, Arthur Keegan, but this week my great chat to my pal in Marks and Spencers, threw up an interesting discussion about his favourite player of all time at Hull FC. Everyone has their own particulate heroes and having seen everyone since Bruce Ryan to Ratu spanning almost 80 years his choice was an interesting one indeed. For in the end he cited a brilliant full back from the 80’s, which I guess surprised me somewhat. So this week let’s have a quick look back at his favourite Hull hero and for me the second best full back that has blessed the FC shirt.

 Back in the early 80’s there is no doubt that Garry Kemble was a great last line of defence playing in a great team. I mean to say, who is there reading this Diary today that watched the club back in those days who cannot immediately remember Garry taking a high ball under pressure and turning defence into attack with one of those great break through runs of his! We must have had a load of great full backs since the club was formed, but none, I bet, was more spectacular going forward than ‘Crayfish’ Kemble.

Given the knick-name in his youth rugby days, because of his spindly arms and legs, Gary was part of the 1980’s Kiwi touring team that took these shores by storm and which was literally stuffed full of great players. However, no one in the British game ever guessed that the ambitious club from the banks of the Humber would swoop and sign three of them to play in British Rugby League. The fact that Garry, James Leuluai and Dane O’Hara did in fact join our Club, is now etched in our history and the three will be remembered with great reverence as long as fans that saw them play survive.

Garry, in fact, had already played against us in the club competition before he signed because he had a really successful season at Hunslet in 1977/78, when as a young lad he set the Elland Road Greyhound Stadium alight with his running and handling. That year we played Hunslet twice over Christmas winning our home game and losing at the Elland Road Greyhound Stadium five days after that. Garry then returned to New Zealand and a year later became a fixture in their national team.

The arrival of the three ‘Kiwi’s’ was a time of great excitement for the FC Faithful, and none more so than when Rovers announced that they had signed Dane O’Hara only for us to snaffle him from under their noses at the last minute. There is though no doubt about the amount of impact the three made on our team which had arguably the best forwards in the League without, until the lads arrived at least, too much in the backs! By the end of their first season the Challenge Cup was back at the Boulevard for the first time in 68 years. This was attained, in no small part, through of the efforts of Kemble, who was the man of the match in a titanic semi-final and scored a try in the epic Final replay game, just across the road from his old home at the Elland Road Greyhound Stadium! If he played well that day however, his try against Cas in the semi-final was so good that it was voted the best solo try of the year in two RL publications. That try which I still remember, saw him running in an arc towards the corner flag, whilst magically dummying in both directions and sending the defence this way and that, as they grasped at thin air. It was a fine piece of work and a great try.

Another great touch-down was in the 1984 Yorkshire Cup final against the Dobbins at Boothferry Park when he fielded a drop out on the half way line and swept forward beating one tackler after another on a spectacular arcing run to the corner. It was not all spectacular attacking stuff for Kemble though, and he was a great last-ditch tackler too.  He seemed to be able to sense just were the oppositions next thrust was coming from and be there waiting for their attacker with open arms. As with all great players, and even when taking high balls under pressure, he still seemed to have all the time in the world!

His tackling was so brave at times, although it was once such act of bravado in the 1985 Challenge Cup semi-final that brought him a few problems. He pulled off a great ‘ball and all’ tackle on Castleford’s scrum half Ian Orum, who was not slow at showing that he was none too pleased about it either. The next time Kemble got the ball Orum went for him, flooring our full back with an audacious and totally undisguised stiff arm tackle.

We all went berserk at the referee that day, because he just gave Orum a ticking off, but our angst was nothing compared with that of Arthur Bunting, who ran on the field to take referee John McDonald to task. Arthur was promptly sent off, and later after the game, Orum was cited for the incident and got a 4 match ban on the strength of the video evidence. We won the game that featured more scraps than a Rocky movie, 22-16, however, Garry Kemble was in a really bad way after leaving the field on a stretcher for hospital totally unconscious. He was diagnosed as suffering from acute concussion and did not play for the next 8 domestic matches, only to return for the final against Wigan at Wembley. Hull took a gamble on including him for that game, because he was obviously still not right and it came back to haunt us when twice Garry missed the sort of one on one tackles he had become famous for and Wigan just pipped us in that great showpiece final.

In six seasons with Hull FC Garry was a hero, a star and a household name in West Hull and the Rugby League World in general. He played 195 games, scored 45 tries and kicked 1 goal. But in the end although his tries make for great memories, it will be for the unrecorded statistics of kicks caught and tries prevented that he is best remembered by me. For we were privileged supporters indeed to see the great Garry Kemble pull on the famous black and white for Hull FC, as he was invariably either standing up players in the tackle one on one or striding through the line in an elegant and stately manner. What a player!

So, after all the alarms and excursions that a week leading up to a Challenge Cup semi-final bring with it, we now have to get ourselves back up, as we face a resurgent Wigan Warriors, knowing that a win against Adrian Lam’s side will really consolidate our position in the Super League’s top three and just about guarantee it in the top 5. But the circumstances of that cup loss, Sky TV and that bruising encounter in Bolton have all transpired to present us with a massive task at the KCom on Thursday. Wigan had 4 days off last week, sat with their feet up watching the semi and eased themselves into the preparations for this game whilst we went to Bolton and got beat up for 80 minutes. I said my piece on Sky’s choice of games and a Thursday night kick-off last week, so I won’t go over old ground, but it’s simply a farce really!

One look at the at the table suggests that, because results have fallen for us and we have got 4 points from our last two games, all be it a bit fortuitously, we have now at least given themselves a bit of a cushion over the likes of Wigan, Castleford, and Catalans. However, with an inferior points difference, two poor results could be enough to kill off our play off dream. What’s more, let’s face it, we can do poor results can’t we? Yet, as I say, another win on Thursday would see us all but safe in the top five.

So although the Cup was important, its gone and so keeping the momentum going in the league is absolutely vital if, that is, we are to have any sort of chance of a good end to the season at all. We now enter a difficult 7-week period when we play 6 league games that will decide whether we have anything like a chance in the play-offs. The break for Wembley could in fact suit us, offering as it does, a weekend off to regroup for a final push. At least as I always say, we are clear of relegation, because at the bottom I think it’s going to get very messy indeed. 

Saturday saw us a bit disjointed and a bit fractious, but we kept the pressure on throughout that second half and the lads did us proud. The terrible weather still didn’t stop a dramatic and exciting game unfolding and despite us being second best, we could still have won it in the end. We have a great Cup fighting team at present and they didn’t let us down a bit in Bolton.

Thanks to Ian, Sarah, Adam and Iain and his clan for contributing to the experience on Saturday and for sharing the ongoing agony and final disappointment with me, in such situations its so good to be amongst friends when the unthinkable happens. I was disappointed yes, but not distraught and certainly felt better about the reversal than I would have done say 4 years ago. It came, it went, there had to be a winner and for all our endeavour and all our wanting, on this occasion it wasn’t to be us. But we did our best and can still be very proud of the endeavour and effort we showed as a group of players!

For me, it was certainly great to meet so many Diary readers at Bolton and to hear your thoughts on this weekly rubbish, everyone was certainly up for it all and excited on the day. I mention particularly a guy whose name I didn’t get, who was very kind and even said last week’s edition “Made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up”. Thanks for that, it was very kind of you and its nice to know that I still have some readers who have hairs on the back of their necks!!!  Let’s hope I can repeat that reaction in the week before the Grand Final, although, in reality I somehow think that’s all a bit of a way off at present.

Final word on our great Cup fighting team that just came up short this time? Well that goes to the Saints fan who said on Twitter, “Since the start of 2016 Hull FC have played 14 Cup games (It’s actually 13) and only lost twice. Once to us and once to Warrington. In that run they have only played one team outside Super League, Featherstone. Unreal stats but beaten by the better team today”. Got it in One!!!

That endeavour and fighting spirit in such circumstances is why Hull FC will always be our team, we are so lucky that they’re the club we support and we know that one day, when the dust has settled, we’ll come again. Why? Well simply because of what we are, a tremendous Club with a celebrated history and a brilliant culture, plus of course we have a management team that are fans, a great set of passionate players who ‘get it’ and the best supporters in the land!

It was close but no cigar on Saturday, but we’ll be back!!!

Just Keep Believing!

Faithfully Yours