The Dentist’s Diary – 653rd

Hello and Welcome to the 15th Dentists Diary Christmas Edition! 

It’s that time again when there’s chestnuts roasting on an open fire, Halls decked with Holly, children with faces all aglow and turkeys everywhere….(not just at Caravan Park).

It was 23rd December 2005 when the first regular Diary went out and no doubt some would say that they have been steadily and progressively going downhill ever since. Thanks to the efforts of Joe and his predecessors at the journal of a totally biased FC supporter has soldiered on through good times and bad and I must thank everyone who has taken the time to read all those rants, dreams, whiffs and conspiracy theories for their support, patience and understanding over those years!

2019 was by and large an arduous, lengthy and challenging year for the long suffering FC fan, but although we came through a difficult and erratic season a little disheartened and a little disappointed, some great signings have reignited the interest and resulted in excellent season ticket sales. Therefore, I guess that the majority of the Faithful fans have at least emerged with their hopes and dreams intact. Once Christmas is out of the way the pre-season games begin and all the crazy stuff is back again. There’s quite a bit of FC news around at present so here goes with my final offering of 2019!

Well first of all a bit of a set-back as I see that we have posted a £300,000 loss in our latest accounts but thanks to Adam Pearson that’s manageable and apparently not too much to worry about. In fact, we have now again budgeted for a loss this year as our owner has pushed the boat out and spent big to bring an exciting squad together for 2020. It’s a bit of good old fashioned ‘speculate to accumulate’ stuff, however Adam does also admit that if we don’t do well this season we could be in trouble. We are in fact at present £200,000 over cap for next year and some player won’t be registered straight away, so we are spending big, but in a scenario that will have to be monitored and managed going forward. 

We really are lucky to have Adam in charge to underpin such ‘speculative’ exercises, but I think that if he doesn’t at least get back to breaking even on our trading account and we don’t meet the financial targets he has set, we might just be in for big changes. One things for sure he still has his appetite for it all and a firm hand on the tiller and its unthinkable really to wonder what will happen when eventually he decides to call it a day.  

Accounts are always in retrospect and from posting small profits for a couple of years we have now gone back into the red which I guess only goes to prove that despite averaging gates of around 12,000, season ticket sales at about two thirds of that and massive merchandise sales, if you don’t get to a final you struggle to make ends meet. Adam thinks that the salary cap is too high and that the Marquee rule which has recently been increased to 3 players has gone too far and looking at our figures, perhaps he’s right. However, I believe that the game should be looking to increase its income across the sport in line with steady growth, rather than shrinking its expenditure to suit a level of income that is reducing year on year. At least our owner reports the best sponsorship support and corporate engagement since he arrived, which on the ground, here in Hull, has to be encouraging. So, I guess our end of year report reads; trying hard, still ambitious, forging ahead, but must do better!! 

Next up now, it’s great to be able to report that at last HE’S here! Confounding my fears about getting into the country, the Tongan Terminator Manu Ma’u has arrived and started training at County Road last Monday. The man is an absolute legend in the NRL and although we shouldn’t expect too much too soon, his pulling on that famous shirt is a mouth-watering proposition for us all, as he joins us with some other massive names like Mahe Fonua and Josh Jones. With a pack that features Jones and Ma’u plus Taylor, Satae and Sao, we must, when everyone is fit, have one of the best forward six’s in the British Game. 

Ma’u brings a wealth of experience and is a real enforcer. In addition, he has a good turn of speed and great hands. Although some would say he is getting on a bit, he was a late starter in the pro game and in fact was playing his best rugby to date at the end of the 2019 NRL season. I’ve watched him play and he looks to operate best running wide in the centre channel on fast spread plays, where he can chime into the line with effect. However, there’s the rub, because we have to utilise his strength’s and not gear his play to that typical Hull FC up your jumper and then turn it back inside stuff, that appears regularly particularly when we are under the cosh.  

The two other Polynesian arrivals bring a natural ability to off-load under pressure in the tackle. We must incorporate all that into our game plan and let all three express themselves. Of course we must play hard one up stuff coming out of our half, but not stifle these lads, as we have others in the past, when  we advance downfield, Remember when Pritchard started the season running wide out and absolutely killing the opposition, but was soon made to play like a third prop where he looked much less effective; well of course he was, because it was not his natural game? When I saw him in St Stephens at the end of the season  before he left he told me that frustrated and limited him a lot. However, one things for sure, having players the like of Fonua and Ma’u in the team is a marketers dream and we have to use them as we did Pritchard and Co. to profile the club and connect with the fan base.  

However, as always for Hull FC fans from every positive there is always a set back and what bad news it was to hear that Danny Houghton has injured his wrist, has had an operation and won’t be back until after the season has started. It’s a massive blow to lose our captain and acting half back, when we have such a tough start to the campaign and the sad thing is he was going really well in the opening weeks of pre-season. 

It’s just our luck I guess, be we have to get on with it and at least we have signed a stand in hooker in the form of Jordan Johnstone, who has been pulling up trees since he arrived and must be relishing the chance to have a shot at the number nine slot in our opening games. He’s such a keen young man who won’t take no for an answer when it comes to getting into the team and I’m told he has impressed a lot of our players since he arrived. We signed him on a three-year deal for just such eventualities, but I guess we didn’t feel it would happen this soon. This is his big chance which has arrived perhaps a bit earlier than he anticipated as well, but it will be interesting to see how he goes in what is a critical position for the FC. Losing Danny is a big blow but it could have been a darn sight worse had we not at last had the foresight to sign a young, hungry hooker.   

It was great to hear that Jake Connor has already been back in training although he wasn’t due until this Monday. He has, very commendably, been at County Road on Mondays and Fridays doing his prep and getting ready for starting his pre-season campaign; that;s shown tremendous intent and great dedication. He however knows that this is such an important season for him, for he is at a bit of crossroads and has to secure a place in the starting 17. As well as commenting that at least he is only in ‘their ears’ two days a week at present, the players say that he is really determined to put the back end of last season, when he really lost some form, behind him. Despite what amounted to a pretty disastrous conclusion to that campaign he will certainly have benefited from being Down Under with the Great Britain squad and we have to hope hat the change of environment and a chance to rub shoulders with the Countries elite players has left its mark. 

It’s a big season for Connor because although he is one of the most talented players in the British game his attitude and demeanour hasn’t always matched his obvious talent and he needs I guess to grow up a bit on that front. He also ‘suffers’ from being a utility player, who can play in at least 5 positions and you’ll remember how that effected Richard Whiting who  never had a settled position either. We need to decide where he plays and keep him there. However, he seems to be trying to rectify things and he has certainly made a good start with these voluntary training stints. He stayed in touch with Mahe Fonua while he was back in the NRL and they are good friends so they have enjoyed meeting up again (Mahe will look to keep him straight as well I guess!!). That all just adds to what is a really good feel around the squad at present. It’s been as tough a pre-season as some of our seasoned players have experienced, but the spirit and especially the camaraderie has, I’m told, been first class.  

We all know of course that all the good signs in the world at this time of year mean nothing if we don’t do it on the field when it all begins again. However, with the squad we have put together, the attitude of the newcomers and the resolve of the ‘old hands’ like Jake, it has to be looking good, doesn’t it?    

Well, since the last edition of the Diary we have passed the 8000 season tickets sold mark. It augers well for around 8500 subscribers before we kick off, which should guarantee us home gates between at least 11,500 and 12,000 providing we are entertaining. Hopefully there will be more than that, but there is a need to start winning consistently at home and that must be one of the club’s top priority, because our away wins to home victories ratio last season was pretty disgraceful really. However once again the great FC supporters have recognised the money Adam has invested, stumped up and been engaged again by the squad we have put together. It’s all getting quite exciting now isn’t it? 

Well, the Reserve Grade fixtures are out and what a great moment for the game that should have been! I have banged on in here for years about the need to get back to ‘A’ team rugby and at last we have an excellent 14 team league which should provide us with some great Saturday afternoon entertainment and, across Super League, form a pathway for players to get into contention for the first teams. Or will it?? 

Our Coach Lee has been a long-term advocate of the reserve grade system and he was certainly suitably delighted when the decision was made to make it mandatory once more. However, last week he expressed his displeasure at what was now happening with regard a possible announcement that there are to be restrictions on how many amateur players can turn out at any one time for each team. The fact is that clubs like Salford, who incidentally don’t appear to at present be planning to run an Academy, and the Championship teams that are taking part, will fail miserably if they can’t pick a lot of local amateur players up. 

This whole idea was seen as a chance to expand the playing pool, reintroduce new and lapsed players to the game and generally spread the net wider recruitment wise. It gave an opportunity to, in turn, offer amateur players that have missed getting into the junior ranks of professional teams, a second chance to have a crack at it. Let’s face it, we all know many players have in the past matured later in life and not started getting anywhere near first team rugby until they were 22 or 23. Manu Ma’u started playing late in life, as did Fetuli Talanoa and yet look what great talents they turned out to be. 

How would they have ever got full-time contracts if they couldn’t force their way into contention through the reserve grade teams. It appears by what Lee was intimating that the coaches had been consulted and that he had indicated that we should not be restricting open age amateur players taking part as, if you like trialists, but that his pleas and those of several other of his peers looked to have fallen on deaf ears. It appears now that any such players could well be restricted to two per team per game. 

You can see what is going to happen now can’t you? Teams will get a few injuries and then be unable to field a reserve team at all and we will be back to square one, where only the Clubs who have had the foresight to sign up players with a view to then playing Reserve grade next year, will continue to compete whilst the others will again sit back and save the cash. 

I can reveal that all our home Reserves games will be played at Hullensians and it’s a good little ground in Springhead Lane with a great club house and we should get some good gates down there as well. However, it looks to me as if, once the season is well underway, the number of fixtures we actually play might be restricted because some clubs might just find it incredibly difficult to field reserve team at all. Furthermore, Radford intimated that, this restriction on Amateur players, which for me is a really crap idea, is now set in stone and unlikely to change before the 2020 campaign kicks off. Lee ended an interview with the Yorkshire Post by adding in his own inimitable style, that as far as he and the other coaches are concerned, “They asked for consultation – and they gave every wrong answer coming back, so it looks like they listened astutely!” (not!!!!)

So after all the euphoria about the new reserves league, here we go again with another great idea, that might just go the way of so many others, because it’s execution has once again, not been thought through! 

Then, if I read it right we might well be going back to duel registration but this time bizarrely at Hull FC in reverse. It appears that as most clubs are now going to be short of players to take part in the reserve grade games we and others could well be joining up with a lower Division team again but this time to actually borrow players from them, to make up the numbers in reserve games!! That for me is just ridiculous, because it’s going to put a hell of a strain on lower league clubs and I find it hard to believe how it will work, but that seems to be what the Hull Daily Mail were intimating last week was about to happen. 

I Feature the next bit in some detail because after all these 60 odd years of watching the FC and supporting what I think is the greatest game in the world, I have learned one thing and that is that whatever happens over in the NRL this year is likely to happen here next! There are odd exceptions where we have led with such things as the tackling in the air rule and some of the concussion protocols, but usually that is the case. It is interesting therefore to see that as usual at this time of year, across in the Southern Hemisphere they have been tinkering around with the rules. Last week the NRL released several changes which I’ll outline here and try to make some sense of. The first will see the addition of the 20/40 rule, which works the same as the 40/20 rule but the other way around!!

if a side kick’s from their own 20m line, and the ball goes into touch on the opponents 40m line or over it, then that team will get a tap. it’s sort of 40/20 in reverse and i can see that it will again make the game a lot more exciting but you have to balance that by the fact that it will be a difficult one for the uninitiated to understand and as always you have to balance good ideas that will really ‘fly’ with accusations of it just being another gimmick. their administrators will no doubt say it is to raise the level of entertainment but there’s nothing entertaining about switching on your tv and not having a clue as to what you are watching. that said though, i think it will work and no doubt we will watch it with interest and look at it for 2021. 

Another change will see teams have the option of where to take their scrum. They can either have it 10m in, 20m in, or in the centre of the field. They have five seconds to notify the referee of their choice. Again I guess, in the name of raising the excitement levels, this is to give an advantage to the attacking team and plant seeds of doubt in the minds of the other side when they try to set their defensive line. Again it seems ok but is it really necessary? 

However, the big one for me has to be the introduction of a Captains Challenge with the new rule expected to shift pressure onto players to make the right call over contentious rulings and reduce controversy over stripping calls. While NRL officials are yet to announce how the system will work, it is likely each team will only be allowed one incorrect call per half or per game so the onus will be on the captains to be sure before attempting to overturn a decision. The NRL has been considering a captain’s challenge since the introduction of the Bunker in 2016 and the concept was trialled but unused by each team – during a Telstra Premiership match between Newcastle and St George Illawarra in the final round of that season. Most match officials are believed to support a captain’s challenge as it reduces the focus on their rulings because players will now have the opportunity to overturn a decision if they believe it is wrong. But if a team chooses not to use their challenge it means they have accepted the call and moved on.

The big one for me? Well, yes it is, because it challenges what should be the absolute sovereignty of the referee, which has been a corner stone of Rugby League for decades. Yeh, they are often crap and no one, but no one criticises referees more than me and yet, and you can call me old fashioned as well, somehow it just seems to go against the whole principle and the ethics of the sovereignty of the match official and ‘playing the game’ in general, as well as once again making it harder to understand what is going on for the casual watcher. 

Yes, the current system puts a lot of pressure on the referee, but in a sport where we prided ourselves for years, that unlike football we didn’t argue with officials or try to feign injury to influence them, those elements has been creeping in of late and I don’t think that’s good at all. It sees players trying to influence the management of the game and if you like cheating, whilst challenging the position of the official. Shot clocks have assisted the referees in a good way with this time wasting, but this move will for me further dilute the authority of the match official and I’m not too sure that is the right way to go. We might not like their decision, we might discuss them forever afterwards and of course with TV replays available they are under considerable pressure, but in real time their decisions have to be final. So for me instead of giving them this ‘get out’ we should be improving the rules to make them easier to understand and to police and getting better quality officials out there on the field. 

In any case, I can’t see it coming here because the Bunker that was introduced in Australia depends on every game kicking off at a different time and full TV coverage being at every game. But for me we need better referee’s they’ll never get it right all the time and it’s a thankless task but I honestly feel there is a lot of room for improvement. 

Also added over there this season is the stipulation that if the ball strikes the referee or a trainer, then the previous play-the-ball will be replayed, which seems to me to be logical and pretty straight forward, common sense and easy for any spectator to understand. No one should get an advantage if a kick or pass ricochets off an official or a trainer that presents an advantage to either team. 

None the less this consistent meddling with the rules is just ridiculous really especially when they differ depending whereabouts in the world you are playing the game. You have to balance the adoption of new rules with the complication they introduce to an understanding of what is going on for newcomers or casual observers of the game and for me it is pretty unnecessary. If you are attempting to build your supporter base, it’s totally counterproductive. How can any sport with any sort of ambition to build its popularity have so many different bloody rule books?  

Finally, on this subject in the NRL tackling in the air will be outlawed completely next year. This is simply the Australian game following our example and banning any contact on a player other than when contesting the ball in the air under a kick. In the NRL this rule has been applied in part but there have been exceptions, but this move should in the name of player safety at least clear any anomalies up and is a good change for them. 

As I said, all these moves it is claimed are to make it easier for the officials to manage games and NRL Chief Executive Todd Greenburg commented, “We are constantly looking at ways to ensure the game is easier to officiate, and is also innovative and unpredictable. We certainly feel these changes will have a positive impact on the sport”. There have been a lot of complaints about officials in the last year over there and I guess you can see their governing bodies point of view, but for me our game needs stability and certainly has to seek parity across the game as it is officiated in both hemisphere’s. At present we have the NRL rules, the RFL rules and the International Federation Rules. There’s no wonder everyone gets confused at times is there? For me, our game is fast getting a reputation of being gimmick ridden and desperate in its attempts to improve the product, when they seem to be missing the point that it is in effect brilliant to start with and should be just kept as simple as possible!!

Well, the quest to decimate our great game with the inclusion of teams from across the globe continued this week with Valencia Hurricanes the latest team to be vying for a place in Division 2 in 2021. The Spanish outfit are this year set to follow-up their friendly at home to Featherstone Rovers with a trip to face London Skolars’ and they are to play a number of friendlies throughout the season. These games will run in parallel with their Spanish league commitments, as they try to build a profile and some support for their entry in to the British Domestic Competition, which is let’s face it is getting less and less domestic by the year. Meanwhile, their upcoming game against Featherstone is set to be held at the 4,500-capacity Vilajoyosa Stadium, 10km away from Benidorm because plans to hold it at Levante CF’s 26,000-capacity ground had to be shelved when the idea to have a double-header with St Helens and Salford fell through.

Well a week last Saturday the ex player’s association held their Christmas party in the Dog and Duck in Beverley, which I guess these days is my local. It was a great afternoon with around 35 ex-players in attendance. I had some great chats with Keith Boxall, Keith Tindall, Chico Jackson, Tony Duke, Tommy Ball and ex-coach Stan Pickering. We had a good old sing song and as the beer flowed so did the stories, which prompted me as usual to comment that since I wrote my books I have heard enough new stories to write another three!!  How lucky we are to have such a great heritage. As you can see, everyone had a great time and Keith Tindall as Chairman does a great job and the Hull FC Ex-player’s Association is certainly one we should be proud of. 

A Great hero of the 70’s gave us a song! 
An FC take over in the pub.

Talking to Keith Tindall and several of the lads who read the diary and who played in the latter stages of the 1970’s we got onto that great 1978/79 season and they asked me to include a resume of it in here this week so always happy to oblige here goes. It was a season when we entered what most fans would consider to be one of the greatest period of our club’s history.  For anyone who supported the club back then the 1978/79 season was very special indeed. 

In that amazing year we created a record which will live long in our history and that of the Rugby league.  We went through the whole season undefeated with our record at the end of the year showing, played 26 won 26. They were great times indeed. I saw every game home and away and still have some great and cherished memories of the camaraderie and passion that was found on the terraces everywhere we went. We appeared invincible and the fans had a ball. Me and my pals had a great time, we got left by the coach at Oldham, ‘congered’ out of the supporters club at Blackpool and got drenched to the skin at Whitehaven on a cold day when the players spent half time under the stand in a temporary changing room as the steam from their bodies came up through the boards under our feet. 

However, it was hard to even imagine what was about to happen when the season started with a tight 17-9 win at Bramley. That game saw a team that was a work in progress stutter and splutter but, by the following weekend, Arthur Bunting had got things sorted and we produced a comprehensive 61-10 defeat of Oldham at the Boulevard. In that game Sammy Lloyd actually equalled the clubs all time goal kicking record for goals in a game. That record had incidentally stood since Jim Kennedy set it against Rochdale in 1921! Lloyd in fact went on to attain the club’s record for total goals kicked that year with a massive total of 170 in fact he scored 369 points that year which was a phenomenal total. It was an amazing feat and one that is now unlikely ever to be equalled.

We were off and running, and despite Bradford (our then Bogey team) booting us out of all the cup competitions, we were to go on and never see a “L” in the League fixture list for the rest of the year.

Some games were tight, as hosting the Airlie Birds, or a visit to the Boulevard, was seen by most of the rest of the clubs in the Division as their “Wembley”. We were seen as the big spenders, the ‘Flash Harry’s’ of the competition and the envy of other Clubs was there to see everywhere we went, as the FC fans turned up in their thousands. At home games gates regularly reached 6,800 and a couple of cash strapped outfits (Huyton and Batley) even transferred their home game to the Boulevard to make more money out of them. I well remember that the switched Batley game was played mid-week in February and was almost called off ten minutes before the game took place, because of ice on the pitch. However, the referee, making an inspection of the playing surface before the game, took one look at the size of the crowd and noting their baiting cries in his direction, decided to go ahead. The game was played in conditions more akin to Ice-skating, but we won 20-0. We actually made a profit that year thanks to a big donation from the vice presidents and £8,900 from the speedway franchise. 

There were some close calls too. We scraped past Blackpool at the Boulevard in November 14-13, just beat Bramley 8-5 at home in January and squeezed past Oldham at a rain sodden Watersheddings in our penultimate game of the season in May. Boy the weather was bad that day and the mist so thick that at times you couldn’t see the other end of the pitch or the top of either set of posts! Some grounds were really run down and I remember the game against New Hunslet at the Elland Road Greyhound Stadium in October 1978 when one by one the floodlight columns went off until of the 8 only 4 were lit and the game concluded in the gathering gloom. There was the Doncaster game at Tatters filed in September when a guy obviously fed up of walking around the pitch carried a tray of drinks across the 25 yard line whilst we pressed and pressed  the Donny line and play went on down the other end. Wow, there are so many great memories, I could fill a couple of Diary’s with just that season. 

We were crowned champions at Blackpool on a windswept afternoon when their drop goal expert and little general Hull born Bak Diabera almost did for us! There were some great heroes in that team, Prendiville and Bray on the wings scored 46 tries between them, George Robinson an unlikely star whenever he played, John Newlove an aging hero at 6, Tindle and Farrar in the front row and Charlie Stone in the second row tireless workers. Keith Hepworth chimed in with a few good performances, while George Clarke and Brian Hancock got some games in and made the backs tick and ‘Super Alf’ Macklin was awarded a Testimonial. Many of these heroes didn’t feature in the glorious days of the 80’s but without them we wouldn’t have that great season to remember.

So, with one game to go, the scene was set for the big game of the season against second placed Hunslet at the Boulevard on 18th May 1979. This was it, our chance to have a place in the Guinness Book of records, and to go through a whole season undefeated. Although we were already promoted, I remember the Daily Mail revealing that Arthur Bunting, our Coach, had decreed that the team would not be parading the Second Division salver around the ground before the kick off, because he wanted nothing to take the teams minds off this last, important and possibly historic, game. If I remember rightly, Arthur had in fact seen a similar situation, when he was coach at The Dobbins and he was risking nothing this time.

12,424 crammed into the Boulevard and I watched the game from the Gordon Street end of a packed Threepenny Stand. Hunslet really did not offer much at all on attack, but their tenacious tackling soon subdued even the fans around me, as they did everything they could to keep us out. Lloyd, the record breaker, missed 4 goals in the first half and at half time the scores stood at 1-0 after Knocker Norton had dropped a solitary goal. The thorn in our side that night was I remember Tony Dean, a little general and a player who was to sign and star for us two years later. He was known as the drop goal king of British Rugby League and although he missed with two attempts, at last he slid one over in the second half to level the scores. He was everywhere that night and at times attacked us single-handedly with some great stepping and direct running.

It looked likely that the game was going to end in a draw although Hunslet plugged away and another drop goal was always on the cards. Could we lose out at such a late stage? Then, following a foul on John Newlove, Sammy found his kicking boots and slotted over a penalty. We were in the lead at last, but it was still touch and go! It was then left for the most unlikeliest of heroes to score the only try of the game and seal the record for Hull FC. Charlie Stone who only scored about 8 tries in 200 appearances for the club, side stepped his way over the line and although Lloyd missed again with the conversion we were home, we were the champions, and most important of all real record breakers!!! It was not a classic game, but with so much at stake, for me, for sheer tension and ultimate ecstasy, it still ranks as high as any (with the exception of the obvious one of course). It was the grand finale of a massive effort when every week the opposition produced a Super human effort in an attempt to beat us.

That season we scored more tries than any other team in the whole competition and although only playing second division teams in the League, we still managed to beat Leeds in the Cup and draw with Bradford in the same competition. We of course went up and thus started that Golden Age in the history of Hull FC, the early 80’s! 

Sorry I went on a bit this week, but we all agreed in the pub last weekend that was a very special season indeed. 

So, there you have it and before I disappear to the Dog and Duck for the next 2 weeks, I want to take this opportunity to thank all those supporters from all over the world that have sent me stuff for this Diary over the past year. My appreciation also goes to all of you who have read it in the last 12 months (well over 100,000 reads in total) and those who have commented on it because your views, be they good or bad, are what it is all about. There must also be a big thank you to my long suffering family for putting up with this weekly journal being a part of all our daily routines. And particularly to Joe Bennett at Blackandwhites, who does a fine job every week posting this for me. In addition, despite that, well done to him and Natassha for producing another FC fan last week, as little Georgie Rose made her entrance.

What a little star!!! Well done Joe and Natassha!

So it’s here again!! At least I’m retired now and I don’t have to go through all that works Christmas Party rigmarole anymore. I didn’t mind the parties as such, but it was the thought of having to find a new job the next day that got me down! The Diary will be back around 6th/7th January 2020. Thank you all for reading this Christmas Edition, and putting up with my thoughts ideas grumbles and efforts to amuse. In the end this stuff is just my opinions and although always sincere in its intentions, it’s also often just meant to reflect the thoughts of an average fan. 

It comes from the heart, each week, from a long-standing, always optimistic yet visibly ageing FC fanatic!! We are all in it together and as FC fans …aren’t we lucky to be just that!! I’d like to think that we will be going places next season, yet who knows? Still, lets end on the positive thought that at least at present, before we have played anyone, the futures must be bright, because of course its Black and White!!!

A very Merry and Peaceful Christmas to you all and……

COME ON YOU HULLLLLAAAARRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Faithfully Yours