The Dentists Diary – 380th

What do I make of the outcome of the restructuring meeting on Friday? Well, my first thought was why the hell didn’t they ask us? Why didn’t the fans of this great game get at least a bit of a say in the sweeping changes to the format of Rugby League that we will all now have to buy into from 2015 onwards?

Still, disappointed as I was by that predictable outcome, there was always Bradford to look forward to, although the leaden skies and pouring rain that greeted me as I opened the curtains on Sunday Morning didn’t lift my spirits much at all! I should have known what to expect really and we got it, as hundreds of travelling FC fans sat and watched a first half display that was certainly rudderless at times, a worryingly poor line defence and our favourites well and truly undone by a feisty Bradford outfit.

The name of the game this year will be relegation rugby where we will see teams that are near the bottom scrapping like hell for precious points at the end of the season. As a team that has been under adversity for weeks, Bradford showed just that sort of wanting and we were second best for most of the game. It was only a warm up game, but Bradford dominated in all departments and showed just what can happen if you don’t rise to that challenge, because for long periods yesterday we certainly didn’t!! It was disappointing and a bit shambolic at times, but at least it was only a friendly…. but by hell it certainly gave me and the great folks I sat with some food for thought.

However I should have expected that performance really because it’s been a funny old week, with Gwilym Lloyd telling us Gareth Ellis was injured when he wasn’t at all, while Mr Allam opened both his wallet and yet another can of worms and then there was us all witnessing an ex Labour Deputy Prime Minister telling ‘plebs’ like me watching him on Look North, that when you’re rich, you have the right to do as you like.

The journey to Bradford was pretty uneventful as we drove through some light rain into bright sunshine and were then all crammed into the seated stand at Odsal. It was only the second time I’d been in there and it was certainly a better vantage point than the usual end terracing. However the kick off was in danger of being delayed as each Bradford player’s announcement was followed by their particular piece of music, which to be honest really sounds naff and pretty dated now. Still it was good to be back at the only Super League ground with toilet chains in the gents, but I have to say the old place certainly looked tatty.

We complain at times about what we pay at the KC, but quite frankly sitting there yesterday I have to say that perhaps we don’t know we’re born!

The pitch was greasy which caused problems throughout for the players as they slipped and slid around a lot, but it was little excuse for the FC being blown away in the first half by a more focussed and much hungrier Bradford.

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The Bulls began the game with what will be their starting line up in Super League and it showed. They looked bigger and stronger than a mixed FC outfit and an early try soon came about from a couple of flat balls on our line, where we simply couldn’t handle the big Bradford front row. Feke started by knocking on and then was gang tackled the next time he got the ball, but he had a fine first spell and his lay off to Westerman out of the tackle, was great to see. It’s a pity the rest didn’t follow suit, because despite some great probing and running from Richard Horne we looked lost at times. Regular Bradford tries came along, while we huffed and puffed and when we got through we were held up over the line a couple of times.

Feke went off and Micky Paea came on and he’s certainly going to be a hero! He plough up field and was the only forward we had in the second quarter that could match what Bradford were throwing at us through Carvell and Nick Scruton in the front row and Albison and Addy in the second row. At least young Cunningham had a better game and he looked really nippy at times with his passing having improved greatly since Doncaster. Ellis showed the graft and strong in your face contact that should have been the norm for our pack and had a good game, while Bowden had a great afternoon and really shone with a massive 50 yard break in the second half.

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In fact after the break we were much tighter in defence and Rankin, after an early blob, looked good and showed plenty of enterprise and pace. So there were some positives, although I note a lot of folks saying that “It was only a friendly”, “There were no points at stake” and “Its early days” but I have to be honest as I always am and despite all that, I thought it was a poor showing!

Typing this on the way home in the car, it’s good to be able to say how I feel with some reality still fresh in my mind. No doubt by Monday morning there will be all sorts of theories, excuses and reasons for our showing as we all ‘gloss it up a bit’, look for positives and then towards next weekend. Although allowances have to be made for a deal of swopping and changing of personnel, the stark reality of what we were watching was definitely a case of ‘could do better’ and three tries in the last 5 minutes don’t change that for this fan. I was pretty disappointed with that showing and wonder whether even at this early stage we are once again suffering from a lack of organisation. Just who there is in our side to do that and give us the direction, as Gale and Sammut did so effectively for the Bulls, I don’t know.

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Yes it was only a Friendly, but it was a Friendly for both sides and much of our defence compared with that of the Bulls was, particularly in the first half, lacklustre and lacking in bite. Our usual injury luck continued, when a beefier Lineham hurt his hip as he crashed in for a disallowed try, but the first half descended into a bit of a shambles really. Much has been made of our new play book and how long we had poured over it on the training field, but yesterday at times we looked like a team who had just met each other. Players ran into rather than away from defenders or down blind alleys, while some flashy passing looked good, as we created a few gaps and chances, although generally we lacked any penetration. The second half was much better defensively, and attacking wise the last 5 minutes were good to watch with our final try a great effort which at least sent the FC fans home with a little comfort. It started, as the hooter went, with a speculative cross kick from young winger Tom Stark which was superbly plucked out of the air by Rankin. The Australian debutant exchanged passes with Jamie Shaul, before he raced clear, showing great pace, to score in the corner. There was hope in that for both Rankin and the fans!

One thing’s for sure, even though The Dobbins haven’t had a game yet we had better see a vast improvement next week because there is certainly no such thing as a friendly when it comes to games against that lot and all the FC Faithful will be going along to the KC wanting nothing short of a win!

So to the past week and I never thought he’s get a Visa, but I have to hold my hand up here and say, I got it wrong! I have to say too, that the news that Talanoa landed yesterday was a big relief for this fan, particularly with the dearth of outside backs we currently have at the Club. I knew he had a few issues behaviour wise, but I found out this week that the most recent delay was caused by the Club waited three weeks to see what the outcome of his court case was. When the whole thing collapsed and charges were dropped, they went ahead and had no problems with securing his work permit, and with his papers dropping through his letter box last weekend, he at last got his flight booked. Will he be fit and is he any good seems to be the first two questions most fans ask me, but as always only time will tell. I wouldn’t think we’ll see him, at least until we go to Post Office Road when in the first half at least I’m told, the Club intend to field their full starting line up for the Catalan opener. Still I guess you will all join me in welcoming Fetuli to the Club and let’s hope his stay is an exciting and productive one! I’m looking forward to seeing him myself; ‘The Dustman has Landed’!

To clear up the ‘Gareth Ellis is injured’ thing that was spread around by Humberside the other night, he wasn’t injured at all in fact he was at the infirmary having the tests that all players have when the conclude pre season training before they play their first game; but that’s how rumours start! In another piece of news I gleaned this week it was interesting to hear that Jordan Rankin had studied the play books and videos so well before he came, that when he arrived he knew the plays better than some of our current half backs!!! Finally Yeamo is now recovering well from a massive bout of stomach trouble which rendered him really ill. He has been flying in training and was described to me by a member of our Coaching staff as “A different Guy this season” before he was taken ill.

On Thursday night I watched Tom Biggs play for Bath against Bordeaux just I guess to see how he fared and what we were getting and on both counts by the end, it was hard to say. My pals who watch ‘Kick and Clap’ regularly tell me he is good and he certainly got himself into some fine running positions, but in heavy and wet conditions, I got the distinct impression that either they didn’t want to play with him or that his colleagues were at the very least a bit greedy. He went looking for some ball in the middle, was good with ball in hand and looked sharp, however I know a lot of folks have scratched round it a bit, and maybe ignored it, but I’ll say it; for me his defence was poor. It was very slippery but at times he looked exposed, so he will undoubtedly have a lot to do when he gets here. However from another point of view, with flowing blonde hair, a sharp pass and an aggressive speedy running style, he’ll certainly be exciting to watch and no doubt a big fan’s favourite. In fact he struck me as cutting the sort of image that would be fitting for someone stood at the prow of a Viking longboat! I’m still looking forward to his arrival at the Club because we’re short of wingers although it’s going to take a couple of months at least for him to settle in.

It was a shame this week to hear of the early retirement, at just 30, of ex FC Prop Liam Higgins who, after coming through the ranks for us, moved onto Wakey and Castleford, before ending up at the Sheffield Eagles were he sustained a nasty knee injury which eventually led to him hanging up his boots. Liam never quite made the grade with us, mainly because like many, many players over the years, he got so far, showed plenty of potential but then didn’t seem to kick on, still I’m sure you’ll all, like me, wish him the best of fortunes in his life after the game.

Not having played since August 10th last year, it was fascinating this week to hear how Tom Lineham is preparing for that difficult second season that I have alluded to several times over the past few months. He has been in full training for 4 weeks now, having had an operation on a troublesome broken wrist as well as rehabbing from the ankle injury he sustained at Caravan Park during our victory there last season. In an interesting interview in the Mail last Wednesday we heard how the young winger was getting set for a season when he will undoubtedly be a marked man. He said, “There’s more pressure on me this year I know, and a few of our senior players have already told me how the second year is much more difficult and in all honesty it couldn’t have gone much better for me last year. The aim for me is to match what I did last season and then try and better it”

Well, Tom’s certainly saying all the right things, but experience proves that it isn’t always that easy; is it? Firstly, I think I would suggest that past practise proves that we as the fans should be patient because it will be tough for Lineham! He is now a massive favourite with the supporters who are, as we speak, preparing for the new campaign with a mental picture of some of his tries of last season indelibly imprinted on their own cerebral ‘newsreel’ of FC memories. Many others in the game will have notice those scores too and most opposition ‘tips’ sheets that are issued before each game will probably start with the words, “Stop Lineham”. Of course Ben Crooks and even perhaps Jamie Shaul face much the same challenges this season as well. It’s going to be a big campaigns for all three of them I think!

I was this week going to feature the last part of the ‘last chance salooners’ feature I have discussed over past weeks and take a look at the future for Jay Pitts. Firstly let me say that he is a player who I believe has probably been pretty unlucky thus far with the role the previous coach wanted him to perform for the team. Peter’s idea was for a mobile front row which I guess with hindsight perhaps didn’t quite pay off but that aspiration cast Jay in the role of Prop where most of us felt he was just too small. In my opinion you can fatten players up all you like, but in the end if their frame isn’t big enough they are never going to be able to fit into a front row spot where ‘grunt’ is for me an essential part of the requirements.

However I was really impressed with Pitt’s performance at Donny and noticed straight away that he was operating wider out on the fringes, and running like a second row forward, which I feel better suits his size. He is a real work horse as he showed yesterday and a good defender but lacked some go forward last season and with just 10 months left on his contract Jay could well be on his last chance this year and so it will be interesting to see how he goes wide out in the forthcoming weeks. There is little doubt in the minds of our Coaches that he has done everything that has been asked of him in pre-season while an article in the Mail on Thursday indicated that Radford was impressed last weekend too and that he sees Jay as getting a deal of game time in the second row this season.

On Friday the Clubs have had their crisis meeting with regard to structure of our competition and as I predicted last week it looks like Adam and the rebel Clubs lost out (or backed down) so enter the new split season scheme for 2015. The ‘Fors’ were led by Gary Etherington who has for weeks been doing a very credible impersonation of Lyle Lanley in that great Monorail Episode of the Simpsons, (where a whole town were convinced by one person’s shouting and cajoling, to accept something that wasn’t practical, that they didn’t need or indeed actually want!!)

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Here’s what your town needs, a monorail; Lyle (Hetherington) Langley!

All the Clubs present voted for relegation and a reduction to 12 teams, but according to the Yorkshire Post the vote on the re-organisation was close with 7 for, 6 against and 1 abstaining. Of course our Club is now 100% behind everything; they have to be, it’s now their future and indeed ours, because as usual the fans just have to go along with it! The fact that Swiss Football Chiefs had urged the Scottish FC only last January to abandon any thoughts of this system because for them it had been an absolute flop seems to have gone under the radar too.

So licensing, a good idea on paper, is no more, mainly because it wasn’t policed with an iron rod and I believe it floundered as a principle because the RL were weak and made a system, (that should have been good for the game), the soft option. During the last few years without the threat of relegation, the Clubs who have always been well run continued in that vein, while the ones that have always been blasé and frivolous with regard to money and accountability to creditors weren’t reined in or sanctioned at all. When it comes to financial management, Salford, Crusaders, Bradford, Castleford and Wakey have all, over the last few years, been in trouble! I don’t say they haven’t all learned from it, but judging by more recent happenings, where both the Wildcats and the Bulls have had further issues, it certainly appears some haven’t. I say that because just as their problems seemed to have been solved, they descended into financial chaos again. Will the new structure solve that or will that situation get worse?

I honestly don’t know, because what all these advocates of such radical change don’t seem to realise is the issue of the Clubs in the middle and at the bottom of Super League and how they will now have a year on year focus on staying up, instead of progressively growing their playing rosters. That will I think only lead to instability. It won’t bother Leeds, Wigan and Saints etc and we must hope that we’re in a position to stave it off, but invariably the Clubs I cite are the usual suspects year in year out, so it’s reasonable to believe that Cas, Wakey, London and maybe even Widnes will struggle again, if they survive the drop this year. However from 2015 onwards they will be under even more pressure to avert the huge drop in revenue that the final ‘proper relegation’ will bring. History again points to them then jettisoning youth, releasing developing players to sign short term ‘desperation fixes’ and subsequently drifting further and further away from the bigger teams.

The RL said on Friday night, “Full details of the new structures will be announced later this month”. However below I have gathered together everything that has been said over the past months and this is how I see it and to me its far from straight forward!!!!

There will be two Divisions of Twelve, teams in both Leagues (the Super League and the Championship) will play each other twice although in Super league there will be one extra game in the Magic weekend and I’m told there could well now be a Championship magic event too.

When those fixtures are completed the two Divisions will be bolted together to give you 24 teams. These will then be split into three divisions of 8. The top 8 teams will keep their points from the first phase of the competition, while the bottom four teams from Super league and the top 4 from the Championship will have their points removed and start again in the middle division with no points. The Bottom 8 teams will keep their points.

We then start again with three different divisions with varying point’s totals. The teams in each division will then play each other once with who gets 4 and who gets 3 home games decided by where you finish (except in the middle one where the Championship teams will get 4 home games). After that we have the play-offs.

The Super League Champions will be decided from the games between the top 8 teams, with the top 4 playing off against each other and the winners of those two games going into the Grand Final.

The middle 8 teams will play in what is to be called the Super League Qualifying play-offs (or perhaps the League of Death) and after playing each other once, the top three teams will automatically get into the Super League for the next season however teams 4 and 5 will play off to decide who goes into Super League as well the following year. The 4 bottom Clubs, after that game, will start the next season in the Championship.

While all that is going on the bottom 8 will be playing off for the Championship Shield and after playing each other once the top 4 will go into the semi finals and the winners will go into the Championship final……. and that’s all there is to it really…simplezzz!

I honestly don’t know why any of us ever thought that one up one down with two divisions of 12 was a simpler more understandable solution…… do you?

However putting sarcasm to one side, as a Club I believe that we start out on the road to the new format for 2015 in a strong position because mainly down again to the loyalty and staying power of us lot the often disillusioned fans, last season we were the third best supported Club behind Leeds and Wigan. However with those attendances and spending geared to them, I guess we have most to lose. You see I’m just a simple soul but the problem with the financial implications of the return to relegation, promotion and the injection of current Super League cash into the Championship Clubs (which is seeing the top Clubs salary cap go up to £900,000), is worrying. You see sadly for me, history has proved time and again, that many clubs and their owners can’t be trusted to be sensible with either money or ambition (a bit like the people of Springfield in the Simpsons episode quoted above).

So it will be one pass for the whole season next year and as you all know I’m sceptical, I don’t want to be, I love the game and Hull FC and I always will, but I’m also pretty disillusioned by what might turn out to be the latest in a long line of gimmicks.

Thankfully Adam can’t lose, because if it works he’s in clover and if it doesn’t then a few years down the track, if he can hang on, it gives the senior Clubs the chance to get rid of Wood, Rimmer and Co. and take control themselves. How many casualties there’ll have been by then of course, is a matter for conjecture.

It’s done now, the die is cast, the moving finger has written and having written we move on!!! As I see it we, as a Club, have now got to adopt a three part plan! Firstly we have to avoid the bottom two this season at all costs. Secondly we have to sell as many if not more seasons in 2015 and thirdly, to avoid season ticket sales continuing to decline, we have to finish in the top 8 that year and every year after that because if any of those fail, we could well be stuffed!! Simple really, and if we’re all honest eminently achievable, until of course you consider that all the Clubs in Super League and a few in the Championship will be busting a gut to attain the same ends. We can’t all succeed, so we had just better all hope we’ve got it right!! If I had a wish then it would be that Leeds finish 9th in that first year…that’ll wipe the smirk off ‘Lyles’ face! In the mean time as I see it, all we can do as fans is be grateful we have Adam at the helm and back him to the hilt!

That’s me done on that subject for a while, you know my feelings, but they’re all water under the bridge now, and it’s onwards and upwards for the fans supporting the Club we all love, although one or two others like me, may never quite get over this one!

Well one thing that seemingly never changes is Mr Allam the master of timing who was at it again last week when he chose the day that his Club were about to make their biggest ever signing, to announce that he would walk if the FA didn’t agree to his requested name change as once again the ‘City Till We Die’ roundabout began to whirl again. Quite frankly for me, if the diehard fans of City and the FA acquiesce to such ‘blackmail’ then they are a lot less credible than most of us thought. What a president that would set and how long before other owners start to threaten to quit if they don’t get their own way with the FA. But locally here in Hull what next if he succeeds? Well, I would guess at him next threatening to walk, if the Council don’t gift him the Stadium, wouldn’t you?

For me this week the most surreal vision I had was on Look North on Thursday, when the once staunchest of socialists, Rovers loving, ex Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott told us all that Rich people had to get their way and bugger the views of the rank and file of the population!! Still the whole thing simply isn’t worth discussing further here, because as I always say when rich people don’t get their own way the ‘toys’ invariably ‘come out of the pram’. This week it might have been another day and another pram but it was the same toys and indeed the same baby that was throwing them!

Well its fans forum time again this Wednesday when we’ll all be going along to the KC for the last chance, before the season starts, to quiz the Club. The panel of Adam Pearson, Lee Radford, Aaron Heramaia and Jordan Rankin should make for an interesting evening and the place should once again be packed, with a raffle being included in aid of Rich Whiting’s Testimonial. One or two fans have commented on the fact that the price has gone up from £2 to £3 but that’s simply because the costs of staging the event have increased. It’s the first increase for over 7 years and comes about because the room hire charges have escalated and FC Voices do have to cover all costs including rental, PA, Staffing and streaming expenses. It should be a great night so get along if you can and if not then listen to it on FC Live.

Now talking of that, I’ve got FC Live again this season, this time at the half price rate for season ticket holders and although the first ever live match commentary from Doncaster last weekend failed due to technical issues, it’s certainly been good value this last week. You know me I’m not an official mouthpiece in support of the Club in fact at times I’m anything but, however I really enjoyed watching the Donny game again and all the post match stuff, as well as the other player interviews they have broadcast this week. If they can keep that up its great value for the £35 I paid and although there are bound to be technical glitches it’s a great service particularly for those of you who are exiled fans or who can’t get out to as many games as they would like to. With over 600 now subscribing the Club must be happy too!

In Codgers Corner this week we go back to a game in the mid 1990’s when our home gate at the Boulevard was just 3,460. It was during the 94/95 season when times were tough and every season seemed to be a battle against the drop to Division 2. The game in question was against Wakefield Trinity on Sunday 19th March 1995. It was a cold dank day and an even more bleak and dire struggle against a Wakefield outfit that arrived at the Boulevard fancying their chances a bit.

It was in fact way back on 13th November that we saw our last home victory and since then Castleford, Doncaster, Saints (Twice) and Bradford had all put over 40 points on us! They were tough times indeed. I watched this game from ‘My Lucky Step’ on the terracing at the Airlie Street end of the ground and feared the worst from the off. We were touted by all the RL pundits as favourites for the drop, and the meager crowd reflected that even the staunchest of the Faithful had run out of patience.

I remember we started brightly with Tevita Vaikona charging towards the Wakey line only to throw out a pass straight to their defensive line and the chance went begging. It was the first error in a game that was riddled with them. In the 11th minute over at the other side of the pitch Leroy McKenzie raced in but as we celebrated he was pulled back for stepping into touch, then at the other end Childs the Wakey winger got over only to be denied by a forward pass.

Play in and around the ruck was shocking and soon both Richard Gay and Wakey’s Ian Gildart were sent to the sin bin for constant holding down in the tackle, with the second offence giving us a kickable penalty which McNamara converted to give start the scoreboard ticking over. Steve Mac. was playing prop that day and he and Tim Street who had just become a proud father two days earlier, really went at the Wakey forwards and on the back of that pressure Busby was held short before Mike Dixon produced a peach of a pass to put Gary Nolan in for what was to turn out to be our only try all afternoon. McNamara converted and we led 8-0.

In those days, as is the case now, you could not settle as fans even with an 8 point lead and as we turned our backs to shield ourselves from the driving snow and hail that lashed the terraces for the final two minutes of the half, Wakey pressed hard. Funnily enough though they were penalised for an obstruction deep in their own half and we pressed forward for 4 tackles before Johan Windley popped over a drop goal to make it 9-0 at the halfway mark. The next ten minutes saw the snow clear away and the sun come out to greet the players back for the second half of the game, in fact even the strong wind that had been at the backs of Trinity in the first half dropped off considerably.

Wakefield started the second period like a train and only resolute defence kept them out before it all got a bit much for Nolan who pinched the ball from Nigel Wright, and Wright himself converted to get Wakefield’s points tally started. We continued to work hard and Busby was unlucky when he touch down only for a Street pass to be deemed forward. Tim, as anyone who saw him play will testify, was never very impressed with those sort of decisions against him and in the very next tackle he measured Aaron Whittaker’s collar with a stiff arm and was dispatched to the bin to cool off a bit. This signaled a rally from the visitors who started to stretch our short-handed defence first one side and then the other.

Although the mistakes continued to flow they at last crossed the whitewash. Gildert was forced off after a massive and illegal tackle from Gary Rose, and Wright got another two pointer, before Richard Gay knocked on from the kick off just 15 meters out and Wakey used the field position to get Child over in the corner. Then as the snow began again, we all watched in amazement as Wright, who was never the most convincing of kickers slotted the ball through the uprights, against the wind from right out on the touch line, and we were behind 9-10.

The final 15 minutes were real nail biting stuff, with both sides threatening then making mistakes and the tackling getting higher and higher as the players tired. Then came that bit of luck you need when you’re struggling and desperate for a break. The referee who was John Holdsworth, blew for a penalty which none of us had seen or understood. Afterwards he revealed it was for not playing the ball correctly and from 35 yards in a blizzard McNamara re-established a slender one point lead for the black and whites. The drama however was not over yet and when Wakey surged down the field a Maea David ball steal saw the opposition awarded a penalty about 30 yards out. Wright surprisingly though elected to go for distance and kicked to the corner. We were off the hook again and a fantastic defensive set from our lads on line, saw the chance lost, and so, for Wakey, was the game. We avoided relegation that year, but only just and much of that must have been down to that Windley drop goal and that great game in the snow in March 1995.

So if you don’t take anything from this Diary into the week ahead, please, please remember this one message; GET YOURSELF TO FEASTHERSTONE ON THE 2ND FEBRUARY IF YOU POSSIBLY CAN!!! This is a massive game because it’s Rich Whiting’s Testimonial and there has seldom been an FC player more worthy of that accolade than Rich. It is I guess common knowledge that the ridiculous amount charged to Yeamo last year by the SMC, has left ‘stilts’ with no alternative but for him to be the first FC player I can ever remember to have his one big game away from his home ground. That for me is an even greater incentive to for us all to do whatever we can as fans to make it a massive occasion for him and if you have any spare seats in your car please do everything you can to fill them, I already have! We all give a lot and indeed take a lot from our Club, but this is a rare opportunity to make a players day! Seldom in all the years that I have supported Hull FC have I come across such a genuine guy who the fans all, to almost a person, love so much.

Now’s our chance to repay that loyalty and effort!!! It’s easy to say, “I’ll give something during the year”, but it will mean so much for Rich, his wife, children and family, to see Post Office Road packed to the rafters a week on Sunday, so please get there if you can! It’s as much about attending as it is about the cash. If you’ve never been away to a friendly or you usually don’t bother with them please make the effort this time, it’s certainly a great cause!

So the great unwashed descend upon us again this weekend as we welcome our fiends from across the river for that annual ritual the most unfriendly of friendlies. What we will glean from it I really don’t know, but it’s a chance to both experience a higher intensity game than we usually get in a pre season encounter and of course it goes without saying to also get some injuries too! It’s a sobering thought I know but looking back both sides usually end up getting one or two bad bumps; it’s the nature of the fixture really. We need to kick on a lot from Bradford but thankfully I think we can and I promise in future to stop harping on about restructuring, the RL and the 8x8x8 system, it’s done now, for better or worse.

For me and no doubt several others it might just be a change too far, I’ve seen a procession of gimmicks, none of which I feel have worked and at times I yearn for those good old days when the bottom Club went down and the top one came up, but perhaps I’m just a dinosaur. Thanks this week to everyone that’s been in touch and to all of you reading this who has been so kind and stuck with the Diary and my ranting for another week. You know, as I always say I only write what I feel and it certainly doesn’t suit everyone, but to stop doing that defeats the object. So whether its criticising the team I care so much about, doubting the motives of senior political figures or likening Club owners to characters from the Simpsons, I have to put what I’m thinking at the time, otherwise it stops been what it is…… just a blog by a very ordinary supporter.

As you all know I don’t enjoy proper Derby’s much at all and friendly ones with no consequence even less, but I’ll be going and I’ll no doubt see you there too on Sunday, try to enjoy the game and get behind the boys!

Come on You HUUUULLLLRRRRR!!!!!!!

Faithfully Yours

Wilf