Here's the situation at the moment regarding us entering the 7-a-side League this Summer...
Due to other commitments, our new Manager for next season (James) will be starting as soon as the World Cup finishes, either with a Pre-Season Training session on Wednesday 16th/Thursday 17th July or from our AGM on Friday 18th July.
He will be organising Pre-Season Training sessions on Wednesday or Thursday evenings from then onwards throughout July & August until the start of the season, and we will also be having Pre-Season Training on Sunday mornings in July & August when we do not have a Pre-Season Friendly aranged.
As the Summer 7-a-side League is only on Thursday nights this year and the League doesn't finish until the second week in September, as far as I am concerned, we should NOT enter it.
The reasons for that are as follows:
1) We cannot have players who want to play for us next season preferring to play 7-a-side instead of attending James' training sessions.
2) We cannot afford the £60 entry fee and £40 a match because we currently have too many players who are blatantly not paying any subs and the club is therefore 'skint'. I cannot see that situation changing unless James drops them once next season starts.
3) We will not be able to find enough 'old boys' to play for us in the 7-a-side League from the 17th July onwards once our current players start Pre-Season Training instead. Jacko will be left on his own in goal ! Everybody else from the 1990's & 2000's has f*cked off to live in Australia, Bishop's Stortford, Leigh-on-Sea or Royston !
So there you go. I have not filled in the application form yet and I will not be doing so tomorrow unless somebody comes up with a solution.
If there was a Monday night League this year, then we would have entered as George Stahlmann, Steve Cokell and several others would have played. They cannot make Thursdays. Also, the Monday Night League always finishes in mid-August instead of the second week in September.
I would put myself forward to organise the team for Thursdays if enough current players wanted to play...I know that would probably consist of me, Daley, Cass, Terry, Barney, Jacko, Jack, Lex (if he uses his watch correctly)
And I'm sure Gary would also be up for it...and a few others.
Well...from what I was hearing from most of our players today, they definitely want me to enter a team in the Thursday Night League for the following reasons:
a) The new players James is bringing along are all Semi-Pro Saturday players who play on Tuesdays and train on Thursdays, which therefore should result in us doing Pre-Season Training (with them) on Wednesdays, thereby freeing up our non-Saturday/Semi-Pro players to play 7-a-side on Thursdays.
b) Most of our current players apparently cannot get off work in time for a 6.30.p.m. start for training on a Wednesday, but they can make the 7.00.p.m. Kick-Offs for 7-a-side on a Thursday for some reason.
c) Most of our current players would rather play 7-a-side than do Pre-Season Training in midweek because they only want ONE training session a week...on a Sunday morning. But there will be a lot of players who cannot make Sunday morning training sessions in July & August because of family & social commitments. (Weddings, barbecues, weekends away, V Festival, Creamfields, etc.)
d) Most of our players who want to play 7-a-side think we are going to have a squad of 8 for every match who are all going to pay their £7.00's every match.
Sorry, but it just doesn't happen !
Lexton seemed to be the only one there this morning who was agreeing with myself and James that midweek Pre-Season Training sessions are a far better option than playing 7-a-side and that trying to do both will cause too many problems.
In my opinion, if our players want to play 7-a-side at the SHC on Thursday nights this Summer, then they will either have to enter a team themselves (tomorrow !) under another name and pay the entry and match fees out of their own pockets so that the club is not liable for any non-fulfilments and fines, or they join in with another 7-a-side League team over there.
If they then continue playing 7-a-side once James's midweek Pre-Season sessions start in late-July and they don't turn up to those sessions, thereby resulting in James bringing in players from other sources to replace them, then they will only have themselves to blame.
I wanted to speak to Hagan & Barney about this, but they had already gone by the time I had packed my camera away. I didn't see either of them speaking to James about the 7-a-side League problems either, whereas everybody else was.
Sorry I had to shoot off quickly as it was my dad's birthday. I would like to play the 7 a side league as it's ideal for an extra bit of fitness over the summer. I do understand the points you're making though, we did always struggle to field a side for it quite often at the last minute over recent years. I am quite happy to do whatever you decide.
I'm pretty easy either way to be honest, which probably isn't going to help the discussion much. I think that we'd benefit more from Wednesday night training sessions as a squad than we would from 7 a side, but I'd be happy to do both (when I can) for fitness. That said, if we don't think we'll have enough reliable (i.e. turning up and paying) players, and if Lol isn't willing to run it / bring the kit, then it might be more hassle than it's worth.
Sounds like James has some good new players lined up, which hopefully will give the current squad the kick up the backside they need to get fitter, turn up on time and listen to instructions. I think we showed yesterday that we're not a bad side when we play to our potential, but as the last 15 minutes highlighted, we're just not fit enough, and that has to change off we want to be competitive.