Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Pre-Season Friendly: AFC Totton 2-2 Salisbury City, 27/07/11 7:45pm


Totton welcomed newly-promoted Salisbury City to the Testwood Stadium on Tuesday evening, looking to get another result against a Conference South side after their 3-2 triumph over Farnborough at the weekend.

After Michael Charles had a shot from the edge of the box blocked by a defender in the first minute from a Mike Gosney cross from the left, the game showed promising early signs. Nothing much happened for the next 10 minutes, however, until Jon Davies went on a superb run down the right, going past 4 Salisbury players before delivering a cross to the far post where Gosney's headed effort was deflected behind for a corner by the defender.

In the 14th minute Totton were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal after a push on Nathaniel Sherborne. Gosney stepped up to take it and guided the ball into the bottom corner of the goal for 1-0. Salisbury were a constant threat in the first half and a cross from the left found Matt Wright who broke through the Totton defence  and just connected with the ball as he slid in to meet it, sending it inches wide of the post. 10 minutes later, Salisbury were level.

Tyrell Webb collected the ball on the edge of the box and turned Ian Richardson to work a bit of space and sent a powerful low shot into the corner of the goal that gave Grant Porter no chance. Totton were almost in front again straight away as Aidan Lewis burst forward and, after a one-two with Davies, crossed to the 6 yard box where Sherborne was waiting; his headed effort sailing over the bar. Richardson then picked up a booking for a pretty innocuous looking tackle on the half way line 5 minutes from half time.

Half time: AFC Totton 1-1 Salisbury City

Salisbury made a host of substitutions at half time, with 5 players being replaced. Totton made just the one change during the interval as Warren Carter took over from Grant Porter between the sticks.

With the second half 8 minutes old, Totton restored their lead. Ryan Hill's long throw-in towards Mark Osman in the box was flicked on by a Salisbury marker and the ball fell to Gosney on the edge of the area. He took one touch to get past the defender before directing an angled shot into the far corner for his second goal of the game.

Totton's lead lasted for 10 minutes before Salisbury equalised for a second time. Dan Fitchett, one of The Whites' many half time substitutes, ran towards goal with the ball, unchallenged, and placed a shot just inside the near post that Carter should have kept out. After a multitude of substitutions that disrupted the flow of the game, nothing much happened again until the 85th minute. Davies made some space for himself 18 yards out, but he couldn't keep the shot down as it cleared the crossbar.

2 minutes later, Mark Osman did brilliantly to fight off the attention of a couple of Salisbury defenders and get through 1-on-1 with the keeper, but he scuffed the shot slightly and the ball bobbled harmlessly wide of the goal. In the final minute Totton could have won it as Davies broke through the defence but couldn't get the shot on target.

Full time: AFC Totton 2-2 Salisbury City

Another positive result against Conference South opposition for Totton who looked superb in the first half. This weekend is the Linden Homes Tournament. Totton face Bemerton Heath Harlequins at 3pm on Saturday. Full details of the event can be found on the club website.

AFC Totton: Porter (Carter 46), Lewis (Hill 50), Baddley (Oldring 64), Richardson, Whisken (Hodnett 64), Campbell, Pettefer (Brown 62), Davies, Sherborne (Soetan 67), Charles (Osman 60), Gosney (Holmes 76).

Salisbury City: Smith, Pattison, Casey (Brett 46), Anderson, Adelsbury, Hart, Kelly (Urry 46), Clarke (Newton 46), Webb (Herbert 60), Wright (Speechley-Price 46), Knight (Fitchett 46).

Goals: AFC Totton: Gosney (14 and 53 mins).
           Salisbury City: Webb (30), Fitchett (62).

Officials: Referee: Mr D Treleaven. Assistants: Mr G Parsons & Mr C Burton.

Attendance: 320.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Pre-Season Friendly: AFC Totton 3-2 Farnborough, 23/7/11 3pm


In stark contrast to the gloomy weather of Wednesday evening against Southampton, bright blue skies and scorching sunshine were the order of the day at the Testwood Stadium on this Saturday afternoon. Totton, playing in their yellow away kit, faced last season's Conference South play-off finalists Farnborough, whose side was largely made up of trialists.

Totton started on the front foot straight away as Mike Gosney and Michael Charles did well to work some space out wide on the left. Gosney played a low cross into the box that Carl Pettefer got on the end of with a side-footed shot that was an inch wide of the post after just 30 seconds. And The Stags' early pressure soon paid off as they took the lead after 8 minutes. Nathan Campbell played an excellent long ball out to the left wing that Gosney ran onto and controlled well before fizzing another low cross along the ground to Charles who fired the ball into the roof of the net for 1-0.

5 minutes later and it could easily have been 2-0 after a ball played over the top of the defence for Osman lured Paul Walker off his line. Osman and Walker both went for the ball, with Osman just getting there first and stretching out a leg to flick the ball over the Farnborough goalkeeper and agonisingly wide of the post. Totton were then awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal. Gosney and Ryan Hill both stood over the ball and it was Hill who stepped up to curl the ball towards goal, only to see it tipped onto the post by Walker. A minute later and Walker was in the thick of it again. The ball was played back to him and he hesitated for too long, allowing Charles to charge down his attempted clearance. The ball ricocheted off the Totton striker's leg and seemed to be heading for goal but just clipped the post and was cleared by a defender.

In the 24th minute Totton did finally double their lead. A ball over the top was brought down and controlled brilliantly by Osman, who then did well to prevent a goal kick before playing in another low cross that found Charles, who just managed to squeeze a shot under Walker as he dived for it. For the last 15 minutes of the first half, Farnborough began to get more of a foothold in the game. An Esmond James corner was headed inches over the bar by Ashley Winn on the half-hour mark, before Winn was thwarted by Richardson who blocked his shot from 12 yards.

In the 40th minute, however, Totton produced a brilliant move. Gosney kept the ball in play under pressure from Kazaboni and managed to lose his marker to send over a cross to the far post. Charles leapt to head the ball back across the box where Osman was waiting, but his header from point blank range was somehow clawed away by Walker in the Farnborough goal and the ball was cleared. With a minute to go before half time, Farnborough halved the deficit when Michael Built found himself clean through on goal 1-on-1 with Carter and easily placed the ball into the top corner.

Half Time: AFC Totton 2-1 Farnborough.

At half time, Stuart Ritchie brought off goalkeeper Warren Carter to be replaced by Grant Porter, and up front Mark Osman made way for Stefan Brown. With barely a minute of the second half gone, Jon Davies made a good run down the right and cut inside, trying his luck from an angle and shooting into the side netting. Charles then played a neat one-two with Brown in the box before the latter turned the defender and put his shot just wide of the post. Charles was then involved again as he collected the ball from Davies and, from a tight angle, fired straight at Walker.

5 minutes later and Charles was at it again. Totton were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box, with Gosney and Davies over it. Gosney ran up, stepped over the ball which was then rolled into Charles' path by Davies. Once again, Charles' shot was straight down the keeper's throat. On 66 minutes Immanuel 'Manny' Soetan replaced Charles and produced some extremely fast runs to get to every ball before the opposition. Like the Southampton game though, there was a distinct lack of end product from Manny.

In the 71st minute he had obviously heard us discussing this in the stands as he went on a surging run down the left wing before delivering a good cross to Brown, who then laid the ball off for Davies to curl a shot towards the top corner. Walker flung himself through the air and managed to turn the ball behind. With a quarter of an hour remaining Totton restored their 2-goal advantage. Brown held the ball up in the box as he waited for support, which arrived in the form of Jon Davies who slammed home an unstoppable low drive into the bottom corner for 3-1. Shortly after the goal, a bit of handbags on the halfway line resulted in a card apiece for both teams.

With 3 minutes to go Totton should have been out of sight. The ball was played back to Walker by his Farnborough team mates and, not for the first time in the game, he was closed down quickly by a Totton player. This time it was Manny Soetan who used his lightning speed to close in on Walker and dispossess him, but unfortunately he was forced slightly wide, allowing a defender to get back on the line while Walker was still getting up on the edge of the box. Luckily for Farnborough they didn't need anyone on the line as Soetan switched the ball onto his right foot and fired a shot into the side netting when it seemed easier to score.

A Michael Built shot in the 90th minute was cleared off the line and that appeared to be the last chance for Farnborough. A minute later, however, the referee saw something which no one else in the ground appeared to see and awarded the visitors a penalty. Staforde Palmer stepped up to send Porter the wrong way with the last kick of the game.

Full time: AFC Totton 3-2 Farnborough.

The Stags finally recorded their first win of pre-season against a very good Farnborough side. One win, one draw, one defeat from the 3 games played so far. The visitors played some attractive football at times but Totton more than matched them and were good value for their win as Michael Charles scored twice against his old team. Up next for Totton is their third home friendly in a row, this Tuesday against Salisbury City, 7:45pm kick off.

AFC Totton: Carter (Porter 46 mins), Hill (Lewis 55), Baddley (Holmes 75), Whisken (Oldring 55), Richardson (Hodnett 70), Campbell, Pettefer (Wilkinson 65), Davies (Davis 75), Gosney, Osman (Brown 46), Charles (Soetan 67).

Farnborough: Walker, Kazaboni, Catlyn, Appiah, Bygrave, Anzevui, James, Winn, Palmer, Built, Smith. Subs: Pearson, Eames, Pattison, Yiadom, Tokrczyk.

Officials: Referee: Mr W Bull. Assistants: Miss L May & Mr G Parsons.

Attendance: 180.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Pre-Season Friendly: AFC Totton 0-1 Southampton Under 21s, 20/07/11 7:45pm


On a damp, miserable evening, Totton played host to a Southampton team comprising mainly of youngsters. One surprise inclusion for The Saints was Jason Puncheon, who last season was scoring goals in the Premier League for Blackpool, on loan from the League One runners-up. Before the match, Southampton first team manager Nigel Adkins went out onto the pitch to present Totton winger Mike Gosney with his Golden Boot award for the 36 goals he scored last season.

Both teams started well, with chances coming at both ends in the first half an hour. Ryan Doble came close to opening the scoring for Saints in the 9th minute when his shot from an angle flew across goal and wide of the far post. After 20 minutes, Sean Hankin, filling in at left back for Totton in the first half, let fly with a powerful 40-yard strike that hit Stefan Brown's leg and tripped him up.

It was then Sam Hoskins' turn to try his luck for Southampton as he shot through a packed penalty box only for the ball to be blocked by Stags defender Ian Richardson. Jason Puncheon was a danger from set pieces and delivered some dangerous corners throughout the game. On the half hour mark a Puncheon corner was punched away by Totton keeper Warren Carter but only as far as Lloyd Isgrove in the box who forced an excellent low save from Carter who did well to react in time and Jamie Whisken hit the ball to safety.

On 33 minutes, the young Saints took the lead. Andy Robinson collected the ball 30 yards out and took a touch before rifling a low shot into the bottom corner of the net that Carter got a hand to but couldn't keep out. Straight from the re-start Totton gave the ball away and Jason Puncheon tried his luck from the edge of the box but couldn't get his shot on target as the ball flew past the post. Lloyd Isgrove was then thwarted by Carter after being put through on goal by Puncheon.

Aidan Lewis then went on a surging run down the right wing before delivering a low cross into the box that Aarran Racine slid in to put behind for a corner. From a free kick on the halfway line, Totton nearly managed to shoot themselves in the foot when instead of going forward, the ball was played back to Carter, who was charged down by Doble and almost robbed of the ball before just about recovering.

Half time: AFC Totton 0-1 Southampton Under-21s

At half time Totton goalkeeper Warren Carter was replaced by regular stopper Grant Porter. And he was called upon almost immediately as he made 2 or 3 comfortable saves in the first 10 minutes. A triple substitution for Totton saw Sean Hankin, Aidan Lewis and Michael Charles leave the field to be replaced by Ryan Hill, Matt Oldring and Nathaniel Sherborne.

Right on the hour mark, Mike Gosney lined up a free kick from 25 yards, grazing the top of the crossbar with a fierce effort. It was to be his last action as he and Stefan Brown made way for trialists Joe Maxwell and our favourite anonymous player from last weeks game against Blackfield & Langley: Manny the trialist! Who this week finally has a name! Immanuel Soetan.

Soetan set about making a nuisance of himself as his speed caused Southampton's back four problems. But like last week, the end product was lacking and he was guilty of losing the ball one or two times when trying to find the time and space to get a cross in. On 72 minutes Nathaniel Sherborne did well to dispossess Matt Young and dance past a couple of Saints defenders and find himself clean through on goal. His shot was saved by substitute keeper Steve Mowthorpe who couldn't hold it, and he almost capitalised on the loose ball from the rebound but Mowthorpe managed to fling an arm at the ball and drag it away as Sherborne swung a foot it.

With 5 minutes to go, Maxwell controlled the ball 25 yards out and attempted to lob Mowthorpe, but the shot never had enough height on it and was easily caught. Harry Reed came close to wrapping the game up for Saints when his attempted lob over Grant Porter dropped just wide of the post. Totton pressed for that elusive equaliser in the dying minutes of the match but it never materialised as the young Southampton defence stood firm.

Full Time: AFC Totton 0-1 Southampton Under-21s

An almost full strength Totton team were pushed all the way by a physical young Southampton side. Both sides had plenty of chances to score but Andy Robinson's goal was enough to separate them. A good work out for both teams, and Totton will maybe feel they should have got something from the game with the chances they had. Next up for The Stags is another home friendly, this Saturday (23rd July) against Conference South side Farnborough FC.

AFC Totton: Carter (Porter 46 mins), Lewis (Hill 55), Whisken, Richardson (Hodnett 70), Hankin (Oldring 55), Davies (Davis 75), Pettefer, Campbell (Chester 72), Gosney (Maxwell 60), Brown (Soetan 60), Charles (Sherborne 55).

Southampton Under-21s: Dovey (Mowthorpe 62), Stephens (Young 71), Reeves (Sinclair 71), Robinson (Chambers 62), Racine, Dean, Hoskins, Moore (Ward-Prowse 46), Doble (Rowe 57), Puncheon (Reed 74), Isgrove (Saville 46).

Attendance: 539.

Friday, 15 July 2011


AFC Totton kick off their first ever Evo-Stik Southern Premier League campaign with an away game against Arlesey Town on Saturday 13th August. The Stags' first home fixture is 3 days later, a 7:45pm kick off against Oxford City on Tuesday 16th August. Totton will have to wait until next year for the shortest away trip of the season when we travel to Bashley on Monday 9th August 2012. Full fixtures are listed below.

Arlesey Town (A) Sat 13th August
Oxford City (H) Tues 16th August
Swindon Supermarine (H) Sat 20th August
Hemel Hempstead Town (A) Tues 23rd August
Leamington (A) Sat 27th August
Weymouth (H) Mon 29th August
Barwell (H) Sat 3rd September
Brackley Town (A) Sat 10th September
St Albans Town (A) Tues 13th September
Hitchin Town (H) Sat 24th September
Cirencester Town (H) Tues 4th October
Evesham United (A) Sat 8th October
Cambridge City (H) Sat 15th October
Redditch United (A) Sat 29th October
Banbury United (H) Sat 12th November
Frome Town (A) Wed 16th November
Bedford Town (A) Sat 19th November
Stourbridge (H) Sat 26th November
Swindon Supermarine (A) Sat 3rd December
Hemel Hempstead Town (H) Sat 10th December
Oxford City (A) Sat 17th December
Bashley (H) Mon 26th December
Chippenham Town (A) Sat 31st December
Weymouth (A) Mon 2nd January
Chesham United (H) Sat 7th January
Brackley Town (H) Sat 14th January
Barwell (A) Sat 21st January
Cirencester Town (A) Sat 28th January
St Albans City (H) Sat 4th February
Hitchin Town (A) Sat 11th February
Evesham United (H) Sat 18th February
Cambridge City (A) Sat 25th February
Frome Town (H) Sat 3rd March
Banbury United (A) Sat 10th March
Redditch United (H) Sat 17th March
Leamington (H) Sat 24th March
Chesham United (A) Sat 31st March
Chippenham Town (H) Sat 7th April
Bashley (A) Mon 9th April
Arlesey Town (H) Sat 14th April
Stourbridge (A) Sat 21st April
Bedford Town (H) Sat 28th April

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Red Insure Cup

AFC Totton have been drawn at home against Gosport Borough in the first round of the 20011/12 Red Insure Cup. The game will take place on Tuesday 1st November.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Pre-Season Friendly: Blackfield & Langley 1-1 AFC Totton, 12/07/11 7:30pm


On a breezy Tuesday evening AFC Totton sent out a team of trialists and youth players against a similarly inexperienced Blackfield team.

Totton's team included goalkeeper Ross Casey, sporting a much smaller afro than when he starred in the Hants Senior Cup final in May, defenders Kane Crisp and Adam Tomasso and winger Calum Davies. The team was also largely made up of trialists, many of whom shall remain anonymous. Not for their own privacy, but because I haven't got a clue who any of them were and no one seemed to know what any of them were called.

Totton took the lead almost immediately. A free kick within the first 5 minutes was fired towards goal by the trialist wearing the number 12 shirt. The Blackfield keeper dived and appeared to smother the ball. However, he then somehow managed to fumble the ball into the net as he stood up with it. It was all a tad bizarre and unexplainable. For the rest of the half both teams played some excellent passing football, keeping the ball on the ground and knocking it about very well and often to good effect. One player for Totton stood out in particular. We know nothing about him except he is black, wore the number 17 shirt, and is known only as 'Manny the trialist'.

Half Time: Blackfield & Langley 0-1 AFC Totton

3 minutes into the second half, Blackfield were inches away from an equaliser when a corner from the left was headed against the crossbar out of the reach of Ross Casey in the Totton goal. On 57 minutes Blackfield did get themselves level. Another good passing move ended with the ball being collected on the edge of the box and a curling side-footed shot evaded Casey's outstretched arm to find the back of the net.

Both sides made multiple substitutions that seemed to disrupt the flow of the game and as legs tired the game began to fizzle out, with players on both teams making mistakes. Passes went awry and neither side could keep the ball for more than 2 or 3 passes before giving it away. Eventually the referee brought the game to an end with the light (and the players) fading.

Full Time: Blackfield & Langley 1-1 AFC Totton

Both teams started very brightly, with accurate passing, solid defending and crunching, but fair, tackles flying in. In the second half all of this seemed to disappear on both sides. So all in all, a fair result. Totton's next friendly is a week today on Wednesday 20th July at 7:45pm, when the Southampton under 21 team come to the Testwood Stadium. Be there!

Monday, 11 July 2011

Fixture Release Delayed

The fixtures for the Evo-Stik Southern League 2011/12 campaign will be released on Friday 15th July at 9am.

The fixtures were due to be released on Wednesday 13th July but due to as yet unknown circumstances that are 'out of the league's control' the release has been delayed by 48 hours.

Update: It is believed but not confirmed that the ongoing saga of the future of Rushden & Diamonds FC may be a contributing factor in the delay of the league fixtures.

Friday, 8 July 2011

FA Cup and Trophy Fixtures

AFC Totton today discovered their opponents for the early rounds of this season's FA Cup and FA Trophy competitions.

The Stags have been handed a home tie against either Fleet Town, Alton Town or New Milton Town in the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup. Alton and New Milton play each other in the Extra Preliminary Round, with the winner travelling to Fleet in the Preliminary Round. The winner of that game will face Totton at the Testwood Stadium on Saturday 17th September 2011.

In the FA Trophy, Totton travel to the seaside to play Weymouth in the First Qualifying Round on Saturday 22nd October 2011.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Season Preview Part VII - Stourbridge, Swindon and Weymouth

Let joy be unconfined! It's the final part of Stag Army's season preview! We've had a look at some interesting clubs in the last week, and now there are three more left. They are Stourbridge, Swindon Supermarine and Weymouth. So please read, you've only got this to go then it's all over, I promise.


A Brief History: The club was founded in 1876 as Stourbridge Standard FC. By 1890 the club had shortened it's name to simply Stourbridge, was playing in the Birmingham and District League, and had won the Worcestershire Senior Cup three times. In 1924 Stourbridge won the Birmingham League for the first time and won the Worcestershire Senior Cup again. In 1971 the club moved to the Southern League and won the Division One North in 1974. Stourbridge spent 10 years, from 1974 to 1984, in the Southern League Premier Division before relegation to the Midland Division, and won the Worcestershire Senior Cup for a ninth time in 1981. In 1991 the club won the Midland Division but were denied promotion because their ground was shared with the local cricket club. In 2000 Stourbridge were relegated to the Midland Football Alliance, ending a 29-year stay in the Southern League. Despite winning the league in 2003, the club was again refused promotion due to new ground grading regulations. The club won promotion back to the Southern League in 2006 and 2 seasons later they were promoted again as they beat Leamington in the play off final to reach the Southern League Premier Division.

Ground: Stourbridge play at the War Memorial Athletic Ground, which is a bit of a mouthful, so to ease the pressure on my fingers, I will refer to it as the WMAG. The WMAG has a capacity of 2,014 and also hosts cricket matches played by Stourbridge Cricket Club.

Nickname: Stourbridge are also known as The Glassboys. This name comes from the town's famous glass making industry. Or maybe they're just a bit fragile.

Notable Former Players: Pffff.....really struggling to find anyone of note. Richard Forsyth...? Midfielder who played in the Football League with Birmingham City, Stoke City, Blackpool, Peterborough United and Cheltenham Town, and scored 71 goals in over 300 appearances for Kidderminster Harriers.

Swindon Supermarine

A Brief History: Swindon Supermarine were founded in 1992 from the merger of two teams who were struggling financially, Swindon Athletic FC and Supermarine FC. The newly formed club took Swindon Athletic's place in the Hellenic League. The club won the Hellenic League in the 1997/98 season but due to certain ground regulations they were denied promotion. In the 2000/01 season Swindon won the Hellenic League again and this time, thanks to improvements made to the club's ground, were promoted to the Southern League. The club spent 4 years struggling towards the wrong end of the table before reaching the play offs in the 2005/06 season; losing in the semi finals to Hemel Hempstead Town. The next season the club got to the play offs again and this time beat Burnham and Taunton Town in the semi final and final respectively to gain promotion to the Southern League Premier Division. In 2010 the club had financial problems that could jeopardise their place in the Southern League. Thanks to sponsorship efforts by the clubs supporters, enough money was raised to keep the club going.

Ground: Swindon Supermarine play at the Webb's Wood Stadium. The name is due to the ground being sponsored by a local timber merchant. The ground ha a capacity of 3,000 with over 300 seats in a covered stand.

Nickname: The Marine. They just removed the 'Super' part of Supermarine really. I would have thought The Supers' would be better. It sounds cool. But each to their own.

Notable Former Players: Considering the club was formed in 1992 and have spent their whole existence in non-league football, there aren't really any players of note who have played for them. Tom Jones played for them from 1998 to 2002. That's pretty amazing, I suppose. Oh, wait. It's an ex footballer who also played for Aberdeen, Swindon and Reading, not the Welsh singer.


A Brief History: Weymouth FC were founded in 1890. They were founder members of the Dorset League before joining the Western League in 1907. After winning the Western League in 1923 the club turned professional and joined the Southern League. In 1929 the club had financial difficulties and reverted to being an amateur club once again and withdrew from the Southern League. The club folded then reformed 5 years later. During WWII football was stopped, and the club reformed again in 1947 and won promotion back to the Southern League. The club were Southern League champions 2 years running, in 1965 and 1966. The club stepped up to the Conference but after moving to a new stadium in 1987 they were relegated to the Southern League. Weymouth gained promotion to the Conference in 2006 and finished in 11th place the next season. In 2008 the club began a big rebranding process including a new club crest, new motto, plans for a new stadium, and the hope of achieving promotion to the Football League. However in 2009 Weymouth found themselves in financial trouble and were forced to field their under 18's team for a league game against Rushden & Diamonds, losing 9-0. The club were relegated at the end of the season. After going into administration the club was relegated again the next season from the Conference South. Weymouth survived a third relegation in a row in 2011 when, despite losing 3-2 to champions Truro City on the final day of the season, Didcot Town's 3-0 defeat to Oxford City meant Weymouth survived by 2 points.

Ground: Weymouth play at the Bob Lucas Stadium. The ground was known as the Wessex Stadium until 2010 when it was renamed in honour of long-serving club president Bob Lucas who sadly passed away in August 2010 with cancer at the age of 85. The stadium has a capacity of 10,000, by far the biggest in the league this season, with seating for 900 spectators.

Nickname: The club are known as The Terras. This name stems from the club's terracotta coloured shirts and not a bloody and violent history. Although the shirts look more like claret to me.

Notable Former Players: Just a few by the look of it. Here's a small selection of ex-Terras. Wycombe Wanderers striker Stuart Beavon played for Weymouth before joining The Chairboys. Former Morecambe, Swindon and Aldershot defender Chris Blackburn spent time on loan at Weymouth from Swindon in 2008. Bristol Rovers manager Paul Buckle played for Weymouth in 2003/04. Steve Claridge played for Weymouth in the 1980's and again in 2009. Derby County goalkeeper Adam Legzdins spent a month on loan at Weymouth from Crewe Alexandra in 2009. Yeovil Town defender and former West Ham trainee Bondz N'Gala played 3 games for Weymouth on loan from The Hammers in 2008. Bournemouth midfielder Anton Robinson played for Weymouth from 2007 to 2009. TV and radio pundit Andy Townsend, who played for Southampton, Norwich City, Chelsea, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, West Bromwich Albion and the Republic of Ireland national team, played for Weymouth before joining Southampton in 1985. There are more but I don't have the finger stamina or the time of day to include them all.


So there we have it. We've been right the way through the league, from Arlesey to Weymouth and this season we'll do it all again, for real! I hope this has been of interest or at least factual and humourous enough to keep you entertained. Good luck to all the teams this season in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier Division (except when you play against Totton).

Monday, 4 July 2011

Season Preview Part VI - Oxford, Redditch and St Albans

We're getting there. It's season preview part six! I think it's about time you brushed up on your knowledge of Oxford City, Redditch United and St Albans City. Well as luck would have it I've just written a little something on each of them. What a coincidence.

Oxford City

A Brief History: Oxford City were founded in 1882 and joined the Isthmian League in 1907. In 1988 they were evicted from their old White House Ground. The club was forced to resign from the Isthmian League and didn't return to senior football until 1990 when they joined the South Midlands League Division One, winning promotion in their first season. In 1993 the club moved to their current ground and rejoined the Isthmian League. The club continued to climb through the divisions of the South Midlands League during the 1990's and narrowly lost 2-1 to Arlesey Town in the FA Vase final at Wembley in 1995. Oxford spent two seasons in the Isthmian League Premier Division during the next few years. In an FA Cup run in the 1999/2000 season, the club faced Wycombe Wanderers in the first round proper. The tie ended with a second replay after a fire alarm caused Wycombe's Adams Park ground to be evacuated moments before the penalty shootout was about to begin. Oxford were eventually beaten 1-0 at Oxford United's Manor Ground in the third game. To this day it remains the only FA Cup tie to go to a second replay since the FA introduced the rule that all ties must be settled in two games. In 2005 Oxford were relegated back down to the South Midlands League, but won the title and the Premier Cup the next season to go straight back up. In the 2007/08 season the club were promoted from the Southern League South & West Division.

Ground: Oxford City play at Court Place Farm Stadium. The ground has a capacity of 2,000 plus, including a covered 250 seated stand and covered terracing.

Nickname: The club are known as The City. Not an entirely inspired or original nickname but at least it's easy to remember.

Notable Former Players: West Ham United and England legend Bobby Moore and current Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp managed Oxford City in 1979. Nottingham Forest winger Garath McCleary started his career with Oxford.

Redditch United

A Brief History: The club was founded in 1891. Their first silverware was the Worcestershire Senior Cup in 1894. In the early 1930's the club won the Worcestershire Senior Cup and Birmingham Senior Cup in successive seasons, and in the 1932/33 season the club came close to winning the league and cup double, but after winning the league title they were defeated in the Senior Cup final. Redditch didn't win the league again until 1953 and finished as runners up in the Worcestershire Senior Cup again. The league was won again 2 years later and the club lost another cup final. In the 1971/72 season Redditch lost 6-0 to Peterborough United in an FA Cup first round replay after drawing 1-1 at home. That same season the club finished 6th in the West Midlands (Regional) League and moved to the Southern League to join Division One North. Redditch won the Worcestershire Senior Cup 2 years running in 1974 and '75, and in 1976 the club won the Southern League Division One North and were promoted to the Premier Division. In 1979 the club became founder members of the Alliance Premier League, known today as the Football Conference. The club finished bottom in the first season and dropped to the Southern League Midlands Division. They finished 2nd in 1986 and went up to the Premier Division, dropping again in 1989. In 2004 Redditch won the Southern League Western Division and were promoted to the Conference North. They were relegated in 2011 and joined the Southern League Premier Division.

Ground: Redditch play at The Valley. It has a capacity of 5,000 with seating for 400.

Nickname: The Reds. Seems obvious. They play in red and it's short for Redditch. I would have thought they'd be called The Kingfishers seeing as they've got one on their crest. It's a little bit more original.

Notable Former Players: Birmingham City defender Scott Dann, who is attracting interest from top Premiership clubs including Arsenal, Liverpool and Sunderland, played 11 games and scored once for Redditch on loan from Walsall early on in his career. And the man with the most awesome name in football, Peterborough United defender Exodus Geohaghon, played for Redditch for 2 years, playing 71 games for The Reds, scoring one goal.

St Albans City

A Brief History: St Albans City was founded in 1908. In it's early years the club won the Athenian League twice in three years and were elected to the Isthmian League, which the club won in the first season. St Albans were relegated from the Isthmian League in 1973 but won 2 promotions in 3 years to reach the Isthmian League Premier Division, where in 1993 they finished as runners-up but were denied promotion to the Conference because of a diseased oak tree. I know, crazy. It was felled in 1998. In 2006 the club won Conference South play off final and were promoted to the Conference National for the first time. After flirting with relegation for most of the season, the club's fate was finally confirmed on Easter Monday when a 1-1 draw with Tamworth consigned them to the drop. They finished bottom of the table. The club struggled in the Conference South the next season, surviving relegation thanks to a 3-2 win over play off chasing Eastleigh. In 2009, building firm William Verry went into administration. The firm was owned by City's chairman at the time, John Gibson. There were fears that the club would suffer as a result and there were rumours of being bought by other firms, but nothing ever came of it and the club wasn't affected by the troubles of the building firm. In February 2011 the club was fined £7,500 and deducted 10 points for financial irregularities from alleged illegal payments to players. The club appealed but it was rejected. St Albans were relegated from the Conference South in April 2011.

Ground: St Albans City play at Clarence Park. The ground has a capacity of 4,500 including a covered seating stand and terracing.

Nickname: St Albans City are known as The Saints, or City. But not Albans.

Notable Former Players: Craig Mackail-Smith, who apparently today is set to sign for bloody Brighton of all teams, came through the youth system at St Albans, playing 45 games for the club, scoring just twice before signing for Arlesey Town. Former Bristol City goalkeeper Adriano Basso was on the books at St Albans in 2004. Colchester United defender Magnus Okuonghae played for The Saints in the 2006/07 season. And former Southampton striker Ian Dowie played for St Albans early in his career.


We're into added time now, folks! Tomorrow is the final part of the season preview, when we'll be ending with a look at Stourbridge, Swindon Supermarine and Weymouth. Don't miss it! Ciao!

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Season Preview Part V - Hemel Hempstead, Hitchin and Leamington

Oh, hello. I didn't see you there. Well I must say you have impeccable timing as I've just published part five of my Southern League 2011/12 season preview. Getting the Stag Army treatment today are Hemel Hempstead Town, Hitchin Town and Leamington. So sit yourself down with a cuppa and some digestives and read on. Enjoy!

Hemel Hempstead Town

A Brief History: Hemel Hempstead Town FC was founded in 1885 as Apsley FC. They joined the West Hertfordshire League before moving to the Hertfordshire County League in 1899. The club remained in this league for 53 years, before joining the Delphian League in 1952. During this period the club changed it's name to Hemel Hempstead FC. In 1955 the club changed it's name again, adding Town to the end, finally becoming Hemel Hempstead Town FC. When the league split in 1962 the club joined Division Two of the Athenian League, gaining promotion two seasons in a row to reach to Premier Division. The club were back in Division Two by 1969. The club merged with Hemel Hempstead United FC in 1971 and reverted back to being called Hemel Hempstead FC.  In 1977 Hemel joined the Isthmian League and remained there for more than 25 years before securing a place the Southern League in 2004. The club was relegated in it's first Southern League campaign, before a late surge after a disappointing start the following season saw them bounce straight back with a 3-2 play off victory over Brackley Town. Hemel reached the Premier Division playoffs in 2007 and 2009, losing in the semi finals on both occasions.

Ground: Hemel Hempstead play at Vauxhall Road. It has a capacity of 3,152 including 250 seats.

Nickname: The club is known as The Tudors. There is a picture of Henry VIII on the club crest. He is a well known Tudor.

Notable Former Players: Not Henry VIII. Former England Under 21 left back Danny Granville plays for Hemel currently. He has previously played for Cambridge United, Chelsea, Leeds United, Manchester City, Norwich City, Crystal Palace, Colchester United and Leyton Orient. Ex-Fulham and Southend United midfielder Julian Hails began his career with Hemel Hempstead. He's now a maths teacher. Bet he didn't count on that when he played football.

Hitchin Town

Hitchin Town F.C. were formed in 1928. The club joined the Spartan League, and won the Hertfordshire Charity Shield and promotion to the Spartan League Second Division in their first season in 1928/29. Promotion to the top flight of the Spartan League was won in 1930/31. Hitchin moved from the Spartan League to the Athenian League in 1939, but just two games into the season the outbreak of World War II temporarily put an end to competitive football. The club joined Isthmian League in 1962/63 but were relegated from the Premier Division in 1988. It took five years for Hitchin to return, winning the First Division in 1992/93. The club were relegated once again in 1997/98, but went straight back up the next season. In 2003/04 Hitchin moved to the Southern League from the Isthmian League. Hitchin survived in 18th place in 2007/08 after spending much of the season in the relegation zone. The club battled against relegation again in 2008/09 but could not prevent dropping out of the Southern League Premier Division. In 2009/10 Hitchin finished runners-up to Bury Town in the Midlands Division, but then lost 2-1 at home to Slough in the play off semi final. Hitchin were top of the league for most of the following season before a drop in form allowed local rivals Arlesey Town to overtake them at the top, beating Hitchin on the final day of the season to snatch the league title from them. Hitchin had to negotiate the play-offs for the second season in a row, and succeeded with victories over Slough and Daventry.

Ground: Hitchin play at the Top Field ground. It has a capacity of 4,000.

Nickname: Hitchin are nicknamed The Canaries. This is most likely due to their club colours of yellow and green. See, another club in this league with a nickname of the avian variety.

Notable Former Players: Erm.....Don Martin? I guess. Played lots of games for Northampton Town and Blackburn Rovers in the 60's and 70's before ending his career with Hitchin. I think that's it really. Seems Hitchin have never really had any players who have gone on to bigger and better things, or well known players ending their playing career with the club. Shame.


A Brief History: The club was founded in 1891 as Leamington, and became known as Leamington Town the following year. In 1937 the club sold their ground to Coventry City and did not then re-form until 1944 when they became known as Lockheed Borg & Beck. The team soon became Lockheed Leamington, and then AP Leamington in 1973. In 1985 the club renamed once again, reverting to simply being called Leamington. Within three years, however, the ground had been sold. With the club at its playing pinnacle, Automotive Products decided to sell the Windmill Ground in Tachbrook Road for housing development. The last match at the old Windmill Ground was played in April 1988. The club started up again in 2000 playing at the New Windmill Ground in Whitnash, a small village to the south of Leamington. Leamington went on to win two successive promotions, the Midland Football Combination Division Two title in the 2000/01 season and then as runners-up in Division One the season after. In the 2004/05 season Leamington won the Midland Football Combination Premier Division and gained promotion to the Midland Alliance. In their second season in the Midland Alliance, the club won the league and cup double and were promoted to the BGB Southern League Midland Division. The first season ended in disappointment as the club finished second but lost in the playoffs. The next season, however, the club went one better, winning the Midland Division and achieving promotion to the Southern League Premier Division.

Ground: Leamington play at the New Windmill Ground. It has a capacity of 2,300 including covered terracing  and covered seating.

Nickname: The club is known as The Brakes. Let's hope Totton can put THE BRAKES on them this season. See what I did there? ... I'll get my coat.

Notable Former Players: Former Huddersfield Town, Grimsby Town and Birmingham City left back Dennis Jennings ended his career with Leamington when they were known as Lockheed Leamington. And Aldershot striker Alex Rodman began his career with Leamington in 2005. That's all I've got on this one.


So another 3 teams come and go on our tour of the Southern League Premier Division. We're nearly there now, I promise. Tomorrow I'll be looking at Oxford City, Redditch United and St Albans City and going through them with a fine-tooth comb. Arrivederci!

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Season Preview Part IV - Cirencester, Evesham and Frome

So here we are, half way through the season preview and my fingers are working over time...on typing. If you have any dirty thoughts, sweep them under the rug and read on. Today I'll be giving Cirencester Town, Evesham United and Frome Town the once over.

Cirencester Town

A Brief History: Well, according to a Cirencester fan who a friend of mine knows, the records, history documents, etc, were left in the loft of the old clubhouse and forgotten about. By the time anyone had remembered, the clubhouse was a pile of rubble. So urm...sorry about that. Instead, here's a list of significant events in the club's history. I found it on Wikipedia, so feel free to take it with a pinch of salt. Or an entire cellar of salt. Oh, I can tell you that the club was founded in 1889. 1968/69 - Founder members of Gloucestershire County League, 1969/70 - Joined Hellenic League Premier Division, 1972 - Relegated to Division One, 1973/74 - Hellenic League Division One Champions; promoted to Premier Division, 1978 - Relegated to Division One, 1990/91 - Hellenic League Division One runner-up; promoted to Premier Division, 1991/92 - Hellenic League runner-up, 1995/96 - Hellenic League Champions, 1996/97 - Joined Southern League Southern Division, 1999/2000 - Switched to Western Division, 2003/04 - Promoted to Premier Division, 2007/08 - Relegated to South and West Division, 2009/10 - Promoted to the Premier Division.

Ground: Cirencester play at the 4,500 capacity Corinium Stadium. Between 2008 and 2010 the club ground-shared the stadium with Gloucester City due to Gloucester's own Meadow Park ground being flooded.

Nickname: The Centurions. There is a picture of a centurion on the club crest and it even says 'Centurions' on it. Just to hammer it home.

Notable Former Players: Oxford United striker James Constable began his career with Cirencester. Burnley defender Michael Duff spent a few months on loan at Cirencester from Cheltenham Town early in his career.

Evesham United

A Brief History: Evesham United were founded shortly after World War II in 1945 by some of the town's returning servicemen. Evesham started life in the Worcester League before moving to the Worcestershire Combination in 1951, winning the title after just 2 seasons in the league. After a second league title in 1955 Evesham moved to the Birmingham & District League. In 1962 the club left the Birmingham League and, after a short spell in the Warwickshire League, rejoined the Worcestershire Combination, which was renamed the Midland Combination. They remained in the league until 1992. In that time Evesham claimed three more league titles, after the last of the three, the club went up to the Southern League. In the 2004/05 season Evesham achieved promotion to the Southern League Premier Division but the club was relegated the next season. In 2008 the club reached the FA Cup first round for the first time in their history. After defeating Conference side Rushden & Diamonds 2-0 in the previous round, Evesham lost to Torquay United by the same scoreline in the first round.

Main stand at Evesham's new ground opening for 2011/12 season
Ground: The club currently ground share St George's Lane Stadium with Conference North side Worcester City. However they will be moving to the new Cheltenham Road Stadium this summer, so Totton will be playing there. Don't go to St George's Lane. Nothing will be happening there. Well there might be some birds pecking around on the pitch or something.

Nickname: The Robins. Looking at the club badge should give it away. If not, you need help. Everyone knows what a robin looks like.

Notable Former Players: Bradford City defender Shane Duff played for Evesham on loan from Cheltenham Town back in 2001/02. Goalkeeper Kevin Rose started his career with hometown club Evesham. He went on to play for Hereford United and to this day holds the record of most consecutive appearances for Hereford.

Frome Town

A Brief History: Frome Town were founded in 1904 and played in the Wiltshire League, winning the league 6 years later. The club entered the Western League in 1919 and became Division Two champions in their first season. Frome reached the first round proper of the FA Cup in 1955 and played Leyton Orient in front of a club record home crowd of 8,000, losing 3-0. In the 1978/79 season the club won the Western League. The title was secured as Frome lost only once in the last 32 matches. The League Cup followed in 1979/80. Another vintage year followed in 1982/83 when the club won both the Somerset FA Premier Cup and the Western League Cup, as well a finishing as runners-up in the league. In 1996 the club was relegated to the Western League First Division. In 2002 they won promotion back to the Premier Division. 2009 saw the club promoted to the Southern League Division One South & West. Then in 2011 Frome triumphed in the play off final, beating Sholing (ha ha) 1-0 in the final on Sholing's own turf and were promoted to the Southern League Premier Division along with league champions AFC Totton.

Ground: Frome Town play their home matches at Badgers Hill. To the best of my knowledge, no badgers are currently in residence at the stadium. It has a capacity of 5,000, with 250 seats.

Nickname: Frome, like Evesham, are also known as The Robins. So we've had two lots of Robins (Frome and Evesham), some Bluebirds (Chippenham Town) and some Eagles (Bedford Town). There seems to be an ornithological theme to the league this season. 

Notable Former Players: Former Manchester United, Swansea City and Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Ronnie Briggs ended his playing career with Frome. Not to be confused with Ronnie Biggs, of The Great Train Robbery fame. He didn't play for Frome. Willie Haines, who played for both Southampton and Portsmouth in the 1920s and 1930s, began and ended his playing career with Frome Town. He passed away in the town of Frome in 1974 at the age of 74.


Good news, campers! We're over halfway through our journey across the league! Tomorrow I'll be trawling through the archives of Hemel Hempstead Town, Hitchin Town and Leamington to enlighten you on their illustrious pasts. Who said history wasn't fun?

Friday, 1 July 2011

Transfer News: Michael Green

AFC Totton left back Michael Green has left the club and signed a two year deal at League Two side Port Vale. The 22-year-old was out of contract so it's uncertain whether Totton will receive a fee from Port Vale.

Green in action in the Hampshire Senior Cup final
in May, his last appearance for Totton
Green had previously played for Eastleigh, Christchurch and Brockenhurst and has recently had trials with Championship sides Millwall and Reading, and Port Vale's League Two rivals Wycombe Wanderers. He played in a reserve game for Wycombe against Aldershot alongside Totton team mate Mike Gosney.

Greener made 94 appearance for Totton overall, including just 3 as a substitute. He scored 2 goals and assisted 13 others in his time with The Stags. Last season Green made 48 appearances in all competitions, scoring 1 goal, in the 2-0 win away at Andover in November, as the team won the Zamaretto League South & West Division. Green made his Totton debut a a substitute on 25th August 2009 away at Hungerford Town, and his first start came 11 days later on September 5th in a home match against Bedfont Green. His last appearance for the club was in the Hampshire Senior Cup final on 25th May 2011 as Totton triumphed 3-1 over local rivals Sholing at Southampton FC's St Mary's Stadium.

I'm sure everyone associated with AFC Totton will agree with me in wishing Greener all the best for his move up to the Football League.

AFC Totton Open Day

The Stags will stage an open day at the Testwood Stadium on Saturday 16th July. The day will give fans and the general public an opportunity to have a gander at the facilities in and around the new stadium and watch the first team in training. Entrance is free and the gates are open from 10am until 4pm.

More details can be found on the official club website.

Season Preview Part III - Cambridge, Chesham and Chippenham

Here ya go, part three of our look at the clubs Totton will be facing this season. You lucky dogs, you. Under the microscope today are Cambridge City, Chesham City and Chippenham Town.

Cambridge City

A Brief History: The club was founded in 1908 as Cambridge Town. In 1936 the club was invited to apply to join the Football League but the Cambridge directors declined, preferring to concentrate on amateur football. Cambridge moved to the Spartan League, winning 3 titles between 1945 and 1950. When the Town of Cambridge was granted City status in 1951, Cambridge Town and Abbey United both applied for a name change to Cambridge City. Town applied first and were accepted, so Abbey United changed their name and became the team known today as Cambridge United. City left the amateur game in 1958 and joined the Southern League, winning promotion in the first season and again 3 years later to join the Premier Division. From 1975-85 the club went through a terrible period including relegation, lower attendances, and protests against the decision to return to amateur status, which eventually forced most of the Board to leave. The club's fortunes improved and in 1986 the Southern League South title was won on the final day of the season. In 2004 Cambridge gained promotion to the Conference South. 5 years later they were relegated back to the Southern League, though this was because their ground failed to meet FA grading at Conference Level.

Ground: Cambridge City play at the City Ground. Another inspired choice of name. It has a capacity of 2,300 including 500 seats and a covered stand with room for 220 standing. In 2008 the ground failed an FA inspection and cost Cambridge their place in the Conference South. So it's the stadium's fault that the club are where they are today. Be sure to boo it as you go through the turnstiles this season.

Nickname: The Lilywhites, apparently due to the fact that the team traditionally play in white shirts.

Notable Former Players: Millwall's all-time top goalscorer Neil Harris began his career with Cambridge before signing for The Lions for £30,000. Arguably the best £30k Millwall ever spent. Or ever will. Teddy Sheringham's son, Charlie, played for the club in 2008, scoring 6 goals in 5 appearances. And Premier League referee Mark Halsey played for Cambridge City in his younger days before he took up refereeing! Fancy that.

Chesham United

A Brief History: Chesham United was founded in 1917 following the merger of Chesham Town FC and Chesham Generals FC. The club played it's first league season in the Spartan League and Great Western Suburban League. In 1967/68 season Chesham reached the final of the FA Amateur Cup, losing 1-0 to Leytonstone in the final at Wembley Stadium in front of 54,000 people. The club sold 22,000 tickets for the game, 4,000 more than the entire population of Chesham at the time. The club suffered a massive blow in 1983 when the main stand burned down on May 3rd. A new stand was opened a year later. In 1991 Chesham won promotion and the Division One title. The next season they won the Isthmian League Premier Division but were denied promotion because necessary ground improvements could not be afforded. In the early 2000's the club eyed promotion to the Conference again but were unable to achieve it. In 2006 the club went into decline and a campaign was started to save the club. A local businessman helped revive the club before handing it over to the supporters with the club promoted back to the Southern League Premier Division. Relegation and a transfer to the Southern League Midlands Division followed. The club won promotion again in the 2008/09 season.

Ground: The Meadow. It has a capacity of 5000, including 284 seats.

Nickname: The Generals. As was explained earlier, Chesham United was formed from the merger of Chesham Town and Chesham Generals. One can only assume the nickname stems from the old Chesham Generals team.

Notable Former Players: Where do we begin? Chesham, over the years, have had their fair share of players who have gone on to bigger things or joined the club at the end of their careers. Kerry Dixon, Mark Lawrenson, Bruce Grobelaar, Fitz Hall and DJ Campbell all played for the club, and Luther Blissett was Chesham manager from February 2006 to April 2007. The late Ernie Cooksey played for Chesham for 2 years from 2000 to 2002. Cooksey sadly passed away in the early hours of July 3rd 2008, at the age of 28.

Chippenham Town

A Brief History: Chippenham Town FC was founded in 1873. In 1904 they joined the Western League but struggled and frequently finished at the bottom end of the table. The club withdrew and moved to the Wiltshire League, winning it in 1908 and 1909. In 1928/29 Chippenham won a quadruple of trophies including the league title and the Wiltshire Senior Cup. They rejoined the Western League in 1930. Town turned professional in 1948 and won the Western League in 1952. In 1964 the club returned to the Wiltshire League. After a spell in the Hellenic League the club returned to the Western League in 1973. In the late 70's the club was on the up. A clubhouse was built and promotion to the Western League Premier Division was achieved in 1981. In 1998 the club finished 4th in the league, the highest they club had finished in 40 years. Chippenham lost in the FA Vase final at Wembley in 2000. In 2005 the club finished 2nd in the Southern League Premier Division but lost the play off final 1-0 to Hednesford Town. The same happened the next season, this time losing 3-2 to Bedford Town in the play off final.

Ground: Chippenham Town play at Hardenhuish Park. It's obviously sturdier than Yeovil's ground. (If you don't get that, I'm not explaining it to you). It has a capacity of 2,815, with 500 seats.

Nickname: The Bluebirds. There are no wild bluebirds in Chippenham. Nor will you find them on your bird feeders in Cardiff. They are native to North America. But I guess it's a good sounding nickname nonetheless.

Notable Former Players: Oxford United striker James Constable and former Swindon Town, Wycombe Wanderers and Salisbury City striker Charlie Griffin both played for Chippenham early on in their careers.


That's part three over and done with. Are you keeping up? Tomorrow, Cirencester Town, Evesham United and fellow South & West Division promotionees* Frome Town get the once over from me. So look forward to that. Or even if you're not looking forward to it, give it a read anyway? Please?

*To the best of my knowledge, 'promotionees' is not actually a real word.