If it Is Broke…
If you were one of the thousand-odd fans who saw the Checkatrade Trophy game against Hartlepool, I would be very surprised if you didn’t leave Meadow Lane well satified especially if, like me, you had taken advantage of the excellent curry meal package! I must confess to feeling confused as to why fans chose to boycott this game. While some of the rules and arrangements for the competition do seem odd, the game’s administrators have tried to make this competition more appealing to clubs and fans alike. I remember that for years managers (and England manager Sam Allardyce made no secret of this when he was our gaffer) looked upon the competition as nothing more than a nuisance and consequently fielded reserve teams, at least in the early rounds. Predictably, fans reacted accordingly and didn’t bother coming to the games.
The new competition rules require no less than 5 first team players to be in the starting line-up and so fans can expect a competitive game – and that’s what we got against Hartlepool. And who exactly is being harmed by this so-called boycott? Well it can only be the hosting football club which stands to suffer financial loss. As far as I’m concerned, I support Notts County, and this support manifests itself by my willingness to pay to be entertained by our footballers, whether in a league game, a cup competition, or even a pre-season friendly. And I certainly got my money’s worth at the Hartlepool game.
I have no doubt that lessons will be learned from this season’s experience. Whether the competition has a future remains to be seen. Let’s face it, in its various earlier guises (Johnson’s Paint Trophy, AutoWindscreens Trophy to name but two) the competition was already broke and did need fixing. In the meantime, the players deserve our support in numbers. We should leave it to the football club directors and the supporters’ representative bodies, such as the Football Supporters Federation, to make a case to the competition’s administrators, to improve the appeal of the competition. By boycotting games, fans do nothing to inspire the players, but they can do financial harm to their Football Club.
I take my hat off to the members of the OSA committee who dedicate themselves raising funds for Notts County’s Academy, under the leadership of their Chairman, John Terrington. Whether selling raffle tickets or scratch-cards, they put a lot of effort into fund-raising and I was delighted to see how this dedication has resulted in sufficient money being raised to pay for the purchase of a ‘trauma kit’ for the Academy lads (see report elsewhere in this programme).
Everyone involved, whether by fund-raising or donating, deserves a medal as big as a frying pan!
Let’s face it – this is one piece of equipment that we don’t want to see ever being used. But what a sense of reassurance it gives to everyone concerned, including the parents of the Academy scholars no doubt, knowing that if the worst does come to the worse, the coaches are now better equipped to deal with a serious medical emergency.
We are always delighted to welcome new members to the Official Supporters’ Association, but it’s a rare occasion to welcome one quite as young as 5-month old Aiva Buckley, much-loved grand-daughter of Sallie Buckley who is a slightly older member of the OSA (and, I suspect, the person who might just have paid for Aiva’s membership!!).
She joins an illustrious group of Notts supporters. We are delighted to already have on our books the author John Harvey, playwright William Ivory, Mr Notts County (aka Colin Slater MBE), as well as (former) players Mike Edwards, Dean Yates, Les Bradd and Brian Stubbs, as Honorary Members. And, breaking news, we have just swooped to secure the signature of Liam “Rev” O’Boyle the Notts County Club Chaplain too. An already formidable team now has God’s support; or at least his representative’s
Not yet a member? Well it’s never too late to join. The details for membership are on the opposite page and we would love to welcome you into such exalted company.
Here are three of your predictions for today’s result that were posted on our Facebook page:
Jamie Archer : 2-1 (Stead, Forte)
Ewan Fisher : 2-1 (Stead, Collins)
Dan Westwell: 4-0 (Stead, Oliver, Campbell, Forte) …. and that’s quite an endorsement coming from a Stags supporter!
Remember to post your predictions on our Facebook page. Get both the scoreline and the names of the scorers correct, and a prize awaits you from the OSA office on Meadow Lane.