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The new season awaits for Annan Athletic

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Chris Jardine | 08:44 UK time, Thursday, 6 August 2009

Well, I have to say, football aside, the boys had a really good weekend away in Inverness.

The club put us up in a fantastic hotel for the night. So fantastic, in fact, that I asked the chairman if he had booked the wrong one.

The facilities were great and the boys even managed to get a round of pitch and putt in before the game on Saturday morning.

townsley_cairney_blog_big.jpg

I have to be honest and say I was hopeless, but I still can't believe that Scott Anson took the money.

It's not that Anson was that bad but more down to the cheating that was going on from Lee Hoolikin. Honestly, the boy is incredible.

We were also spoiled a wee bit with our travel at the weekend when we discovered that two tables had been fitted to the team bus.

If we get that leaky skylight fixed, we'll be sorted.

The poker players in the team were delighted, but it was down the front for me to watch a film as I just can't seem to get the hang of that game.

As soon as Snap is involved, I'll be right back up there though.

Once again, I was rooming with Steven Sloan. The manager sent a message to the squad on Wednesday asking if anyone had any preference to who they shared with and I think the two of us were the only boys that didn't reply.

We had roomed together on both trips to Elgin and managed to win the two games, so I think a little bit of superstition might have been on Harry's mind.

The majority of the boys said they didn't mind, except young Aaron Muirhead, who didn't even mention the room but replied that he wanted to play centre midfield in the game.

After Harry saying there would be more chance of him appearing in the main stand, Aaron then replied that he would do a better job than Bryan Gilfillan in there.

Now, obviously this wasn't Aaron sending these messages, but his workmates had locked him out of the work van and were kindly sending them on his behalf.

When he managed to get his phone back, he was obviously apologetic, but he didn't tell anyone about the crawling message he sent after Harry asked him if he really did want to play in midfield.

Aaron's reply: "I would just be absolutely delighted to get a shirt and play anywhere gaffer." Creep!

Unfortunately, the match at Inverness didn't go as we had hoped. It gave us a bit of hope after Montrose ran them so close last week, but in all honesty they were a class above us.

The boys worked really hard and possibly, for that, a 4-0 defeat was a little sore on us, but at times we just couldn't get the ball.

They have some really good players and they might have their work cut out in keeping hold of Dougie Imrie, who was the best player on the park by some distance.

It was also good to get up close to Terry Butcher and see how he goes about things from the touchline.

I came away with great admiration for the way he spoke with his players while they were on the pitch.

That's the second week in a row that I've been involved in some good banter with the away supporters.

Although the one and only shout about my blog wasn't as kind as last week's, we had a few laughs with each other, which I always enjoy.

After not getting any match time for the second game in a row, I was grateful for the 90 minutes on Monday night down at Penrith.

We were invited down to officially open their new stadium, which I have to say is very impressive.

We won the game 5-1 and all the boys looked fit and we scored some terrific goals.

There were a few performances that I'm sure will have caught the manager's eye, in particular Steven Sloan and Gary Redpath.

They just might have got the manager thinking about his team selection for this weekend's game at Berwick.

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    you do realise you write better than you play.

  • Comment number 2.

    I wouldn't know whether Chris should take that as a compliment or not Jasperino!

    Great blog Chris. I presume that most players at Annan are part-time, what kind of jobs do they do? Is it difficult to focus on playing when you have another job?

    http://www.loserscomesecond.com/

  • Comment number 3.

    jasperino - you have a real problem coming on having a go

    i look forward chris' blog gives a real insight to lower league football and enjoy the banter that goes on between the players

    i bet you were a top notch footballer in your day - sad little boy

  • Comment number 4.

    #3 well said.

  • Comment number 5.

    Hooley cheat at something??? never. i wont beleive that for a second ha!

    Good blog!

  • Comment number 6.

    great blog chris, enjoyable read as always, if your struggling for games, you could always come and play for the dons!! We are struggling for 11 right now!

  • Comment number 7.

    Chris, how does it sit with guys at the Third Division level that you are effectively being "stuck" with Livingston being demoted two divisions?

    Not sure if you can comment exactly, with the SFA potentially reviewing blogs for comments that bring the game into "disrepute" (if it isn't already), especially as it also wont be likely to happen with well run clubs like Annan, but would you play for nothing if your wages from Annan were unpaid? Also, it must fill you with a lot of excitement at being able to play a couple of games (if they are still in existence of course) at a stadium like Almondvale for a league game rather than a cup tie.

  • Comment number 8.

    #2 - I'm taking it as a compliment! Everyone is indeed part-time at the club and we all do a variety of jobs. I'm a gym instructor, the manager is a teacher and degsy is a postman. David Cox looks after Barry Ferguson's garden. We also have brickies, green-keepers and a few students.

    Personally I don't find it difficult to focus on playing with my job. It's more personal things that affect playing and I'm sure that's the same with most footballers.

  • Comment number 9.

    # 1,3,5 and 6 - thanks for the comments - compliments or not!

  • Comment number 10.

    #7 - Unfortuantely I think it shows Scottish Football in a bad light and I'm not sure a situation like this would happen anywhere else. All being said we will welcome anyone into the division and look forward to playing them. I just hope that Livingstone survive.

    Even before you posted the question I was already going to say that we should all look forward to going to a place like Almondvale - because I certainly will.

 

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