Sunday, 27 May 2007

2006/07 season audit

The 2006/07 hobo season began late last July, celebrating the birth of Runcorn Linnets FC at a rugby league ground in St. Helens. It ended yesterday, after 49 games (37 of which you've read about here) at Bedfont Sports. You squeeze out what you can while you can.

This season this site has dipped below level 10 of English football for the first time, to watch both the aforementioned Bedfont and South Liverpool; witnessed games in each of the first seven rounds of the FA Cup up to and including the first round proper; dipped beneath the murky surface waters of Italian football and watched some Serie D; and focused latterly on Havant & Waterlooville's run to the Conference South play-off semi-final.

To keep those of you that are interested in the Conference South picture, Salisbury City eventually beat Braintree in the play-off final to join champions Histon in the Conference National (or the Blue Square Premier as it'll be known next season). Of the sides in the relegation positions, only Bedford Town will end up demoted. Hayes were reprieved by Farnborough Town's liquidation, and then merged with their very local rivals to form Hayes & Yeading, which allowed Weston Super Mare also to breathe a sigh of relief. Joining us next year will be relegated St. Albans City and the promoted quartet of Bath City, Maidenhead United, Hampton & Richmond Borough and Bromley. Should be a fun year and I'm confident we'll be up their fighting once again.

However all this rampant summation is not to say that I'm finished here for the season as a sketch-out for the Bedfont Sports game, and one prior end of season fixture, will be forthcoming, spread out amongst the cricket missives that will occasionally appear throughout the summer.

However, there probably isn't that big a gap to cover as, all being well, the next fitba tread will begin in only seven weeks time, as the magnificent boys of the H&'Dub Foundation start the ramp up to their 07/08 campaign with a friendly across the water. It may only be the Solent water, over to Cowes Sports, but sod it, in the absence of an UEFA cup berth for next year's Hampshire Senior Cup winners next year (for shame!), this'll have to do as a European campaign.

This season has seen a slightly less rapid turnover of material, and possibly less adventure in terms of journeys undertaken, and it will probably remain that way next year. My keenness to explore remains, but now being back in the south, and nearer to the Havant & Waterlooville heartland, I have rediscovered the highs, and lows, of being partisan, and it has been brilliant to be back regularly amongst the fold. Thus next season, I'll be wanting to see them Hawks as much as possible.

However, I don't want this to become a week in week out H&W web-log. This site is currently getting 2,500 page views a week apparently (which I find unbelievable really, and thanks to all of you for stopping by) and West Leigh Park attendance averages would suggest that not all of you are H&W fans. Although you should be, of course.

Thus the genuine hobo material will be fired out at a much more considered pace, so if there are 2 to 3 weeks between postings, I hope you'll bear with me, but I imagine there'll be plenty of stuff from the FA Cup qualifying rounds at the start of next season.

Some of you might be interested in my non-hobo writing. Despite ending my musical fanzine Vanity Project this past spring, I do hope to write the occasional gig review for The Art of Noise, and when that happens it'll be flagged up with a "[reviewed]" link in the 'recent diversions' bit over there in the side column (as with this Pere Ubu review), as well as in the 'misc. writing' section further down, where you also find links to my contributions to the A-Z of Football currently being compiled, at a nice relaxed pace, by the chaps at Cheer Up Alan Shearer.

Like I say, thanks again for reading these pages.

Have a good summer.

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