Better get this writ quick, as they say in Lesta.
Well actually it’s just the ‘writ’ bit they say but you get the gist.
You being very clever of course, have probably also sussed that this little linguistic ramble is a diversionary target designed to distract you from the fact that this year’s end of season review is appearing perilously close to the Mighty Saints first pre-season friendly. I am the first to admit that this is a bit lax, but late blogs have been an occasional symptom of the 16/17 season so I’ll stick on this roll if I may; nothing personal you understand it’s just a phase of teenage TLF-dom, “I don’t have to write a blog if I don’t want to and you can’t make me, so there.”
And now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s crack on with the matter in hand…..
Back in August 2016 TLF predicted that the coming season could be the best of times or the worst of times. Eleven months later you could argue what an insightful seer TLF proved to be, but that’s hardly a difficult prediction for my tale of two cities. And let’s face it at the time I was just after a cheap Dickens pun.
Never before has TLF ticked off so many new and locations to watch football. Brugge, Seville, Madrid, Hemel Hempstead! A truly ground-breaking kind of a season.
Lesta seemed fully determined to make it ground-breaking for all the wrong reasons. TLF didn’t expect the ridiculous highs of 2015/16 but there was really no need for quite the domestic implosion that saw them go from everyone’s favourite team to everyone’s favourite joke before becoming everyone’s favourite villains who sacked the Italian messiah. Of course he wasn’t the messiah, he was just a fallible football manger, whose departure reduced to TLF to tears, but who probably had to go.
The Mighty Saints kept the spirits alive, at least in the first half of the season, starting 2017 second in the league. This was of course followed by a rapid descent down the league, leading to a severe dose of incredulispair at our inability to win a game. Still at least we will always have Carlisle. No not a modern and gritty remake of Casablanca but our FA Cup first round PROPER, home game against league opponents. Yes the FA Cup journey ended that day but not before, Clarence Park was rammed, TLF sold football programmes and Junior Morias’s corking opener for the Mighty Saints had been shown on the Beeb and was voted goal of the round.
Off the pitch TLF convinced Julie, a recent convert to running, to sign up for the St Albans half-marathon to raise funds for Stand By Your Saints. TLF then promptly injured herself – first a hamstring, then a back muscle and finally a disc; meaning that Julie became the sole representative charged with not letting our sponsors down. And she didn’t. So proud of my mate and still determined that I will complete 13 miles sometime this year.
And as ever, the off the pitch memories are as important as the stuff that happens on the hallowed turf. TLF travelled to new places, hung out with some very funny and brilliant people and was given a kiwi fruit coming back from a game in Hampton; Julie got the pineapple I was so jealous.
Next season there may be more fruit, there will certainly be more daft moments, there will also be Mr TLF’s PSB to update you on – I’ll leave that acronym for you to work out during the pre-season friendly schedule and return once the proper fixtures get underway.
Small selection of 2016/17 loot. And a very dirty ‘lucky Champions League’ shirt