Olly writes his first article prior to the opening game this season at BDTBL.
I’ve been back home for a while now on leave as I did a longer trip away on my last deployment, and was a bit gutted about missing the last few games of the last campaign. I’m all set for getting my backside on my seat back on the Kop this coming Saturday though, renewed my season ticket early to make sure I’m back on the Kop and behind the lads on the pitch.
I was a bit nervous when Sunderland were sniffing around Chris Wilder and after reading a bit about the uncertainty of the background scenes with the bickering between KM and HRH. To be honest, I’m backing KM because when the Prince came in I’m sure he promised us some money to spend but never saw any of it. Anyway, I’m glad that there’s an intermediary there to liaise between the higher management and CW, keeps him at the Lane and where he belongs.
There’s been a lot of moment out of the Lane during the close season, especially seeing Brooks go to Bournemouth of all places. I think he would have been better off staying put, but CW knows best I suppose. I hope he doesn’t end up the same as a lot of our previous players sat on the bench at other clubs, with Jordan Slew a prime example. There were others that have gone as well, a few new ones that were brought in during the end of the League One campaign and beginning of our Championship adventure, I was surprised to see Thomas depart, I know he didn’t get much game time in the first team, but him and others like Heneghan and Carruthers seem as though they haven’t impressed enough to remain.
There’s been a couple of new signings though, with McGoldrick and Egan coming in, with the latter costing a pretty penny, which was even more surprising that the board stuck their hands in their pockets instead of keeping hold of Brook’s funds. McGoldrick seems to have impressed the gaffer with his performance so far though, with a goal against Inter to boot. Egan seems to be a decent player and will be nice to see how he and O’Connell get on at the back. I’m hoping Simon Moore gets more starts this year and although Jamal was decent last season, Henderson should just be cover for Moore.
Looking at the League table I don’t really see any teams there that will bother us too much this season. Villa will struggle, what with their financial problems, as well as the pigs at Swillsborough. There isn’t any team that jumps out and makes me think they’ll be difficult to play against. Hope Norwich have learnt not to time waste this season though!
On the front with the MOD/Armed Forces Supporter’s Branch, there’s a lot going on at Executive level and I’ll keep my branch informed of developments etc in due course. I did hear a rumour at one of the meetings that the new home shirt was having a solid back on it this year, and thought it would be red to be honest, but as it turned out it was white so that the numbers/names would be easily recognised by officials. I am not sure what standard of refs we are having at the Lane this season, but if we have a solid white back for them to see then it doesn’t bode well as we’ll be getting the Specsavers refs again I reckon if they are sight impaired! Mind you that wouldn’t be much of change from last season!
I wasn’t going to get a shirt this season as I prefer last season’s strip with the black borders but I received one as a present for my birthday last Friday so will have to wear it!
On a separate note, my lad has finished with Chesterfield Junior Blues U16s as they only go up to 16 years old, so has been training with Dronfield Town U19s and FC Bolsover first team, but has successfully trialled and signed for Staveley MWFC U18s so has an exciting season ahead of him back with the club where he started from.
Anyway, I’m hoping for a win over Swansea on Saturday evening and really looking forward to getting back on the Kop with a huge crowd and an atmosphere which was unrivalled last season with every Blade behind the team! Let’s be the twelfth man again this season and get the team in the Premiership!
Olly Longden (Royal Fleet Auxiliary)
Sheffield United MOD/Armed Forces Supporter’s Branch