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  • #12363

    onyadon
    Keymaster

    The Lounge

    I’ve decided to spruce up the web-site a wee bit (even with our new logo – any comments?). Another new feature is the single thread forum, so you can jump on and have your say, ask a question or just read what is being said. As I always say the forum is only as strong as what you make of it, so I would urge you to contribute and regularly to keep it all worthwhile. BTW, if you want to check something in the old forum it is now archived and the link is below… Okay let’s hear from you …

    Looking for the old forum? You can view the read-only archived version here.

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
Viewing 6 replies - 643 through 648 (of 1,206 total)
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  • #13324

    MacWomble
    Participant

    Very interesting. But alas personally I cannot chip-in with any informed views, seeing so little of the action and not the live games (or the players off the ball). In fact there is so little sport here that one has to wonder if this is some Asian conspiracy. All I can pick up is that there is a general air of being resigned to us not having the financials to attract new talent. And it seems we have got the best out of the talent we have. Injuries will be telling. I still tend to think that a bigger club will punch heavily for Ardley next season. Why wouldn’t they? Is the shining white light of NPL 2057 that binding? And I agree with the comments about the likelihood of over-conservative thinking on the time and cost of NPL. Hopefully in the quest for us to return to our roots we do not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Anyway, this season is over. Fine as it was: (cue the “if I was offered this finishing position at the start of the season, I would have grabbed it” comments), however from a distance I found it a tad underwhelming, but not distastefully so. Looks like next season may have a few more sparks. COYD.

    #13323

    onyadon
    Keymaster

    Thanks Windlesham for those thoughts…

    I am a little uncertain about the Club futures of Tom Elliott and Jake Reeves, given their standout seasons for the Dons. While agreeing there needs to be some squad bolstering, it is also most important that we try (if we can) to hold on to both these two going into next season, but I am also mindful that the Club doesn’t have the financial resources to match substantial bids, also coupled with our rightful focus on Plough Lane. Indeed, it looks a challenging off-season for Neal Ardley and Erik to maintain a L1 standard squad. I would think Barnett, Whelpdale and Robertson will be released, Barnett and possibly Whelpdale would be on good contracts by AFC Wimbledon standards. Let’s hear from the rest of you….

    #13322

    Windlesham Don
    Participant

    Here’s some further musings on the club’s strategy, if (as me and Devon believe) the finances are going to be tight for the next few seasons.

    Looking at the core of our squad, the strong areas seem to me to be centre back and centre midfield. At centre back we need to pray that Will now remains injury free. If he does then I see us playing 3 CBs more often next season, with Robbo sitting behind Will and Darius, allowing them some freedom to move wide and forward to cover. Kelly can cover, with the youngsters Kalambayi and Sibbick being introduced gradually to the squad. Barry Fuller has also been know to play on the right side of a three if necessary. I can’t see Robertson being retained.

    In centre midfield we have Soares, Reeves and Parrett as key figures. I expect Bully to be offered another year, but probably more as a squad player. Meades can cover this area and Alfie Egan can also be introduced gradually. I think that Tom Beere has blotted his copybook and will be released. Dan Gallagher has also not made an appearance and his future must be in doubt.

    If my guess is correct, then these two strong areas can be utilised by playing 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 for much of the season. However, to do this we will need to utilise wing backs, rather than tradition full backs.

    Left wing back is an issue, with Jon Meades lacking pace and Andy Barcham lacking defensive awareness. Kelly is also limited in his abilities in this area. Seth Owens will hopefully develop, but I see this as a problem area for us.

    On the right we have Bas Fuller, who will hopefully be rejuvenated after a long layoff. He isn’t a natural wing back, but he could do a job. Then we have the much maligned George Francomb! I’ve always preferred George as a full back rather than in midfield or as a traditional winger, but I feel that he has the engine and defensive awareness to perform well at wing back. Toby Sibbick has also played on the right side for the U18s and so he could also learn this role.

    Up top we have big Tom, LTB, Dom Poleon and a replacement for Tyrone Barnett (who must surely be out of the door). If we choose to play with three up top then Barcham is comfortable in this role. I feel that we also need to start introducing Toyosi Olusanya and Jayden Antwi into the squad at some stage. In my view there is no room for Fitzpatrick, who has shown little, and Whelpdale needs to depart, if only to free up a place on the treatment table!

    Finally, goalkeeper, where in my view we desperately need someone to give Shea real competition. If we are going to struggle next season (and I suspect we will find it much harder than this season) then we need to have a quality stopper to rescue some points over the course of the season. I may be at odds with many supporters, but I feel that Sheasy makes too many mistakes to be a regular starter. To me he is a good League 2 keeper and a good backup for a mid-table League 1 team.

    So that has sorted the squad and tactics for next season! It would be great to get the views of others, if only to shoot my opinions down in flames! :o)

    #13320

    Windlesham Don
    Participant

    I think you are spot on with your view that NPL is costing more than expected (although I wince at the thought of 2x building costs and fear for the consequences if you turn out to be correct).

    There have been several warnings regarding the budget available for NA during the close season and this can only be due to having to put aside more for NPL than anticipated.

    On the face of it our finances should have been good this year, with crowds almost certainly above Erik’s conservative budget, a decent cup run with televised games and the ‘unused’ budget originally assigned to the dear departed Ryan Clarke!

    We will certainly need 4 or 5 new faces through the door and we will not be able to cut back on numbers with a ‘skeleton’ squad size already.

    We may have to throw in a few kids and hope that they swim rather than sink, although as you rightly point out we haven’t seen much match time for them so far. I would also caution that in my view I haven’t been impressed with Fitzpatrick and Alfie Egan is currently too young and small to be thrown in the deep end.

    Gulp…

    #13319

    Devon Womble
    Participant

    This is always such a good forum for informed views. I sometimes wish I had some of my own to contribute!
    However, having already said my piece on who I think goes and who we should keep, I’d just like to add that on reading Erik’s report about NPL progress, and knowing quite a bit about the planning process and the construction industry; it strikes me that NPL may be costing the club more than we budgeted for. Those reports and studies Erik talks about are not cheap. I also suspect that the building estimates will come in at twice what we expect, especially given the current climate of a booming sector. Therefore, one has to wonder if we, let alone our players, might be tempted by a good offer for them.
    With little sign of our rising stars getting time on the pitch to prove themselves, next season potentially (IMHO) has all the hallmarks of truly being a leap into the unknown.

    #13318

    Windlesham Don
    Participant

    Just finished reading the latest edition of the WDSA Newsletter. Particularly enjoyed Singapore’s emotion filled rendering of the recent ‘Franchise bashing’ evening – for those of us who had stupidly booked a holiday before the fixtures were announced and found ourselves at the other end of the world as the match took place, it painted a vivid picture!

    I also agreed with most of Iain Sandford’s opinions regarding our end of season retained list. Perhaps my only doubt is regarding David Fitzpatrick, who has shown little in the games I have seen and I expect him to be released. Perhaps, if he is on a cheap contract then a six month loan to a League 2 club would allow him to develop whilst not harming our budget? Interesting that Tom Beere has evidently blotted his copybook so badly at Gateshead that he didn’t even make it on to Iain’s list! Definitely a thumbs down for Tom from me.

    Any others with opinions on who stays and who goes?

Viewing 6 replies - 643 through 648 (of 1,206 total)

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