The weather on Sunday held out for just long enough for TTFE to celebrate their new kit (which I must say is very impressive) With a bare bones squad (including zero subs) we put up a good fight but ultimately we lacked one or two “skilled” players who would have made the game competitive and kept the opposition honest. TTFE had a few chances but failed to test the keeper, had those chances been taken it would have made the score line interesting. Overall I think we gave a good account for ourselves and did as well as could be expected against a very skilled opposition who looked comfortable on the ball and displayed good understand and movement.
Pete and his Irish opposite had some good battles (I think Pete’s ankles lost), Dale played very well in goal, laying out for some full stretch saves, including one deflection that managed to clear the fence. Billy and myself (via a deflected free kick) gave TTFE 2 unanswered goals very late on into the match.
Division 3 has been running for a number of seasons now and anyone can very quickly see that TTFE are in for a real battle to survive relegation, a number of seasons ago we would have been comfortable in Division 3, however now with strong teams coming down from Division 2 and up from Division 4 I feel we are treading water and without a full squad (Including Carling, Huckle and Mitch) I think we will fall short of the required mark. At the moment I am happy to be part of a squad that seems to be enjoying their time playing together and is supportive of each other.
TTFE-L is a refreshing change to TTFE which I think is in danger of self destructing. I find the arguments that are floating round at the moment are very short sighted. Chris and Greg talk about being fair to Dean yet have the audacity to withdraw from playing as late as 3PM on the day, that in its self is hardly fair to Dean. Under the current system Dean has gone from 6th to 3rd a benefit that seems to be looked over. Another issue that bothers me is that this all seems to be very much a personal attack on Pete, I am inside a close loop and know of issue Pete has had at TTFE and the lack of response with information from TTFE administrators points some pretty big fingers.
If Chris did truly care about fairness then surly he would see that the fairest system to TTFE (The community) is to play 7 a side and provide more opportunities for backups to attend.
The other point that is overlooked is that Dean has actually been asked to play more than Pete in the last few months, and had Dean taken those opportunities (along with the other backups) they would have benefited and Pete would have been way down the pecking order.
A final thought that I had and have been thinking about for a few months now is, where does the future of TTFE lie? I am looking at the current crop of players and I think some of them are less than committed to the cause, if its cold and wet or if something better comes along on a Thursday night then we just don’t see them. I also see a number of people settling down and starting families (all things I cannot blame or thrown upon) but for me TTFE is a permanent fixture in my calendar and I will play until the day that I physically can’t, for me I think we need to consider more than just appearances when we look at inviting people, I feel we need to start preserving and cementing what we have. It is nothing personal against Dean, I really like him and as I’ve said before I’d rather play 7 a side so that people like Dean are more likely to get a game. What we cannot do is hope and dream that TTFE is going to return to past times, it’s just not going to happen (Gareth “with the hair” would just take too much of a pounding) The reasons why I would promote people like Pete over someone like Dean are all very intangible, while I don’t think it is a requirement to participate it is sometimes nice to show your face at TTFE events (I know Dean has been to a few) but outside of a Thursday night I never see him, he’s also a very rare forum user, again these aren’t really things you can or should judge people on, but, I want TTFE to keep going as long as possible and long term I do not see Dean as a person who is as dedicated as some of the backups.