The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

¡No pasarán!

11 July 2018

Town's new captain next season will be John Welsh. That sounds good, doesn't it? He seems the part. He'll pick up where Dizza left off. That tackle for Preston at Wembley. That hard bastard beard. John Welsh. Rrrrraaarrgh!

People sometimes talk about the England captain's job as being ceremonial really, with nothing particularly significant about it. Your original/regular Diary isn't sure why it's just the England captain's job that's supposed to be meaningless and all the other captains' jobs aren't, but it certainly became a fashionable thing to say a few years ago. Either way I'm not convinced. Obviously I'm far too weedy ever to have played football, but surely the captain is there to lift teammates' flagging spirits, make sure the manager's tactics are acted upon by the players, and shout rrrrraaarrgh! a lot. Go on Welshy. Rrrrraaarrgh!

So much for the players we've already signed: what about the ones we haven't? George Waring is going back to Tranmere but his fellow trialist Ali Koiki has impressed sufficiently for The Jolley to ask his old boss at Burnley if we can keep him a bit longer. Koiki impressed in Town's friendly against Cleethorpes last Saturday and looks a good fit down the left for the wing-back system The Jolley looks likely to deploy for the 2018-19 campaign. I keep reading that Paul Dixon "has been told he can leave" BP but there's nothing official about it anywhere, is there?

A quick dip into the ex files now, and which of us here is not charmed by the news that Paul Groves is to join the coaching staff at Indian Super League champions Chennaiyin FC, under manager John Gregory? Rather than stepping up the leagues, Andy Warrington has perhaps surprisingly joined Lincoln City, presumably valuing bookshops above chippies; and Ross Hannah has joined first-time relegatees Gainsborough Trinity, where he should do well and frequently elude the offside flag at night matches when the lino fails to spot him under the 40-watt floodlights.

I enjoyed reading about Town's surprising win over Grimsby Town Cricket Club on Monday night when the sides met for a charity game (of cricket). Is it just me or was it somehow very fitting that veteran cool-headed defender Danny Collins recorded a decisive knock of 77 not out? This prompted me to imagine roles in the summer game for other Mariners. Paul Futcher as unflappable opening bat, taking until the third session on the opening day to post a half-century; Lenell John-Lewis as frontline pace bowler, prone to a wayward line but devastating when on song; and Tony Gallimore as a doughty maverick all-rounder in the Botham mode, preferring to field at long leg, where he would sneak a drag on a fag between deliveries.

The specific reasons for South Yorkshire Police pulling the plug on Town's friendly at Rotherham later this month are Trump and Tramlines. The game's scheduling would have coincided with a popular Sheffield music festival and the visit to the UK of America's fascist president, both of which apparently effect a significant drain on policing resources. To Trump's apologists on the far right who argue that a US president should always be welcome in Britain, the correct response is surely that that depends on (a) how much it's going to knacker Town's pre-season; and (b) how much of a twat they are.

Last up today, Town's £10 off deal for exiles wanting a new shirt runs this weekend. This will doubtless be of particular interest to Cod Almighty readers and contributors, as we are all exiles who mercilessly scorn those of our fellow Town fans who still live in the local area. Even I'm tempted and I'm far too weedy to wear one. Rrrrraaarrgh!