Rough guide to
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'05-06 season index
Rough guide 2005-06
20 May 2005
For the first time since Cod Almighty began - or since Cod Almighty started taking itself seriously enough to want to keep whacking out content over the summer - the Mariners are going to play in the same division for two seasons running. Russ has just about 'stopped the rot', even if this phrase is just positive spin-doctoring on Town's lowest final league position in three and a half decades.
Most supporters have realised by now that we've no right to expect any kind of quick return to the second tier a la 1991 or 1998. In contrast with the summer of 2003, when Paul Groves assembled a squad that looked deceptively capable of returning immediately to the division Town had just tumbled out of, we no longer see ourselves as tourists in the lower leagues. This is where we belong now.
So if we're not tourists, why do we still need a rough guide?
The quick answer is that nobody could think of a better name. The cynical answer is that we don't, but CA still needs to publish something over the close season. The most accurate answer is that it's justified by the giddy pace at which circumstances can change in football right now (I call as my first witness Scunthorpe United). And if most of the teams are already familiar from last season's guide, the focus has shifted a bit this time round.
We know the history and the trivia already, so this year we're looking in greater depth at each club's experiences of the last ten years. And we're casting a wary eye over the antics of club chairmen and the financial and administrative chaos that holds sway in many fourth division boardrooms. It is my fond hope that the latter will turn out to be a right old laugh.
We're still going to look for nice websites related to each club but we'll list them on CA's page of club links instead of in the rough guide. Oh, and because of our perennial temptation on away days to not bother with the actual match bit and just stay in the pub or look round the town instead, we're gonna try and find nice things to do for real tourists.
There you go then. Updated on Tuesdays and Fridays from now until the new season, and this time with some new authors, the rough guide for 2005-06 will build into a comprehensive 23-part reference work on Town's next set of adversaries. Buy part one and get a free binder. Buy a season ticket and get a bind.