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Diary - August 2006
Thursday 31 August
There are just under 11 hours until the deadline for permanent signings, and the only news so far of fresh blood is Town's non-signing of Danny Senda. Senda, the kind of nifty ball-playing full-back you see and wonder why he isn't plying his trade a couple of divisions higher, was due to sign for Luton during the summer after leaving Wycombe. But this 'dream move' didn't materialise and it turns out that the player's then agent scuppered his chances. Which has left him with Millwall. Another "no way close and no cigar" is hidden in the same report on the OS, the club giving the first indication that they made Georges Santos "a very good offer". So good that he opted for Brighton, who, like Milwall, play a division above Town.
"Football had been boring me for years and I needed something else to occupy myself." What sounds like a gripping Grimmo Telegraph exposι on Town fans who now spend their Saturday afternoons in B&Q (or Friday nights down the pub) is actually an interview with Curtis Woodhouse. The Driffield Dweller, who brought numerous assists and occasional bite to the Town midfield earlier this year, is talking (again!) about his move from football to boxing. "I had decided [when leaving Birmingham in 2003] I did not want to play football, I was sick of it. I was going to do boxing - but then the pay cheque came through at the end of the month, and I thought, I can stomach it a bit longer." See, it's not just us normal non-footballing types who have to drudge to work every day with only a pay cheque to keep us remotely cheerful. Those fans still bitter about Woodhouse conceding the penalty during the Cardiff debacle may be happy to learn that "I have not earned a penny since I stopped, but when this season kicked off and I wasn't involved, it was a big relief." With the displays of the current Town midfield, maybe a quick Cod Almighty campaign to give Woody some easy money might be in order...
Talking of fighters, after his bout with Hull heavyweight David Burns, "Chairman" John Fenty has stepped in to the ring with Fen "The" Butcher. For those who can't recall, JF welcomed his opponent to the ring with a jab last Friday: "It hurts when players join you and they don't fully commit themselves." POW! The Butcher has responded under the GT's headline Futcher hits back at Fenty. "I always gave it my all when I played for Grimsby - always 100 per cent." THUD! "I may not have played well in every game but it wasn't for a lack of trying - I always gave my best." OOOF! "Things change quickly in football... When I signed a three-year deal at Grimsby... we had a different manager for a start." SMACK! "If the chairman or the manager felt my head wasn't in it personally, then why was I playing [at the start of the season]?" WALLOP! "My job is to defend and keep clean sheets so it is understandable that fans have a pop when we let goals in. But I think it was a bit unfair to blame me individually, or the boys at the back. We should be defending as a team and, in a lot of the early games, we weren't doing that." DING DING!
Gary Cohen's on his bike. Don't worry! He's not had enough of fans asking why he hasn't scored yet this season; it's an exercise bike, as Gaz continues his rehabilitation from an operation on his knee. Yes, Dave Moore has the technology and he can rebuild him! Word from the bearded one (and what a fine beard Gaz has cultivated, too) is that he's "got a bit of tendonitis which has gradually got worse. There's movement in the knee but there's quite a bit of pain in it so we'll just have to see how it goes." Indeed. Also popping up on Mariners World is young striker Andy Taylor, making a nervous debut in which he repeats the words "hopefully I'll get a chance". On the prospect of making his debut he reckons he'll be nervous yet excited, want a goal, and just to play well. Awwww! If you get the chance, Andy, good luck!
Which leaves us to see if Rodge will net the midfielder and forward the OS reckons he's after. Stay here throughout the day to see.
Is it really seven months since the last transfer window closed, and Michael Reddy became Luton's Michael Reddy? No news yet, and I've been giving the front page of the OS the old CONTROL and R every five mintues. There's a Singles Night coming up though. No news on a follow up Boundaries Night, ho ho. And Friday night games have been axed. It's not Town, sadly, but rugby league team Bradford Bulls "after a wide ranging fan consultation including the opportunity for all fans to vote on their favoured proposal". I think you know what I am getting at.
Time for a cuppa and dunk a custard cream or two.
"Is there footie this Saturday?" is the enquiry in a text message from my mum, hopeful she'll get some time with her granddaughter when I drop her off on the way to the footie. Do you see what you're doing with this Friday game lark Town? DO YOU?
No moves yet. Ever get the feeling we'll be picking up the dregs after six pints come closing time tonight?
A signing! Except it's tomorrow night's opponents Macclesfield, having recaptured Matthew Tipton from Bury. In his previous spell at the Moss Rose he notched up 50 goals in 131 games. Blimey.
The only couple of hours I am away from a computer after lunch and before midnight and it's official club SMS time. So between eating my tea and bathing my daughter midfielder Ricky Ravenhill became the second acquistion from Doncaster Rovers in the space of a week. Riiiiccckkkyyyy/Raves was supposed to be on his way to Chester, where he has also been on loan, until financial gubbins got in the way. He's also got a three games suspension ending - you guessed it - with tomorrow night's game. Better get used to it. He's got a colourful disciplinary record.
The Rodger is "talking to another unnamed player and is hoping for a decision before tonight's deadline." Hoping?
The OS carries a typed out interview with Riiiiccckkkyyyy. All you need to know: "I went there on loan to Chester and things didn't work out. I am far happier signing for a club like Grimsby." He describes himself as "a midfielder who gets all over the pitch", gets stuck in and scores "a few goals" ("I think I got five or six last year"). No mention of his mobility though, but he sounds incredibly Poutonesque.
The club is auctioning
off the shirt Ravenhill is seen holding at his unveiling. 140 minutes after announcing his signing. This is some sort of record.
Just having a scoot through the fourth division news, and Paul Ince has finally joined Swindon as player-coach. The deal was held up by Swindon needing to keep their wage bill under the 60 per cent limit set by the League. More money was 'pledged' to cover the deal.
Elsewhere, it seems Man Utd youngster Giuseppe Rossi is about to join Newcastle. That's the same Giuseppe Rossi who was supposedly linked with a loan spell with Town last season, according to messageboard rumour. Talking of which where is Alan Pouton? Wasn't he supposed to be here in a "matter of hours"?
It's a break in the Sopranos. No more news yet. I'll give it one last go at 11 and head off to bed. I've got a late drive back from Cleethorpes tomorrow after all.
No further news sadly. The signing of Ravenhill sounds promising though and Michael Reddy is still a Town player, but whether there are further changes will have to wait until first thing in the morning. If you're burning the midnight oil keep checking the club's official site. Any late action we'll round up in tomorrow lunchtime's Diary and feel free to share you views on Town using the Diary's email address. Cheers for reading and n-night!
Wednesday 30 August
Howdy. Hmmm, not a lot to tell you about today. Shall we make this brief so your Stand-In Diary can nip to the pub for a lunchtime pint?
Midnight tomorrow. That's the deadline for Graham Rodgers' eternal attempts to strengthen his squad, according to David Pye's succinct snapshot of the current situation. No word on who might be coming and going, but if things start to warm up it might be the cue for a rolling diary tomorrow.
With the club riding along on a crest of a wave (ahem), the decision has been made to hold a fans' forum in the very near future. Which you can watch on Mariners World. And, er, that's as much as we know, because that's as much as the club has decided to tell us. There's plenty to debate regarding the club at the moment so there is good chance of a heated night. Which means all too suddenly I am relaying the most predictable news of all: the reserves lost yesterday, 4-0.
The OS warms up for Friday night's game (yes, Friday again...) against Macclesfield with a piece reminding us about last season, something about the first five games don't really matter despite Town starting last season like shit off a stick.. It's clearly a work of fiction and pure fantasy; the author's "abiding memory of our last meeting with the Silkmen was of the sight of over 2,000 fans forming a sea of black and white and singing their hearts out [at Moss Rose]." My abiding memory of last season's trip to Macclesfield was how, like the news wires today, quiet it was.
Tuesday 29 August
Wasn't that a lost weekend. No performance from Town. No bank holiday Monday game. No Bond film. And no Cod Almighty. Whereas we can apologise for the latter (something to do with a hard disc failing, if you're bothered), we can't apologise for the embarrassing 3-0 runaround given by the mighty Shakers on Saturday. Town manager Graham 'Buck' Rodgers was in no mood for being soft though, as he lambasted his players in the local rag. "The players have let me down, they have let themselves down. The way I see it, more importantly they have let down the fans of this club. The fans paid their hard-earned money to come all the way over to Bury to support the club and they had to watch that." And then, while your Stand-In Diary was mulling over his top five local(ish) breweries and celebrating supporting a team on the other side of the world, Rodge hauled the players in for training on Sunday and Monday. Ha ha! Paul Bolland reckons in almost Sladeian manner that hard work is what is needed to get things back on track.
And if seeing a team in the black and white halves lose by a mere three goals isn't enough of a margin for you, the reserves are at home to Hartlepool today. Town are trying two trialists former Manchester United striker Kyle Moran (not Morgan as the OS has it) and Danny Thomas, previously of Boston, Leicester and Bournemouth. Meanwhile, you might have missed Terry Barwick's release from Blundell Park, and he has wasted no time in joining up with another Mariner, Tony Gallimore, at Northwich Victoria.
Oh, can any of you better a local selection of breweries than Salamander, Copper Dragon, Taylor's, the Saltaire Brewery and Rooster's? Let us know.
Friday 25 August
According to the AA website, Bury is a mere 40 miles away from Stand-In Diary's Leeds abode. Consider then yesterday, when basking in the glow of several beers, I decided that what I really need is to commit to trips to Wycombe (195 miles) and Torquay (303 miles) later this season. But with successive weekends featuring home games (85 miles, times two), the line has to be drawn somewhere. So supping in the Fighting Cock in Bradford while watching the Challenge Cup final, and then taking in Pedro Almodovar's wonderful looking Volver seem more inviting prospects than making the relatively short trip to northern Manchester this bank holiday Saturday. If I sound nonplussed about the game, or even nonchalant, fear not. Sometimes stepping outside of the world of Town provides a little respite, perspective, and a touch of life, something a number of Town fans could do with at the moment. "Don't panic!" is the advice given by the Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy. And it is advice that a vexed Town fans could take heed of for the time being. Fingers off the big red PANIC button. Untill we lose at Bury that is.
Songs In The Key Of Life. Talking Book. Superstitious. To many these wonderous things aren't what Stevie Wonder will be remembered by. No. It's more likely to be I Just Called To Say I Loved You. Ebony and Ivory. Or even theme tune to the awful Gene Wilder film The Woman In Red. In the same insane way, there are people out there who have wept at the prospect of Fen Butcher's departure to Peterborough. "Oh," they start, with a pause for you to compose yourself for the life changing revelation that is to follow. "Who will be Town's emergency striker now?" And you can't help but smile, as Butch's role at the club was reduced to bench-warmer and occasional ineffectual target man, something difficult to justify for the remainder of his three year contract. The Grimmo Telepgraph reveals that the move was initiated by Son of Futch, while Chairman John goes into more detail, somewhat surpringly calmly, seemingly suggesting that Peterborough approached Futch directly.
Team news ahead of tomorrow's game shows that Macca's knackered, Whitts could be fit, Bolly should climb off Dave Moore's trolley, and Reddy should be ready, at least for an appearance from the bench. New signings Danny Boshell and Nick Fenton could figure, but going by David Pye's chat with Rodge Martin McIntosh will certainly be in after sitting out Tuesday's cup tie: "The defence will see changes with Tosh back in."
ntl recently posted a leaflet through my letterbox saying that I can have digital telly and a telephone line for "just 50p a day". My local gym promises me fitness (whatever that is) for "only £1.50 a day!" And now the club have got a hold of this marketing wheeze, pointing out that for "a mere 10p a day" you can have the club's Mariners World service. Carrying this on my Town-related expenditure brings my monthly Gold Bond to 14p a day, my season ticket repayment a quid a day, and writing the diary costs 50p for the can of Irn Bru from the Cod Almighty Towers drink machine. Still if you have 10p a day going spare...
"Big time snooker is back in Grimsby" the Grimmo Telegraph tells us with giants of the biege rolling in to the Auditorium. And all for fifteen quid and fifty pence, more or less the same price we get fleeced for to watch Town these days. The club can breath again - they won't need to move a game as this event cues off on Thursday 19 October.
And, finally, show a bit of pride in your local architecture and vote for the Dock Tower as Britan's unsung landmark. The tower is currently languishing behind Jodrell Bank, Cheshire in sixth out of eight positions, above the Hull's beloved Humber Bridge. And when you've voted, get everyone you know to do the same. Get to it people!
Thursday 24 August
There was a diary here once upon a time. Then our ISP decided to lose all our files. Sniff. And it was a beauty. Sniff.
Wednesday 23 August
1635. The Acadιmie Franηaise in Paris is expanded to become a national academy for the artistic elite. The speed limit for a hackney carriage in London is set at 3mph. And also the number of supporters who turned out to witness last night's 3-0 League Cup defeat at the feet of Crewe. Coincidentally, 1635 is 4331 according to the Chinese calendar - also the kind of attendance that Town's bigwigs should have been trying to usher through the Blundell Park turnstiles last night. At least loads turn up on Fridays though, eh.
Red-Faced Diary here to fill you in on the movers and shakers in today's World Of Grimsby. And let's concentrate on the action on the pitch, rather the inaction in the stands of Blundell Park last night.
There's an interview on Mariners World with the Rodge about last night's dismal display, when the visitors chalked up their first win this season. But the club - the capitalist fiends! - has removed the 'download' feature, thus making MW streaming interviews unwatchable with my st-st-st-stuttering work internet connection. And if an internet site doesn't work properly at your place of employment, just what is the point? Thankfully, the Grimmo Telegraph has bypassed the club's attempts at exclusionist exploitation (or is it exploitational exclusionism?) by going to the lengths of transcribing the managers' thoughts. Hooray! Rodgers explains: "They were better and quicker than us and I don't really have any complaints. Their clinical finishing on the night was the difference. They were lethal. But on the whole I don't think we deserved to win the game." Long-serving Crewe manager Dario Gradi (as he is known by deed poll) was more concerned that his side didn't take the multitude of chances that came their way. Long-suffering Town fan Tony Butcher felt that "Town were never going to score. It was one of those games, and Crewe did well to keep the score down." And with Town's impatient fans getting a bit irate, the manager has moved to assuage them by reiterating the need for more players before the transfer deadline...
...which is handy, as Radio Humberside last night announced that Alan Pouton - God to many, pub player done good to others - is on the verge of re-signing for Town "in a matter of hours". It's been rumbling on for days, verging on weeks, this one, even though the club's OS went to great pains to completely learn how to use a spellchecker in denying last week that such a move would happen. Like a brutal whipping, Pouts's presence should bring some much-needed bite in midfield and urgency to the team, and sooth the savage beast that is the Pontoon. Either way, at least the club's official means of communication has, at last, confirmed that
Gary Bushell Gary Boshell Danny Boshell is talking about a move to Town.
To your correspondence, then. David Elsey has been in touch about staying at Blundell Park. "Why not do this instead of moving: 1. Buy all the houses behind the Main Stand as far as Harrington Street; 2. Demolish them; 3. Move changing rooms to John Smiths stand; 4. Demolish Main Stand; 5. Turn pitch through 90 degrees; 6. Demolish Osmond and Pontoon stands and rebuild as longer and larger side stands; 7. Build new stand at Harrington Street end. Pipe dream or possible plan?" I seem to remember such an idea being mooted a couple of years back, but it was dismissed offhandedly for some technical reason or other. Anyone else?
A handy hint for Chairman John and David Burns comes our way from Ben Gray, who has been swotting up at work recently. "I have just returned from a corporate brainwash/training course on negotiation skills. One of the focuses was on achieving a win-win situation. I mention this because in light of the recent statement by Positive John that 'sometimes there are no winners and we just have to get on with it'. I would be happy to pass on the details of the course to both Mr Fenty and Mr Burns. Perhaps a few role plays could help settle this matter?" Would it involve David Burns squealing like a pig? I'd like to hear that on air.
With the warmer weather starting to settle in again, a timely throwaway note arrives from Eve Barnard, who wants it to be known that "we had an Angelo's ice cream van pull up every day just outside the gate of Toll Bar school. He must have been about ten metres away from the gate and therefore breaking zee lower. When I didn't have a fag to smoke whilst walking down the cycle-track back to Waltham, I usually opted for one of Angelo's two-ball screwballs (insert your own pun here!)." Er, pass on any more of your ice cream-related incidents to the usual address. I'm just thinking of Peter Kaye's ice cream man.
And finally, it's Dan Humphrey, a man whose emails are like a constant scratch at the back of your throat: "Tony Butcher must be skating on thin ice by referring to Son Of Futch as Fen Butcher. Hereafter he must be referred to as Bony Tutcher, which sounds WRONG." I'll tell you what's wrong, Dan: getting changed after a knackering game of four-a-side footie between a fan of Scunthorpe United on one side and a Lincoln fan on the other. Goodbye!
Tuesday 22 August
"Ground control to Deviant Diary. You have permission to land. Repeat: you have permission to land. Over." With feet firmly planted on terra firma, Citizens Advice Bureau Diary reports for duty the day after the day before.
Just seen big-gloved Curtis Woodhouse on Look North. Not nice when you're trying to eat that meal of the rising sun they call breakfast. Apparently there'll be more from estranged Curtis throughout the day. Luckily I have other stuff to do. Imagine watching every local news bulletin. What do you mean you do? No! Really? Apparently football had become a "chore" over the last three to four years. We can all empathise with that, Curtis. The big question is why it took so long to quit football and follow every boy's lifelong dream of inflicting brain damage legally?
In my occasional role as Citizens Advice Bureau Diary I shall endeavour to enlighten readers with snippets of information pertinent to big issues that affect all of our lives. As an example I recently learned that it is an offence for ice cream vans to sound their chimes before noon and after 7pm. The whole chimes issue is really cloudy. It is also an offence if the noise gives "reasonable cause of annoyance". How on earth do you measure that? Vans are also not supposed to use chimes within sight of another trading van or more than once every three minutes. Or within 50 metres of schools or churches (when in use). It all sounds very stressful being Mr Softee. On a personal note I think it should also be an offence to chime the Cornetto theme when that is the one product not stocked. You know who you are.
Back to Town matters and it appears we are once more on the verge of signing Danny Boshell. Apparently Danny has his own rubber stamp, which is nice. The OS has no mention of this deal and how we bravely "beat off" Conference giants Northwich Victoria. It does, however, tell us that our useful new McIntosh will not be allowed to play in tonight's lager-sponsored cup first round tie with Crewe. He hasn't got a note from his mum but the effect is the same. Fen Butcher is tipped to fill his shoes. And then some.
Finally, via the magical medium of email Paul Wright has forwarded his rather sinister dream to send this lot to Hull. Good thinking but geographically a bit too close to home for me. If you have any better ideas as to where to stockpile the UK's radioactive waste, do get in touch.
'Til we meet again, hold on to your dreams. Just keep them to yourself if at all violent or otherwise threatening to health. Thank you.
Monday 21 August
So little to say, so much time to say it in. This is Deviant Diary, this is what I do.
It's Monday and I've got Friday on my mind. The mystery of the Disappearing Oirishman deepens, with a man in big hat being called in by the local constabulary to help search for the body. Gram Roget is perplexed and spent a long time choosing his synonyms before winking at John Tondeur's microphone in the after-match press conference. It's all getting as tiresome as the magic roundabout of Pouton's return. It's always next week, isn't it. Honest John says the cheque is in the post.
As Big Keef Alexander was spotted walking up Blundell Avenue on Friday, that must mean he's about to launch a daring raid upon our sack store. How could we cope without Terry Barwick. We do still employ him, don't we?
We've been talking yawnsome rumours, and not big-selling mid-seventies AOR rock. Cod Almighty's taste and accuracy filter has been working at 110 per cent capacity, but these summer rainstorms have caused more wheezing and grinding than Town's midfield. Pfg... grzy...Vic Mackie... Tskimboid... Woo-woobung... Chris... Hargreaves... doh! The iron-clad walls of Cod Almighty had kept this in solitary confinement since that day in May. We did it for your own good, for your psychological well-being. We care for you, we really do. Someone will be suggesting Tommy Widdrington next, presumably in a vat of boiling acid, although the boiling is optional and costs just £5 extra. All in a good cause, you know; all proceeds to keep this site going. Mr Normal Diary would love to hear your other ex-Town player/choice of Shakespearean death combinations at the usual address.
What shall we call McIntosh? "Tosh" seems a bit rude, and woefully inappropriate given his
performance of Friday night.
Today I might be mad, but tomorrow I'll be glad, I've got the League Cup on my mind. The club expect some people to turn up and pay. Good luck to them. Season ticket holders have until five o'clock to look outside their kitchen window to see if it looks a bit windy and to remember that there's a game going on.
Oh, and Gary Cohen "could" be back in training in September. Yeah, whatever. Can we go back to making up conspiracies?
Breaking news... breaking news... breaking eggs... breaking legs... breaking bread
A helicopter from RAF Leaconfield has found him wandering in a field near Ashby-cum-Fenty! Luton's Michael Reddy has been troubled since the game against Rotherham in early March during his secret unsuccessful loan to Bristol City, I assume.
Friday 18 August
Hi guys! Durham Diary here, in association with Tesco 'Honey & Nut Bran Flakes'. And yes it is afternoon. And yes I am a student. Hope you all enjoyed your breakfasts as much as I'm currently enjoying mine.
What do you do when it's miserable weather in the middle of summer? Not play cricket is one answer, as I discovered yesterday. Another is to borrow a McIntosh, which is precisely what Rodger the Bodger did this morning. Perhaps expecting rain for an entire month is a little pessimistic, but that is the length of time for which Martin McIntosh will remain on loan from Huddersfield. He's 35 and a central defender is all you really need to know, have a look on the OS if you want their take on it.
Enough of this negativity, whatever would McFenty say? Let's find a positive take on all of this. Mcintosh is over six feet tall, has played for Stockport in his career, and signed for Hibernian for £250,000. Which all proves beyond any doubt whatsoever that Rob Jones will, in fact, play for Grimsby again. And if that isn't enough to send you to the next paragraph with a smile on your face I don't know what is.
And here is that next paragraph. Are you still smiling? Rodger the Dodger still is. And he's still looking to sign some more players before the end of August when the transfer window slams shut in the breeze. Rumours that he's keeping tabs on Steven Umbrella and Jimmy Wellingtons are entirely false. "We are hoping to bring in a tough tackling midfield player very soon. He is a player a lot of people around here will be aware of" proclaims Rodgerses the Gafferses. Remember when I told you all ages ago that Pouton was coming back from Gillingham this year? Which is only my second 'prodigal son' prediction of today's Diary. You can tell there isn't a lot for me to write about today can't you?
Which is as good a reason as any to leave you all in peace while I go and get another bowl of cereals. Enjoy the rest of your afternoon boys and girls, and I'll see you all at the Mansfield match tonight. I don't care what the weather man says when the weather man says it's raining...
Thursday 17 August
The world sends 60 billion emails every day. A few of them lately have contained paragraphs of bemoaning content. Along the lines of: "If we can't sign anyone before the Mansfield match then why they can't they at least leak a few daft rumours as a sop to the erstwhile Town cerberus?" But your Guest Diarist's inbox remains resolutely empty of any such transfer prattle. Look here today not for news; not for spiritual guidance nor fashion hints. Nary even recipes or poetry. Except there is a bit of stale news in the final paragraph. So read on anyway, gentle reader.
Do not expect to find any advice, save this piece, which is aimed at the sorry soul known to Cod Almighty readers as Ian Rawson. Ian wrote a piece this week about listening to Town on the radio. His problem appeared to centre round having to leave the bosom of his family to sit in a cold spare bedroom in order to listen to the match commentary on the internet. His description was so graphic that I could almost smell that room myself. But wait. To replicate the world of wireless you just need to enter the, err, world of wireless. Buy wireless headphones, that man. Or, even better, get one of those wireless transmitter thingies that broadcast the signal from a headphone slot straight in to the nearest tranny on 107.5 FM. Your correspondent did the former and is even able to take the dog for a short walk you know, the one where she can do her business without missing a second of the commentary. If you shop around on the internet you'll have change from a tenner, I reckon. Which I hope is a few quid less than the club has spent on upgrading its own jungle drums. At a quid a week Mariners World looks a dead cheap way to avoid the depression of the Dave Burns phone-in. Unless, of course, the club replicates it with Dave Smith live at five (ready to take your calls, internet fans).
On to the standing news, which is mercifully brief today. Isaiaaah Rankin is back in full training. As is Sir John of McDermott. This we know because the Telegraph told us in a mercifully brief rewrite of the news reported earlier by the official site. Oh, and if you want to win tickets for the match tomorrow night, then the answer is not A or C. The competition closes at noon tomorrow and is run by those expanding people at Mariners World. See yer.
Wednesday 16 August
Afternoon, Richie. Afternoon, everyone. Stand-In Diary stepping in to the breach on this slow news day.
Stuart Watkiss took charge of his first reserve game yesterday. And his charges got off to the kind of start you expect from a team whose reputation is built upon last season's enviable record of a winless campaign. The OS front page teaser doesn't mess around with "Young Guns almost do it", possibly a reference to wild trialists Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen and Casey Siemaszko. The report notes that Town were three-nil down by half time, before Paul Ashton and Danny North reduced the arrears to one goal. "Local lad" Will Clifford of Grimsby, Cleethorpes and District Sunday League Division One side Seven Seas played the first half. There are no reports on whether the management team reckon he can make the step up from local league footy or make like the last "local lad" to have a stab at the footballing dream, Bobby Lewsam.
Sticking with the theme of reserves, one-game Town trialist Robbie Foy is havin' a go of it with Scunny's stiffs. In a 4-2 win for Laws's men, the wide-boy Foy has scored what sounds like the kind of goal a dad scores against his kids in the backyard - picking up a loose ball, bursting forward beating a couple of players and sprinting clear before leathering the ball into the flowerbeds. I mean from the right side of the penalty box. Remember, Town don't have the need for such explosive goalscoring exploits from the wing especially with the emergence of eager youngsters Peter Bore and Peter Beagrie.
Which is the perfect segue for an an engaging and enlightening interview on Mariners World. Running under the slightly misleading title "Who's the next Peter Bore?", Woods looks back on the youth team's 1-1 draw at Lincoln last weekend, whinging about the pitch, how the young 'uns will become men by playing reserve team footy, and how he sees his job as "getting as many youth team players into the first team as I can". Here's a fact for you, and one that might explain Phwoar Bore's calmness in front of goal: the young lad was moved at the start of last season from up front to the right wing.
And finally, a scan of the web reveals no more increasingly boring Radio Humberside-John Fenty mud-slinging. Just as well, as it was looking incredibly meek compared to the Grangerford-Shepherdson feud in Huckleberry Finn. Boys, if you're gonna carry out a vendetta, do it right.
Tuesday 15 August
Most spectators at Town's three matches so far this season would observe, I think, that the team looks horribly weak in defence and short of alternatives up front. Not to worry, though Raham Grodgers is trialling a midfielder! After being released by Cardiff at the end of last season Willie Boland was about to sign for Swindon earlier this summer but dropped the pen and legged it out of the room when he heard that third division Swansea were interested. For some reason it never worked out back in Wales, though, and the player found himself a free agent once more. Boland is an injury-prone defensive midfielder who began his career with Coventry, has scored three league goals in 272 appearances, and may have crippled Peter Handyside some time in the late 20th century. According to the Mariners' official website he may join in with training today, though there is so far no word on whether he will play for the reserves away at Rotherham tonight, where Stuarts Watkisses will be making an early bid for the manager's job by attempting to win a match.
Planet-straddling former GTFC icon Georges Santos has been rumoured all summer long to be on the verge of a return to Blundell Park. Even as he strutted his intimidating stuff in friendly matches during a trial for Brentford, the Santos-to-Grimsby whispers continued apace. Will they continue to continue now that the player is hoping to earn a contract at Brighton? Possibly. Does the Diary give much of a stuff? Not really.
Speaking of Peter Handyside, which we were two paragraphs ago, he is about to sign for Hucknall Town of the Conference North. The career of the former BP hero has followed a disappointing track since he left the Mariners in 2001, despite an initially impressive spell at Stoke. It never really clicked for him at Barnsley (see also: Gallimore, T; Boulding, M; Donovan, K), and after that it was headlong into Conference relegation battles with Northwich Victoria. Handyside (or Handysides if you prefer, which most Grimbarians do) is now 32, by which age he was widely expected by supporters of his first club to be a Premiership regular and captaining Scotland to World Cup glory. Peter Bore, please take note.
If anyone knows what John Fenty is on about now, can they please contact the Diary. Town's increasingly incoherent chairman has posted another statement on the club's official website about the blokey posturing competition going on between him and David Burns, and the longer the contest drags on, the less understandable any of it seems to be. Indeed, Mark Stilton has emailed the Diary to comment. "Given that everyone's joining in with this war of words over the radio thing," writes Mark, "I thought I'd join in. In response to Fenty's opening paragraph I'd just like to say: What? What is that? Is that English? Is the OS just patched straight into Fenty's head these days so we just get a stream of (mental) thought rambling on to the web? I'm frightened. The man's power is clearly limitless. This money they spent on hi-tech 'commentary' devices was obviously spent on some kind of Bond villain-esque, control-o-dome, brain-warp-the-masses, freakish electrono-device... I am Fenty. I am Fenty. Come visit my dome. Great Coates. Great Fenty. Great!"
Lastly today it's Paul Wright, who has also emailed the Diary about some gibberish but this time the nonsense is the Diary's own, not the chairman's. "Your Diary entries are largely excellent pieces of writing, bordering on art at times," he begins. "However, where has the editor gone in the past three or four days? If you can look up how to spell 'methylenedioxymethamphetamine' how can you not proofread the work?" I don't know what you mean, Paul. I've seen the birth certificate and Raham Grodgers is what it says.
Monday 14 August
Despite his insistence that the Mariners deserved a point and possibly three from Saturday's visit to Bristol Rovers, Raham Grodgers is promising that his team will be strengthened sharpish. The manager has signed four players since his appointment earlier this summer, but ten have left for pastures newer, greener or Yeovil-er, and about a month after Town said a new centre-half would arrive any minute Grodge is telling the Grimsby Telegraph that he is now "very close to bringing someone in". He adds that he "would like it to be done by Friday, and perhaps even earlier", so supporters can realistically expect the move to be completed by the end of January's transfer window or possibly this week if the manager mentions to his transfer target that there's a family fun day at Cleethorpes Boating Lake this Saturday.
If you've managed to stay awake through the club's latest 'war of words' with the local media, then the Diary will have two of whatever you're on. And until such time as these mighty stimulants arrive in the Diary's possession I will abdicate my quasi-journalistic responsibility to read carefully through John Fenty's latest stroppy, nay, antagonistic outpourings on the subject and decide whether to take the piss out of him, the club's official website, Radio Humberside, or all of the above. Richard Dawson, for one, remains onside. "A shame he did not make this statement at least a week ago," he writes in an email to the Diary, "but well said Positive John. Please make sure that Cod Almighty folk are roused from their Monday torpor sufficiently to become aware of the paucity of the Humberside offer and the unjustifiable arrogance and belligerence with which Burns tried to defend it. Then they can get back to slacking quietly." Will that do?
As soon as Sean Carr sends his report on the Bristol Rovers match, we will publish it. Promise. Then he can get back to slacking quietly as well. See you tomorrow.
Saturday 12 August
Town make it two defeats in five days by virtue of a 50th-minute Bristol Rovers goal that should have been disallowed for offside, oh yes, definitely, no argument about that, to the extent that Phil Barnes and Tom Newey were booked for doth protesting too much. Grahams Rodgerses is in optimistic mood, insisting that his side was much improved from the midweek drubbing at Wrexham and deserved at least a point, but last weekend's sunshine surprise against Boston already feels like a long time ago. Stay tuned to Cod Almighty for our forthcoming full account of the game, courtesy of guest reporter Sean Carr.
Friday 11 August
Hiya guys! Durham Diary here, refusing to write an interesting first paragraph because you're not paying me enough, or is it that I'm paying you lot too much? I really find it rather difficult to remember, but I know we're having an argument about something.
Oh, that's right. Radio Humberside and David 'Third-Degree' Burns have decided that they will not cover this season's Town matches, so the club has bought some commentary equipment and installed some new phone lines, apparently, and are ruddy well going to do it on their own. Which sounds like an expensive way of avoiding coming to a mature agreement with the Beeb, if you ask me. I personally am not affected too much: I spend most of the season at uni and get commentaries from Mariners World. But I am not your typical Town fan, who will now be unable to follow Town's away matches without shelling out for either tickets and travel or a fairly expensive Mariners World subscription. One gets the sneaky suspicion this one, like Paul Bolland on ecstasy, will run and run.
The Grimsby Telethingy has run an interview with Paul Barnes, Town's decidedly dodgy-looking new keeper. You don't need to read it; it's just the stock Town player's interview (must do better, lads training really hard, big game...). In fact I only mention it at all for the line "Teams will kill you off and then you are dead and buried", which seemed worthy of being pointed out for some reason. "A few clean sheets would boost confidence and the wins will follow after that" is definitely not worthy of comment, so I will not write anything about it. Ooops.
The OS has drafted up a predicted side to face Bristol Whichever tomorrow, including both Bore and Toner in the starting line-up, with Luton's Michael Reddy the noticeable absentee. What I'm getting round to asking is whether you wish we'd taken the £300k for Reddy last season when it was on offer from Bristol Whatever? That's one to ponder while you sit doing whatever it is people sit and do on a wet and dreary Friday afternoon.
Which is all I have to tell you about today. If anyone is going to Bristol Wherever tomorrow I hope you enjoy the game and Town win with a clean sheet. But don't bank on any of it. If you see Lawrie Lennence pull a disapproving face at him from me. I'm off to a wedding in Guildford, but I'll be slyly checking WAP at five-minute intervals for the score. As for today, I'm going to find a good book and go back to bed. I hate days like this.
Thursday 10 August
Some people want to give Dudley Ramsden nine million quid to go away. Isn't that about what it ended up costing Town as well?
Yes, folks it's one of those news days that are slower than Peter Beagrie on ketamine, and as the Mariners' search for a central defender goes on into the autumn hungry Town fans must try to satiate their appetites for information with the knowledge that former player and manager Paul Groves is enjoying life on the coaching staff at Portsmouth just fine, thankyou very much. The Grimsby Telegraph has hunted PG down to a tatty five-a-side pitch on the outskirts of Nether Wallop, where he enthused: "I'm really enjoying it here. The lads are a fantastic bunch and it's a good environment to work in." Groves' confirms his remarkable feat of landing on his feet by adding: "The support is phenomenal nearly 4,000 for a pre-season friendly at Havant and Waterlooville." Four thousand would, of course, have counted as a great crowd for a first team game during the latter days of Groves' spell as manager at Blundell Park.
Luckily for the Diary's hopes of spinning out another paragraph, Mat 'The Hat' Hare has emailed on a hot topic du jour. What is it that he wants to talk about? "I wanna talk about this new kit, Diary." Righto, Mat. Go on then. "I don't like it. The socks are quite clearly constricting the movement of the players' legs and slowing them down. And the shorts are ill-fitting too. And the shirt goes against all tradition doesn't it? I mean other clubs don't have to put up with this rubbish. And it weren't like this when Lawrie Mac was in charge. And Buckley may have been a miserable sod but at least his teams played in proper kit didn't they. It's a sign of the times when the players have to wear this kit and play football. I blame Fenty. All this money he's spending trying to relocate the club to Great Coates has obviously had an impact on the kit budget and we've had to go for the cheap option. I mean, I haven't actually seen the kit at all other than the shirt pictures the OS had for a while but I don't like it." Thanks, Mat. Is that a direct transcript of Radio Humberside's Football Forum, or did you paraphrase it?
That's it. I'm off. Guest diarist tomorrow, Town v Lennie Lawrence on Saturday. See ya!
Wednesday 9 August
In what was possibly the worst Grimsby performance since the first hour against Boston last Saturday, the Mariners were tonked 3-0 by Wrexham last night. His team's crap defending has got Grahams Rodgerses losing his religion and suggesting that he will make some changes for the visit to Bristol Rovers this Saturday. Consider this the slip that brought him to his knees. Just when you thought you'd seen every possible misspelling of 'Grimsby', the Daily Post manages a new one, and Wrexham's local paper is so excited about the outcome at the Racecouse Ground that it reckons Town fielded a "near full-strength side missing only Gary Cohen", entirely forgetting to mention the four extra signings needed before the GTFC squad can be thought of as anything approaching full strength.
If last night's outcome has already got the messageboards calling for Rodgerses to be replaced by Alan Curbishley then here's a tale that might improve your mood. He may have a name like a porn star, but Ron Cox is a pensioner from Scunthorpe who blew up his house by mixing Cillit Bang with petrol. The resultant turbo-charged cleaning fluid was ignited by the boiler, and he has had to move out of his house while it is repaired. Interestingly, adds the Sun, 75-year-old Ron also "cheated death" in the Flixborough explosion of 1974; if he leads that much of a charmed life, surely Rodgerses should try and get him out of retirement to play left-back.
Today's Diary inbox contains just six words, but I will defy you to find a more pertinent half-dozen all season. "Where have the red socks gone!?!?" demands a flabbergasted John Pakey. Indeed as the Diary remarked to Tony Butcher at Blundell Park last Saturday, Town will never win anything in that kit. Or will they? Email your thoughts about the socks and shirts to firstname.lastname@example.org, readers. It's not like we've got any new players to talk about.
Tuesday 8 August
"The club tends to be incapable of stating its own case in intelligible English" The Diary, 7 August 2006
"Other media partners subscribe to GTFC overheads by paying a sponsorship fee for rights of access, advertising and notice of points of interest" Grimsby Town Football Club, 8 August 2006
With the playing squad remaining three or four names short of a picnic, the Mariners' row with Radio Humberside reaches the top of today's news agenda as the club attempts to justify itself in characteristically cack-handed prose. GTFC bosses have declared grandly that the club will not be "bullied into accepting a derisory offer" by the Beeb; indeed, they are so pleased with this phrase that they use it on two occasions, even managing to spell "accepting" correctly on one of them. Needless to say, the reader is none the wiser by the end of the piece, and the only information that might enable us to see the situation in a useful context namely the fees paid by BBC local radio to fourth division clubs elsewhere in England is again conspicuous by its absence. Still, why bother explaining yourself properly to your supporters and attempting to resolve disagreements with the media in a calm and mature fashion when it's so much easier to just chuck a playschool tantrum and alienate the lot of them?
But Mr Diary, whispers the devil on my shoulder, surely you are indulging here in precisely the kind of ill-balanced, shit-stirring coverage for which you have previously criticised other media. Shut up, devil on my shoulder, responds the Diary, because I have an email here that will prove you wrong, and besides, you haven't cleaned your teeth. "Until reading your piece today I had no strong opinions about the spat between Radio Hullberside and GTFC," writes Phil Watson. "However, I now side with 'the board of Grimsby Town for refusing to pay the decreased fees' for coverage of the club's games. What an outrage that the BBC should expect the club to pay for its matches to be covered! Thank goodness we have CA to state the club's case 'in intelligible English' and all without a misplaced apostrophe." Cheque's in the post, Phil a small price for a clear conscience. Should anyone from the club be reading today's Diary, please email to discuss my fee.
With all this nonsense dominating the virtual back pages, anyone would think the Mariners weren't actually playing Wrexham tonight at all, and the fixture list published on Thursday 22 June were naught but a queer dream. I suppose it pretty much was naught but a queer dream after all the games that got moved to Fridays, actually, but that's by the by. This paragraph, at last, is about the team news for tonight, and GTFC have spared their opposition the anxiety of wondering whether Peter Bore would start the match by stating openly that Grahams Rodgerses will begin with the same sleepy XI that kicked off against Boston last Saturday. Unless it's all some sort of elaborate double-bluff thingy, but we don't know yet whether Grezza goes in for all that stuff. Ah, Peter Bore. Let's not place unreasonable expectations on the lad, but with him in the squad there's no way Town won't be promoted by Christmas, is there?
Since the Diary's invitation yesterday for readers to email with opinions about Town's proposed new stadium, literally Mark Wilson has done just that. "I beg to differ with the Diary's assertion that you won't be able to get a decent pint close to the new ground," he begins. "My brother-in-law lives but a short stagger from the proposed site of the Fentydome and he always has a decent selection of beers in the fridge or an oaky red uncorked. I won't have to pay for car parking either! Although he seems far less enthusiastic about the new ground than I am." Thank you for that, Mark. Presumably he'll be less enthusiastic still when you've passed on his address to the Cod Almighty editorial team.
Monday 7 August
One day the Diary might misplace an apostrophe, Town fans might get through 90 minutes without booing their own team, and Tony Blair's tongue might not be eight inches up George W Bush's arse. There is a first time for everything, after all as demonstrated by today's Lincolnshire Echo, where a story about Saturday's game between the Mariners and Boston is headlined Evans lost for words. The notoriously loquacious Pilgrims boss does not quite live up to this promising billing, however, and recovers his power of speech sufficiently to reflect that "all three of their goals were down to individuals switching off". Some observers might counter that both the goals scored by Cuddly Steve's much-improved team were, likewise, due largely to power cuts in the Mariners defence and, moreover, that the home team's miraculous comeback owed more than a little to the decisive introduction as a substitute of Peter Booooooooorrrrrrrrre. Still, if Evans was temporarily struck dumb by the Town wunderkind's awesome debut then at least it would have kept him out of trouble with the police.
Cuh, I dunno. You go through all that time without winning any Lincolnshire derbies, and then once you start you end up winning two on the same day.
Disputes with the local media have been as integral to recent seasons at GTFC as signing gigantic central defenders, slugging long balls towards Luton's Michael Reddy, and rescheduling games to Friday nights without consulting their fans. The only surprising aspect of the latest spat between BP and the BBC, then, is that it concerns the fees payable for commentary rights rather than a presenter dissenting against the doctrine of divine Fental Infallibility. When I wasn't daydreaming lists of similarities between Peter Bore and Theo Walcott, the Diary spent the rest of the weekend after 5pm on Saturday trying to make sense of it all. Most supporters seem to have sided with Radio Humberside by default, either mindful of Town's tendency to make a complete pig's arse of their relations with the media, or just enjoying any excuse for a whinge. CA contributor Richard Dawson, on the other hand, is highly critical of Humberside's position and its coverage of the issue during Saturday. In the interests of balance and because the club tends to be incapable of stating its own case in intelligible English I will reproduce here the email he sent to the radio station that evening.
David Burns spent half his programme today bragging what a great station Humberside is and openly criticising the board of Grimsby Town for refusing to pay the decreased fees put on offer by the station for live match commentary rights. In my view the football club, although technically a commercial venture, is in reality a community asset. And one which is almost impossible to make profitable in the way in which professional football is currently structured. Part of the reason for that is the unfair way in which media monies are distributed and the fact that the BBC pays less to clubs in lower divisions for commentary rights is a classic example of that. The BBC has a duty to its long-suffering licence payers and Radio Humberside has a duty to the citizens of Grimsby and the fans of its football club. The fault lies not with the football club and shame on David Burns for his one-sided presentation this afternoon. I hope that this is properly redressed on air in future days.
Another issue affecting Town fans, and one on which my mind is considerably clearer, is that of the club's proposed move to a new stadium. The Diary's passionate belief is that the Fentydome will be bloody horrible: the setting is as bleak as Glanford Park's, with added stench of Pyewipe; the stadium building will be offensively bland and devoid of character; less than half full for most games, it will be equally lacking in atmosphere; and there won't be a decent pub or pint for miles around. Though this is a minority view among Mariners supporters, it is a view nonetheless, and Mark Stilton has emailed the Diary on the subject of Town's pleas for us all to tell North East Lincs council how ace we think the Fentydome will be. "It's nice of the club to ask us to tell the council what we think of the new stadium plans," he writes, "but it'd be nice if the club would also ask for feedback. I don't want to go on a downer about the new stadium I think
there are positives and negatives to take out of it. I just don't see how me telling the council this will help the club's planning application." Well, readers, if the club doesn't want your feedback on the Fentydome, at least the Diary does. Email email@example.com with your twopenn'orth.
Finally today, don't forget that Town's official website can help with all your planning for away matches this season including our visits to Carlisle, Leyton Orient, Northampton, Oxford and Rushden.
Saturday 5 August
Fred Titmus on a Harrier jump jet!
If any Grimsby Town player has made a more dramatic debut in my lifetime than Peter Bore then the Diary must be in serious need of a memory upgrade, as the 18-year-old winger's contribution against Boston this afternoon was as astonishing as it was decisive. Introduced to replace Luton's ineffective Michael Reddy with about 25 minutes to go, and a lethargic, uncreative Mariners side losing 2-0, Bore scored with his first touch. Isaiah Rankin moved from the right wing to the front to replace Reddy and suddenly looked capable of saving the world. The rest? Rankin, equaliser; Bore, winner; Beagrie, awesome; Diary, barely able to speak. Look out for Tony B's report tomorrow. I'm off to binge-drink myself into a celebratory coma!
Friday 4 August
Your Guest Diarist accidentally dug up a dead dog this morning. Sadly its entrails were long gone, so nothing was gleaned about prospects for the upcoming season. It's what comes, I suppose, with the territory, but I'm left with a tiny pang of regret for not knowing what the dog was called and under what circumstances it was buried under a tree peony. The peony was dead too no plants or animals are ever harmed in the production of this Diary, gentle reader. Soon afterwards it came on the radio that my old mate Arthur Lee had popped his clogs. And that got me thinking about Albert Lee playing with heads hands and feet at the Winter Gardens in the early seventies. Fastest guitarist I ever saw. But speed isn't everything; well, not quite just ask the Town back four. None of whom I suspect are big Love fans or have ever heard of any guitarist called Lee, whether Arthur, Alvin or Albert. At this point I kind of knew it was time to wander home and write the Diary.
John McDermott has spent over half his life playing for Grimsby Town; the average Town fan will have spent about three quarters of their life supporting Grimsby Town. Yet none of us will have a flipping clue how the Mariners are going to perform this season. But passing appears to be in fashion again and the Town squad, although a tad challenged numerically, is an intriguing mixture. Therefore I, for one, have set my personal hope setting to 'springs eternal' (that's three notches above 'ebbing away', for the psycho-mechanically minded). And with Russell Slade telling his new local radio station that he has no money for Reddy and Mr Rodgerses telling the Telewag that young Mr Reddy "likes it here and I have no reason to believe he will give anything less than 100 per cent if selected", there's every reason to think positively about things. Mr Rodgerses is pleased with Reddy's performances in training apparently, and reckons Bolland's poorly thigh is just about better. So there's only Cohen out, and maybe Croft who has slept the wrong way on his neck. As for who will buy Reddy, if anybody, only time will tell.
Gary Harkin has been chatting to the Telegraph as well, saying: "If you are brave enough to play football you will get out of this league. It doesn't have to be kick and rush the promoted teams in the last few years have shown that." Well said, that man, and let's hope you have a decent game tomorrow. It's so nice to be at home for the first match of the season and to have a half-decent referee for a match against what is rumoured by Mr Watkisss to be a much-improved Boston side. Time will tell, of course, but get yersens down to Blundell Park I would. Of course, if you can't be arsed there's always the famous Cod Almighty alternative gig guide. See yer.
Thursday 3 August
Fifty hours from now, twenty-two men representing the Lincolnshire towns of Grimsby and Boston will be starting to kick a bag of air around a bit of grass. This curious ritual is generating interest already possibly because of the last time they did it, when the man in charge of the Boston side became quite irate and vociferous, to the extent that the local constabulary deemed it necessary to eject him from the vicinity lest such gross offence be caused to the eyes and ears of bystanders that they initiate serious disorder. Or, as Lincolnshire folk would say, Steve Evans got chucked out by the coppers for gobbing off. Evans is still to answer FA charges of, um, serious gobbing off in relation to the incident, and has been joking to the Boston Standard about it as he prepares to return to the scene of his torment. "I'm going to take £2.99 with me this time in case I want a Big Mac meal at about half four," giggled the mascara-daubed Pilgrims manager, failing to convince the watching world that he isn't still filled with fury about the whole thing and certainly wouldn't fly off the handle again this Saturday if the Main Stand gives him enough lip.
While we're rubbing our hands in anticipation of this weekend's fish and chips derby, then and because Town still haven't signed any more players, so I've got to pad out the Diary somehow or other you may care to know that Cod Almighty has opened its coverage of the 200607 season by reinstating the popular pre-match factfile thingy that we did the year before last (and it now incorporates Mark Stilton's Refwatch). The site will also be running full-length previews alongside the factfile thingies whenever Si finds time to write one in between earning a living, raising a family, commentating for Mariners World and hangin' with Justin Whittle.
With Grahams Rodgerses still to finish assembling his squad, then, and no new clubs joining today's Reddy Rumour Roster, all that remains for your regular Diary before handing over to tomorrow's guest diarist is to point you towards a really quite nice Rob Jones interview in the Scotsman newspaper. I'm sure the Mariners' former star defender doesn't mean anything nasty when he enthuses about new club Hibernian: "There is a really nice atmosphere about the place, nothing like I have ever experienced before." And he sounds dead chuffed with his new life when he says: "For them to them go out and buy you and offer you a four-year contract, it just makes you feel ten foot tall." Indeed, four years represents quite an extension from Jones's time at GTFC, where shorter-term contracts remain the order of the day. In the Stick's case, however, ten foot tall represents something less of an extension.
Wednesday 2 August
Do you think I should reword this? Those plebs in the stands won't know what we're on about. We might need to simplify it so they can understand. Restrict it to words of one syllable... oh, hello! Didn't see you there! Now I'm sure we would all like to leave aside the issue of which clubs may or may not be queueing up for the services of Luton's Michael Reddy and focus upon the real, hard news this Wednesday lunchtime. Unfortunately there isn't any, so we will have to note that the latest club added to the Reddy rumour list is Sheffield United, which would be even funnier than Leeds.
Gary Cohen's chances of stepping into Reddy's falling-over boots have taken a knock with the news that he won't be playing any football for, er, an indeterminate length of time. Town's official careless whisper website reports that the nippy forward has had an operation on the dicky knee that has prevented him taking any part in the side's pre-season programme, but is less than clear about the time the player may take to recuperate. The piece begins by stating plainly that Cohen "is likely to be sidelined for several weeks" but later quotes GTFC physio Dave Moore, who "would be disappointed if he wasn't available over the next two or three weeks". This seems a little self-contradictory to the Diary, unless Moore is referring to the likelihood of Town's orthopaedic surgeon going on holiday.
It's Diary quiz time now, and ten points go to the first reader who can identify the speaker in the following famous quotation. "Grimsby was a really bad place to live. The town was really old and there wasn't much to do there. It was full of fishermen and it smelled of fish all the time. It was not a very nice place to be and I prefer the smell of London." Oh, good guess but Pope Benedict XVI has never actually lived in Grimsby. It was actually Thomas 'The Frenchman' Pinault, who has doubtless provoked a flurry of frogs' legs messageboard rants with yesterday's cathartic (and very funny) outpouring of why Brentford are a much better club to play for than, um, er, who was it again? What many observers and indeed Thomas himself appear to have forgotten is that the hotel he lived at during his year with the Mariners was above the Radio Humberside offices in Hull. So there was a nice way to mark Yorkshire Day.
Town still haven't signed anyone, in case you were wondering though they were apparently after Orient's Daryl McMahon so let's sneak a peek at the opposition. The Mariners' first adversaries of the 200607 season, Boston, are promising a return to the Conference. Hang on that can't be right. Can it? "We have totally changed our style and will be more like in our Conference days," cuddly Steve Evans has told the BBC. "We are going to try and open teams up by passing," he added hastily, before anyone could ask: "What, you mean you're going to win promotion by making illegal payments to players?"
Today's Diary ends with our brief weekly look at the fortunes of an irrelevant former Grimsby player, and after a year out of football with cruciate damage Danny Coyne has been restored to the Wales squad for a friendly against Bulgaria later this month. Do I care? About as much as Coyne did during his final season at Blundell Park.
Tuesday 1 August
He came, he saw, he fell over. Then he asked for a transfer four days before the start of the new season. Grimsby fans have realised for a while now that Luton's Michael Reddy has enough of a sense of timing to know exactly when to try and get a penalty by pretending he's been fouled, but what nobody knew until now is that this skill extends to choosing the perfect moment to bugger up his club's plans for the following nine months. The jelly-legged Hatters forward has "stunned the club" by requesting a move, reports Town's official website, adding that GTFC had only just been in talks with the player over an extension to his contract beyond 2007. The club's directors will "consider Reddy's request" (for which read "consider how to get the biggest possible wodge for him") but for the time being the 26-year-old Irishman remains a Luton player.
As Platitudinous Uncle Diary is fond of saying, though, just as one door closes another one signs a new three-year contract. And how right he is, for Mariners left-back Tom Newey has done precisely that, even as Reddy has been plotting his exit from Kenilworth Road. Announcing the news that Tom will stay until 2009, the club's website says that the player "has quickly become one of the most consistent performers in the Mariners' ranks" and adds that he "has one of the best left foots" in Town's division. Sometimes, during my wilder flights of fancy, I suspect that the writers of the OS are doing it on purpose, just so that they can see their work quoted in the Diary, when they publish text that includes such horrendous mistakes as this one. And that bit about "left foots" is quite bad as well.
What happened last night? The Diary went to a pub music quiz and floundered badly during the 'spot the connection' round, which comprised seven songs that all peaked at number seven during the year 1977. When I got back after drinking seven pints of ale, I discovered from Ceefax that Town had beaten Leeds 1-0, and went to bed a happy Diary. Then when I got up this morning and turned the computer on I discovered that Town and Leeds had actually drawn 1-1. (I wasn't drunkenly hallucinating because Soccerbase still says 1-0 now look!) My disappointment was assuaged, though, by an email from CA match reporter/commentator Tony Butcher, who described a much-improved performance from Grahams Rodgerses's charges, with only some hesitance in central defence counting against an exciting display of attacking football. Oh, and a big blooper from Phil Barnes for the visitors' equaliser. But Peter Bore continued to press for a first-team call-up with an electrifying performance; Isaiah Rankin looked zippy and menacing; Gary Harkins started to look like a footballer; and Peter Beagrie tracked back occasionally. Despite several edits, the report on the OS still manages to describe the entire first half twice, and explains that "Town handed a trial to former Liverpool striker Rob Foy who was on the bench", only to end with a line-up of starters and substitutes that doesn't mention Foy anywhere. They are doing it on purpose, aren't they.
It's the line-up that's wrong and the other bit that's nearly right, anyway, as former Liverpool winger Robbie Foy replaced Bore after 57 minutes. Edinburgh-born Foy is 20 years old and was released by the Merseyside former big club at the end of last season, following loans at Chester (13 appearances, no goals) and Wrexham (eight starts, 12 subbings-on, three goals). He is primarily a left winger but can also play on the right or up front. A bit of Diary googling reveals that he has been capped five times by Scotland at under-21 level and failed a trial with Dunfermline last month, while a bit more Diary googling further reveals that he also has a good line in sledging. Move over, Marco Materazzi. OK, just fall over, then.
Back to Town's official website, where an item on a council planning meeting about the new stadium unexpectedly manages to be interesting. The text suddenly breaks off from a list of benefits that the Fentydome will allegedly bring to the local community to wonder aloud: "I am not sure that the social inclusion hub works at this stage. Most people will not understand what it is and will be confused. The application does not include most of the facilities included in the hub. Surely it is better to keep the message simple? Would it be better to end this bullet point after the first sentence?" Hmmmm. Do you think they included that bit on purpose, just to get into the Diary?
Today's final word goes to Peter Hopgood, who is coming out in public via the Diary. Picking up on yesterday's reference to the 31 class loco, Peter wishes his family and friends to know that he is a trainspotter and proud: "I always think of GTFC as a LNWR Webb Compound 2-2-2-0. Nice to look at but the wheels went round in different directions when starting! Allegedly." Thanks Peter. I don't get the reference but I'm sure it makes sense. I don't get the reference at all. Not me. Nuh-uh. Ahem... so, in tomorrow's Diary: is Fen Butcher a Cyberman? We investigate! And Boston United's links to the Torchwood project... allegedly.