3510 minutes. That is the exact (give or take injury time) amount of football I watched in my biggest ever season for myself, again. 39 games is far beyond what I imagined and expected my final total to be when starting this season way back in July 2010. There have been some absolutely cracking games and grounds I’ve seen in 2010/11 but on the other hand, there have been some utter guff I’ve had to watch too. This was also the first season I hadn’t been to any Hearts games since 2006/07 which meant I’ve had to view their results and performances from afar. I’ll give my two pence on our relatively decent season right at the bottom, but for now here are my stats for 2010/11 and some awards…
Games Attended: 39
Goals: 131 (3.36 per game)
Most Goals: 9 (Hartland vs Cafe Roma)
Least Goals: 0 (Edinburgh City vs Heriot-Watt University, Cockfosters vs Harpenden Town)
New Grounds: 38 (Croft Park – Blyth Spartans, Stainton Park – Radcliffe Borough, Edge Down Park – Witheridge, Horsden Park – Elmore, Huish Park – Yeovil Town, Simmons Park – Okehampton Argyle, Bristol Road – Portishead Town, Raleigh Grove – Sherborne Town, Wordsworth Drive – Taunton Town, Pavilion Playing Field – Hartland, Meadowbank Stadium – Edinburgh City, Foxhayes – Exeter Civil Service, Sandy Lane – Dawlish Town, Woodspring Stadium – Weston-Super-Mare, Homers Heath – Buckland Athletic, Topsham Road – University of Exeter, Tarka Tennis Centre – BOCA Seniors, Chalk Lane – Cockfosters, Priory Park – Bodmin Town, Endurance Park – Royal Marines, Stadium of Light – Sunderland, Plainmoor – Torquay United, Coombe Valley – Teignmouth, The Mill – Torpoint Athletic, Southern Road – Exmouth Town, Sector Lane – Axminster Town, The Chronicles – Alphington, Globe Arena – Morecambe, Donnacroft – Torridgeside, Lords Meadow – Crediton United, North Street – Wellington, Moor Road – Ipplepen Athletic, Happy Meadow – Bickleigh, Trefew Park – Camelford, Mill Marsh Park – Bovey Tracey, Speeds Meadow – Cullompton Rangers, Ginsters Marshfield Parc – Callington Town, Coach Road – Devon FA)
Best and Worst
Best Game: Teignmouth 2-3 St Blazey – An absolutely cracking cup tie as the higher level side just scraped past a dogged Teignmouth effort. Despite the crap weather, this was a top game and would have happily watched 30 more mins as that was the least Teignmouth deserved.
Worst Game: Radcliffe Borough 1-0 Bury – People slate pre-season friendlies calling them fabricated and training ground routines, but I like them. This game however did question my sanity. The night before my graduation ceremony at uni (no joke) I watched two woefully bad teams in the freezing cold and wet. And it cost me £5. Was lucky to see one goal. Cockfosters 0-0 Harpenden Town was a close 2nd.
Best Team: BOCA Seniors – Remember this is relative to the level they play! BOCA would easily cut in in the SWPL so hopefully they begin to look at stepping up a level as it will become tiring very quickly if they continue to float around in the North Devon Leagues.
Worst Team: Hartland – Fair play to this little village club for fielding 3 separate teams in 3 different leagues, but if your 1st team is guff, then maybe merge them and create a fairly decent 1st team? I saw Hartland lose 9-0 and it was really a deserved spanking. Cullompton Rangers come a close 2nd for being so bad when I saw them.
Best Player: Camelford’s Dan Gusterson was a class player as I saw him rip apart Foxhole Stars and could easily play at a higher level.
Best Ground (Professional): Sunderland’s Stadium of Light wins this award. Great venue and would be rocking on a full house.
Best Ground (Non-League): Bickleigh takes this. Wanted to wait and do Happy Meadow on a glorious day and their game vs Appledore was perfect for it. A must do ground at a friendly club.
Worst Ground: University of Exeter – A soulless place nearly in the middle of nowhere. Not all their fault due to dickhead NIBMY’s around but I won’t be going back.
Most Picturesque Ground: Okehampton in September was extremely picturesque although it does have mighty competition from Bickleigh and its vineyards.
Biggest Dump: Sunderland city centre is a hole. It really does deserve the stick it gets.
Best Programme: Okehampton Argyle’s effort for a Level 11 club is superb. Puts a vast majority of clubs higher up the pyramid to shame.
Worst Programme: Teignmouth charged me £1 for essentially a book of adverts. Poor form.
Best Bar: Buckland Athletic’s clubhouse is a top notch building. Although considering it was built from lottery grant money then it really should be good.
Best Food: Callington Town’s pasties were so good I had two!
Funniest Moment: NEIL! NEIL! NEIL! At Weston-Super-Mare vs Dorchester Town. It was probably one of those moments you had to be there for though.
Best Punch Up: BOCA Seniors vs Exmouth Town. Just a 90 minute long “It’s a Knockout” punch up special on a mudbath. Still to this day say that game should have been postponed for another day.
Hardest Place to Find: I didn’t get lost this season! :o Although due to Google Maps being old, I did turn up at Camelford’s old ground.
Friendliest Club: Awards here to Torpoint Athletic and Callington Town. Some excellent club officials on their committees that other clubs should be envious of.
Most Miserable Club: Radcliffe Borough. Not completely unfriendly but first impressions count and their’s stunk. I won’t be back.
Best Supporters: St Blazey. All singing, all dancing rather than just “sing when you’re winning.” Shame their club play at Level 10, but maybe will play on a higher stage one day. Maybe.
Worst Supporters: None I saw this season. So I’ll give it to general all round plastics.
Best Song: None again. Any recommendations?
Coldest Ground: I was absolutely perishing at Radcliffe Boro and Cockfosters. My visit to Cockfosters was a cold Tuesday December evening though.
Best Goal: Grant Leslie vs Exmouth Town. Left foot volley straight into top corner. Bang, 1-0.
Most Attractive Female Employee(s): The blond woman who served me at Teignmouth was a stunner. In the words of Mr Keys and Mr Grey, “I’d smash it”.
Special Merit Award: All nice people who are involved in grassroots football. None of this corruption shite which happens far higher up.
Hearts in Europe for 2011/12. Had you told me that at the start of the season just gone, I would have laughed at you. Having predicted a 5th or 6th place finish for us, to finish 3rd (albeit fairly close to 4th in the end) means we’ve had a great season. I won’t even look at the negatives as they have been too many recently being a Hearts fan, and will only look at the positive stuff. We were easily the 3rd best team in the league throughout the season and have already starting to strengthen for next time out with the signings of John Sutton, Jamie Hamill and Danny Grainger. I hope they all have a cracking career with us. Big JJ has also got rid of some guff (see ya Jamie Mole ya cunt!) and I hope we are closer to 2nd than 4th next season.
On a personal note, it has been a cracking season just gone and with 2011/12 moving into the unknown, quite literally, I’m hoping to write up some cracking trips for you. Keep reading (if you do!) or following on Twitter and I look forward to continuing my experiences and sharing them with you. Have a top summer. (Team review up soon)