So here we are at last, the football season begins in earnest tomorrow and the first kick of a ball in anger of the 2017/18 season will take place. For us at Concord Rangers we'll be opening the year against Wealdstone, a team that we've had a fair few run-ins with over the last 5 or 6 years.
Most memorable for me are the two fixtures at the Vale during our promotion season, the league game seeing our hosts essentially steal a victory after the Beachboys had played their backsides off having had a player sent off early on in the game. It was frustrating for sure, and the reaction of some of the locals left a lot to be desired at the time. But the gaffer at the time, some nobody named Danny Cowley (whatever happened to him?) said we'd be back in the playoffs and we'd turn them over. DC believed it, and when the playoffs came, so did everyone else.
It was a total reverse this time around, Concord were not at their best, the hosts were the better side for the majority of the game and took the lead with half hour to go. But this time, we stole the win, an equaliser with 2 minutes to go, and a winner in extra time sent Concord into the playoff final (and subsequently on to promotion).
That aside, with the new season comes a number of new faces, both personnel wise to the Concord Rangers team, and club wise to the National League South. We've brought in a mix of experience and hungry young talent, I could list all the new additions to the side but that's a paragraph in itself and to be honest you'll get to know them as you see them play for the Beachboys over the coming weeks.
I mentioned new teams to the league, these include Braintree Town, Chippenham, Gloucester City (who have been moved from the NLN), Havant & Waterlooville, and finally Bognor Regis. Some of these teams we've played before either in the NLS, the Essex Senior Cup or back in the Isthmian League, but as far as I can find (and please correct me if I'm wrong) we've not played Chippenham or Gloucester City before.
Flan, Glen and Ant have been working their socks off over the summer “break” to get the club ready both on and off the pitch for the 2017/18 season, the pitch looks great, the players are ready, the programme is (almost) ready for the first home game on Tuesday, the time is finally here. Last season was tough, but that's now in the past, 2017/18 is a new season and success is there for the taking. It's time to get behind the lads once again and cheer them on!
You Are My Concord!