There is a very old song which starts "Here we are again, Happy as can be".......... well here we are again, not sure about the "Happy" bit, but welcome to the new season on my behalf and on behalf of all the other committee members (my spell check has just pinged up with ........committed members?..... Perhaps some of you will agree that we should be "committed" but I'll carry on anyway!) lets hope it's a good one.
Certainly as far as Hindsford and Heywood St James are concerned, it has been a good start, both remain undefeated. I watched The Tonics (unfortunately without any Gin.....Dev can you sort that for next time please) and have to say that they look to be getting back to being a good strong side a bit like the one that won 3 titles on the bounce, but time will tell.
I've not seen Heywood yet but reports from some of the teams they have played have reached me and the consensus is that "They will take some catching", but we will have to wait and see.
There are other undefeated sides, Irlam Steel, who I watched last week and look as though they mean it this time and Middleton Colts, who have made a great start to their Manchester League journey.
There has as I'm sure you know, been a problem getting referees to cover all the games over the past couple of weeks, but, frankly,this is something beyond our control, with County Cup competitions FA Vase, FA Cup rounds etc, so if your game has been called off or you have had to ref it yourself, I apologise, but, I am assured by the Big Lad in charge that this should now be behind us.
I'm sure you have all seen on Social Media that Mr Paul Scholes, pulled his boots on again this weekend and turned out for Royton Town, and although he couldn't steer them to a win, the publicity it gained for the League was great and thanks also to Royton's Chairman for a great interview he gave on Radio Manchester.
I know Paul is no stranger to the League having seen him several times at different grounds watching his son play, but it is comforting to know that at least some of the "Galacticos" remember their footballing roots.
Now, you all know me pretty well, and so you won't be surprised when I tell you that I need to issue a couple of "reminders", well, whinges, if you prefer.
On my visits to grounds, I have to say that I haven't been impressed with what I will call "Touchline Behaviour". The technical areas are there for a reason so please stay in them, don't wait to be told by the referee or assistant, in the Premier Division please also comply with instruction to limit people in the dug out to those named on the team sheet, PLEASE also keep young children away from the touch lines and out of the technical are and dug out, I would hate for a child to get injured and some smart arse lawyer come after the club on "Health and Safety" grounds......just think On please.
Then of course there is the language, yes I know, we all swear, but it doesn't present a great picture of the League to hear obscenities being shouted across a pitch so please try to curb it.
Kits......Sorry to say that black or very dark kits are NOT permitted in the League, not our decision, but part of the FA Standard Code of Rules that clubs at our level HAVE to abide by.
Please don't say "well the ref can change".... He/She can't, again at this level it is a requirement that the refs wear black. So if you have a black or very dark navy or blue kit and the ref asks you to change it you will have to. I am aware that most of you have kit sponsors so please bear this in mind when talking with them.
That's it for the first effort, enjoy your football, take care out there,
See you all soon,