Finally, the 2016-17 "ontheroad" football season has ended. It seems a hell of a long time since the first pre-season game between Eastwood CFC and Blaby on 2nd July 2016. Now as we enter the closed season it's time to summarise (although not in any great detail you will be pleased to hear!)
After the Eastwood game, a further twenty pre-season games followed before the season proper began on 6th August 2016 with a CMFL fixture - eventual champions Selston winning 3-2 at Blidworth. My final game was a visit to Sherwood Colliery to watch the Notts F.A. Sunday Intermediate Cup final between Attenborough Cavaliers and Ladybrook Local on 30th May 2017. The time period? 297 days or 42 weeks and 3 days!!
As the season progressed, Kev's outings became somewhat curtailed for one reason or another, and I was at times, "Billy No-Mates" at games! Nevertheless, up to Christmas I had logged 122 games, and with the mild-ish, dry-ish winter, not too many games were called off and even if they were, there was usually a game at Basford or Eastwood's 3G pitches to fill the void.
After Christmas, and with work no longer an issue after my retirement, I decided to try and get as many games in as possible, hoping for 250 + at season's end. Midweek afternoon football became an important part of my getting used to being one of the great unwaged, and these games along with several Saturday morning fixtures saw me actually end up with a total of 285 games under my belt. Not bad for someone who likes to stay as local as possible to his Hucknall base.
The 285 games were, on the whole, watchable. A few were distinctly rubbish and some were not worthy of being labelled "football", but rough with the smooth, eh? April 2017 saw me at 35 games and this was the highest monthly tally of the season - the total enhanced with the usual visits to local league's cup finals.
For season 2016-17, match reporting was never going to be a priority for me. The "ontheroad" blog series is now ten years down the line, and although my love of the game hasn't diminished since the first in blog appeared in 2007-08, the passion for writing match reports certainly has!
Summary of 2016-17 season
Games : 285
Goals : 1305
Average: 4.57 goals per game
Most in a game: 16 - Chesterfield FC U19 13-3 Retford Utd U19 in November 2016
The blog for season 2017-18 is already active. Will I be able to surpass the 2016-17 match total? I doubt it. Will I regain my love of writing/reporting? Maybe - but don't hold your breath! My aim for the season is for "ontheroad" to take in a dozen or so new grounds, and take in as many games as are available locally - will we succeed? Let's hope so.
Saturday and midweek local fixtures and results will still be listed as per usual for season 2017-18. I am looking to add a few Sunday league fixtures and results as well, and hopefully take in a few local Sunday games, all being well.
Kev and I have purchased Basford United season tickets for the coming season - we have enjoyed our many trips to Greenwich Avenue over the past six or seven years, and watching its transformation from a fairly standard ground with fairly standard facilities to a state of the art 3G stadium, has been nothing short of amazing. The season ticket covers the clubs 21 home games - still leaving us with 200-250 other games to go to - hopefully.
Many thanks to all those who still follow the site - after ten seasons I am still amazed at the number of views each week. Also, many thanks to the leagues for continuously improving their result publication times. In the bad old days it used to be 7:30pm before all the results were in - nowadays they are, with the odd exception, available at around 5:30pm.
So it's farewell to the 2016-17 football season -- roll on 2017-18 !!