Front Page – Stiffs find new league
A few weeks ago I wrote asking for proper reserve team to come back and a resurrection of the Football Combination and the Central League. This became more important with Greg Dyke`s proposal that Premier League second strings play in a new League Three and/or the JPT.
Well I am pleased to announce that this week the news broke that Pompey have joined the oldest reserve league in the world!! The Central League has branched out as I have been extolling and embraced clubs in the South!! The Blues will be joined by AFC Wimbledon, Bournemouth, Cambridge, Gillingham, Leyton Orient, Luton and Peterborough in the eight-team set-up.
The Central League is now known for sponsorship reason as the Final Third Development League and Pompey will field a reserve side in the newly-formed Southern Division next season. The sides will facing each other on a home and away basis, playing a total of 14 fixtures. Pompey have not played in a reserve league since they were relegated from the Premier League in 2010. The Central League are running a division in the south of the country for the first time in their 103-year history.
Ernest Barron, President of the Central League, commented: ‘When we partnered with Final Third Sports Media in January we announced our intention to expand the competition to a national format and we are delighted to have recruited eight new clubs to our membership.
‘In addition to this, a handful of other clubs, who for variety of reasons weren’t able to commit to join the division in time for next season, have expressed an interest in competing from 2015/16 so we anticipate the League will continue to increase in size.
‘For the last five years, approximately two-thirds of all players who competed in the Final Third Development League have been under the age of 21 and we are confident the move to a national structure will give us a robust platform in which to help clubs develop young players further.
‘The likes of Rickie Lambert, Joe Hart, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines and Ben Foster all played in the Central League a decade ago and this summer they will represent England at the World Cup. We hope many more will make their first competitive steps in men’s football this way and follow in their footsteps.’
Last season Wigan won the West Division and Final Third Development Cup, while Hull claimed the East Division title and were crowned overall champions of the Final Third Development League by virtue of having the most points of all competing teams.
Where will Pompey play their reserve games and will season ticket holders get free entry? These things and more will be known in due course.
The Hump asks ‘where is all the money coming from?`
Every time the Trust asks for money it just pours into the coffers but where is it coming from?
The Trust had a meeting to sell more shares back in May and managed to sell £50,000. They plan another open day on 28th June and hope to match that sum.
On the forum at Vital Pompey and other sites the group raising money for syndicate shares have just completed the twenty third £1,000 lot with a £500 donation from a fan in New Zealand. Great efforts from all involved.
At lastly as we covered in the week the appeal launched by Awfs and Gianluca Vialli for £250,000 to build a permanent home for the Pompey academy just three days ago is going very well. When I checked just before going to press 562 donors had pledged an incredible £41,100!! Still 58 days to go and almost 20% of the amount raised.
But where is the money coming from? Are we really all Pompey mad or with interests rate so low do we see it as a good investment? Whatever it is great loyalty tot eh club and the City.
Tuesday 17 June – League Cup draw 10:00am
Wednesday 18 June – Fixtures out Wednesday at 9!
Sometime Craig Westcarr to sign from Walsall??
World cup corner
Well the World Cup is here as you may have noticed so we cannot ignore it. I had a very interesting chat with a man ‘in the game` after watching Holland`s surprise 5-1 thumping of World Champions Spain on Friday night. The point he made was this –
‘How many times in the Premier League last season did top sides that were two down after fifteen/twenty minutes just fold and end up losing five, six or seven?` He said that in that situation you expect top players to knuckle down and play with pride sorting out the problems and look to limit the damage. The key word there is of course PRIDE. He is of course right there were some strange results last season and maybe the modern player just takes the money and runs.
Back to Spain though they certainly folded to the pace of Van Persie and Robben and seemed to have no plan to deal with the opposition and just felt that if they turned up they would win. Their defence was awful with gaps between the central defenders being exploited time and time again by the Dutch long balls. In the meantime Holland`s five across middle kept their back three well protected. Iker Casillas had an absolute mare of a game and expect David De Gea to replace him next game. It was not the keeper`s fault though but those in front of him who should take full responsibility.
What I enjoyed most though was as the game entered injury time Spanish boss Vicente Del Bosque walked down the players sat on the bench tapping them on the head as if to say you`re playing next game and so are you… Had to giggle!!
Back Page –
The Pompey Supporters Trust have announced that the annual pre-season meeting at Fratton Park will be held on July 18th. In one of the many benefits detailed in the share prospectus shareholders will get the chance to hear from the PST as well as Andy Awford (who it is hoped will bring as many of the squad as possible) and Mark Catlin – CEO of Portsmouth Community FC.
The doors open at 5pm with food and drink available. The timetable then runs as follows –
? 6pm – Welcome & introduction of squad by Andy Awford
? 6.15-6.45pm – Players & Staff to mingle with fans
? 7pm – PST Update
? 7.30pm – Andy Awford Q&A
? 8pm – Close
This meeting is for shareholders only with a strict one ticket per shareholder policy – a separate meeting for PST members will be organised for later in 2014.
Given capacity restrictions in The Victory Suite numbers are limited to 500, so tickets will be distributed on a first come first served basis.
Tickets can be secured here if there are any left.
The Chimes will of course cover the event in full.