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Hoyland Corner… June 2017

This time of the summer always makes me smile and in similar amounts annoys. People want to know what’s happening, who we’re signing and there’s talk of the outgoing players too. This summer SO FAR, we’ve had the same scenario over the head coach so far, but that’s now sorted thankfully. Attention now turns to the coaching or backroom staff, are people staying or going?

Who knows.

This last season has been a strange one for me, my passion for my football club hasn’t lessened in the slightest but one thing that has, is the need to know everything what goes off in the corridors of power at SWFC. Maybe to coin a popular phrase at this time of this particular year, I’m a little too liberal. But I think the overriding feeling personally is that now our club has a stable base financially, we have had a couple of seasons of something far better than consolidation on the field that I don’t need to panic/worry anymore.

It’s what we were used to, our better players leaving due to financial pressures, players coming in on nothing more than free transfers and well basically not knowing what to expect in mid to late July when we see the first pre season friendlies!

As supporters we all have our own agenda or leaning, different generations who watch our club have seen the whole gamut of emotions possible. But during my lifetime we’ve gone from being on the brink of relegation to the bottom division in 1976, to the cusp of winning the top division in the last season prior to the Premier League’s inception in the early nineties. The last twenty years has been a ride in itself too, from losing top flight status to being back in the third tier, twice. And now, we’re as well equipped as we have been to get back sitting at the feast of cash, which is the Premier League.

Many people will always point the finger of blame at the ‘state of English Football’ being down to Sky and/or the Premier League, it’s unbalanced nature is ridiculously top heavy so that is easy to see why it’s said to be this way. However, without getting to bursting point we won’t see it ending anytime soon, and on the back of Huddersfield’s own goal and penalty promotion run in the playoffs bringing them almost £200m it’s only exacerbated that urge of Wednesday fans to get us up there too.

In the past I have said there’s a part of me which wanted us to stay where we are, pushing in a division which is massively competitive across almost the whole division, not one which is dominated by six clubs. But now, with the last two seasons we’ve just endured… I want out. I want my club to get that adulation of being in the top flight again. Not being that perfect ‘sleeping giant’ cliché anymore.

However, I worry that, and this comes out of the last 20 years, people push for change too much too soon sometimes. In that we change the manager, the players and get into that cycle of all that unsettled nature of a new setup, players not knowing whether they’re in the plans of the coaching staff. That ‘settling in’ period and ‘things will come good’ etc. We’ve got it relatively good at the minute. Across the club we’ve got winning football sides, the under 18’s and 23’s topped their leagues; we’ve got youngsters being courted by other clubs. We’ve got the best playing squad assembled in our first team for a VERY long time. This has been a process curtured via the head coach, his staff and others at the club NOW. It could be a lot worse.

I’m not promoting being a ‘happy clapper’ and thinking we should all sit on our hands and be blind to everything. Not in the slightest. But we don’t need revolution at Hillsborough, I’d argue we need a little evolution. Yes. People will argue this last season was more of a failure than the one before, I see why they say that, but I can’t agree.

We got nothing in terms of promotion in either season, we just got a trip to Wembley the season before. But over the course of 46 games we did more last season than we did the one before. We finished higher, won more games. Progress, genuine progress. I’ll accept what we saw on the field wasn’t as swashbuckling, but we’d have taken Huddersfield’s route to promotion. There’s no way we wouldn’t. After all…It seemed like we tried to!!

Next season, naturally as supporters we want more. We want a touch of the 15/16 side back to go with the ability to grind out results like we did at times last season, we want form AND function. What’s to say we can’t? We’ve a head coach who has taken us to the cusp of Premier League promotion twice. How many more have gone as close as he has in the last 18 years? You know the answer.

Sometimes, we can try to run before we can walk, and for me we’ve got quite a brisk trot on and at the right speed. It’ll come. As much as it hurt to see someone else go up again, I’d rather have the squad we have, aim for promotion with a squad that needs additions rather than wholesale changes when we get there and have stability. But who knows. I might be talking out of my backside. I’m not a football manager.

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Unread article 02/06/2017 at 09:46

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