Glenn Poulton's Summer of Football

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Posted 27th August 2018 - Posted in Fans News

Glenn Poulton talks about his Summer of Football and the build up to the 2018-19 season.

 

This summer it's almost as if football has never been away with Gareth Southgate's men working wonders in Russia and re-installing some national pride. There was even a under 17s Euro tournament being played at local stadiums plus the CONIFA international tournament in London this June to keep us non league fanatics entertained while the domestic football takes a well earned break. 

 

I was lucky enough to take in 2 of the CONIFA games with eventual winners Karpatalya beating the wonderful Tibet national side 5-1. The Tibetans were very well supported in Bracknell Town and a pleasure to share a terrace with. My 2nd game saw Tuvalu convincingly beat Chagos Islands 6-1 but more importantly I witnessed the 2nd ever GREEN card issued to a player in professional football. However the said player did receive a straight red before he managed to leave the pitch with his constant abuse aimed at the referee. Bedfonts Sports FC, a stones throw from Heathrow Airport hosting the latter. 

Rotherham United's New York Stadium was host to a number of games for the EURO U17's tournament, where I attended the final with Holland beating Italy on penalties after a very entertaining 2-2 draw. For £5 it was very much worth the short trip on a Sunday afternoon to see some of the stars of the future. This started and finished all before the NCEL was even over, 2 days later it was Penistone Church 3 - Shaw Lane 4 AET, at Bramall Lane in the Sheffield and Hallamshire County Cup Final. Who knew that would be Shaw Lane's last ever game. 

After all that the domestic goodness of pre-season is back underway and with only the possible top spot to play for this season coming, keeping the core squad together was always going to be a major positive for Hallam so kudos to the management trio on doing so. The only players to have left have moved on to teams in higher divisions if that is any consolation to us. Reece Treasure (Retford) Phil Steers (Staveley) Jamie Damms (Dronfield) Tyler Bradley (Handsworth) Danny Booth (Rainworth) James Dean (Shirebrook) all agreeing to play for The Countrymen as I write this.  

 

Off field its been a 2nd consecutive summer of Me and my team of fellow volunteers doing all that is necessary on making the worlds oldest football ground looking emasculate as ever in time for the new season. And as I sure I've mentioned a million times, it's a pleasure being part of the hard working set of committee members and volunteers of this club.

 

For to many names to mention but you know who you are. A special mention should go to Richard Pillinger and his team who came into water the pitch after this scorching weather we had. Who'd have thought we'd have games being called off for burnt, dry pitches and even more so after the winter we had! 

The 2 home games pencilled in for pre-season are 2 that as a club we couldn't afford to have off with both Sheffield Wednesday and United making the short trips to S10 and both usually bring large crowds. 

 

Hallam 1 - Wednesday (U23) 2

A hard fought game between The Countrymen and a youthful Owls team was an entertaining one on a hot summers evening for all those who attended. A deflection and a neat finish by the Bulgarian, Preslev Borokov put Wednesday 2-0 up at half time, but the grit and determination Hallam showed at the end of last season to climb within touching distance of the play offs showed again when debutant Jamie Damms pulled a goal back with 20 minutes to go. The professional side showed some class to see out the game in the end. Plenty of positives for both sides to take away from Sandygate Road. 

 

It was the first time I've seen my 2 local sides lock horns and it was an absolute pleasure to have contributed to the match day programme and I would like to say a huge thanks to Mike and Andrew Jolley our very professional programme team! From this season onwards teams are not obliged to produce a match day programme for the first time but here at Sandygate Road we are proud to say we definitely will be still doing so, so make sure you pick up your copy of our new look edition for 2018/19! 

An away trip to S35 against Oughtibridge War Memorial FC was called off at last minute due to an unplayable pitch, plus a game with Handsworth Parramore also being called off due to unforeseen circumstances left a little space for extra training sessions for the first team. Add a 5-1 drubbing at Central Midlands side, Clay Cross Town with Jerry the physio getting my MOTM vote is about as much as needs to be said about the trip to the other side of Chesterfield.

 

Hallam 1 - Maltby Main 2

Another South Yorkshire side were Hallam's opposition, this time played on a 3G pitch at The Goodwin Sports Centre which is part of the Sheffield University setup. Hallam included a couple of trialists in their line up. It was a game played at a fast pace and with many chances at both ends. A Sam Smith header wasn't enough for Hallam to share the spoils after the NCEL Premier side went 2-0 up early in the 2nd half but another good work out to say the least.

 

Sheffield FC 0 - Hallam 2

The Alan Cooper Memorial Trophy is heading back to Sheffield 10 from North Derbyshire for the first time in a handful of years after a Mitch Dunne penalty and cracker in the first half. The 2 goals were enough to see off Sheffield FC in the 158th addition of the Worlds Oldest Derby. Mitch Dunne, our leading scorer last season will be a massive loss but we wish him well after signing for Sheffield FC. Also I think it is worth noting the amount of Hallamites at the Coach and Horses ground, We were a large percentage of the 145 crowd. 

Penistone Church XI 0 - Hallam 6

An even better cracker of a goal from Mitch Dunne was the start of a rout for The Countrymen out in the Barnsley district of Penistone, which seems to be the last contribution from the young forward. In a 1 sided game it was the first time I'd seen the officials at this level wear ear pieces and even between the 4 of them they still managed to get some decisions wrong, however it is only pre-season so I'll give them the benefit of that. 

 

Hallam 1 - Sheffield United XI 2

As I'm of the blue persuasion of Sheffield I thought it would be a good idea to give fellow Hallam-ite, 10 year old Alfie Turner but of the red side to do this next piece as I knew he'd give a more honest view of the game. That and the fact I spent most of my time in the queue for the bar so I didn't see much of the game.....

 

Hallam took on a young Sheffield United side on the 31/7/18 at 19:30 which would be both the teams final pre season game before the season gets going. I went with my dad who takes me to all my games and we met with Glenn at the sportsman pub just up from sandygate where I had a bottle of coke, we then walked down to the ground with about 45 minutes to kick off where I got my programme then met with other friends. 

 

There was a lot of new players for Hallam so I was looking forward to seeing how this bunch look ready for the season where if they want promotion they need to finish top of the league with how the new structure is. This is the first time I have ever seen my two favourite clubs play against each other so I’m hoping for a good game. 

 

After the players shook hands the game got underway with united having several early attacks and going 2-0 up at halftime, but the most worrying part of the first half was seeing Hallam captain James Reed going down with an injury which after the game I found out he will be out for most of if not all of the season which will be a massive miss for Hallam as he is a key player. (Hope you have a great recovery James!!)

 

The second half starts with many people still in the que for either abit of food from Anne’s cabin or a beer from the bar, it’s a very busy night at sandygate but it’s great for a club like ours to be this busy, back on the field and Hallam make several halftime changes. Hallam played really well in the second half with keeper Dave Darwent making some key saves and a goal from  Gareth Griffiths which came from a corner after a header had been saved it fell to Gareth who slotted home to make it 2-1 I was really happy about this as me and my dad are Gareth Griffith’s sponsor this season, Hallam kept on pushing throughout the game and the final score been 1-2 to SUFC U23s. 

 

After the game me and my dad stayed for an hour in the clubhouse whilst waiting for the last bus home, I had to the chance to meet Uriah rennie who is the president of Hallam F.C. which was really good as he was once one of the top referees in England, I also had a photo with Gareth griffiths (who as I earlier mentioned I’m sponsoring this season) and to top it off Sheffield United me manager Chris wilder was also in the clubhouse and I had a chat with him, all 3 been very nice men. 

 

I think Hallam will have a strong season and will definitely be up near the top, once again I just want to wish (as I’m sure everyone at Hallam does) James Reed a speedy and successful recovery and hope to see him back in a Hallam shirt as soon as he’s ready. 

 

Today's game against Runcorn Linnets the opposition for The FA Cup extra preliminary round is our first home game of the season, which hopefully we will have another bumper crowd like the previous couple of seasons and be the first of many towards our target of an average crowd of 200+ this season. I am also still looking for people I can can query for future 'know your fellow Countrymen' section of the programme so please get in touch with suggestions! 

 

Glenn Poulton (@PoultonOwl) and Alfie Turner.

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