The Grimsby Town FC

Question of the Week

When should John Fenty stand down?

End of season
When successor found
Job for life!

It's On The Cards!
It's On The Cards!

It's Only A Friendly - Or Is It?

By: Bill Osborne
Date: 26/07/2005

I have never been able to get excited about pre-season friendly games. In fact, so far this season, I have not listened to the commentaries and I have only bothered to read the reports in order to get info on individual players' performance or skills.

Maybe it's my competitive nature but I cannot play a 'friendly' game whatever it is. In my snooker days I always avoided those who offered friendly games. And I have never played a friendly game of cards in my life.

Monday night is card night at our house and we play against our friends for 5 cents a game. I can win 30 cents some nights, but if the 5 cents entry fee was not there, I wouldn't play at all.

It is not about the winning though. It's about competing. Except when I play poker at the casino but that's another story.

So maybe that tells you something about me.

So why on earth am I getting excited about two pre-season friendlies against Leeds and Blackburn?

Because, in my opinion, they are probably the most important games Town will play all season.


Simply because these two games against 'class' teams will test the manager's tactics and strategies, the players commitment, skills and individual talents.

In fact, these two games could possibly affect the attendances at the league games this season because many people will see them as an indication of how Town will fare in the weeks and months ahead.

The new signings Slade has made have not really had the opportunity, so far, to demonstrate if or how they can compete against so called better teams. In the past Town had a reputation of playing their best games against superior opposition and created a great number of surprises.

Now we are in the old fourth division and struggling. We cannot deny that. We are one bad season away from non-league football.

There has not been one signing this season that everyone agrees about. Every one so far has been described as an excellent choice or a waste of money depending on your points of view.

Well the testing time has arrived.

Has Russell Slade got what it takes to lead Town to better days? Will the 'best' signings fulfil our expectations or will they turn out to be donkeys?

Or, will those signings people despaired over, turn out to be the jewels in the crown?

The games against Leeds and Blackburn will almost certainly answer those questions.

Where you right about your opinions of the new signings? You will soon find out.

As for me and my unconcern and lack of enthusiasm about pre-season friendlies, if I was within 500 miles of Blundell Park, I wouldn't miss these two games for the world!

Would you?

"Town are expecting between 1,500 and 2,000 to make the trip from Leeds, with a total gate of around 3,500 on the cards. The Whites have taken impressive travelling support to their last two friendlies - 1,500 to Darlington and 1,000 to Celtic yesterday."

Tickets are now on sale at £10 for adults and £5 for children and concessions.

Turnstiles open at 6.30pm for a 7.30pm kick-off. All areas of the ground are open with unreserved seating.

More than 800 tickets have already been issued.

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