A scrappy, but hard fought and very welcome 1-0 win against Hadley keeps our League Challenge Trophy hopes alive and we now look forward to a third round match against Bovington from the Hemel Hempstead area in early December.

But everything comes at a price, with success in cup competitions causing an inevitable fixture backlog, which means that we will – weather permitting – play no fewer than seven games this month, with six league fixtures as well as a Premier Division Cup tie against Baldock Town.

After nine league games we are currently lying in mid table with between two and five games in hand on the nine sides above us, and really need the weather to be kind to us to guarantee we don’t fall further behind with our fixtures.

Of course life would be much easier and we would not be so reliant on the vagaries of the English climate if we could enjoy the luxury of all-weather and 3G pitches like some of our competitors can, but that’s another story altogether and certainly one we will be returning to again, probably sooner rather than later.

For the time being, we have to make the best with what we have and we are exceedingly grateful to those organisations that do help us with the loan of their facilities.

It is against all the odds that our Academy has grown and continues to do so, and is a tribute to all of those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that it functions. It has happened because there is a need, a clamour, for what clubs like ours can offer youngsters in our area and has mushroomed not because of the governing authorities, but despite them.

Back in the 2015-16 season our new Academy was running just three sides. The following season it was seven, then 12, and this season we have 13 teams, with over 140 youngsters between the ages of six and 16 with around 20 coaches.

Our coaches work tirelessly on things such as the setting up and carrying out of training sessions, putting out the cones, collecting and pumping up footballs, raising funds with events such as the quiz that was held recently at the club, looking for sponsors, transporting youngsters to and from games, and by constantly looking for new ways to help them with the learning of the game.

And they do so for scant reward.

As an example, last week there was a half-term, four-day, football camp held at Second Meadow and enjoyed by youngsters from the Academy between the ages of five and 11 who might otherwise have been stuck at home in front of televisions or computer screens, or perhaps kicking their heels wondering what to do, where to go.

And on the subject of where to go, our long list of November fixtures start tomorrow (Sat KO 3pm) when North Greenford United call into Second Meadow, and then on Wednesday night we travel to local rivals Baldock Town (KO 7.45pm).

See you there,
Guillem

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