The state of play.

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yellowfever
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The state of play.

Post by yellowfever »

Never, even in my worst nightmare did I ever see the possibility of my local club dropping into the 7th level of football.
In a season which commemorates 50 years since Southport FC achieved possibly it's biggest ever prize by winning division 4 of the Football League (EFL 2 today) I reckon their is a distinct chance that this will happen.
It won't be for a lack of effort from the Board, Management,players or volunteers,but for me this season will just be too much of a grind,week in week out and will eventually wear out a squad that won't be big enough to cope with the amount of football it has to play.
Too many opportunities to progress at SFC have by passed this football club going back (in my time) to the day that Billy Bingham was allowed to leave for Plymouth Argyle.You only get so many chances.

For all the above,It's time to take a break on here for me regurgitating the same well worn arguments under different guises week in week out.Criticism on here is pointless-SFC is where it is in a World with far bigger issues.

I'll continue to support the club I love both verbally and financially as well as I can, no matter what the future and would urge as many people who are able to do the same.I don't want to see our town's club disappear, but at present,not enough people in the town care enough about it,and unless with all due respect to Ian Kyle a "sugar daddy" arrives on the scene,the future looks bleak.
In fact it looks bleak for any part time set up,because in truth,the powers that be only care for the full time game.

I wish Ian, Liam,Terry and the players all the very best for the coming season.
Cheers.
Port on the Kent
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Re: The state of play.

Post by Port on the Kent »

I will reserve judgement until we have played a sample of competitive matches, pre-season friendlies are not an indicator of what is to come. As Liam has previously pointed out, we lost them all in 09/10 and then won the league.

Our performance this season will depend on how far last year's players have developed. The strategy has clearly been to sign a core of young players and bring them on. In theory this is a good approach particularly when money seems 'too tight to mention.' We need the likes of Woods, Hmami, Bainbridge, Munro, Anson and others to take that next step and rather than putting in 6/10s they need to kick on and be consistently turning in 7 and 8/10s. The personnel may not be much different to last season, but these lads have now got 40+ competitive matches under their belt and this needs to be visible on the pitch.

Frankly, recruitment has been underwhelming and the one 'headline' player we did sign will probably never feature for the club. We started in a friendly against Lancaster with a front two of Bell and Newell, neither are available any more and we have gone backwards since the beginning of pre-season on the player front. We have not addressed the glaring hole in the middle of the pitch where we sorely miss a combative ball winner with leadership. Due to Bell's injury we are still yet to find a playable replacement for Carver. On top of that the squad remains laughably small for a club trying to compete in a hybrid professional/semi-pro division. I have been watching local step four sides who all have more depth. Just to add to the woes, we have three injuries before we have kicked a ball.

The lack of investment in the team means we are dependent on the same players as last season to have all made major strides forward. History tells you some will, we do have some lads who have the potential to play higher up. Conversely, there will be some who bottom out at this level and remain decent step two players.

If I had to stick my neck on the line I would anticipate a 10th - 14th finish because there are some good young players, Liam always fosters a good team spirit and most lads now have a full season under their belt. However the recruitment has been far too unambitious and conservative to yield a tilt at the play-offs in my opinion.

Whatever happens, I know this group will put 100% effort in because attitude and committment has never been questioned with these lads so I hope they will be well supported. I just can't shake that feeling that we have too many gaps in quality in too many areas to seriously be looking upwards.
Sundance
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Re: The state of play.

Post by Sundance »

Most successful seasons we have had a talisman striker. Spence, Haw, Ferns, Carver to name a few. At present whilst Chester sign Willoughby (proven) we go down the economy line of Bell with the ambition of resurrecting the career of a player who has lost his way..This is commendable until it fails through injury. Personally I am so sad as I thought he is a great player and just what we needed, a very astute signing. We enter a new season with a toothless attack with no one to snatch a goal when we are under pressure. I agree with Liam we don’t need bodies but we do need specialists in attack. It will be interesting to see what happens by Saturday. I guess it will be a reliance on resolute defending but our attack remains toothless with no talisman to lift them with reliance on set pieces. We have had had all summer to redress this - but nothing and no hope!! Saturday will be a good indicator, not a question will we win but will we score??
george
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Re: The state of play.

Post by george »

I will admit I was the biggest Clapham out person, great lesson in becarefull wot you wish for,
Not all doom and gloom, the new pitch,infrastructure ect,
But on the pitch we all know what's coming, up the port
Brianm
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Re: The state of play.

Post by Brianm »

What a depressing thread this is, but sadly the comments seem so true. If money cannot be found to bring in an extra striker now there seems little hope of any progress. Archer will score a few but he can't do it without proper support. If he goes out with an injury we can't even put two attackers on the pitch. I have said before that there are some good strikers in the leagues just below us and one of them at least must be given a chance to play for us. Come on Liam!
Alan Spences Pupil
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Re: The state of play.

Post by Alan Spences Pupil »

Expectations are low the Club is on the bones of its ass, so no pressure on the team really, they will continue to sweat buckets of blood & cover every inch of our beautiful pitch......on that basis why not break the shackles of our horrible footballing style and play to feet play Watson & Woods out wide & dictate play a bit more instead of lumping up field & seeing the ball come back twice as quick, try a short throw every once in a while, let Cam throw the ball to one of our players rather than kick after kick to no one, put corners onto the penalty spot & attack the ball rather than concede free kick after free kick by charging the keeper try a different routine from the kick off, shoot more you never know one might go in every so often, a few ideas there...but wait nothing is likely to change here with the present coaching set up, I would love to know if our players enjoy playing the way we do I'm thinking they dont....something needs to change on the pitch as it is boring....but we must have the best pitch in the League... ;)
Formula Port
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Re: The state of play.

Post by Formula Port »

Can't help but feel very underwhelmed by the summer break and pre season. I can't see any serious play off challenge materialising and a comfortable/boring mid table finish beckons I fear which won't do anything to lure in the crowds so desperately wanted and needed. I'm finding it hard to gain any motivation to get to more games this season when the club is showing no ambition.
Stratford Excile
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Re: The state of play.

Post by Stratford Excile »

Formula Port wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 9:56 am Can't help but feel very underwhelmed by the summer break and pre season. I can't see any serious play off challenge materialising and a comfortable/boring mid table finish beckons I fear which won't do anything to lure in the crowds so desperately wanted and needed. I'm finding it hard to gain any motivation to get to more games this season when the club is showing no ambition.
The word ambition is what is sadly lacking at Haig Avenue and you get the feeling that to just stay alive is enough.

I was not Charlie Clapham's biggest fan but as a previous poster stated "Be careful what you wish for"

We took 3,000 to Derby in 2015 but we never took advantage of that and 7 years later we have gone so far backwards.

You will never get the crowds back until you serve up a decent product on the pitch and I am afraid this will not happen until something drastically changes at the club.

Cannot see anything changing any time soon especially when the manager is also a director!

I wish my club every success of course but it is all so frustrating.
Redrobe fan
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Re: The state of play.

Post by Redrobe fan »

Very pessimistic stuff - and some inaccuracies too - eg ‘if Archer is injured we have no forwards’ when we have Watson and Woods (and, maybe,Walton).

People are depressed by the pre- season when we all know that such results are meaningless.

It’s not fair to criticise the club for injuries and it’s equally not fair to criticise recruitment when we made four apparently good signings in Evans, Carberry, Quansah and Bell, and anyway recruitment is not complete - or we wouldn’t be playing triallists in our final pre-season game.

The problem is that we know from last season that this squad is capable of finishing in the top few - but the same squad also finished in relegation form. Which team will turn up?
yellosoul
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Re: The state of play.

Post by yellosoul »

Redrobe fan wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 11:46 am

The problem is that we know from last season that this squad is capable of finishing in the top few - but the same squad also finished in relegation form. Which team will turn up?
The team that doesn’t rely heavily on Doug Tharme and Marcus Carver?
Falkland yellow
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Re: The state of play.

Post by Falkland yellow »

Selling Carver was a key turning point last season. It turned a strong possibility of a playoff place into a hope that the remaining players without him could achieve the same. They couldn't.

It appears that we have found ourselves in a position of remaining in this league a self-fulfilling prophecy and this will continue until one key behaviour changes. And that is to resist selling playoff achieving players.

If we continue to sell our better players - who are the ones who will make the difference between a good team and a playoff team then we will never leave this league.

Our approach of signing rough diamonds, improving them is laudable- particularly with our budgetary constraints. However, if we continue to sell the diamonds we have polished, we will simply tread water - with only the players we sell and the clubs that buy them benefiting. In my view, it is time we started making Southport Football Club and our own progression our priority - unashamedly focused on club success by doing what is best for the club rather than the players.

To do that we need to retain our better, improving players for the season. If not - I predict Woods will be the next to go....
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Ralphy Rylance
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Re: The state of play.

Post by Ralphy Rylance »

Jesus wept, can we not at least get to half time in the first league match before the doom and gloom merchants write the season off?
We are the nutters, we come from the sea.
We must be nutters to watch SFC.
loyal jay
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Re: The state of play.

Post by loyal jay »

The club failed to address our strike force inefficiencies half way through the season and this derailed any chance of making the play-offs, to go into a new season with one recognised striker, would be suicide. Carver and Archer formed an potent partnership, and it was Carver's goals at the beginning of the campaign that helped to turn around a dismal set of results and spark the catalyst behind our run of good form - we do not have that luxury now.

It's wholeheartedly disppaointing to see that Bell is ruled out for the season, he looked to have the physicality and link up play that was lacking since Carver departed. Even with a strike force of Archer, George & Bell it still seemed a bit light! Liam has been clear that reinforcements are required, the disappointment for me is that our extensive scouting hasn't uneathered any attacking gems from the lower echelons of the pyramid, we seem quite capable of finding talent in the defensive areas, but it's been a while since we've had a Baker, Duffy type of player.

Our next course of action may already be season defining. I hope we attack this latest head wind with a proactive approach rather than persevere/make-do attitude as a partnership of Archer and Walton isn't going to cut it.
siddle
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Re: The state of play.

Post by siddle »

Peak miserable Portchat.
Met him on a Monday
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Re: The state of play.

Post by Met him on a Monday »

Cheer up you could be an Oldham fan who have fallen further and faster than us . They were in the Premier league 30 years ago and dropped 4 leagues , its taken us 50 years to drop 3 !
GeorgeCarrExcavation
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Re: The state of play.

Post by GeorgeCarrExcavation »

Met him on a Monday wrote: Mon Aug 01, 2022 2:53 pm Cheer up you could be an Oldham fan who have fallen further and faster than us . They were in the Premier league 30 years ago and dropped 4 leagues , its taken us 50 years to drop 3 !
They have just got a new owner, so even they could be on the up!
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SteH90
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Re: The state of play.

Post by SteH90 »

Sundance wrote: Sun Jul 31, 2022 10:26 pm we don’t need bodies
We do. Last seasons poor run towards the end proved we did need more bodies and that should have been the main project this summer. Yes we got Bell, Evans & Quansah but it turns out they replaced departures. We went through that 16+ games without a win and (even discounting the unvarying tactical plan) it was mainly to do with having tired players playing every game and being unable to fill the bench. We haven’t significantly increased numbers unless triallists sign or loanees arrive before Saturday. Injuries will always happen in football & it’s naive in the extreme to have a core group of 16/17 as 2/3 are always going to be out. An increase to 20/21 would cover for injuries or loss of form but the manager sees players training and not playing as a cardinal sin so keeps the squad small - my contention is they would play as injuries & suspensions always occur. I suppose it comes down to money as everything does.
Let’s see how it goes. 🤷🏻‍♂️ And while it is peak miserable Portchat we need to see progress that we’ve rectified problems that saw last season hit a brick wall. The impression is that we haven’t hence the peak misery!!
Last edited by SteH90 on Mon Aug 01, 2022 5:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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David_1276
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Re: The state of play.

Post by David_1276 »

I said it at the time and I'll say it again, without Carver last season's team were nothing to fear for our opposition. Selling him was probably, for me, the most significant insufficiency we've had since the sale of Morgan, admittedly not too long ago. We now have, with the exception of a few, really no players in this squad who are close to being good enough at NL level. If we had ambition, we'd have kept Carver till the end of the season, and Ian would've had to dig into his own pockets to finance the comtracts and Carver's stay temporarily until we made it into the NL and the revenue would increase from a position of 'breaking even' to 'slight profit' each week. It wouldn't even be a 'shit or bust' situation, either, as the difference of whatever money we did make from Carver has only gone into extending players' contracts who already had in most cases over a year left anyway. Then we could sell Carver, and everyone would have been happy as our pulling power as a step 1 club vastly increases compared to what we have now. It's not rocket science as far as I'm concerned.
Port on the Kent
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Re: The state of play.

Post by Port on the Kent »

A few people have mentioned that we have no money, while we can only speculate without having up to date accounts in front of us, I don't see why we should be as skint as we seemingly are.

We had the losses left by Phil and Covid to contend with, given what's been said over the last few years I believe we are on an even keel in those regards.

Incoming we have had the sales of Morgan, Green, Carver and Tharme as well as a sell-on fee for Dion Charles. We have had decent cup runs into the early stages of the FA Cup, given the prize money for winning in the qualifying rounds that is fairly substantial. Attendances are nothing to brag about but averaging around 1,000 is bang average for the division. Our hospitality on match days and revenue on other days has been very successful by all accounts. Sponsorship streams through player shirts, perimeter boards, match sponsorship continue to flourish. On top of all that, we also have the Everton money for letting them use Haig Ave for the U23s.

Outgoings... a tiny squad on part-time wages, with predominantly young players and very few senior pros should be as cheap as they come.

Looking at the overall picture I have no idea why or how we are on the bones of our arse. Maybe Ian and Liam are looking for an underspend to provide a cushion or allow us to spend later in the season. Maybe the overheads involved in football have boomed so much that our incomings are actually insufficient - but I don't see it.

When you look around the division, teams with similar (or lower) crowds, crapper facillities, less hospitality opportunities have squads of 22 with experienced players. Okay, a few have a rich backer, but most don't.

Before anyone jumps in, I am not accusing anyone of taking money out the club as that simply would not happen. But I just don't see why we lack two penneth two rub against each other, when our incomings/outgoings look relatively favourable.
Churchtown Yellow
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Re: The state of play.

Post by Churchtown Yellow »

This time last year we thought Carver was mediocre and that Doug Tharme was a bit-part player.

We have a small squad. However if anyone thinks the squad at the end of the season will be the same as the current squad, they’ve not learnt a lot. There will be incomings and outgoings. Hopefully more of the former than the latter.

We won our last league match 5-0, with Watson, N and Archer scoring 3 of the 5 goals. A fully fit Woods-Archer-Watson will trouble any defence in this league. Where we fall down is strength in depth, but that doesn’t suddenly mean we’ll go from a team who finished 6 points outside the play-offs (you know, our best finish for 5 years) to relegation fodder.

Some will argue we have stood still during the close season - I disagree. With the exception of Tharme, we have held onto our best players and signed a couple of decent full backs.

Are we going to win the league? I doubt it, but then Brackley went close last year using the same 14/15 players. Conversely Fylde used 201 players and got nowhere near the title.

My point is, the doom and gloom, when we are currently level on points with everyone else, is unbelievable.
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