Friday, 13 July 2012

Bring me laughter

Sumo fronts the Farm's ‘Fun Boy Three’!

‘The Sumo’ is back! 
Six years after he last occupied the Low Farm “hot seat”, Sean McLaughlin returns to succeed the man who succeeded him.  And first impressions would suggest the natives are quite happy with the appointment.
Pleasingly, among those extending their best wishes for the future was the man he’s replacing; pleasingly too, these wishes were much appreciated and reciprocated by the incoming boss.  It’s no secret that there has been plenty of acrimony in the past between both so any potential thaw in relations is welcome!
It’s not only Dave with whom Sean hasn’t always seen eye-to-eye in recent times.  It took a party at New Year 2011 to help me and our "new" manager settle our particular differences, following several football-related disagreements.
Sumo's speech has Nige counting ball panels (Burt Graham)
But all that’s in the past.  It’s time now to look forward and from the feedback received after last Saturday’s first training session, it would appear we have reason to be cheerful.
Sean’s appointment was confirmed last Wednesday (4th) with the Committee opting for the former boss ahead of several other candidates, following advertising of the post locally and via the internet.
One of those losing out in the final reckoning, Nicho, had his disappointment cushioned by the alternative offer of a coaching role in the new-look set-up.  Meanwhile, club captain Andy Graham – seen by many as a future Eastenders boss – has taken his first step on the ladder by being appointed asst-mgr.
Sumo has been quick to set out his stall to the players, saying he wants them to begin enjoying their football again after what was a difficult 2011/12.  Not surprisingly this went down well - with the exception of an unnamed goalkeeper who, it would appear, would prefer to win while not enjoying himself!?  Or perhaps I’m being harsh. 
That's it...put a smile back on faces! (Burt Graham)
Anybody who interpreted Sean’s comments as a lack of ambition is greatly mistaken.  His previous honours at the club stretch way back to the ER County League Division 3 and 4 titles he helped win as a player back in 90/91 and 95/96.  Cutting his management teeth with the Reserves yielded success in the 2000/01 ER County League Junior Cup and immediate promotion to Division 2.  As assistant-boss to the legendary ‘Mickey Bo’ Wilson, he shared in the 02/03 South Holderness Cup and Withernsea Carnival triumphs, along with a hitherto unprecedented top five placing in the HPL that same season. 
Then came the coup de grace as Sean celebrated promotion to the role of First Team manager in 2003/04 by achieving a runners-up position in the league, alongside the HPL Cup and the two local trophies previously won as Bo’s number two. 
I think it’s safe to assume therefore that no team of Sean’s will simply be allowed to go through the motions!
A turn for the better? (Burt Graham)
There were some interesting faces on show for the first pre-season session at the Farm and, although history has taught me never to believe anything until there’s a signature on the dotted line, chances are that the appointment is already having an effect in terms of recruitment.
Whether we are blessed with new players will become more apparent when the lads take to the pitch for their first friendly in just over a week’s time.  This comes on 24th July when HPL side Crown provide the opposition on the impressive 4G surface at South Holderness School.
The first chance the Farm Faithful get to see Sumo’s side in action comes on Saturday 28th July when Sculcoates Amateurs, one of the leading sides in local football, are the visitors.  They are followed by the East Riding County Juniors Rep squad (Wed 1st Aug) before the locals wrap up their pre-season schedule a week later, away at Long Riston from HPL Division 1.
Why not come along for the ride - it promises to be an entertaining one...

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