Great Expectations by Guardy
I’m probably being a bit harsh with the title, as at the beginning of the 2022/23 I would have taken a mid table spot. Unfortunately, due to this new manager in charge, a certain Mr Paul Michael, he has definitely changed supporters expectations, and not making the play offs seemed strangely disappointing. Something I don’t think any of us were thinking about in August 2022.
I’ll let you into a little secret, after the year when the club mothballed due to the pandemic, I was thinking of jacking it in. The message came from nowhere, and as an owner, at the time I was really narked that no one had given me the chance to have a say, what is the point of being an owner? Looking back, it was obviously the right decision, at the time being stuck in, no pubs open and Pingus zoom quizzes had an adverse impact on my mental health, and looking forward to watching a bit of football was a light at the end of the tunnel.
So, no football for a few months, well albeit there are some international games that UEFA or FIFA seem to want. I’m guessing the players would prefer an extended Pre-season, relaxing on some exotic island the likes of me and you could only dream of. It’ll be Barry Island for us mortals, no no no obviously not Barry, who would want to go there!!, unless of course it was to see the Martyrs trounce them at Jenner Park. Caldey Island then, to see the less sweary monks than our own Colin.
That gap between the end of one season to the start of a new one seems longer when there’s an air of excitement. Due to the FA Cup run, and our league form, there is a genuine buzz kicking in at Penydarren Park. We’ve got some great players, the stand out being the goal machine Richardo Rees, but with the likes of local boy Fraser Thomas in midfield, Tom Handley in defense, we are strong all over the pitch. It was great to see so many of last seasons squad committing themselves early on for the new season.
The profile of the club has been lifted. It’s not that long ago we had to get the begging bowl out once again, as there was a chance of it folding. One thing the club does have is a hardy bunch of supporters who will try their damnedast to keep the football club going, and I take my hat off to those who did.
As I write we’re a couple of months into the 2023/24 season. Currently 2nd in the league, the 2 teams close to us have been to PP and gone home with the 3 points. Chesham deservedly so, but I still can’t get over the Gosport game, and despite being down to 10 men after 15 minutes, I thought we were the better team. Our away form is perfect 5 wins from 5 in the league, and a good win a Taunton in the FA Cup replay. Two games against a team in the next league above, and we outplayed them in both. I for one think we’re still a couple of players short. A nice big combative midfielder, and a big quick centre half would be my ideal recruits. I have no idea what players are out there available, and maybe Paul Michael is very happy with what he’s got. He knows more than me, so it’s probably best if I leave the football side of things to him.
How can we forget the attendances this year, they have been truly awesome, we must be averaging 1000 a game. Amazing considering where we were only a couple of seasons ago.
Big thanks must go out to the club, and people like Jonny Owen for getting Merthyr into everyones faces. It’s a good day out with your mates, you can have a drink on the terraces and half a cob filled with chips and curry sauce. Name me a better day out. The flags at the Theatre End always look great, although I think Nathan needs someone to help him collect them in after the game, I would but I struggle to untie knots these days. Louis Moore has started a podcast called the Disturbed District, which is going well, Still waiting for Colin to be invited on it, so it can get in the Guiness Book of Records for having the most swear words on a podcast.
So, all in all things are looking pretty bright at PP currently, it’s a world away from a few years ago. FIngers crossed we can keep going in the right direction, it honestly makes you feel better and puts a spring in your step walking down Brecon Road from The Grawen, after a couple of pre match pints.
Onwards and Upwards!