Wednesday, 30 July 2008
Here's the preview of the new Wigan Robin Park FC enamel badge that is on order - obviously not that size but will be shaped as per outline. The lettering and edging (shown grey) is polished chrome, the other areas are coloured in as shown.
Please note that all proceeds will be going to Wigan Robin Park FC and if anybody else has ideas for merchandise or anything else that can help the club - feel free*
* Still waiting for prices on the Wigan Robin Bastards flag
I will keep people informed on delivery times
Monday, 28 July 2008
“You can’t tell which is the Unibond team,” was the view of the Radcliffe supporters: even though their team won 1-0 and that was a pretty fair summation.
Numerous water breaks were required as summer finally arrived in Wigan WN5. In between them it was the usual good stuff from the Robins with the defence looking solid (bar Jay Foulds getting beat on the near post – his woolly hat blurred his vision… or summat) and midfield and attack combining well.
Dean Callaway looked very sharp for WRP while everybody put a shift in (in) trying conditions. There were a good few chances for both sides but it was Neil Chappell that clinched the game for Borough with a powerful shot.
Wigan-lad Phil Priestly was between the sticks for Radcliffe while Bernard Manning’s grandson was at left-back for them. The biggest talking point in the stand was the arrival of Kanga Ndiwa as a substitute for Borough. Apparently Sam Allardyce once paid £100,000 for him. A quick look on the internet tells us his full name is Lord Kangana N’Diwa or possibly N'Diwa Lord-Kangana and he was born in Congo – but is Swedish!
He certainly looked an Allardyce-type player and after failing to make the the grade at the Reebok he has been plying his trade everywhere (and I mean everywhere) from Slovenia to Stalybridge (including a trial at Celtic). He is apparently at Radcliffe to get his fitness levels up. Looking at the size of him he could still be there next season! I think he came on at full-back but who knows – he was everywhere. Unfortunately for Radcliffe he was never in the right place at the right time. He did also swear magnificently at one stage and brightened our day.
After the game it was good to meet up with the Robin Park lads and officials in the air-conditioned (ie effing freezing) Champions Bar. I’m not sure pints of Kronenberg were the ideal preparation for the Mudhutters cricket game next day but as I doubt Lancashire are looking for a 49-year-old leg spinner it would have been rude not to…
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Now something isn’t quite right here as that’s two games already where we’ve seen the kick-off. Granted last night’s game appeared to be delayed until Eastenders finished. If we’d known we’d have had another pint! Any road it was worth the wait as another decent crowd saw the best game of football this season.
The finishing of Cables was pretty clinical as they raced away to a two-goal lead. The deadlock was broken inside 10 mins when a throw in on the left wasn’t closed down and the out swinging cross reached the Prescot player unmarked at the back post and his miss hit shot found the corner of the net.
Other than that you’d have thought WRP were the team playing at the higher level as they passed the ball with aplomb over the Stadio de Robin Park bowling green. It also has to be noted that the linesman on our side got every decision right. The only problem was it was two minutes after the event when he put his flag up.
New signing Danny Worthington had the 1st shot on goal for the Robins, after beating several players his effort just outside the box failed to trouble the keeper. Prescot increased their lead on 34 mins when a strong run from the midfield wasn’t challenged and the ball squirmed through a few players before leaving the striker 1 on 1. His 1st effort hit the post but rebounded nicely to roll the ball into the empty net.
As the half progressed Prescot had a couple more chances to kill the game off whilst the Robins continued to play their total football. Meanwhile I’m sure the management will be looking at ways of eradicating the defensive lapses that have resulted in early goals going against them so far in pre-season.
As normal the Robin Bastards (bolstered by an FC United fan that refused to go to Alty for their friendly) settled down to discuss the things that mattered like: Batman, training shoes, noisy U-12 kids, the lack of pies, the real reason why Jimmy Bullard left Latics, rugby league franchises and occasionally the football on offer.
If the first half had seen fine football but little reward in front of goal for WRP the second period was superb. With the light closing in and the five-a-siders making their way to the pub the Robins played some delightful football as they bombarded the Cables defence.
The Robins upped the tempo and started to apply pressure to the Prescot defence. The comeback started courtesy of centre half Dougy Pitts, A free kick on the left was swung in but the unchallenged keeper couldn’t keep hold of the ball and Dougy duly dispatched it into the net.
Prescot looked dangerous on the break with the defence and keeper on their toes at all times. Wigan equalized on 74 mins when good inter play found Adam Whittle on the right and his cross was glanced in by Mike Clandon moments after coming on as a sub. With time running out Prescot were awarded a free kick on the edge of the box but Keeper Jay Foulds managed to push the ball out to safety. This still left the Robins with the chance to nick it at the death but Ryan Edwards couldn’t keep his effort down when a goal looked certain
Both teams were given a good ovation and 2-2 was a fair result – with Prescot looking more clinical while the Robins knocked the ball about nicely. It augurs well – what with Prescot being three divisions higher – as we all look forward to Radcliffe Borough at home on Saturday
For some great photos of the game check out http://prescotfootball.blogspot.com/
Many thanks to Jay Foulds - who put the facts to the rest of it
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Read this document on Scribd: fixtures1stdraftpdf
This is the first draft as fixtures are bound to be changed for European games, Sky and Setanta coverage but until then...
Oh and I've managed to forget our promotion party on 2 May 2009 at Padiham away
Clck on the top right icon on the document to enlarge (oooh er missus)
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Thursday, 17 July 2008
The Robins League & Cup Winners 2007/8
An incredible achievement - especially as it was only the club's third season
Manchester Football League Champions
P36 W12 D3 L3 F47 A17 W11 D2 L5 F48 A29 GD+49 PTS74
Gilgryst Cup Winners
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
Back in 1972 I remember my granddad telling me that Bournemouth had changed their name - for about the fiftieth time – again. They were now to be known as AFC Bournemouth and the reason for this was that if they ever finished equal on points, goal difference and number of wins they would then go to who was first in the alphabet and AFC Bournemouth would be ahead!
Now when they thought that they might be equal at the top of the (then) first division with Arsenal I don’t know but what I do know that 36 years later you can’t move for teams beginning with AFC.
In the Vodkat NWCL Division One this season Wigan Robin Park will be coming up against two AFCs. Firstly there’s the newly-formed fans’ team AFC Liverpool that have adopted the AFC as most fans' teams appear to do whilst that historic old side Blackpool Mechanics – which is a great name - have changed to AFC Blackpool. Their Co-Chairman Phil Days said on the official NWCL site: “We spent a long time debating what the new name would be, and in the end we felt AFC Blackpool was the most suitable.”
A long time debating and they came up with that? I daren’t think how long they will spend on pricing up the pies for this coming season!
They have decided that the ground will now be called The Mechanics and they will continue playing in orange which is I suppose something.
Now there are times when a change is healthy and necessary but it should not be at expense of the tradition and history. Over in lobby gobbling land the link with the Horwich railway works has now been severed as Leigh RMI are now to be known by the sinister name of Leigh Genesis. At least it’s not AFC Leigh I suppose but where did they get that from? In fact if you check their website you’ll find it's like the Wicker Man + mad marketing bod + the church of latter day saints. You'd expect that in Milton Keynes but Leigh?!?!?
In the NWCL Premier Division the highly successful Kirkham and Wesham have changed their name to – yes you’ve guessed AFC Fylde. Well maybe you didn’t guess the Fylde bit but why the AFC bit. If they were determined to change their name to that why not Fylde United, or Wanderers or Vale or … you get the flow.
The Kirkham thing is odd. I know money has been flowing into the club, and I assume they want the Fylde name to reflect the area, but it seems strange: Win the FA Vase, bring publicity to town(s) and then just sod the name off!
Ah well it’s only a name I suppose but let’s not hope we see a full league where every single frigging club in football starts with AFC…
Monday, 14 July 2008
Here's the match report from Marine FC's official site... And very fair it is as well
Marine kicked off their preseason friendly programme with a defeat last Saturday at North West Counties League new boys Wigan Robin Park.
Park fielded ex Mariners Ben Kay at centre half and Danny Worthington up front, ex Burscough man Mike Clandon also featuring for the hosts who gave the Mariners a stiff test throughout.
It was the visitors though who opened the scoring after 9 minutes, pint sized poacher Shaun Tuck racing clear before calmly rounding Jason Foulds in the home goal and rolling the ball in to the empty net.
Three minutes later Robin Park were level following a corner, the ball eventually landing at the feet of Kay to score from close range.
Both sides had opportunities to regain the lead prior to half time and after the obligatory raft of substitutions from both sides the homesters bagged the winning goal midway through the second half, winger Dean Callaway breaking in to the left of the area and producing a strong shot to beat substitute custodian Ben Barnes.
Marine had a couple of chances to equalise late on with the home goalkeeper making some sharp saves from Paul Woolcott , but Park held on for the victory.
Wigan RP: Jason Foulds; Darren Mullen; James Martin; Ben Kay; Dougie Potts; Ryan Small; Adam Whittle; Andy Nealey; Danny Worthington; Mike Clandon; Dean Callaway.
Marine 1st half: Sean Lake; Freddie Potter; Wayne McDermott; Adam Farley; Phil Brazier; Steve Hussey; John Lawless; Darren Brookfield; Shaun Tuck; Peter Cumiskey; Paul Woolcott.
Marine 2nd half: Ben Barnes; Adam McCarthy; Wayne McDermott; David Rice; Lee Williams; Ian McInerney; John Lawless; Sean Judge; Liam Loughlin; Danny McNicholas; Paul Woolcott.
The following was posted on the Mudhuts website by Terry Thomas - top notch stuff
Something’s stirring in the heartland of Wigan, something pure and good. In the shadow of the JJB stadium football as we knew it, free from greed and gamesmanship is alive and well. Robin Park FC are on the rise, an ascent that has been strangely ignored by our local media not that we should be surprised at that given their love for all things oval.
Yesterday for the first time in over 30yrs I watched a Wigan team play non league football at a high level. We all know what happened to the last Wigan team to play at this standard and its exciting to be at the embryonic stages of what will hopefully grow into something that we had all those years ago.
The local side beat a strong Marine team 2-1 and the football displayed augers well for the coming season. It was delightful to watch a game free from petulance and posturing, a friendly that was played with passion but blissfully free of the stop start staccato whistling of the pompous refereeing of the Premiership.
There’s a long way to go and off the field progress re catering and programmes etc will be a huge task but one that will be accomplished step by step. Accomplishing this will need help and if you want to know what supporting a team was like 30yrs ago then get on board this football express. It stops at some exotic stations along the way and the delights of Castleton Gabriels, Darwen, Blackpool Mechanics etc have a place on the terrace reserved just for us, home made bar scarves, Bovril and bonhomie, its good to be back.
As the aging but menacing (well we scared two pigeons off the iron bridge) Wigan Robin Bastards mob made their way to the Pear Tree we searched in vain for the Marine boys. Pity we didn’t find any I was looking forward to nicking their “oxygum”
Oh well maybe next time…
It was just like watching Brazil for a couple of minutes as the posh scousers in yellow carved apart the Robins defence to take the lead.
Alas it was the last we saw of the white Pele and Wigan’s finest eased their way back into the game with a well-taken equaliser from the svelte like Ben Kay and a cracking winner in the second half from the sub. God knows who played for both sides but the WRP keeper Jason Foulds looked confident and dealt with everything that came his way while Ryan Small looks a great player in midfield. Classy but not afraid to get stuck in!
A healthy crowd was bolstered by 12 (plus one grandchild) of the newly formed Wigan Robin Bastards – the supporters’ branch of Wigan’s newest football club and all had a good time.
We retreated to the Pear Tree pub for pints of Titanic Iceberg (or summat) to discuss the day’s football.
And the jury concluded that:
· We need pies and pints. Obviously the weather will be better in January than July but the trek over to the Champions Bar at half time to sup crap beer is not ideal. The teas and coffees from the machine weren’t bad though…
· Programmes would be handy as referring to the lad as the fatty in midfield is not great
· Paying at the window desk as you go in was a bit bizarre to say the least. And without stereotyping – go on then stereotyping like fuck – it will be fun when AFC Liverpool come down
· The bogs were flooded after the game to give in that authentic football bogs feel. Congratulations
· The view from the seats is great. Still didn’t stop the bloke stood on the car park watching the game with his binoculars. The typical Wigan mingebag!
· If the game is to be finished by 6 o’clock each week then I guess a few ball boys might be required. Then again it keeps the keepers fit as they fag the ball every ten minutes
· The blonde girl on the running track was a welcome distraction
· The referee was lenient to say the least – which made a welcome change especially as he turned down a very close penalty call from Marine in the last seconds of the game.
· WAGS with pushchairs
· Roll on the next game
Manager John Neafcy
Forget your Decos, Klasnichs, Ronaldos and all the other funny sounding names we watched in the monsoon that was Euro 2008 and get ready for the Wigan Monsoon and the first game of the season.
The Venue: Robin Park
The Teams: Robin Park v Marine
and the first pre-season friendly for Wigan Robin Park as a North West Counties side.
The team formed as recently as 2005 walked away with the Manchester Premier League title (alright won it on last game of the season), grabbed the Gilgryst Cup a couple of days later (on penalties) and were duly elected to the Vodkat NWCFL.
With the Robin Park pitch under the groundsmanship (is that a word?) of Cliff Aspey the arena will be like the Wembley of the north for teams at this level and it should be an interesting and challenging season for all those involved with Robin Park FC. For those amongst us that want a change from the Premiership Prima Donnas then it will prove a welcome respite and - if they get the bar sorted out - a nice little Saturday afternoon's entertainment.
The game on Saturday will provide a huge task for the players as Marine are currently residing in the Unibond Premier League but once the season begins with Bootle FC on 9 August the team should be able to begin to gauge how they will do.
Not to mention the needs of this league like hot food, admission fees, programmes etc
With famous non-league names such as Darwen and Holker Old Boys in the NWCL 1st division along with derby games at Daisy Hill and Ashton Town and the arrival of new team AFC Liverpool it looks to be an exciting time and will offer a contrast with the corporate bollocks - sorry top class football - taking place 50 metres away
It should be fun...
Pre Season Friendlies announced so far
Saturday 12th July Marine Home 2.30pm K.O
Tuesday 22nd July Prescot Cables Home 8.00pm K.O
Saturday 26th July Radcliffe Borough Home 2.30pm K.O
Tuesday 29th July Euxton Villa Away 6.45pm K.O