Taken from this month's Parklife...
So, the start of the new T&F football season is upon us, and the winds of change have shaken up not only the teams but the captains as well. parklife gives you our very own guide to the movers and shakers of this year’s league.
Kicking us off (ouch), team 1 are Mickleslate’s Moray Mince, a clever amalgamation of Niall Slater and Adam Micklethwaite who both take on captaincy for the first time. With a team sheet to strike fear into the hearts of footballing publishers everywhere, it includes proven scorer Dan Trinder, last year’s golden newbie Hugh Evans and the no-nonsense tacklers Gin Klassen and Kirstin Helmann. Ben Woolhead will no doubt be after some more goals and Ben Piggott adds his own personal brand of footballing randomness. Last but by no means least Gregg Warren, Sarahjayne Sierra and Alison Campbell complete the squad. parklife’s verdict: Definitely 1 to watch.
Team 2 is ruled by the Dan ‘strikes fear into the opposition from his strike rate’ Hartley. While last season saw the Hartley don various costumes, this team’s talent needs no dressing up. Former captain Adam Wheeler heads up the team sheet followed closely by the holy trinity of Daves: Varley, Owen and first timer Cox. A double act of Mike Gibbons and Mike Kelly should keep the opponents guessing, while Will Lazenby is after yet more silverware for his already impressive sports CV. Sam Cragg takes to the pitch for the first time but will no doubt receive full support from footballing veterans Gail Carter, Vikki Rose and Andrea Gibbons who complete the team. parklife’s verdict: Even without the dog costume, it’s a heck of a pedigree.
Team 3 sees summer league captain Nick ‘the Warlock’ Ascroft bring aboard books legend Brian Guerin. Leading a team that includes the solid defence of Mike Jones and Marc Gillet, the surprise shot of Andy Roe and the proven pace of Katie Peace and Beth Lewis up the front, this is a very strong-looking team. Ryan Kidd didn’t see much of the ball last season but parklife tips him and Matt Crook as ones to watch this season. Russell George and new league signings Kathryn Thomas and Katie Eve complete the team. parklife’s verdict: This team? It’s a kind of magic.
Richie Moore picks up his well-worn armband for another crack at the trophy, leading team 4. And what a team it is. Colin Bulpitt gets ready for another season in goal, but he shouldn’t be troubled much with defenders Mark Majurey and Ryan Cooper on their guard. There should be some vital fire-power provided by the trinity of Matt Cannon, Lindsay Stark and Sarah Robbie who unite at the front. Ben Hathaway also returns to the pitch hoping to build upon an impressive first season. Newbie Andy Humphries, Miss T & F Sport Jane Dawson and Sian Findlay complete the line up. parklife says: Moore more more! We love it.
Kitty Jansz and Emma Wilson bring some much-needed girl power to the captains’ list with their inspirationally titled team Kickin KittEms (do you see what they did there? Oh never mind). Ali Meier will be looking to keep his sheets clean once again in goal while Dean Lockyear tears it up on the attack. Verterans of track and field Barry Fry, Mike McNulty and Tom Church will be attempting to keep it tidy in mid field and swipe some goals of their own. While Ewan Stevenson, Bev Cousins and Tom Jeatt are all unknowns, being new for this season, Khanam Virjee should prove to be a particularly good signing if her training performances are anything to go by. parklife’s verdict: A lot of unknowns to the league make the KittEms this year’s wild cards - definitely not to be ruled out.
Finally last but not least Mr Red Boots himself, captain Greig Barclay, returns to the pitch with an experienced team including former teammate and partner in goals Rachael Lammey. Former opposition captain Lloyd Langman also brings his scoring abilities into the team with back-up no doubt being provided by Rod Cookson. Heading up the defence will be the holy trinity of Mo Sidi, Ian Bannerman and Anne Ziebart, while Andy Pitts tries to fill in those midfield gaps. Ellie Gilroy is the only new recruit for this team, but with players like this showing her the ropes parklife anticipates offers from Inter Milan before the end of the season. parklife’s verdict: Greig’s done it before, and this is a team with the skill to go all the way.