When I Get Off This Plane, I’m Gonna Break Down That Door

In the team we trust…

The Friday afternoon is just drifting by as I write this. There are two main areas of focus. One is on Tuesday when the inspector comes along to survey the house for the sale. That’s something I can’t control and it looms like a spectre on the horizon, threatening everything. The other is tonight. The opening of the SCEFL season, the first game for my boys, Phoenix Sports, and a trip to Erith Town to begin what looks like a competition that is open and unpredictable. You really wouldn’t want it any other way. I am trying to think of an opening day I’ve looked forward to more. I can only really think of August 1988, and Millwall’s first ever game in the top flight at Aston Villa. Now a league a mere, counts fingers, 8 (I think) rungs below that has me absolutely bricking it.

Why? Well, there is just one promotion slot up for grabs, with another potentially going to the second place team if they can beat a Step 4 team in a play-off. Third is nowhere. No play-offs to get into the play-offs. Last season the SCEFL was dominated by Chatham and Sheppey who both got over 100 points and will be contesting the Isthmian SE league this year. Glebe were a distant third, but seem the obvious favourites this time around. The murmurings around are Punjab have spent, Erith & Belvedere and Deal are dangerous, Erith Town are no mugs, there is always a surprise package, no-one has a feel for how the promoted teams will do, and let’s face it, no-one really has any idea.

So, all I can do is wait for this all to kick-off. In the words of the song in the title, I’m like a child at Christmas time, but instead of a Playstation or whatever it is that the kiddies get these days, mine is that bloody football feeling that I thought I would never have again, that feeling of excitement and foreboding, of potential dreams, and nightmares too. As always, if you would have told me this time last year I would be like this, I would have laughed at you. If you told me even at the beginning of 2022 that I would be fully onboard with a club in London. Well, you know the rest.

In the meantime, please read the two following posts – the first by my friend Lee, and he was was huge influence in getting me into the scene. He captures it superbly (and namechecks me to boot!)

Secondly, a brilliant preview on the SCEFL site.

So come on Phoenix, all the best to my blog readers’ clubs and hope you have a great time and some great moments to enjoy. I only wish I’d discovered this world earlier. T-minus 2 hours and counting to departure for Erith Town!

At Cray Valley Paper Mills on Tuesday Night (lost 5-0 to Maidstone)