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Showing posts from 2015

New Faces, New Names, New Season

After what can only be described as an incredible second season at Step 2 of the non league pyramid, there’s some key changes that will be in place for our third year of football at this level.The first change, and most obvious, is that we will not be playing Conference South football in 2015/16! The Football Conference along with Vanarama have rebranded the three leagues in Step 1 & 2, with all reference to the “Conference” being removed. The top tier of non league will now be called the Vanarama National League, with the level below being the National League South & National League North. Personally I don’t understand the branding of the North & South divisions; it’s not national if it only covers one half of the country!One of the biggest changes for Concord Rangers as a club is of course the management setup within the team. I would like to thank both Danny & Nicky Cowley for all they’ve contributed to the club over the years they’ve been here, and the same goes fo…

4 Months Down, Plenty More To Come

It's been a mixed first 4 months of the year for me in all honesty, started seeing someone, finished seeing someone, issues from that lingered on, managing a reorganisation in my department at work, starting a new job as a result of said reorganisation, and the thing that hit me the hardest, my nan passing away.It led to me not feeling myself for some time, my head was all over the place, I wasn't me, which is something I can't stand as I know I've been like that before in a different situation many years ago. Thankfully things have started to resolve themselves on a whole. I'm enjoying life on my own again, realising quite quickly that being back in a relationship was an experiment gone very wrong. The single life had worked for me for over 3 years, I thought that maybe there was a chance I should try and change that, but it was obvious that wasn't the case!Work wise, we've been running the new regime since the start of April, with our first pay packet due…

Hayes & Yeading, Vanarama South, 180415

Here we are, approaching the end of the 2014/15 Vanarama Conference South season, and I think we can all agree that it’s been an eventful one for all involved with Concord Rangers! There is still the possibility that the season could extend with the playoffs, but we’re relying on other results going our way which is never an easy spot to be in. After todays game our focus switches to the Essex Senior Cup Final vs Billericay on Monday evening, which gets under way at 7:45 at the Dagenham & Redbridge ground. After winning this competition last year, retaining it this season was one of the objectives set by Danny Cowley. It’s not been easy, grafting our way through more than our fair share of penalty shootouts, but the lads have worked their backsides off and fully deserve to be in that final once again. It’s a huge old trophy too, so it’ll be good to get that back at the Aspect Arena for another year.Our league form this season speaks for itself, with the recent 13 game unbeaten str…

Ebbsfleet United, Vanarama South, 280315

Football, the beautiful game, it’s the sport we love which provides us with a never ending rollercoaster of emotions and feelings. It also provokes opinions, and in many cases vastly differing ones between fans, players and officials alike.I’m lucky enough to be able to voice my opinions here in the matchday programme and on the official website, and I try not to take that for granted. By putting my opinions (positive or negative) on show in these forms I am representing the club, so whilst honest, I wont be swearing or using some descriptive terms that I may use on a face to face basis! Of course we also form opinions on opposition clubs and their fans, and that’s what has got me typing today. We’re a small, niche club with our loyal band of followers, we thrive on that and the fact that opposition teams underestimate us when they hear the name Concord Rangers. When the inevitable upset occurs and our “small club” pick up a result, it tends to bring us a lot of animosity from fans. N…

Chelmsford, Vanarama South, 100215

Tonight we host Chelmsford City, a team that, league aside, we seem to encounter on a regular basis, and tend to be fairly successful. Go back to the 2008/09 season and our two sides met in the final of the Essex Senior Cup, with the Clarets winning 2-0 on the night. Since then though, the Essex Senior Cup has proven to be the place we keep meeting. Ok so there may not be too many teams in Essex, but other than this season we have a tendency to be drawn together!The earliest that I remember is during the 2011/12 season, and the Beachboys were drawn away to the Clarets in that seasons Essex Senior Cup competition. Chelmsford were Conference South, we were just a lowly Ryman Premier side. Of course, any fan of Concord Rangers will know that league placing means absolutely nothing when you get onto that pitch with our lads, and it was highlighted with a 4-1 Beachboys victory at Citys ground.It was the same story draw-wise the following season, but this time we were drawn at home in what …

Sutton, Vanarama South, 070215

Home at last! After what has seemed like an age (although it’s just been two weeks) the Beach Boys are back on home soil at the Aspect Arena. Not much has happened though since we were last here beating (at the time) 3rd placed Whitehawk by 3 goals to nil. The Tuesday afterwards the boys and a small number of fans made the long journey down to the South coast to take on Havant & Waterlooville (who were 3rd in the league at the time). Last season on the same trip Concord were beaten by a single goal in dubious circumstances, so it was a fitting dose of football karma when this time round the scoreline was reversed. Admittedly the pitch was horrendous, almost like quicksand in some places, and the groundsman was rolling it before the game and during half time, but that wasn’t the main story. It was all about the referee, who was one of those people who made sure the game was focused on him and him alone. A few soft bookings early on meant that he’d set his standard low, and had to …

Whitehawk, Vanarama South, 240115

So we’re over 3 weeks into 2015, and already it’s provided a number of ups and downs for those involved here at Concord Rangers. We started the year with an impressive victory away at Bromley on New Years Day, which was a needed response after losing to them in emphatic fashion on Boxing Day, and the winning continued 3 days later at home to Staines Town with a 1-0 victory. Staines came into the game (and left) rooted to the bottom of the Conference South, but proved to be tough opposition on the day, just as you’d expect from any team in our league.Then our away trips began, and first up was an FA Trophy last 32 clash at fellow Conference South side Hemel Hempstead Town. After beating Barnet in the First Round 6-2 in a replay, the prospect of facing another club in our league was one that we would have relished. However on the day it didn’t quite go to plan. Personally I wasn’t there, so can’t really comment on the performance, but from talking to those that were, it wasn’t the great…

Staines Town, Vanarama South, 040115

2014 has drawn to a close, and what a year it has been as a fan, hell as a part of Concord Rangers football club. The end of last season saw the Beachboys earn a 9th place finish in the (as it was then) Skrill South, whilst reaching the Essex Senior Cup final. That cup final was a fantastic night for everyone involved with the club, with a deserved victory being gained over Braintree Town. The lads left everything on the pitch, and it was brilliant to see them walk away with that massive Essex Senior Cup trophy.Obviously the celebrations lasted well into the night, but it wasn't too long before the focus was switched right back to business and the 2014/15 season. Preseason was its usual uncertain self, with trialists coming and going, games being won and lost, squads being rotated, but it gave us a hint of what was to come over the next few months. One trialist was knocking the goals in seemingly for fun in Jordan Chiedozie, and he proved to be a key addition to the team this sea…