Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Chatting to the Gaffer to be!

For those of you hurredly looking in, after having seen my plug for this posting on the unofficial Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' Messageboard- don't worry folks...the panic is over! Craig Edwards will be in the First Team dug out for some time to come. Here I will be interviewing the new head honcho of "The Rabblers". None other that the man with the Pink 'n' Blue scarf that Tom Baker would be proud of: Mick O'Shaughnessy. He will be taking over running the Supporters' Team in January after our next European jaunt is completed, to Namur in Belgium. He will be ably assisted by Mark Hutton. They are replacing Lawrence Marsh & Andrew Tucker, who are standing down after three years of excellent service to the side.
So with his letter to Santa safely in the post asking for a full length managers coat, I took the time to chat to him on the terraces during our one nil home win over Eastbourne Town, just over a week ago.

RABBLER: You've been Chairman of the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' Trust, are their representative on the Club Commitee & now you are going to be in charge of the Supporters' Team. Is it a power thing with you?
MICK: Yes!
(Paul Griffin intervenes-When do you invade Poland? Mick replies: Something to be discussed. When there's disasters in places it's all about knowing when to get in and out. We'll work on it!)
But seriously, it's a desire to help, to do my bit. Others have done their bit in the past. After a few years there will be others to step into the breach when I feel my duty is done.

RABBLER: O'Shaughnessy and Hutton. To be frank it's not a pairing that immediately springs to mind when thinking of a dream team. Are you going to surprise a few people?
MICK: I'd certainly like to think so. With Hutty as my tight hand man, well you'd think he can't really surprise you anymore. But I'm sure he's got a few left hidden up his sleeve. As for our pairing, well it's a phrase that rolls off the tongue. Perfect!
Oh bollocks! Don't quote me on that! (Rabbler: The bollocks thing is referring to the game, not his new role!)

RABBLER: So what's the attraction of supporting Dulwich Hamlet for someone who lives out in the sticks in Purley?
MICK: Although I live a fair way from Champion Hill, I'm orginally a local boy. I'm a Peckham boy through and through. I was born in Camberwell, and as a kid lived in Talfourd Road, opposite Oliver Goldsmiths School, and then Moncrief Street, in Peckham, where the cinema now is. Everyone knew that Millwall was the main Football League club, and Dulwich Hamlet the non-league one. When I was at secondary school I came down, intially, to abuse one of my teachers who played for us, Dave Barker. That was at St. Thomas the Apostle, near Queens Road station, early to mid seventies. I'd always know that Dulwich Hamlet was there, but I stopping coming down for a few years. Then roughly a dozen or so seasons ago I returned, intiially on a bit of an irregular basis. The bug bit as each season went by, and now I go to as many games as I possibly can see.

RABBLER: When did you first turn out for the Supporters' Team? It was quite late in life wasn't it?
MICK: It was. Very late. Against Fulham Supporters', on a very muddy day at Motspur Park. I think we lost 10-0. We ended up staying in the clubhouse for a few jars, I think it was the BBC sportsground, as the First Team game for us had been called off. I thoroughly enjoyed the match. Especially getting to play in the same match as my son James, which cheered him up no end! I'm not entirely sure he thought I was being serious first of all when I told him I was going to have a run out!
I'd actually had no intentions of pulling my old boots back on until Andy Tucker was scrabbling about looking for some 'ringers' for his works team, and he then suggested I play for the Supporters' Team. And to be honest I'm actually really grateful he did. I've thoroughly enjoyed it ever since.

RABBLER: So who did you turn out for in your,erm, younger years?
MICK: Well first of all it was my school team, and then my church team. we stayed together and played fairly regularly until I was about 28 or 29. Although I did suffer a broken leg when I was about twenty. I was six months off work, and three months in plaster. It was my shin bone.

RABBLER: You've mentioned your boy James. No doubt his will be the first name on the team sheet. You're bound to favour your own aren't you? And I supposed he'll be excused paying match day subs too...
MICK: Of course, of course! That goes without saying. With regard to matchday fees I'm sure a generous man like Mr. Wright would be more than happy to 'donate' my sons subs, so that I personally don't have to dip my hand into my own pocket, which was the case when I was a 'mere' player. Who knows if old Wrighties does this he might even see more time on the pitch. And as a player, not just his stints as a referee or lino!

RABBLER: With regard to team selection, will you be using your personal charm to try to pursuade Lee Shailer to return to the side? He used to be one of our top supporters, only missing a couple of games in years, but he's hardly been seen this season.
MICK: No comment on Mr. Shailer's present situation! But I will be making the upmost effort trying to entice him back to the bosom of the squad.

RABBLER: Are you trying to imply that he's the tit of the team?
MICK: (laughs) no comment!

RABBLER: Larry & Andy ran the team for three years. A hard act to follow maybe? Will be be copying their 'tried and tested formula'; or do you have your own ideas for which direction you hope to take the team?
MICK: What 'tried and tested formula'? The fucking muppets! Erm, I mean...
Mr. Marsh & Mr. Tucker performed wonders with the team, & I hope, make that will endeavour, to instil the same traditions, and standards, as well as arranging a friendly standard of opposition, when both myself and Hutty run the show. They have set the benchmark, we will try to equal it, or go higher. Though if it does go a little pear shaped, then bear in mind that's Hutty not me!

RABBLER: You'll have seen quite a few Hamlet managers come and go. Who will you be basing your new role on?
MICK: ...(a big pause)...I'd like to base it on...(a long pause)... Who do I think? Who was a fucking decent Hamlet manager? I'd like to be my own man, I won't be basing myself on any of the others.

RABBLER: So there's no chance of people referring to "O'Shaughnessy and Hutton" as
the new "Ryan and Browne"?
MICK: (grins...) Over time that could well happen...

RABBLER: And as a player which Hamlet players do you model your game on?
MICK: I'd like to say Ossie Bayram, but I feel my speed has deserted me.

RABBLER: So you're more of a Lee Doherty type of player?
MICK: (anger starting to show!) No! Don't you dare compare me to that. An outrageous slur! I'm more of a Harry Cripps with the turning circle of the QEII!!

RABBLER: So who do you wish you could model your game on, given you are 'of the same build' as Peter Garland?
MICK: If I had the talent and looks of Peter Garland I'd have been a very happy man indeed!

RABBLER: So sadly, you can 'only' be plain old Mick O'Shaughnessy. What have been the most memorable moments so far of your Supporters' Team career?
MICK: I know people keep on going on about tours when they answer questions like this, but I simply can't forget Myles Quinn after his shopping trip through the boutiques of Rimini! He wore shirts that would make the most shameless of Hawaiians wear sunglasses! And that Union Jack number for someone half his age and half his size...
Also on that Rimini trip was the sight of us all walking back through a posh shooping district, on the coast, after our last game, when the last bus finished too early in the evening, and we had to walk back the last mile or so. It reall was surreal. It was a very funny moment, I was pissing myself laughing.
And there was of course a memorable moment for my right hand man Hutty, when he scored a goal in the PSG tournament in Namur, Belgium, back in May 2006. I was honoured to witness him become our oldest ever European goalscorer at the grand 'young' age of fity six! My personal aim is to be the oldest player to score a hat-trick, but part of me, deep down, thinks this might not come to pass.

RABBLER: As a team we've toured in a few European countries in the past. Every year at least once since 2002 in fact. But tell us about your ,er, unhealthy interest with Scottish football. What's all that about, and are you going to drag us all up there?
MICK: It's a day out at a new ground, that's all I'm saying. And yes, I would love the idea of a mini-tour up to Scotland some day.

RABBLER: When you take charge will there be a new level of professionalism in our approach to matches? Is there any pre-match sloppiness you will try to eradicate?
MICK: Yes! No hamburgers before games. no smoking & no alcoholic intake!

RABBLER: And where exactly do you hope to get a new squad to adhere to those rules exactly?
MICK: From the local convent by the sounds of it! But no, seriously, I just want everyone to have as much fun and enjoyment being part of the team, and for us to make & bolster friendships with other teams, as we have always tried to do over the years with the Supporters' Team.
(There is a wailing sound in the background, as Mark Hutton bursts into one of his sporadic country and western numbers)
And NO county & Western songs before games!

RABBLER: Whilst it is early days to think about your tenure, what plans are you going to put in play for "THe Rabblers" twentieth anniversary in eighteen months time?
MICK: Ah...I've no idea! I will have to give that some serious thought. Did the First Team play in Germany at the turn of the last century? I think there's an old photo in the boardroom. That's a possibility. Personally I like the idea of playing games in two countries on the same trip. But we will plan something decent, but bear in mind it will be based on a question of time, money, enough people being interested, and arranging the opposition. But I've got the summer tour of 2008 to worry about first!

RABBLER: Thanks for having a chat, good luck Gaffer!
MICK: Thanks. It's been a pleasure!

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Allez Rose et Bleu!

Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' 2, Bromley Supporters' 2.
Internet Football League
Saturday 17th November 2007
At Belair Park, Dulwich.

The Football team of our French neighbours came over the South London borders, and-unlike last season-when we got hit for six, with no reply- we bade the Hayes Lane Ultras' 'au revoir' with a share of the spoils, and our first points of the season!
The visitors arrived with a large squad for this encounter, as-somewhat unusually-did ourselves. Pre-match, based on form, it was a match the visitors would be expected to be quietly confident of bein on top, but this was not to be the case as "The Rabblers" more than matched their old rivals, and dare I say it begrudgingly, friends?
It was the Frenchies who took the lead after about twenty minutes or so. A somewhat scrappy goal, if truth be told, as the Hamlet defence tried to clear the vall out of the box, but failed miserably to do so, to conced the opening goal. This gave Bromley a fillup, and they started to pile on the pressure, but a superb Dulwich defensive rearguard managed to hold firm for a fair while, until finally the Ultras' broke through, and their slight dominance punished our gallant boys with a second goal. Another gift for them as we once again attempted to, but failed, to clear the ball, Matt Hammond made a great save, but could only get his hand on the rebound shot, which was just too powerful for him.
At this stage you might have expected 'game over' with heads dropping, as we head for, what was becoming this campaign at least, another gallant defeat. But, no! We were having none of that! From now it it was a case of: Heads up chaps! Il ne passeront pas!
The fightback had begun, and not too long before the half time whistle we had pulled a goal back when Ian Gannon scored. Game on! We pressured the Frenchies, so much so that they couldn't hold on until the interval, with Chris Garrett bagging the equaliser, to top our goalscoring charts for 2007/08! It was our guests from over the far flung borders of south-east London that looked rather relieved as they enjoyed their half time cigarettes and alcohol.
After a stirring team talk from our gaffer Monsieur LoLo Marais "The Rabblers" re-entered the fray truly believing that we could get something out of this game. And were not to be disappointed. Though no more goals came, we were worth our share of the spoils, with our 'never say die' attitude. In truth it was a fairly even second period, with the men from Champion Hill just edging it over 'les garcons from voie de hayes.' Both keepers had their work cut out, but our class and experience eventually told, even over their slightly better youth and fitness. More chances came our way in the last few moments, but we were held at bay for a very enjoyable, and keen but fairly played, honours even draw between the two sides. Roll on the return encounter at Norman Park later in the season!
Team: Matt Hammond; Chris Garrett; Jon Tennison; Lawrence Marsh; Ferenc Morath; James O'Shaughnessy; Chris Tabrett; Andy Murphy; Jack McInroy; Joel Virgo; Ian Gannon.
Subs:(all used)- John Prendergast; Gary Tabrett; Ian Wright; Kublia Hoare; Dawn Taylor; Darren Nicolas.
Match report kindly supplied by Chris Tabrett, rather belatedly unfortunately, as he's been in hospital, having suffered a clash of heads playing football recently, and recovering from a broken nose, which was why he was dressed up like an Egyptian mummy last night, watching the Eastbourne Town game!
Thanks for the report Chris!
And don't forget to scroll town a couple of posts, if you want to view some snaps of the match.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

All change!

Andy Tucker & Lawrence Marsh informed the squad today that they will be standing down from running "The Rabblers" after our end of January tour to Namur, in Belgium:

"This e-mail is to let you all know that Lawrence and I have decided to stand down from running the supporters team. We will continue to organise things up until the tour to Namur at the end of January, but will then be stepping down.
This is not a decision we have taken lightly having thoroughly enjoyed being involved with the organisation of the team over the last four years. However, both of us have found it increasingly difficult to dedicate the time necessary to organising matches this season, and the various other tasks that it involves and this has been reflected in arranging less matches and getting less players (other than the last match against Bromley obviously!). We also think that we have probably taken the team as far as we can and an injection of new ideas will be of benefit. We are very pleased therefore that Mark Hutton and Mick O’Shaughnessy will be taking over the running of the side. Mick and Hutty will no doubt be in contact shortly with details about future games and tours.
We would also like to thank all of you for the help you’ve given over the past few years. We will of course still be playing, and will make every effort not to criticise the running of the team or the organisation of anything! However, if our behaviour on the terraces is anything to go by, we may well fail."

It almost feels like the end of era, but it's not. As one chapter closes, thus another begins.
Larry & Andy have been running the show since January 2004. It has been a remarkable three years, as they have made us stronger and better as a unit. This is Supporters' Football I am referring to, where results are almost 'secondary'. It is the growth of the whole team off of the pitch where they have excelled.
Wonderful tours abroad, including our last one in July to Estonia.
Staging our first ever International Tournament at Champion Hill for our " 'Pa' Wilson Cup."
Social Team nights out for meals for the squad.
Arranging for our unique kit, based on the 1920 First Team Amateur Cup & Isthmian League double winners.
Managing to arrange regular pitches in our Dulwich heartland.
I'm sure there are many more things which you can all add to that list.
It will be a hard act for Mick O'Shaughnessy & Mark Hutton to follow, but I am in no doubt the team are in capable hands.
I am sure they will build on what Larry & Andy have achieved in their three years at the helm, and the Supporters' Team can look forward to reaching our twentieth anniversary in just under two years time!
It is a thankless task trying to keep the team together, I know for I tried to hold things together for a few years in the dim & distant past.
It might be a bit presumptious of me, but on behalf of all the players-past & present- I'd like to offer them a big thank you for all the work they've done & what they've both achieved for the team.
Now they can go back to 'enjoying' just turning up ten minutes before kick off & getting on with the game!

Friday, 23 November 2007

Action from the Ultras match

These snaps were taken on Jack's camera, by myself, which
explains why they're not the best in the world!
And these were the ones that weren't a total blur!
Still a big thank you to Jack for his help in putting them on here.

Click on each photo for a larger image.

"Aw! There, there, there!"

Not quite a 'textbook' wall, but it kept them out!

You mean it's not a 'spot the ball' competition?

There! At least the round thing's in that one!

"Hands up if you think the Snooze is better
than the SLoP?"

I hope we've got a sub..he ain't getting back
up uickly at his age!

Silky skills Chris: our only ever-present...
after only four matches!

Get stuck in, son! Dawn looks shocked...they don't
tackle like that in her girlie side on Sundays!

Answers on a postcard...
Better still just post it in the comments spot
at the bottom of this post!

Ian Wright looking nervous...wondering if he can sneak
away before he's clobbered for match subs! ;-)

Monday, 19 November 2007

Dulwich Hamlet Supporters 2 Hayes Lane Ultras' (Bromley Supporters') 2

A report of the game will follow soon, hopefully, supplied by Chris "Scoop" Tabrett.

In the meantime thanks to Jack McInroy, on whose camera I took this team snap, & for uploading it onto our blog.

Back row (left to right): John Prendergast; James O'Shaughnessy; Phil Baker; Gary Tabrett; Chris Tabrett; Lawrence Marsh; Ian Wright; Ian Gannon; Joel Virgo; Jack McInroy.
Front row (left to right): Ferenc Morath; Kublai Hoare; Dawn Taylor; Matt Hammond; Andy Murphy; Jon Tennison; Chris Garrett; Darren Nicolas.
Not in picture: (taking photographs!): Robbie McClintock; Mishi Morath.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Our next game:

Is now Saturday 17th November versus Hayes Lane Ultras FC; the Bromley Supporters' Team.
This is a 10.30am kick off at Belair Park.
The First Team are at home to Croydon Athletic in the afternoon.
This will be our first game for around a month. Unfortunately our last scheduled match was cancelled on the 27th October. We had been due to play away to Grays Athletic Supporters' at the 'half way' venue of Norman Park, in Bromley. But we, somewhat disgracefully in my opinion, could not raise a side. You can bet your bottom dollar that we will have players queuing up to pull the shirts on at HOME to Bromley, as it's only down the road.
Our Football Team is NOT just about the easy home games, and hand on heart, was Bromley really that difficult to get to?
It is about building bridges with other teams, having fun, representing our Club, and being committed to the team...not just when it's a few minutes down the road. Having tried to organise this team in the past until Andy and Larry took over I know what a thankless task it is, and when games are called off it is extremely demoralising. So please: try to make the effort. I realise that the majority of you can't make every game we play, but it really is not just about the home games, or the 'prestige' tournaments at Champion Hill Stadium; where-for some strange reason-we had a full squad, with people coming out of the woodwork to play, and some even turning turning up with their boots unexpected! If only that could happen every game eh...

Beavering away to no avail!

Hampton and Richmond Borough Supporters' 7
Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' 0
Internet Football League
Saturday 20th October 2007
at Imber Court Sportsground, East Molesey,Surrey.

Report by: Chris Tabrett.

What a contrast a few months makes! At the tailend of last season "The Rabblers" had their best result of the season, with a 10-2 victory at the Dulwich College all-weather pitch. Now, early on in the new campaign, it was the Beavers who were looking for payback and got it in this emphatic vistory. Though, if I am totally honest, the score did flatter them, and "The Rabblers" did play well. But Hampton had a huge squad of young whippersnappers, against an older, not quite so fit, Hamlet squad of only thirteen brave men and women. It could have been so different if an early goal had not been mysteriously disallowed for 'offside', and if-following that- Ian Gannon had not had his penalty attempt saved on his debut.
Dulwich started the game with a 3-5-2 formation, which was a bit weird personally, as I've never played that before. Despite going behind this was working well, but the real blow we had to suffer was when Danny King went off injured, to take no further part in the game. This threw our settled play somewhat, & half time could not come soon enough. The second half started with us playing a 4-5-1 style, & again we began strongly, but as the game went on our legs began to tire and we inevitably started to leak goals. The final part of the game was very tiring, but we still tried to keep it tight, and started to play some good football again. Fair play to Hampton andRichmond Borough supporters' for an enjoyable & sporting game despite the very one-sided scoreline!
Team: Matt Hammond; Danny King (Mark Hutton-on 35 mins) [Mishi Morath-on 65 mins]; Phil Baker; Steve Rickerby; James O'Shaughnessy; Chris Garrett; Lawrence Marsh; Chris Tabret; Dawn Taylor; Ian Gannon; Gary Tabrett.

And the Beavers viewpoint:

The following report comes from the Hampton and Richmond Borough supporters' team website:

Sat 20th Oct 2007
Johan Percherin (2)
Dan Rae (5)
Dulwich Hamlet

A bright sunny day at Imber Court which saw a bit of an Internet Football Association love in. As well as our own game vs Dulwich Hamlet on the next pitch Kingstonian were playing hosts to AFC Wimbledon (4-4 draw). Dulwich, resplendant in their pink and blue shirts, were a much changed team from the one that beat us 10-2 at the end of last season. We have also changed our line-up somewhat since that day - and you can see the improvement as our players begin to play as a team more frequently. We actually had a squad of 19 players present - which seeing as we started the day with 16 was strange in it's own way. Of the 19 players though only 16 were used as Keith J kindly volunteered to ref the whole game and Dave Rees ran the line. Both did an excellent job and the management team are grateful to them both. Paul D also suggested he didn't play to rest his calf injury and then promptly went and ran a few laps of the Imber Court field !! Boss Jamie had decided to try a different formation (5-4-1) in an effort to make us solid at the start and prevent our problem of conceding early goals. The first action of the game actually saw Dulwich having a goal disallowed for offside. The flag had been raised for the first ball into the box but the players carried on until the ball hit the net. Only then was the lino's decision noticed and a free kick to the Beavers correctly awarded - but it did seem to wake us up. We took hold of midfield and started creating chances. The first went to Danny H who hit a powerful cross shot. Shortly afterwards a short corner routine saw Michael nearly get on the end of the cross and Danny H following up just knocking the ball over the bar. As we dominated Dan broke down the left, beat the full back but was forced wide by the keeper. Dan was able to pull the ball back to Chris, but with the keeper out of position Chris's shot just went wide. Our next chance fell to Nick. DJ, whose delivery from corners and free-kicks was superb throughout, knocked in a corner and Nick's powerful header was cleared off the line. Dan had a shot from distance that went just wide and then he had a free kick on target, well held by the keeper, after Johan had been fouled. It was still 0-0 though and in a rare Dulwich Hamlet break they had a shot which just went over the bar. We finally got in front when our defence broke up a Dulwich attack which allowed Dan and Danny H to break at pace. A quick exchange of passes saw the ball at Dan's feet and he poked the ball home for a 1-0 lead. That was nearly doubled when Danny H just flicked the ball over the bar from another free-kick. Dulwich had a great chance to equalise when DJ was penalised for pushing and a penalty was awarded against us. Adam dived to his right but was able to get a strong left hand to the ball - even better he was up quickly to smother the 2nd ball and the resulting goalmouth scramble ended up with a Dulwich player hitting the ball wide of the target. Dulwich pressed forward again, this time winning a corner. The outswinging ball was met on the half-volley by the Hamlet player, but this time over the bar. Beavers then began to step up a gear...Dan had a great header from a corner which was blocked by a defender. Then the 2nd goal came - Nick and Dan won the ball in midfield and slipped the ball forward to Johan who had his back to goal. A bit of French flair and he slipped past two defenders before burying the ball past the keeper into the top corner. 2-0. Dulwich were still looking useful going forward - they had a header which went just wide and on a counter attack had two forward players onto one - but Martin stood strong and cut out the danger. Another DJ corner saw a spectacular overhead effort from Dan on target - but well held by the keeper. Nick sent in a cross, which Johan got a touch onto Danny H who fired just wide. Even Jamie nearly got on the scoresheet as his cross (don't let him tell you it was a shot) bounced past the keeper but a defender was on hand to block. Danny H nearly got to the loose ball but the keeper bravely dived back to claim. As half-time approached we finally fot the 3rd goal our 1st half performance deserved when Dan was fouled on the edge of the box. DJ delivered a quality ball again, and though this was cleared Jamie flicked the ball to Dan who curled the ball into the top corner for a 3-0 scoreline. H-T Beavers FC 3 Dulwich Hamlet 0 Second half substitutions saw Jon, Alfie, Joe and David B on for DJ, Gibbo, Chris and Danny H. Johan, who was excellent in the lone role up front, again caused the Dulwich defence problems with his pace and trickery. The first real action saw Johan try his luck from distance, just hitting the ball wide. Dulwich hit back with a chance from a free-kick, a free header just going wide. Johan though pretty much settled the game on our next attack when he tried his luck from distance and his shot just had enough pace to beat the keeper.4-0. Joe was displaying some skill down the right hand side and one cross was just cut out by the keeper with Beavers players lining up to finish the move off. Dan then scored a replica goal to the one Johan had just scored with a shot from distance just evading the keepers dive, therefore completing the first ever hatrick from a Beavers FC player.5-0. Dan wasn't satisfied with that as he continued to torment the tiring Dulwich defenders. Moving forward he tried to play a one-two with Alfie but got a lucky break off one of the defenders and was able to poke the ball home.6-0. Further substitutions saw Mark come on for Jamie - and Danny H, Chris and DJ came back on for Johan, Nick and Martin. Joe continued to show some fancy footwork but just couldn't finish the chances he got on the end of. Dan chalked up his 5th and our 7th with a smartly taken strike.7-0. Dan thought he had scored a double hatrick when he stroked the ball home from a ball Joe had pulled back from the byline. However the goal was disallowed when the ball was adjudged out of play before being cut back. Adam had to palm away a rare Dulwich shot as they went for a consolation goal. They were often leaving two or three players up front through a desire to get a goal and because they were dog tired. The defence though were determined to keep a clean sheet and Jon and Mark made a couple of superb tackles to ensure that was achieved. As we went in search of further goals chances fell to Dan, who fired just over the bar, and Joe who had an effort just pushed onto the post. Joe was further frustrated when he had a header cleared off the line and Dan's follow up was deflected over the bar. DJ delivered another great corner which Michael just failed to connect with and Dan had another effort saved after Joe had set him up after another fine bit of wing play. The final piece of action saw DJ intercept the ball near the halfway line - move forward and then strike a curling shot just beyond the far post, with the keeper beaten. F-T Beavers FC 7 Dulwich Hamlet 0 Beavers Man of the Match; Dan - but this was a fine squad performance Team Line Up Adam; DJ, Jamie H, Martin, Michael, Gibbo; Chris, Nick, Danny H, Dan; Johan Used Subs; Alfie, Mark, David B, Joe, Jon Unused Subs; Keith J, Dave R, Paul D

January tour to Belgium on!

After a 'few scares' it looks like we will have enough players willing to travel so that we will be able to raise a side to visit Namur, in Belgium, at the end of January. We were expecting to play our good friends, marshalled by Nicolas Lucas, from the Paris Saint Germain Supporters' Club (Belgium branch). But they are struggling for numbers that weekend, as some of their number are unavailable, so they are 'linking up' with the fans of their local Belgian Second division side Namur, & we will be officially doing battle with them. Which, I personally think, is marvellous, as not only do we have the pleasure of their local hospitality, it also adds new foreign opposition to our ever growing tally of teams played on our tours. Though that does seem like a rather lame excuse to me from Nicolas. Truth is I think he's 'running scared' from us, having lost at Belair Park in 2005, & then being unable to defeat are merry old band in Paris earlier this year, I think he really is running scared of suffering a hat-trick of matches where his boys have been unable to defeat us magnificent "Rabblers" over ninety minutes!
If you haven't committed yourself yet it's not too late to let Andy know you're available, so drop him a line if you're interested:
The actual date of the game is Saturday 26th January, & the First Team you will miss that day is at home to Walton & Hersham. But don't look at is as 'having to miss a match', no! More it's a case of you are taking part in another Dulwich Hamlet match the same day!
Namur are at home on the Saturday evening, & we will be cheering them on too!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

So there's now a game this Saturday & next

Saturday 20th October, away to Hampton & Richmond Borough supporters'; 10.30am kick off at Imber Court sportground.
And now the following week 'away' to Grays Athletic supporters' at Norman Park, in 'neutral' Bromley.
It seems that Andy had no response from the Gillingham supporters' team when trying to arrange a game.

I hope to include reports that some of you send in for both matches, but please note that they won't appear on here until the 1st of November, at least. This is because I am away from Tuesday 23rd October for a week, visiting Prague again, hopefully watching a mere three ice hockey games & seven football matches.

When I get back I'll put on any reports I'm sent.

Monday, 15 October 2007

IFA National Cup-We're through!

The National IFA Cup is an optional competition for IFA members, and not all clubs enter. This year clubs have been offered a sort of seeded draw at the early stages. You could opt to be regionalised, if you were concerned about long distance travelling; or you could opt for the 'national' part of the draw. Which was for the more adventurous, or gamblers who might want to play someone they haven't encountered before & have a 50/50 chance of a bit of a hike to an away game! We opted for the regionalised part of the draw.
A total of twenty eight teams have entered, from all over England & Scotland, which means a First Round of twelve ties, with four teams receiving byes to the last sixteen of the competition. And lady luck shone upon us, as we received one of those byes, along with Tranmere Rovers; Livingston & Dundee United!
The clubs having to play in the First Round are as follows:

Brentford v. Hearts
Hampton & Richmond Borough v. Queens Park Rangers
AFC Wimbledon v. Bury 'B'
Watford v. Kingstonian
Sheffield United v. Motherwell
Nottingham Forest v. Port Vale
Hull City v. Preston North End
Halifax Town v. Ayr United
Rochdale v. Chester City
Aberdeen v. Grimsby Town (something fishy about that tie!)
Airdrie v. Bury 'A'
Hibernian v. Raith Rovers

Awat to Hampton & Richmond Borough this Saturday:

So far we have just reached high enough squad numbers to be able to put out a minimum XI.
But it would be nice if more people could make themselves available. If you're undecided so far then let Andy know you can turn up ASAP at

If travelling by train from Waterloo Andy suggests the 09.06 from Waterloo. Alternatively he says get the 09.12 to Surbiton & change there.
I presume this is the trains for Thames Ditton, but Esher station is also quite close to Imber Court. He didn't actually state which station the trains were headed for in his email!

And maybe Gillingham supporters' the week after

on Saturday 27th October, in Sittingbourne, prior to our First Team match at Sittingbourne, in the Ryman Division One South.
Again, if you are interested in this, then please contact Andy ASAP, I believe he is trying to confirm the game at the moment.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Next game may be on Saturday 20th October:

The AFC Hornchurch supporters' match has now been cancelled, as Andy Tucker got no response from them, with regard to whether they were still up for the game, with the First Team game now being Friday night (tonight).
I'm not sure how many fans will make the trip tonight (hopefully 40 or 50, with it being FA Cup) but we will be boosted by a few of the Jalgpalihaigla lads who are in London for the England versus Estonia international tomorrow. It will be great to renew our aquaintance with some of them.

We have been asked by Hampton & Richmond Borough Supporters' Team if we would like to pop across South London on the 20th, & give them a game in the morning at Imber Court, the Metropolitan Police sportsground. (No, it won't be the main pitch!)
Somewhat embarrassingly as I type this Andy has had only three affirmative responses, which is-to be brutally blunt-a bloody disgrace! A Supporters' Team is about building bridges, socialising, enjoying the game regardless of ability or age, & promoting the name of Dulwich Hamlet.
Last season the 'Beaver Boys' came over to us, and we do NOT want to get a reputation for becoming a side that lets others down.
Funny how we can all make it when there's a European tour; or our own International Tournament at Champion Hill Stadium; or just down the road at Belair Park, or the all-weather at Dulwich College. There's ten people already shown an interest in going to Belgium in January. But only three to have a run out on a Saturday morning over in Esher? Something not right, surely?
So come on folks, the Hampton game isn't that far away, let Andy know you can play!
And it goes without saying that any Hamlet fans-old or new-who haven't turned out for us before, are more than welcome to offer their services.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Mid-season tour details:

Once again we are travelling at the end of January, this year not to Paris, but back to Namur, in Belgium, where we took part in the Paris St Germain (Belgium Branch) supporters' 5-a-side tournament back in May 2006.
We're not quite sure who we will be playing. It will either be PSG Belgium, if they're not scared to take us, never having beaten us in a full 90 minute eleven-a-side match! Or it might be a team comprised of the fans of Namur, who were promoted to the Belgian Second Division in the close season, after much internal Belgian footballing-political wrangling. no don't ask me, I have no idea what went on either, but the important thing is that they are now up!
The date of our trip will be the weekend of Saturday/Sunday 26th/27th January.
Please email Andy to let him know if you are interested, as he will need to sort out hotel arrangements. You will be responsible, as per usual, for your own travel. With Eurostar the best bet to Brussels. The 'bonus' of going this route is that it will give many of you your first glimpse of the new Eurostar terminal at St Pancras. Perfect! If you book early enough it is only £59 return, & you can also travel on to Namur & back to Brussels inclusive, if going there within 24 hours on the date on your ticket.
Of course this will mean that we miss a Dulwich Hamlet First Team match, which is at home to Walton & Hersham.
But then I don't look on it as missing a Dulwich Hamlet game, but representing the Club in another.

The next game(3):

Still a case of watch this space I'm afraid.
All was looking well and good, with an away draw to Ryman Premier Division pacesetters AFC Hornchurch in the FA Cup, due to be played next Saturday, the 13th October. Not 'weel & good' with the actual draw, it won't be an easy tie, but because Andy Tucker contacted them & arranged a friendly Supporters' match with them. It's always great to line up a bunch of fans who we've never taken on before.
But then...last night we hear that the Club has belatedly agreed to a Fright night game, with a 7.45pm kick off, which puts our one on the Saturday morning in doubt.
There is now the possibility of a game the following Saturday 21st October, away to Hampton & Richmond Borough supporters'; who have asked us for a game.
So when the next game actually is I do not know!
Keep on looking at the emails Andy sends out, and as I said at the beginning of this post: Watch this space!

Sunday, 30 September 2007

The next game(2):

We have beaten Chalfont St. Peter 2-1 in the FA Cup Second Qualifying Round this afternoon. The draw is tomorrow. Watch this they say!
Hopefully it will be kind to us & we will still have a Supporters' Team match on the 13th.

Friday, 28 September 2007

The next game...

is provisionally scheduled for Saturday 13th October.
Subject to who we might get drawn against if we beat Chalfont St Peter in the FA Cup at Champion Hill on Sunday afternoon, as 13th October is the scheduled date of the third qualifying round. We may have a Ryman League game, a Cup game, or maybe no game at all that day!
But Andy Tucker has emailed round to say we might be playing Welling United or even JK Jalgapallihaigla, from Estonia, at home!
Watch this space, as they say!
In the meantime if you are interesting in having a run out for the Supporters' Team then email him at for more details. no commitment needed, just express an interest and you'll get added to the team mailing list.

No Special K's for The Rabblers!

Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' 1
Kingstonian Supporters' 3
Intenet Football League
Saturday 22nd September 2007
at Belair Park

A game I missed as I was in Berlin for the weekend (Four groundhops at 1FC Union Berlin; Hertha Berlin; FC Brandenburg 03 & BFC Viktoria 1889, in case you were wondering) and after two heavy defeats last season against the Ks fans this must have been a game approached more with intrepidation rather than anticipation! Although it's never nice to lose, the scoreline shows a much closer encounter than the last two!

Andy Tucker kindly sent me a few words about the game:
"A game we should have killed off in the first half, but went in at 0-0. A well worked team goal saw us go 1-0 up, but some slack defending for Ks first two goals killed us off, and they scored their third on the break as we pushed forward for an equaliser. Disappointing not to win, but always nice to play against the Kingstonian lads. Also our team was once again a genuine Supporters' Team, with no 'guest' players.
My man of the match was the evergreen Ferenc Morath; & the duo who are 'named & shamed' are Phil Doyle, for running off without paying his match subs,as well as not letting anyone know he was going to turn up in the first place! (That's what emails are for folks. Please keep Andy tucker informed of your availability! And Ian Wright, for not turning up, when he said he would be."

For his 'official' report to the IFA Yahoo Group, he wrote:
" A great game played in excellent spirits. The first-half ended 0-0 although if we had taken one of our numerous chances we had from close range it wouldn't have! Kingstonian always looked dangerous on the break, and we paid for our lack of goal scoring in the second half. The key moment of the game I thought was at 1-0 up, a superb close range save from Andy in the Ks goal stopped us going 2-0 up, which I think would possibly have killed it off. It was 1-1 a couple of minutes later, some slack marking allowed Ks to score a second from a corner, and as we pushed for an equaliser, they broke to be four on one and score the third with a minute to go!"

For those of you who are wondering, the IFA Yahoo Group is how you post fixtures and results. If you don't post the details of the game beforehand you cannot gain any points, and cannot post it retrospectively. Most teams include a little report, like this one, when posting the result; and the away team often reply to it.

Thanks to Chris Tabrett, who has kindly done a report of the match. Here is what he had to say:

"This game is always a familiar battle between the opposition as we have played them numerous times beofre in the past. The first half was a tight half with few chances with a few balls over the top for the two strikers to run onto, but the Kingstonian keeper came out and collected each time. This was until an awkward back pass was booted into the pathway of Gary Tabrett, but the referee quickly blew up for 'handball', when it clearly wasn't, but we didn't complain. There were a couple more chances for 'The Rabblers', with the ball getting played over the top to Matthew Virgo, which had a bit too much pace on it, but he never stopped running for the ball. The only chance I remember that Kingstonian had in the first half was a well hit shot to the right side of the goal but stand-in keeper Andy tucker pulled off a great save that any keeper would be proud of. Kingstonian did not have any chances in the eighteen yard box as the 'Rabblers' back line was too strong. At half time it finished 0-0. The second half there were no changes to the team and we were expecting more of the same. As the game went on it opened up a bit more. 'The Rabblers' goal came around the hour mark with a piece of brilliance from Matthew Virgo who hit a low, hard cross-shot across the face of goal to set up strike partner Gary Tabrett with an easy finish. Advantage to the 'Rabblers'. Then Kingstonian started to pile the pressure but the back line was coping well with some great challenges by Lawrence Marsh, Phil Baker and Ferenc Morath which kept the game at one nil. This was until Kingstonian equalised with a header from a well taken corner. With the score now level Kingstonian piled on more pressure and got the second goal through a couple of scrappy clearances where they took full advantage with a shot that couldn't be saved right in the corner of the goal. In the last five minutes Dulwich Hamlet pushed everyone forward and had a couple of half chances before Kingstonian broke away on the counter attack with a cross swung in from the side of the pitch with a great finish from a volley. So the game finished 3-1, but I think the result flattered Kingstonian. I think everyone today played very well and showed a lot of heart and never stopped.
Team: Andy Tucker; Lawrence Marsh; Phil Baker; Ferenc Morath; Chris Garrett; James O'Shaughnessy (Phil Doyle); Chris Tabrett (Dawn Taylor); Jack McInroy; Kublai Hoare; Matthew Virgo; Gary Tabrett (Mark Hutton).
Goalscorer: Gary Tabrett.

And finally here's what they thought(from the Kingstonian messageboard!):

Lesmundo(Le fox in le box): "Well done to all the lads who played on Saturday! We were easily the better side and if we had not have won it would have been a huge injustice. "
Simon M: "Thought everyone played well on Saturday...I enjoyed playing centre back, but happy to move back out wide when Gary & Damo are back...definitely echo the words on Ben, Alex and Sam, without them we'd only have had 8, and they all did really well"
Simon B: "It has been a difficult start to the season for the K's supporters team but on saturday it all came together and an excellant TEAM performance resulted in a 3-1 win against our old friends Dulwich Hamlet. The game was very even in the first half and went in 0-0 at half time. Dulwich took the lead before Lesmundo equalised with a sweet finish. We took control of the game from here and it was no surprise that we scored a second, the only surprise being Foley scored and it wasn't a pen. We saved the best till last as Lemundo beat a man on the half way line and sprinted down the right wing and put a beautiful cross over for Ben Duddy to volley home with ease. A big thank you and well done to the 11 that made it and as Les and Si mentioned, Alex, Sam and Ben who were recruited at 9 o'clock Friday night and were brilliant. To finish, Dulwich gave our MOM to Lesmundo."

Thanks to Chris & Andy for their contributions, & I hope the Ks fans don't mind me plundering their messageboard!
For future games feel free to email me your match reports, I am more than happy to publish more than one if a few
of you are keen! Just email them to either myself, or Andy Tucker, & he will forward them on to me.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Next game: Saturday 22nd September

10.30am kick off
at Belair Park
versus Kingstonian Supporters'
At the moment we do NOT have a full team for this match!
If you are available to play, & just as importantly if you are not available, then email Andy at to let him know!
If you haven't played for us before, and are just a Hamlet fan, no matter how long standing, or if you are a new fan, and want to play then please feel free to drop him a line to let him know.
We welcome, and positively need, more squad players.
We are one of the, if not the, supporters' team with the lowest fan base in the Internet Football Association, so need more people on board!
By showing an interest does not mean you are making a commitment to every game. You can play in as many or as few as you wish.
So get in touch today!
Thank you.

A last gasp defeat!

Dover Athletic Supporters' 6 Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' 5
Saturday 8th September 2007 at Archers Court playing fields, Dover, Kent.
Dover were a step into the unknown for us, never having crossed swords with them before, though we did once enter a five-a-side competition run by their Trust a few years ago, which was played on their training area, just behind the goal, at the end of the ground where their bar is. What sort of 'monsters' were they going to be? For if you were to believe all you read on the unofficial Ryman forums then Dover is not the most hospitable place to come to. But I only judge on what I find, and from start to finish, they seemed a decent bunch. First they met us at the station and gave us lifts, right up to the final whistle when they handed out a tray of sandwiches, oh and some doughnuts mostly consumed in his epitimous gannet style by old man Hutty! Though they claimed to have had five goals disallowed, most were for pot shots at goal well after their own referee had blown for offisde, and one was after the whistle had gone after our keeper had been fouled! Though they said it was 'banter' I personally thought they gave their referee a bit too much abuse, and thought he did a reasonable job. We've certainly had a lot worse!
The only downer was the showers not working, as we were told by some of the locals that there was a problem with the pump, so it was plenty of deodorant and a somewhat sweaty bunch of Rabblers who headed to the Crabble for the big game in the afternoon. A game of two halves, Dover should have been 4 or 5 up at half time, but we turned in a superb second half performance, and matched them in the second half. not as one sided as some of their posters on their forum suggested! After we adjourned to 'The Cricketers' by the ground to watch the England game, and despite us coming back to deny them all three points the natives there were also friendly, and you have to wonder where Dover get such a reputation from? Jealousy perhaps?
But back to our game in the morning...I'll hand over to Andy Tucker to give you his version of events:
" The Supporters' Team were beaten in a frustrating manner in their first iFA match of the season away to Dover. A slow start saw Dover take the lead but Dulwich roared back at them to go 2-1 up at half-time, the second from Chris Garrett reminiscent of his one man march against PSG (Belgium) in Paris in January. Dulwich continued where they left off for the first thrity minutes of the second half with some marvellous play on the break, and with fifteen minutes left found themselves 4-1 up. As we started to tire against the fresher and younger legs of Dover (they had a squad of over twenty lads to choose from!) 'The Rabblers' were pegged back to 4-3, only for some comedy keeping to gift Lawrence Marsh our fifth with eight minutes to go. But tired legs told and it looked to be finishing 5-5 (probably fair on reflection) before 'time added on for the opposition to score' saw the cruel ending with Dvoer scoring the winner with literally the last kick of the match, despite nano-seconds earlier the referee indicating that there was still two minutes left to play. Well done to everyone who played-a stirling effort. Special mention for Shaun Dooley who returned to 'active service' after a break of almost a decade!
Named & shamed for not turning up and not letting anyone know in advance: Phil Doyle."
"The Rabblers": Andy Tucker; Nicolas Lucas; Paul Griffin; Chris Wheeler; Danny King; Mick O'Shaughnessy; Andy Murphy; Shaun Dooley; Lawrence Marsh; Ference Morath; Chris Garrett. Subs used: Dawn Taylor; Mishi Morath.
Goalscorers: Lawrence Marsh (2); Chris Garrett (2) Andy Murphy.

Back row: (left to right) Ferenc Morath; Lawrence Marsh; Mick O'Shaughnessy; Andrew Tucker; Mark Hutton; Nicolas Lucas; Chris Wheeler; Paul Griffin.

Front row: (left to right) Chris Garrett; Dawn Taylor; Shaun Dooley; Danny King; Andy Murphy; Mishi Morath.

More Estonian thoughts...

this time from team organiser Andrew Tucker, who was instrumental in setting up the tour:

"The tour to Tallinn was one of my favourites. Having been involved with running the team, and subsequently doing a lot of the organisation for the tour, for about three years, this was undoubtedly one of the best! I was quietly pleased with just how smoothly most of it went. Eight (I think) of us picked up a taxi from Champion Hill at some ungodly hour in the morning on the Thursday and got to Stansted within about fifty minutes. We then had the traditional fry-up at the airport before strolling through passport control, wandered round the shops then on to the gate.
The flight left apporximately on time, and before we knew it we were in Estonia. We then all got cabs to the hotel. And were greeted by Hutty and Big Nose wondering why their name wasn't at the hotel. Read your e-mails you buffoons! Anyway, we all checked in with little fuss and were up and running. Madis kindly came and joined us for some lunch/dinner before taking us to a UEFA Cup game that FC Flora Tallinn were playing where we saw some more of our friends from JK Jalgpallihaigla. The next day saw a few more join us and then that evening, the first major problem. Lucas Green was stranded by the floods in England and had missed his flight. Whilst everyone else enjoyed the food and company at the pub we were at, I spent most of the time on the phone or texting to work out what could be done. Could we change kick-off time, as he may be able to get here for 1 0'clock if he goes via Prague? Hang on, what about a flight to Helsinki, then a ferry? A quick stop at Kiev before boarding? As the price and air miles racked up, it became increasingly apparent it wasn't going to happen. When all of a sudden, he says 'Hang on' and hangs up! The next thing I know I get a text saying he will be on the Easyjet flight from Stansted the following morning as someone has dropped out. One of those 'happenings' which are a pain at the time, but will live long in the memory as 'making the tour'. And I settled back to the strange concoction of food in front of me, relaxing in the knowledge we now had thirteen players again!
So onto the game itself the next morning. I was very proud of our boys (& girl) who worked incredibly hard throughout. Six goals for Gaffer Marsh-surely a Club record that will never be beaten-,the greatest own goal of all time by Mr Griffin, and a water bottle in the balls for our very own Belgian Admiral! Despite the result, we all enjoyed the game and enhanced our friendship with the Estonians which was the real point of the tour! A good night out was had by all, including Lucas providing more entertainment by getting into a fight with the Russian taxi-driver. Bloody drunken tight wad!
I don't remember much about the Sunday except for the evening where the squad went out for a meal together. Both Lawrence & I were very grateful for everyone paying for our food that night-it really was appreciated. The evening got better as we reitred to the hotel back yard and entertained the rest of the hotel with Daddy O'Shaughnessy's collection of punk rock, heavy metal & assorted jurassic tunes from the seventies, the pick of the bunch being 'Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me' by those shy, retiring lads from 'Rage Against The Machine'. Due to the amount of noise we were making we were forced to adjourn indoors to the hotel bar, where the chap behind the jump kept us entertained with a Shakin' Stevens album(I kid you not!) and we entertained ourselves with a rather childish but very funny peanut fight. Then it was time to say goodnight. Apparently Mick spent a good thirty minutes throwing up in the toilet later, much to Shailer's disgust as Mick had their room key. Hutty provided the cabaret in the corridor for Vern, the Gaffer & me by announcing to the world 'Farewell comrades!', turning to his bedroom door and squealing 'Oooooh, I've locked myself out!'
Monday saw the majority of the squad leave, thus the tour 'proper' ended. I was very pleased with how it went-very little in the way of hiccups (at least ones we could have avoided) and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. We look forward to hopefully returning next year, at the same time conquering Latvia, as we also hope to play a match in Riga."

Friday, 7 September 2007

A jolly day out this weekend

when we open our Internet Football Association season with a match away to the Jollyboys from Dover Athletic, who Andy Tucker has managed to pursuade to join the IFA, with 'The Rabblers' being their virginal opponents!
Last weeks short sided warm-up away to Erith & Belvedere supporters' was cancelled when they couldn't raise a side, but Andy tells me there are tentative plans to accept an invite from them for a full eleven a side match at the end of the season on their Park View Road stadium pitch, which they co-own with Welling United!
It should be fun, no matter the score, & they are being kind enough to meet us at Dover Priory station, to give us lifts to the pitch they have booked.
We have a large squad due to travel down to the Kent coast, in our usual 'rag bag' public transport style. With a mix of us on the London Bridge & Victoria services, both due in Dover at around quarter to ten.
The squad named earlier in the week is as follows:
Andy Tucker; Steve Rickerby; Mick O'Shaughnessy; James O' Shaughnessy; Nicolas Lucas; Robbie McLintock; Mishi Morath; Ferenc Morath; Mark Hutton; Paul Griffin; Chris Garrett; Danny King; Phil Doyle; Chris Wheeler; Andy Murphy & Lawrence Marsh.
Though I understand that Robbie McLintock has already sent his apologies & Steve Rickerby may not be fully fit to have a run out, as he is recovering from a back injury.
Possible late additions, in case of drop-outs are Phil Baker & Dawn Taylor, who are bringing their boots in the hope of a run-out.
Not playing but popping down to cheer us all on are injured Matt Hammond & long retired, but hopefully he can be enticed to get his boots out of the loft, our former player-manager Shaun Dooley.

Friday, 24 August 2007

Two, well one & a half, games coming up:

Two new teams who we've never played before for our next two fixtures.
On Saturday 1st September we have a 7-a-side match away to Erith & Belvedere supporters'. They don't quite have the numbers to play full eleven a side games. But then it's never stopped us before, what with the amount of late cry offs we have to put up with, and our liberal use of 'guest players' to make up the numbers!
The following Saturday we have an 11 o'clock kick off away to Dover Athletic Supporters' Team, prior to the 'big boys' match at The Crabble in the afternoon. This is, potentially, already one of our biggest first Team matches of the season, so you don't really have an excuse not to play have you? Even Nicolas Lucas will be there, travelling all the way from Namur, in Belgium! Whilst we've not played the dover fans before, we did enter a five a side competition they ran about four or five years ago, where we were made very welcome & had a good day out. More of the same hopefully!
Once again please remember to let andy know ASAP if you are available for either game. You should have had his email a couple of weeks ago, but if you've forgotten to reply & deleted it already just send him one to:

Thursday, 23 August 2007

More snaps from Tallinn...

These ones courtesy of Paul Griffin. They were taken on the Sunday evening, when those of us who had not had to dash back to dear old Blighty, enjoyed a medieval style banquet at one of the many pleasant restaurants in the old town. We opted for the sumptious menu that included such tasty dishes as wild boar; bear; various game, salmon, elk and more! It really was quite delicious (well most of it anyway...) and a great way to wind down the tour. Highlight was the toast & words of thanks by our elder statesman Mark Hutton, offered up to thank Andy Tucker & Lawrence Marsh for all their hard work in arranging the tour, & making it such a success!

This snap is of Hutty, who couldn't resist posing by the Belarus
National Under Eighteen sides team coach, after we watched them
beat the Estonian Under 18's on the Saturday evening.

One old communist relic posing with another...

Oh dear, that's the sad sight of the sunburnt legs of Mishi
Morath, that little gap between the shorts and the top of the
socks, from his brief runout against Jalgpallihaigla!
(Don't worry might help me with the photos, but I
do this blog, & don't worry son: revenge will be sweet! ;-)

Monday, 20 August 2007

Greeting from Estonia!

Not long after we got back I received this message from Madis Hallimae, who helps to run JK Jalpallihaigla:

"In my opinion it was a marvellous weekend with marvellous people.
It was nice to see again familiar faces of the people who were great hosts for us when we came to Dulwich in May.
I think the friendly we played in Tallinn was an interesting one-to see so many goals in the game was surprising for us. I was really happy about the one I scored in the last minute-this is the first ever goal I have scored because usually I have to stay between the posts as a goalkeeper. But of ocurse the star of the game was Lawrence Marsh, for your team. Scoring six goals is real class in itself, to be honest our star-striker only got three himself. And the own goal from your player. It was a pretty good one and many of our players voted it 'the most beautiful own goal ever scored!'
I am pleased that you all enjoyed your time in Tallinn, it is really nice to hear you say so. Our team also enjoyed the weekend, both on & off the field. We will definitely see you again!


Wonderful words there, from a wonderful person. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to go back out there next summer. We also hope to fix up a game in neighbouring Riga, in Latvia. This would be the first time we have taken in two countries to play games on a single tour. More "Rabblers" history in the making!

Looking back at Estonia...

Time moves on, but the memories linger....

The Jalgpallihaigla website has a report of the game, but unfortunately for us it's all in Estonian! (Naturally, I suppose) But one thing that does stand out at the bottom of it is their list of goalscorers, or to be precise the one that put them 2-1 up in the seventeenth minute. Click here and check it for yourself...
Yes it really does say BAKER when it was actually GRIFFIN who scored the wonder oggie. For the record it was Phil Baker who hit the back of his own net in 2003 against the host team on our Prague Tour, our last match of that tournament. But it was indeed Paul Griffin who swivelled on the proverbial sixpence to hit the ball low into the corner of the net past poor old Matt Hammond. At least Phil had the satisfaction of knowing he'd kippered Ian Wright when he got his! Though Phil 'El Pussy' Baker is no stranger to being on the other side of the dreaded oggie when Mick O'Shaughnessy put one past him in our 3-2 victory over Red Star supporters' in Paris in 2005!

There are some cracking photos from our Estonian tour on the Jalgpallihaigla site here.

And if you haven't seen the snaps taken by Paul Griffin you can view them here.

And thank you to both photographers for letting me use them here.

Tucker Sun Shark Photos

Not content with our recent trip to Estonia, team fixture secretary, wannabe manager & Larry's gopher, Andy Tucker, was down in St. Ives, down in Cornwall with a free lance photographer mate, rather than taking in the 'delights' of the Hamlet First Team & Reserves double header in the Crawley suburbs of Three Bridges. And who can blame him? For he had nothing more planned than a couple of hours sunbathing & gawping at the local girls when 'The Sun' roadshow turned up with a couple of Page Three girls in tow. And this is where a bit of lady luck shone on him. For they had forgotten to sort out any promotional staff, & he became 'camera boy' for his snapper mate as they helped out. As if that wasn't jammy enough he got paid £250 for the privelege, which more than paid for the weekend away!

'Well I didn't quite get the tour T-shirts done, anyone for
St. Ives next season?'

The Cornwall Shark-even more plastic than the claims of Paul Griffin to come from the Duchy!

Monday, 13 August 2007

Apologies for anyone looking in

but I haven't had the time, or means, to update this site over the last few weeks.
I am hampered somewhat by not owning my own computer, and don't expect to update anything on here until the evening of Monday 20th August.
Please look back then. Thanks!

Saturday, 28 July 2007

What a wonderful tour: JK Jalgpallihaigla 10 Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' 6!

Despite the scoreline it was yet another successful tour for ‘The Rabblers’, enjoyed immensely by all who took part. Our Estonian friends were even better hosts than we imagined, and Tallinn itself was an even more beautiful city than we’d been led to believe. The only ‘downer’ was that we didn’t all have enough time there!
The majority of the fifteen strong tour party arrived by Thursday, with the rearguard getting to the hotel on Friday. The early bunch were lucky enough to catch a UEFA Cup match, at the national A Le Coq Arena, on the Thursday evening. Local side FC Flora going down to visiting Norwegians Valerenga IF by the only goal of the game. Our match, at 1 o’clock on Saturday, was somewhat more high scoring! We eventually lost by the amazing scoreline of 10-6, but in truth the four goal margin flattered the hosts somewhat, though it was such dun we weren’t complaining too much. But even before a ball was kicked in anger there was real drama in the Dulwich Hamlet camp as a flurry of phone calls between a stranded Lucas Green & a despairing Andy Tucker made the possibility of one of our touring lynchpins not being with us. Unbeknown to us soaking up the rays in the sunny Baltics, there were near monsoons all over England, & Lucas had his train severely delayed by a landslide on the line as he tried to make his flight at Gatwick. Attempts to namedrop “Don’t you know who my brother is…” were doomed to failure & the plane was airborne without him. A major disaster was looming, but Lucas would not be beaten. All remaining flights to Tallinn were full, and he searched for all possibilities. Going via Helsinki, then boat. Prague. Berlin…train onwards. You name it, he tried it. But then, after more badgering, a seat became available on the morning flight! And with an hour to spare Lucas was on the touchline! A true “Rabblers” hero, who deserves to go down in folklore for his efforts. And although we did not win the game, he put in a sterling performance that, on any other day, would have won him our player of the match award. But not today. As true Hamlet history was made. The all-time known Dulwich Hamlet First Team club record of goals scored in a match by a single player is six, the only one post-War was Matt Fowler in a London Senior Cup tie at Bromley in the late nineties. Prior to that you have to delve all the way into the dim & distant past of the nineteen twenties when both Sid Nichol & the legendary Edgar Kail hit a double hat-trick each in the same match no less! Now the name LAWRENCE MARSH can be added to that list as he scored all six for “The Rabblers” on this tour against JK Jalgpallihaigla! Who would have ever thought it eh? Lawrence Marsh mentioned alongside the great Edgar Kail? How fitting that he achieved this wearing our new “Rabblers” kit of thin Pink & Blue stripes, modelled on the 1919/20 FA Amateur Cup & Isthmian League championship winning double side, that Edgar was part of.
Of the match itself…well we were always the underdogs, & our main hope was to stifle them a little, not let them play & keep in the game for as long as possible. Which was not going to be easy. The temperature was in the mid seventies at least, and we only had two substitutes. A large part of our party were the wrong side of thirty, and two were well into their fifties! But Jalgpallihaigla had wave after wave of youthful substitutes with which to ring in the changes. Their oldest player, & he was their eldest by far, was a ‘young pup’ of 42. We went a goal behind after eleven minutes, but only five minutes later Larry Marsh had evened things up. But any hopes of a lift from this, that ‘we can do this’ self belief factor, was smashed less than sixty seconds later when Paul Griffin put the ball through his own net, under no pressure from the opposition, when all he had to do was knock the ball into touch, either for a corner or a throw. But no, he hit it with hard precision into the bottom corner of the net, leaving a bemused Matt Hammond in goal with no chance. A crestfallen Griff collapsed to the ground, and held his head in his hands. And so he should. This moment was a far cry from his moment of glory when he scored against the Swiss in Prague back in 2003. After the final whistle Griff tried to tell us that he was ‘aiming for the corner flag.!’ Not long after Matt conceded, what he will admit was a ‘soft goal’. But not entirely his fault. Firstly, he was suffering from an attack of ‘Severe Post Traumatic Stress’ as a result of that own goal; & secondly, he was playing the game with a finger strapped up, which he’d injured playing in the Sevens a few days before. Unbeknown to him he had actually broken his finger & was playing through the pain barrier to take part in this tour. But going two goals behind was going to stop our man making history, and by the half hour mark it was even stevens once more, before the Estonians edged in front again. But minutes before the half time whistle Larry had again put the ball in the back of the net to make it four all at the turnaround.
After the break the heat, and advancing years, made it a wearisome task for “The Rabblers”, but despite starting to wilt not one player gave up & battled gamely on, even when the Estonians pulled away with a two goal lead. Larry pulled one back in the 63rd minute, & held on for another seven minutes before Jalgpallihaigla hit two more in a five minute spell, which would have finished off lesser sides. With two minutes to go they hit another, before Larry gleefully scored his record breaking sixth goal of the game, their tenth in the very last minute moments later, almost seeming like a ‘consolation’ as all of us enjoyed a breather as the desperately awaited final whistle blew not long after.
I could go through the whole team and mention them all one by one. But there is no need. I have been watching, and involved in, the Supporters’ Team since it was formed back in May 1989. This was-despite the scoreline-one of our finest moments. Wilting in the heat everyone gave their all & never stopped working. Each and every player who pulled on a Pink ‘n’ Blue shirt last Saturday can be proud of themselves, for if heads had dropped then the scoreline would have been much higher. Never have I got so much ‘pleasure’ from a defeat.
The parting continued all night. We knocked back the beers they had provided on the touchline, then dashed back to our hotel to dump our gear. Some returned to the pitch next to where we had done battle to watch a top flight Estonian League match between JK Tallinna Kalev & Parnu Vaprus, before popping into a local bar. We then saw an international match at the same place between Estonia Under 18’s & Belarus. After the final whistle we headed to a local pool bar that our Estonian friends knew well. We left there just before midnight & headed into the Old Town, one of their number stripping naked and jumping into a fountain for fun! Yes…they really were that crazy! We settled into one of the main tourist pubs, and at about two in the morning we split into two groups, some heading back to the hotel, others going onto a local punky-type nightclub in a shopping centre!
Sunday was spent relaxing, sightseeing, or even watching more football as a few caught a local second division match. In the evening we all had a ‘team meal’ in a medieval style restaurant in town, some of things being sampled were wild boar, rabbit, bear, salmon & plenty more I can’t recall as I type, washed down with lots of wine & jugs of honey beer. A splendid end to a marvellous weekend.
Once again, a BIG THANK YOU to Lawrence Marsh & Andy Tucker for organising & everything, & liasing with Madis & company from Jalgpallihaigla.
The sadness at leaving Tallinn was tempered by the fact there is no doubt we will return to play the boys from Jalgpallihaigla again in the not too distant future. The beauty of travelling to unchartered places with ‘The Rabblers’ is that another small part of Europe becomes embedded in our English hearts. A little part of Tallinn will forever be Pink and Blue.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

The invasion has begun!

As a crisis mounts in Whitehall between the James Bond wannabees of the United Kingdom and Russia with mandarins set to be expelled left right and centre, 'The Rabblers' set out on their latest attempt at footballing glasnost with a ground-breaking trip into former Soviet Union territory as we travel to, now independent, Estonia to take on our friends from JK Jalgpallihaigla, in Tallinn.
As is befitting an outfit such as ours we are going over there in dribs and drabs. Advance parties include Mark Hutton & Phil Baker who are in Warsaw, Poland as I type, before making their way down to the Baltic state of Estonia. Paul Griffin arrived in Tallinn this morning, with most of the rest leaving Stansted tomorrow morning. I will be with the rearguard on the Friday morning flight. Though we are all based in the same hotel!
The match itself is at 1 o'clock Saturday afternoon their time. I don't think we are expecting to get any sort of result over there, apart from keeping the score 'respectable', but there's no harm in dreaming....
The important thing is that we enjoy ourselves, make friendships stronger & do Dulwich Hamlet proud!
Estonia is added to our growing list of tours, our first of which was six years ago! Time really does fly.
The full list being:
2002: Amsterdam, Netherlands.
2003: Prague, Czech Republic.
2004: Rimini, Italy.
2005: Paris, France
2005: Liege, Belgium.
2006: Namur, Belgium.
2007: Paris, France.
& now Tallinn, Estonia.

I wonder if there is any supporters' team in the country who can boast a better European touring record than us?

Apparently Tallin is a city full of internet connections, so hopefully I will post a brief score of the match on here Saturday evening, or Sunday morning. If not, then when I am back in London on Monday afternoon.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Girls against boys

The record books will show that on Sunday 7th July Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' Football Team overcame their female counterparts by EIGHT goals to nil, on the all weather pitch at Dulwich College. Emphatic it was, but not quite as easy a rout as the scoreline suggested, in this truncated game of only half an hour each way, at the girls insistence. Which is a bit strange, seeing as they billed this game: 'HISTORY IN THE MAKING' & claimed that WE were more like 'ramblers', rather than 'The Rabblers', given our pace! I think the scoreline tells you how seriously we can take their pre-match hype! ;-)
Despite never looking like losing, as would be expected, due to the natural physical strength of theboys, the Village had a few chances to score, and Matt Hammond had to earn his post match BBQ burgers to keep a clean sheet. It was good to see a number of non-regular "Rabblers" making a re-appearance in the Pink 'n' Blue, namely Tony Mullins, Roger Deason, Paul Griffin & Mishi Morath. Though Danny King has become a bit of an irregular player himself, and could almost be included in that list. Star of the show was Larry Marsh, who hit half of the 'Rabblers' goals, one in particular being a 'blaster' right at the keepr from yards out! The other goals came from Andy Murphy, who in my book was our man of the match, Chris Garrett, Chris Wheeler & Steve Rickerby, who sublime chip from the touchline at least thirty yards out, has been compared to that famous Nayim lob against Arsenal in that European final..or, alternatively, a cross gone wrong!
Peckham Village, I think it would be fair to say, are a development team. They finished last in their third division in the Greater London Womens' League last season. And despite some who thought this may have a been a silly mismatch beforehand, it became a decent game, with some of the skill on dplay and the 'never say die' spirit from the girls earning the full respect of the boys by the time the final whistle was blown. I don't think there is anyone who took part against them who would say they will be rock bottom come May 2008. On this showing they should be comfortably mid table at least. They are a team who the majority had not played any football at all before froming Peckham Village FC. So credit to them all.
If you've nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon next season you could do a lot worse than checking out their site & popping down to the Griffin sportsground in Dulwich Village to cheer them on. Provided it doesn't clash with Dulwich Hamlet Youth Team games of course! ;-)
The new kit, based on the great Dulwich Hamlet 1919/20 Amateur Cup & Isthmian League double winning side, looks splendid. Big thanks to Larry Marsh & Andy Tucker for arranging it.

After the final whistle we had a fun penalty shoot out, I can't remember the exact score, but they won in sudden death. Phil 'Big Nose' Baker contrived to miss his, so we could get onto the important matters in hand, namely the post match BBQ at Dawn Taylors place in East Dulwich. Those of us who went enjoyed immensely, some more than others eh Big Nose, and we let the girls come out tops at the cooking as well, thanks for slaving over the barbie Dawn, and also the silly 'pick up the box' game in the garden after dark! Not half as sordid as it sounds!

Hopefully this match will become an annual event.

Enjoy the photos below, kindly uploaded by Paul Griffin, albeit too big for the page, but if you click on each one you should be able to look at them.

You can also see the snaps Griff took of the match himself by clicking here.

Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' FC, Saturday 7th July 2007: Back row, left to right: Tony Mullins; Chris Wheeler; Mark Hutton; Steve Rickerby; Lawrence Marsh; Phil Baker. Front row, left to right: Chris Garrett; Danny King; Roger Deason; Matt Hammond; Andy Murphy; Phil Doyle; Mishi morath. (Not in photo: Paul Griffin ,arrived a liitle late)

Peckham Village FC: Saturday 7th July 2007, at Dulwich College all-weather pitch.

Boys and girls together!

Didn't want to leave anyone out on the sideline!

Just as well it's only hoops that make you fat! ;-)

Well I never said I was David Bailey! ;-) The ball must be nearby...

Totally out of character: on another planet perhaps? ;-)

That's Paul Griffin in action on the right, making up for missing the team photo!

Not fair! That was the 'infamous' blaster! ;-)

At last the final whistle!

But where's your Dulwich Hamlet tattoo?

I take back that earlier caption: it looks like he's from another planet! ;-)

Enjoying a last gasp cigarette before the pub ban kicks in!

So it's true you only have one eye...

Another half hour anyone? NO THANKS!

And so to the penalties...

And here's the real reason for playing them...

Tuck in chaps!

Oh no, is that a spot? ;-)

At least one of them knows how to smile...

Have you ever seen a more shady character than our Fidel...

So who's nicked the jam jar?

Is this what Cameron meant when he said 'hug a hoodie?'...

The girls gwt in party mood

As the boys drink on outside

Someone get some more beers from the kitchen sink...

The boys line up with our host Dawn

The George Galloway of Champion Hill

The Jonathan King of Champion Hill....

Getting a bitter drunker...

You had to pick up the box without your hands touching the ground. Each round the box got cut down shorter & shorter, until it was no higher off the floor than a box of cigarettes.

It got all too much for some. As 'Big Nose' Baker dozes off on the sofa I'll say good night to you too at the end of this post!