Archive for May, 2010

Eight sign up to co-own UpTheSaddlers

roger6 @ 10:14 pm Thursday 27 May 2010

Massive thanks to the eight members of the UpTheSaddlers community who have in the past week signed up to co-own the site with a £10 monthly donation to cover running costs.

The ownership scheme remains open so if you’d like to help secure the future of the site have a look at the details

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The No News Round-Up 1

Exile @ 1:55 am Monday 24 May 2010

It’s Summer, and nothing much happens, so here’s the first in our irregular ‘No News Round-Up’ series to help you while away the days and nights before the season kick-starts again.

Official Site Search For Stars
The official site recently reported on two ex-Walsall players, Phil Whitehouse and Steve O’Hara, both of whom were turning out for the club 20 years ago.

Luckily the Club made it clear they were looking for the players for a ‘first game at Bescot’ reunion, or the cynical might have thought they were potential re-signings for next season’s squad.

Transfer News
Dwayne Mattis signs for Chesterfield, old coach Duncan Russell arrives at Mansfield, Mark Bradley put himself in the shop window playing for Wales whilst unattached and Josh O’Keefe is fixed up at Lincoln.

The only incoming news is that nothing’s happened yet. In the interests of the environment, this particular piece of the column will be recycled almost every time we publish.

Club News
The crowds in the football league are up, the recession damaged Walsall, the success of the the ‘big 4′ Midland teams will hamper us, ‘Freedom of Speech’ banners aren’t good for your health and the Spring Happening was cancelled.

It’s not looking good if you’ve got the negative attitude of a great big negative man from Negativeland on planet Negative. Let’s see how Uncle Jeff and sideshow Roy handle it instead shall we, and play spot the difference.

More soon, fellow fans. Any gossip or hints send a PM to Exile on the messageboards. Unlike the Banks’s we’ll let you say pretty much anything.
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England v Turkey at Bescot

Exile @ 12:25 am Friday 21 May 2010

On 29 July the England women’s team take on Turkey in their campaign to qualify for next year’s world cup. Having won 6-0 in Malta yesterday they’re now 2nd in their group behind Spain on goal difference only.

The game kicks off at 7pm and it’s a Thursday night. Season ticket holders will get two free tickets to the match, while everyone else has to pay a fiver (two quid fifty for concessions).

It’s a great chance to watch some international footie on the doorstep and help the club cashflow in the dead season.

Own a part of UpTheSaddlers

roger6 @ 3:20 pm Thursday 20 May 2010

To meet increasing running costs (currently $250 a month) UptheSaddlers is offering a number of individuals/companies the chance to own a part of the site in return for £10 a month.

Part ownership offers the following benefits:
- access to owners area of message board
- full page linked from UTS home page and story pages
- optional image under banner UTS home page and story pages
- right to contribute and decide on new features on UTS

To sign up click this subscribe button below. Once you have signed up, email your message board username to editor@upthesaddlers.com





The small print

- your monthly owners contribution of £10 which will give you a share of upthesaddlers
- there is no upper limit of number of owners; the UTS founder retains 50% of the site, the remaining 50% to be split by the number of current monthly contributors
- owners free to join or quit at any time, owner rights will cease at time of cancellation

If UTS income each month is more than expenses, any excess will be put first into any new UTS features (planned and decided by the owners) and if still an excess, the monthly fee lowered….alternatively owners may opt not to renew as they can the site is financially stable.

Ownership of UTS is separate from the administrative running – as a part owner you won’t automatically be a moderator or administrator of the message board.

Walsall vs MK Dons – a call to arms part 3

Exile @ 6:50 am Saturday 08 May 2010

Sorry for the delay – been doing some business and out of town, but finally got some time to fire up the laptop.

Why go to the Banks’s this weekend? Now it’s the chance to show your support for the Supporters Trust and the Club – our team!

This weekend the Trust are asking Walsall fans to turn up and show off by wearing retro Walsall tops for the game, the older the better. Of course, MK Dons fans can only muster a few different patterns since being founded in 2004, whereas our history unfolds over more than 120 years.

So, if you love Walsall, turn up wearing your favourite old top and make some noise this weekend. Support the club and the Trust by showing you’ve been a fan for years, decades even, and that you believe Walsall FC has a future as well as a history.

It’s our season closer, with nothing else now before preseason. If you can, get to the stadium and get behind the lads.

Walsall vs The Franchise Preview

Neil @ 12:18 pm Friday 07 May 2010

No dour, end of the season, sleepy fixture this next one. For one reason or another, the atmosphere at the Banks’s should be electric tomorrow.

Firstly, the protests, despite the earnest wishes of the club, just aren’t going away. The last game of the season was always going to be the true measure of the discontent amongst the fanbase, as it has been targeted all along by the protesters as the game the wanted to make the biggest impact. That alone should make things a lot louder!

Secondly, there is the initiative by the Trust to try and get fans to bring back some of the missing hundreds, in the “Back to the Saddlers” campaign. Quite how much notice is going to be taken, overshadowed as it is by the protesters, is another matter, but let’s hope that enough turn up to show that gates can be improved if the product and the marketing are right.

Lastly, and by no means least, we are playing the hated Franchise FC. Nothing has given me greater pleasure this season than watching Paul Ince (to depart at the end of the season) make a right pig’s ear of his return to Milton Keynes, as they have faded away, out of the play off picture, to the point where we will overtake them if we win tomorrow. (Since going back, his record is won 23, lost 23, drawn 9 – 1.41 points per game, as against won 33, lost 10, drawn 12 – 2.01 points per game – the first time around). For every fan who hates the way that money has come to totally dominate the game, to the extent where the feelings of the customers amount to nothing any more, the thought of finishing above them ranks second only to the hope that, one day, they’ll finish below AFC Wimbledon.

Out of the game for the Saddlers are Dwayne Mattis, who has failed to recover from his Achilles injury and whose place would have been in danger anyway, given the improved performances from the midfield lately, plus, of course, the released Sam Parkin and Rhys Weston.

I, for one, would love to see Clayton Ince given a start in his last game before retirement, so fans can give him a proper send off.

As for the Franchise, they are in real problems, as they were missing no fewer than 11 first team players last week. Even 40 year old coach Alex Rae was forced to turn out, only to get sent off and banned for this game. One or two of them (notably leading scorer Jermaine Easter) may be fit for the game, but Caretaker Manager Karl Robinson says that he will not risk anyone unnecessarily.
Goalkeeper Willy Gueret (thumb) and Sam Baldock (hamstring) were injured against Leeds a fortnight ago while Mat Doumbe and Peter Leven are suspended. Doumbe serves the second of a four-game ban, Leven is out for the second of a three-match suspension but David McCracken is back from a ban of his own. Aaron Wilbraham (calf), Danny Woodards (hamstring), Mark Carrington (back) and Stephen Gleeson (knee) are also out.
Predictions?
We have, of course, been finishing strongly at home, with those four wins on the bounce. The Franchise, on the other hand, haven’t won since beating Swindon at the beginning of April. Overall, they have one more point from their away trips this season than we have, with exactly the same number of defeats (11). With their current form and problems, I’d expect a home win.

Clayton Ince – A Tribute

Neil @ 3:51 pm Thursday 06 May 2010

One thing that Walsall has been blessed with over the years is decent goalkeepers. Mick Kearns, of course, the ever popular Irish International (who I can remember defying England at Wembley for an inspired away win), Mark Wallington, who went on the be a Leicester City legend, Phil Parkes, so unlucky to only win one cap in his time at QPR and West Ham, because of the presence of Clemence and Shilton ahead of him, Trevor Wood, the Northern Irish international, Fred the Joker Barber and the legend that is Jimmy Walker.

Up with them, however, will be Clayton Ince, who has announced that he will be hanging up his gloves at the end of the season.

Of course Ince had his faults – all ‘keepers at this level do, unless they are youngsters on their way up – but Ince has been a wonderful servant to the football club.

We signed the Trinidad & Tobago International from Coventry City in 2006. He had first arrived in England in September 1999 when Crewe Alexandra snapped him up from Delta Force and he went on to make 137 appearances in all competitions for Dario Gradi’s side, whilst also having a spell on loan at Dundee in 2000.

He then moved to Coventry 2005, but after making just four starts during 2005/06, he joined the Saddlers on a free transfer despite having a year left to run on his Sky Blues contract.

He became a hero with the fans for a string of commanding displays and a run of seven home League clean sheets in a row. He kept a record 22 clean sheets in all competitions throughout the 2006/07 campaign and another 19 clean sheets the following seaon to mark him out as one of our most impressive keepers of recent years.

2008/2009 saw him win the Player of the Season and Players’ Player of the Season awards.

Best of luck, Clayton, in whatever you do next and be assured you’ll always get a warm welcome from Walsall fans.

Walsall vs MK Dons – a call to arms part 2

Exile @ 11:59 am Tuesday 04 May 2010

Saturday’s the last match of the season, the last home match of the season, and the last chance for fans to turn up to support the team in combat.

It’s also the first real chance for new Supporter Group, Unity, to field a full-strength team and lay claim to their apparent position of ‘voice of the people’.

Unity has appeared out of nowhere and grown from being an idea in the minds of a few concerned fans into a vehicle for carrying the hopes and dreams of a multitude of disillusioned supporters. Already a couple of leading lights have been banned for daring to speak their minds. Does hearing an alternative viewpoint hurt the club so much?

Unity has, from the outset, asked all concerned fans to join in a show of support for their beliefs this weekend when MK Dung come to visit. Their aim for the match? A visible show of support for fan power. “Wear yellow!” say the organisers, “carry a Cyprus flag if you have one!”.

All in all, if you’re a concerned Walsall fan, the rallying call of Unity deserves some support. Even if you think the goals of Unity are a little diffuse right now, here’s a group of fans who dearly love the club, and absolutely deserve the support of any fan who also holds the future of Walsall FC as a community club close to their heart. Making your views public right now may be important in the not-too-distant future. Use your voice!

Remember, as if people need reminding, Wimbledon fans had to pick up the scorched ashes of their club and start from scratch while MK Dons waltzed off with the prize – the league golden share. Walsall is already in the league, don’t believe that years in the wilderness is any form of acceptable alternative to our hard-won status.

This Saturday, turn up, wear yellow, and support the club you love. Support the idea of Unity – the fans as the heart of the club, acting for the future of the club they love.

It’ll be a party atmosphere this game – be part of it!

Walsall vs MK Dons – a call to arms part 1

Exile @ 4:52 am Monday 03 May 2010

Why go to The Banks’s Stadium this weekend?

1 – our last game of the season
2 – our history versus that of the Franchise
3 – to show your support for Unity
4 – to show your support for the Trust
5 – to show your love for the Club.

All of these are very valid reasons to turn up this weekend. Each day this week we’ll explore one or more options in this regard. Today we’ll look at the first two reasons combined.

Our game this weekend is against McFranchise FC, a new team established in Milton Keynes against the wishes of its own fan base. Originally Wimbledon, their fans established AFC Wimbledon in 2002, who compete in the semi-pro league trying to emulate the feat of the original team – promotion to the national league, League Two. On the other hand, their new owner moved the club to suicide city, and waited for the money to roll in.

This weekend we host the plastic players from Milton Keynes, and victory gives us, a real local football team with a real local history, bragging rights against the young pretenders. While a win won’t mean we get promoted, it gives us at worst an 11th place finish, ample reward for a new season with a new manager and a young squad, and some continuity for 2010/2011 should we be able to keep the majority of our squad (to be discussed later this week and during the close season!).

At stake in this game is our position in League One. Currently, MK Dung lie just 1 point above us, in 11th place, and with the right rub of the green, we could finish as high as 9th. Defeat could see us drop into the bottom half of the table.

Why turn up? If you’ve been going all season, this is the game to go to to keep your attendance record intact! If you’re an occasional visitor, or if you’ve not come for a while, this is your last chance for this campaign, and what better match to turn up for than one against a club that disenfranchised it’s original supporters, moved out of town, pretended it still has a history and still thinks it’s too big for this league? Now’s the time to take your seat and shout loud and proud that we were formed over 100 years prior to the Plastics! We deserve this game, history is on our side, and turning up this weekend to shout out loud in support of the Saddlers gives us a better chance of ending our season on a high.

It’s that one time, that one game, where something now matters – nobody likes the opposition, we have a chance to change places in the league and really rub their noses in it, we can show them that history means something, and we can prove that money isn’t everything in League One – indeed, a last day match gate bonus might make the difference between keeping and losing a player during the Summer! There’s no downside here – support the club and enjoy yourself for the last time till preseason!

It’ll be a party atmosphere this game – be part of it!

Match Report: Carlisle 1-1 Walsall

Exile @ 8:37 pm Sunday 02 May 2010

Not much to say about the weekend game, but cumbria-saddler was there and gave his report on the message board:

Just got back. t’was Bladdy freezing.

I’d say 1-1 was a fair result. Neither team were great, but it wasnt the worst ive seen us play this season.

Good to see quite a lot of Saddlers making the long trip, more than I expected there to be.

Gilmartin – dont remember him (or the carlisle keeper) making a save. His kicking was a little dodgy though.
Weston – Ok, a few good challenges
Smith – looked slightly unconfortable at times, but managed.
Mcdonald – Did well in the first half. I assume he must have been injured in the first half.
Vincent – made a few mistakes, nearly hit the ball past gilmartin in the first half.
Jones – Ok
Taundry & Richards – Did OK together.
Gray – OK
Deeney – Did nothing wrong. Made some good runs when others should have passed to him but didnt.
Byfield – Did well, took his goal well.
Hughes – Did nothing wrong.
Till – Not enough time do to anything really.

UP THE SADDLERS!

If you’ve got anything to add, talk about it on the messageboard

A fair few travelling fans for our longest away trip of the season, including some dodgy fancy dress (mel b hang your head in shame!). One more game to go before Summer madness kicks in, at home to McFranchise FC this Saturday.

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