David Cameron Walker

Posts Tagged ‘sesquicentennial’

150 years old, 20 away games unbeaten – one great club!

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Twenty games into the season, things are looking pretty good for Notts County. Keith Curle’s team is currently in the play-off positions occupying sixth place, playing good football and with a goal difference of +12. The league, as per most years, is incredibly tight – only four points separate second from eighth, and Stevenage, our bogey team, are breathing right down our necks, so Notts must be careful.

Recent results, however, have been impressive – the number twenty once again of significance, relating to the number of consecutive unbeaten games played away from home – the 1-1 draw away against Rotherham at the New York Stadium ensures the continuation of this amazing run, and also means we get to know who the winner of this tie will play in the FA Cup Third Round. Meanwhile our win against promotion rivals Swindon at the Lane will hopefully mark the turning of a corner with regards to our relatively mediocre home form. Paolo Di Canio compared goalie Bartosz Bialkowski to legend Peter Schmeichel after his commanding display between the posts against the Robins, while the Irish Messi Alan Judge worked his magic once again to net the spectacular winner.

28th of November 2012 marked Notts County Football Club’s 150th birthday, and the club marked this occasion with a special celebration at the 1862 Suite, an event followed by the national press, in which Jimmy Sirrel, our finest ever manager, was the first inductee into the NCFC Hall of Fame.

150 years of emotions, highs and lows, ups and downs, many amazing occasions, some worrying times and some downright bad times. I’ve only supported Notts for around ten years but in that time alone I’ve experienced the  amazing highs, such as the win against a Middlesbrough containing Robert Huth, Gaizka Mendieta and Mark Viduka in 2006, and being ten minutes away from winning against a stellar Manchester City side in 2011, who went on all the way to win the FA Cup, as well as lows. Nearly being relegated from the Football League altogether, the financial problems several years back – and the downright bizarre, such as Munto’s takeover and witnessing the likes of Kasper Schmeichel, Sol Campbell and Sven Goran Eriksson turning up at the Lane.

But it’s been a rollercoaster ride which I wouldn’t change for the world. There’s a picture on Facebook doing the rounds at the moment declaring that “if there are no ups and downs in your life, that means you’re dead”. If that’s the case, then nothing can make you feel more alive than being a Magpies fan, and I can vouch for that! Now here’s to many more years of Notts County Football Club, and let’s turn the amazing foundations we’ve built this season into something more concrete! Come on you Pies!

Written by Giuseppe Labellarte, We Are Going Up’s Notts County blogger

Giuseppe tweets at @JoeJonesHome

You sexy-centennial Pies!

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

2012 has been an incredible year for sport. The thrilling finale to the Premier League, culminating in an absolutely unbelievable finish for Manchester City against QPR which will go down in the annuals, Roberto Di Matteo dragging Chelsea kicking and screaming to the Champions’ League, an exciting Euro 2012 which confirmed Spain as one of the all time greats of football (not very nice final to watch as an Italian though!), and of course the London Olympics, which may very well go down as the greatest Olympics of all time.

Closer to home, it’s also a great year for Notts County Football Club, as we celebrate our sesquicentennial! That’s a 150th anniversary by the way – and yes, I have just Googled it! So happy birthday you sexy Pies! You’re not bad looking for a 150 year old!

Rewinding back a year, an absolutely whirlwind 2011-12 for us saw the season starting with an epic derby game against Forest, took us into a historic friendly at Juventus’ new ground, then saw us flirt incessantly with the top seven and finish just a handful of goals away from a play-off position.

At the beginning of our 150th season, things seem a little bit calmer this time round. The much-touted friendly against Juventus at Meadow Lane never materialised, but nevertheless County had some good pre-season fixtures lined up, including the Gibraltar national side, AEK Athens, and of course the yearly meeting with our neighbours on the red side of the Trent – just a friendly this time, rather than the competitive cup classic that saw 120 minutes of fast frantic action followed by a nerve-jangling penalty shootout.

Keith Curle has been very busy in pre-season, having released twelve players and brought in eleven new ones so far. In Francois Zoko, Manny Smith and Gary Liddle, the club have managed to net themselves three of the best League One players from last season. Jamal Campbell-Ryce is also a good signing, having had an impressive loan spell at Leyton Orient in 2011/12, while Bartosz Bialkowski is a former Poland Under-20 international from Premier League new boys Southampton.

One issue, however, is the future of Alan Judge. The “Irish Messi” was in outstanding form in the second half of last season, but recently told the Nottingham Post that he feels he deserves a better contract deal, and is waiting to see if the Magpies make him an improved offer. If we can hang onto him, it would prove a positive boost.

Competitive action began against Bradford City in the League Cup. Unfortunately, their failure to take their chances cost them dearly as the Bantams, fallen giants currently scrapping in League Two, prevailed in extra time.

The focus this year, however, is clearly on promotion from the league, as last season’s target of consolidation was well and truly smashed with a play-off challenge up until the 46th game, and the Pies got off to a good start, getting all three points away at Crewe. Yoann Arquin had a mixed debut, scoring the winner in their 2-1 win, but was sent off just a few minutes later. The final few minutes were agonising as seven minutes of injury time were played and Crewe skipper Ashley Westwood had a shot cleared off the line by Lee Hughes in the 94th minute, but Notts survived.

It’s way too early to make any judgements, but a good start is a good start, and Tuesday sees the Pies take on Jeff Stelling’s Hartlepool in their first home league game this season. Watch this space, and of course, Come On You Pies!

Written by Giuseppe Labellarte, We Are Going Up’s Notts County blogger

Giuseppe tweets at @JoeJonesHome