Friday, December 08, 2006

Brakes head for South London in Trams clash

Leamington travel to South London tomorrow to play Croydon at their ground a mile from Sellout Park in the third round of the FA Vase. A fleet of coaches will be heading south from the New Windmill Ground with 300 Brakesmen and women expected to make the trip. Brakes are currently 10 points ahead at the top of the Polymac Services Midland Alliance, having accumulated 50 points so far this season when they have won sixteen and drawn two.

Brakes manager Jason Cadden has been preparing seriously for the tie which has £1,200 prize money at stake and could see Leamington in the last 32 of the Vase. He had Croydon watched at their last away game at Herne Bay when they won 2-1 to go fourth in the Kent League.

Trams sign former Manure striker

Brakes received a blow with the news that Trams supremo Dickson Gill has enticed yesterday a former Manchester United striker to play Kent League football. The Croydon chief has brought Marc Whiteman, 24, to the South Norwood club, having signed the former Lewes hit-man from Sussex County League side Ringmer.

Whiteman, a former trainee at Old Trafford, has also played for Bury, Weymouth and Lewes amongst others. Gill commented, 'He's a proven goalscorer. He scored thirty goals for Lewes in the year they got promotion from Ryman One - it's a big plus for us.'

Mr Gill revealed he will need to think long and hard before deciding whether his star signing will make his debut on Saturday. Playing mind games, he said, 'I'm not quite decided. I have to sleep on it. I have to decide whether to change the side or keep the side that's been doing well but I'm happy that I've added him to the squad.'

But Croydon will be without former Bromley full-back Kwabena Amaning for the FA Vase showdown as he is getting married. 'He's been doing very well, it's a big blow for us but that's one of those things in life, in football, it happens,' said Mr Gill, who has clearly been studying Big Ronish.

A friend who is a coach in the Kent League comments, 'Croydon are known as the Trams, as their stadium is overlooked by a stop on the Croydon supertram network. And it is a stadium, an athletics stadium. It is a vast, soul-less, character-free prairie that would sap the spirit of the most ardent fan. Don't go! If you do, take a telescope.

The clubhouse is so far from the changing rooms that we have never been in the clubhouse. Football? Not played them yet in the Kent League (we used to go there in the Suburban League with Tonbridge Reserves). Background is they were in the Ryman Premier until about three years ago, then took two successive relegations. Started this season looking to continue the run, but the chairman sacked the manager and took over the team himself since when they have done well, i.e he has put a lot of money into the team. Must be his own money, nobody ever watches them, para two refers.' Tomorrow, however, they are expected to have one of their biggest ever crowds.

Incidentally, there is an amusing debate going on on the Brakes web boards about whether or not CV31 (south of the river) or CV32 (north of the river) is the true Leamington, some CV31ers referring to CV32 as 'South Coventry'. In truth, it's a bit like North Oxford, apart from Cubbington and Lillington.

We will be providing a full report tomorrow and this may be the first time a dog reporter goes to a Brakes game given the importance of the match. Well, it will be good fun anyway.


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