Pre season 2011

14 08 2011
Anglesey Island Games XI 1  Bangor City 5
Friendly
21/6/11 

We arrived at Stalag Luft Gaerwen to see Bangor’s first pre-season match. You can call me weird but I find spaces enclosed by barbed wire to be a little off-putting.

As you will know this was the game at which I was told it was ok to book a flight to Helsinki. The air was thick with travel plans. The anticipation added a sparkle to events.

Bangor were winning 3-0 by half time. The match was so one-sided that Anglesey resorted to brutality; Sion was kicked up into the air at least twice. All of Bangor’s goals were fantastic. Sion’s first, of two, was especially good, a blast from outside the area, Nicky Ward scored the other.

The second half drifted along but my conversation meant it passed me by. It was nice to see Walshy back. Bully’s brother and Michael Burke from the past were also in our side.

Buckley Town 0 Bangor City 4
Friendly
2/7/11

 Buckley has its own station but you need a car to use public transport in this area of north Wales. I tried to walk to the ground but I got lost. (Jet Set Travel Tip – Don’t always believe Google Maps). I eventually arrived via a taxi.

The blue army was depleted today but the squad was enhanced by our new keeper, Lee Idzi and our new striker, Kyle Wilson. I missed the first couple of minutes but I managed to see that Buckley were doing quite well. After a few minutes Bangor settled. After half an hour we scored our first.  A few minutes later Bangor doubled their lead.

I wondered what HJK’s assistant manager made of Bangor; he filmed the action on an iphone and wrote a few things in the old-fashioned way. By the end of the match Bangor had won 4-0 but more importantly I’d had another nice chat.

Denbigh Town 0  Bangor City 3
Friendly
5/7/11

Another ground to tick off, a pleasantly warm evening, another nice chat. Unfortunately there  were more reminders that I might not be able to go to Helsinki, well-intended commiserations.

Bangor won 3-0 and it all seemed quite good although I don’t like the fact that the number of goals that Bangor scored seemed to be depreciating the closer we got to the European matches.

HJK’s “assistant manager” was there again with his iphone and notepad. I put the the word “assitant manager” in quotation marks because as I left I realised that he might not be the assistant manager; he left in a Ford Fiesta with 3 studenty looking people. On the other hand, I suppose they might do things differently in Finland.

Rhyl 0 Bangor City 2
Friendly
9/7/11

This used to be the big rivalry in the WPL. For some it bordered on hate, for others it was “dislike”, for others “despise” and for others it was just “rivalry”. Now this appears to be a thing of the past, after today I think I can work out that the ill-feeling came mostly from Rhyl.

Their fans forgot to come and without them this just seemed like any other boring pre-season match. We turned up, it was sunny, Bangor won, Rhyl had taken some seats out.

Bangor City 2 West Kirby 2
Friendly
30/7/11

The match report on Bangor City’s website said;

“A good workout with Sion Edwards and Chris Jones on the mark for City.”

I can’t find much to disagree with this assessment

Bangor City 2 Gwalchmai 1
Friendly
2/8/11

Again Bangor City’s website nailed this match;

 “City overcame  a battling Gwalchmai side in an entertaining pre season run out at Farrar Road last night.”

Although this didn’t stop some worriers worrying, again………

Chester FC 2 Bangor City 2
Friendly
6/8/11

This was more like it; an international friendly in a proper ground. We got to Chester early to soak up the atmosphere. One hostelry objected to my wearing “Sportswear”, he was sorry but he didn’t make the rules. He couldn’t tell us which anti-social reprobate came up with the elusive document containing “the rules” though. I wondered if he would be as stringent later in the day when people in polo shirts would be legion.

These subversives will be allowed to get away with it because the bloke that didn’t make the rules would be unaware that Lacoste was a tennis player and he was known as the crocodile, doubtless he’d be unaware that Fred Perry is a tennis player, doubtless he wouldn’t be aware  or that Ralph Lauren uses a polo player as the trademark on his shirts. Jesus, I hadn’t been turned down by a hostelry for wearing sportswear since 1996.

We went somewhere our custom was appreciated; a pub three doors down. It was a place where a  Gok Wan wannabee wasn’t serving. We met a couple more blue army intellectuals and took it from there. Philosophy is a thirsty business, in Chester it’s also an expensive business. Luckily we made it to the ground in time.

Bangor took the lead in “this entertaining friendly” when Bully scored a good goal and we were going to win until two Chester goals mid way through the second half. Bully equalised and then we nearly won the match when Sion narrowly missed the goal with the last kick of the match. Today we had another new signing, I think it was Shaun Pejic, the ex-Wrexham player.

We had a few pit-stops on the way to the station, ’twas a good day.

Bangor City 1 Manchester United Select XI 3
Friendly
10/8/11

Well we tried but we didn’t quite have enough. It was going alright until United decided to start shooting. We had the ball, we tried to pass, we tried to shoot but then United decided to score. Their first goal was a fantastic shot. Bangor equalised when Bully stroked the ball in. Unfortunately United decided to equalise a minute after Bangor scored. Ravel Morrison, the man that’s supposed to be a bit of a gangster, scored United’s third.

This match underlined why pros are pros. It felt like that United scored 3 goals from 3 shots. The other thing worth noting about tonight was the tropical rain, this was August but felt like November.

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