It appears to be your round, but look, you've lagged behind. Yapping away, forgetting to tip that lager down you neck. They're laughing, laughing at you. You'll show them. Open that gullet and down the hatch. The whole bloody lot. Drown out the dark days of Michelmarsh, two-nil up, when second place was in the palm of your hand. Later, you'll sit watching the Czechs collapse against Turkey on television, knowing all too well the contours of Peter Cech's tears. But now you're not really sure whether there was a change of venue. A change of drinks too. Perhaps an altercation with a kebab, then the cold soft pillows of concrete. But that's all later.
Right now it’s just gone nine at the Bugle Inn in Botley, Hampshire. The Fosters pump’s taking a right hammering as Burridge fill the restaurant side of the bar for their annual awards ceremony. Team gaffer Pete Lyons is stood in the conservatory with the mic in his hand, about to name the player’s player of the year. Looking down his glasses into a crumpled page of scribbled notes, saying it’d been a really tight ballot this year and that he’d had to get in touch with Birksy, who’s gone out to start a new life in Australia, for the deciding vote.
“He scored what turned out to be the goal of the season down at Netley,” said Pete about the winner. “Even the ref commented on what a fine goal it was.”
This made it crystal clear to a well oiled crowd that Kristian Hewitt had won. Up he stepped. His thick set hugged by a blue polo shirt, unbuttoned to reveal a clutch of chest rug. After shaking Pete’s hand firmly, he lifted a wooden shield, far too big for any reasonable mantle piece to cope with, high above his head with both hands. Later on by the jukebox, he asked if I’d voted for him, as the newly added silver emblem that carried his name shined brightly off the lights. I lied, telling him I had, when I’d actually voted for Justin Newman, who won the manager’s player of the year. Ryan Jones got the clubman award.
Other than Sam Schwodler, who was busy doing his one man propaganda act, telling anyone with ears that he was top goalscorer as any man who's been down the pub all afternoon tends to do, the night was strangely absent of any wild claims of title challenges or cup runs. Burridge will face newly promoted Redbridge in the coming season. So it'll be another visit to Green Park in what promises on your Mother's life to be a full on game of fuck you, shouted out in big bold capital letters from the rooftops of Redbridge Towers. We also welcome back the derby with Burridge Sports, which is always a spicy little number. Referees usually get themselves down WH Smiths prior to game because they tend to get through alot of pencils. Sports did us twice with ease back in the 2005/06 campaign, so we owe them one.