It has been brought to my attention that the mast-head above, featuring pictures of each player in the Burridge squad, is now out of date since five of them have left the club.
Rich Allan, who is pictured bleeding generously from his eyebrow in the top left of the top row, has re-joined Hedge-End in a player-coach capacity for their young reserve side. Personally, I think this is a shame. The atmosphere in our dressing room will be a great deal quieter in his absence.
Following Allan to Hedge-End, and more than capable of holding down a regular starting place in their first eleven is last season's Burridge top goal-scorer Bryn Schwodler, (top row, second from left), along with his older brother Jay (bottom row, third from left), leaving Sam Schwodler (bottom row, fourth from right) as the family's sole representative at Burridge, and everyone else to contribute in making up the 23 goals scored by Bryn last season.
At the age of 37, Justin Newman (bottom row, bottom right) has decided to take up veteran's football with Wildern Old Boys. Rarely did a game pass without him hacking his opponent in a series of ever so slightly mistimed tackles. Rarer still did referees punish him as adequately as his opponents demanded from their position in a heap on the floor, to which Justin would shrug his shoulders and smile, or failing that, tell them to fuck off.
Newman's escape from our company will only be a temporary measure because both Wildern and ourselves will be drinking in the West-End Brewery after games, a pub that I warmed to whilst enjoying a pint with Burridge's Kristian Hewitt one sunny afternoon earlier this year, when a largish lady, who made up for in bust size what she lacked in teeth, swaggered past me to the ladies with a lit cigarette hanging from her lips.
Perhaps most crucially, is the departure of Burridge manager Pete Lyons (photographed in the top row, central, squeezing a sponge tightly in his fist), who after four years in charge has decided to step down to pay closer concentration on his golf handicap.
Lyons has been replaced by Paul Dyke (directly to Pete's left, above the sponge), who has recruited many new faces to the squad, all of whom will no doubt get a run out against far more illustrious opponents in the shape of Zamaretto League side Sholing, who will bring a mixture of their reserve and youth side to Burridge in back to back fixtures this Saturday morning and next Wednesday evening.
A pre-season spot check of the contents of our club kit-bag found us some way off our full quota of strip, with seven pairs of black Umbro shorts and six pairs of black socks having mysteriously disappeared over the course of last season. Making up the numbers was an as yet unclaimed pair of Next boxer shorts, along with four pairs of royal blue socks, the threadbare and sparce fabric of which looked to have seen better days. Dyke has ordered and paid for replacement shorts and socks, a replenishment of medical supplies and five brand new Mitre match-balls.
Contrary to popular belief, we are some way from being a profit making organisation, with our current funds amounting to little more than the price of a pint and a packet of crisps. Dyke will claim back the sum he has put into the club from the £5 match subscription fees charged to each player during the forthcoming pre-season friendlies, which by the time we have completed we should have some snaps of our new players to replace those who have moved on.