The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

You can do the job when you're in Town

6 December 2017

Promises, promises (1): Town's proposed new stadium in the middle of bastard nowhere has moved a step closer – although it's anyone's guess whether that step will represent a giant leap forward for Fentykind or prove roughly equal to the stride of a juvenile ladybird. More than a year after the club announced its development partner for the project, the partner has finally met up with the council to chat about the possibility of maybe doing something about it, possibly, perhaps, at some time, if you don't mind.

Go on then, what does it say? It says "the Club [sic] are [sic] pleased to report that representatives of Extreme have met with North East Lincolnshire Council to progress the Club's [sic] plans for relocation to Peaks Parkway".

If you didn't know Extreme was the development partner, tough shit, because the website is just assuming that you did. Your original/regular Diary, in turn, is assuming that Extreme Leisure (which I think is the company's name) remains the development partner and has not been replaced by that band that did that song, what was it, More Than Words or something, but where this football club is concerned nothing would surprise me any more. It goes without saying that there's still no mention of where the money's coming from to build the thing, but I'm going to say it anyway, because nobody else seems terribly bothered.

Promises, promises (2): Town's assistant manager Paul Wilkinson says the way is now clear for the club's promising youth team graduates to progress into the first XI. What's changed to make this possible is not quite clear. Ostensibly Wilkinson's assertion seems to rest on the resumption of GTFC's Football League status, which happened 18 months ago. The subsequent period, however, has signalled no apparent change in the club's tried-and-tested policy of employing highly rated youth coaches to develop excellent young players at every age group, then dumping them on the scrapheap via a six-month work experience loan to Theddlethorpe Bigshorts.

But this seems to be enough to convince the Grimsby Telegraph, which cites the presence of Harry Clifton, Max Wright, Jack Keeble and Tom Sawyer in the building, and appears to believe that having a squad number is the same as being in the first-team squad, regardless of the fact that the four have barely even troubled the subs' bench all season. The paper rather naively goes on to present a recent appearance in the B team trophy by Emil Powles as somehow constituting a "first team debut".

Basically we've heard it all before – most recently from the 'long-term' academy plans that emerged from the Bignot/Woods axis, as a prelude to Bignot's being thrown out of the club after a somewhat less than long-term five months as manager. It's not that we don't want to believe. And unlike most areas of the club, at least a good youth development game is being talked. But exactly like most areas of the club, there's zero evidence that the corresponding walk will ever be walked under the current regime.