The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

The future is inside us

21 September 2018

What a fine birthday present. New stadium hope. More than that, new town hope. Now what are we going to do with that hope? Some will cast it aside. We've been hearing variations of the same tune for 30 years. The lands at the arse end of the Humber (let's put our geography teacher straight here, a mouth would be eating the sea, a river does the opposite) are not known for blind positivity.

The psyche of a place is as unique as the accent or language of its inhabitants. The trawling fleet that once defined and underpinned our town is gone but it moulded a psyche before it departed. Brave, resilient and generous but with a good mardy dollop of "This is Grimsby, it's going to go wrong." It might just be a self-defence mechanism based on experience but it can manifest as a negative streak.

For GTFC, the search for a new stadium has been going wrong for almost 30 years. That figure shames us all. No use blaming council, club or nimbys. We're all in on it. And we are the ones that can change it. The joint statement yesterday from club and council was a good start. It's not big on specifics, though.

My biggest fear in life is that the whoosh when I flush the toilet on an airplane will one day take the side of the plane with it. After that, I'm terrified of a good project manager. The type that chases you round the building hitting you with an A4 clipboard until you've completed your work on time and wrapped it in a pretty bow. The stadium needs one of them. A right git. The one who focuses on the goal and kicks everyone until they leap the hurdles to that goal. The hip term for such a role is probably stadium tsar or similar guff. Regardless, we need one to pull the club, the council and town together and get decisions made and sod turned.

Get the right person and we can be successful. Same as the actual football, innit. Tomorrow, Project Jolley goes to Stevenage, a club that shamed itself last season by the actions of its stewards and, perhaps even more unforgivably, its dismissal of the complaints that followed. The handing down of a good karmic walloping would be nice tomorrow. 

How shall said walloping be handed down? Well, we don't seem to be having much luck on the injury front. Five (Whitehouse, Cardwell, Dixon, Cook, Fox) are proper crocked and three (Hall-Johnson, Pringle, Welsh) have uncrocked themselves but perhaps aren't ready for 90 minutes. This won't help our selection but it should moderate the mutterings that have greeted some of Jolley's teamsheets. Phrases like 'Bignoty' and 'square pegs, round holes'.  

I bet the latter was said about the winger and striker John McDermott playing at right back for the first time. John Cockerill, a centre-half playing in midfield. Midfielder Kevin Jobling everywhere. Garry Birtles at centre half. Shaun Pearson as a left winger dinking in crosses. Ok that was just a dreamy cameo. Most won't work, some might turn out to be heroes in their new position. Regardless, Jolley's plans will take time. He's just needs the odd win to keep the GTFC mood at the default level of mardy.