Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Monday 31 August 2009
  Undisclosed fee Don't you hate undisclosed transfers? In this microscopic world of celebrity, why all the secrets? My assumption has always been that one party is far too embarrassed with the size of the fee, high or low. Hull finally bowed to pressure to allow ex-Addick Michael Turner to leave the KC Stadium today for an "undisclosed amount." Liverpool were waving £6m notes over the Humber Bridge a month ago but Turner has chosen Sunderland to join Andy Reid and Darren Bent. The fee? Undisclosed but rumoured to be £12m, which includes either Black Cats defender Nyron Nosworthy or George McCartney. Phil permatan Brown described the offer as "crazy money."

Crazy indeed Mr Brown. Hull signed Turner from Brentford for £350,000, perhaps that bloke Phil Parkinson wasn't so rubbish after all? He was sacked 6 months later of course, but Brentford installed a sell-on agreement into the transfer deal with Hull and they will be rubbing their hands after signing him from us for a bloody undisclosed fee (thought to be around £30,000). We also inserted a sell-on clause in the 2004 transfer contract but at the time Turner moved to Hull, our respective clubs were light years apart financially and it is widely agreed that Charlton allowed Brentford to transfer our sell-on clause with the player as opposed to coughing up then.

The burning question however is do we still have that arrangement with Brentford in place? And will we ever find out? The board in it's current financial climate may well have recently 'sold' the sell-on clause and taken a lump sum from Brentford, in much better shape now under the ownership of a Supporters Trust than they were when Turner was sold to Hull in mid-2006.

Any amount of money due to us will of course be very welcome, and this already on the back off a sell-on windfall from Souleymane Diawara's €6m summer move to Marseille from Bordeaux.

Anyway, another day closer to the transfer deadline and no movement. Sky Sports are reporting tonight that we are about to sign Rhyl left-sided winger Luke Holden. A fee of £10,000 has been mentioned elsewhere. Coventry's Leon McKenzie has also been mentioned in dispatches, perhaps as a replacement for Chris Dickson, who I reckon will be a Gillingham player by tomorrow night. Meanwhile no public sign of a centre half. I wonder if Parkinson is talking to Jon Fortune, who is still without a club? 
  Countdown I have become the king of the short week recently, and that won't be changing very soon. Tomorrow night I fly back to the UK for the end of the last week of the school holidays. My son and I will be based at my parents in East Sussex with me returning on the following Monday which is the Labour Day holiday both in Bermuda and the USA. This does of course give me the opportunity to see my first game of the season on Saturday lunchtime at The Valley as until now my only live action was the preluder to all of this at Bournemouth's Fitness First Stadium on the first day of August.

The weekend's are flying by at the moment as we are on contraction countdown. After a late and drunken night Thursday far from befitting my age, Friday we had dinner with some good friends from Chicago who were in Bermuda for a family wedding on Saturday. An evening with them made me feel even more 'Chicago homesick.' Saturday we were invited to the wedding too, as our Chicago mate's sister and her now husband became our surrogate best friends upon our arrival here last July. It was a superb day held in the midst of a wonderful traditional Bermuda setting on a private island. We left in the early hours of the morning as the pool party was well under way and I was clearly listed as the next person to be thrown in.

I was half asleep throughout a tennis lesson on Sunday morning but followed this with a massage to stir the senses back into life and then we had friends come over with their new baby son in the afternoon to end a delectable weekend. 
Sunday 30 August 2009
  Domination Tranmere Rovers 0 Charlton Athletic 4
It was an absolute joy to listen to the commentary yesterday. Charlton dominated the game with good movement, clever possession, solid defending and most importantly with an increasing air of team confidence and belief. Phil Parkinson deserves an awful lot of credit, credit for the way he has us playing and credit for giving us all something to be proud of. A piece of history is a piece of history, well done Phil.

Once again our midfield was a class above and Semedo for so long a bit player with seemingly no real role or responsibilities under Pardew is absolutely thriving in this team and I was very pleased he got his first goal for the club, superbly dispatched under pressure. Not forgetting two-goal Lloyd Sam, another playing with a real smile on his face.

I try not to take an awful lot of notice of the league table at this stage, which ain't easy, but the next three games the opposition certainly on paper at least takes on a higher level of difficulty but our bye in the Paint Pot Cup means we get another free week to rest players, hopefully none of them are being driven around by their agents this week, and Wednesday is a significant day in our re-birth under Parkinson. Then next week we host Brentford and I have my flight tickets booked and me and my son will be there. I can't wait.

Reports: Some of the lucky 330 to be there on Charlton Life.
Quote: Overheard coming out of Prenton Park from a Tranmere fan: "No disgrace to get beat 4-0 by that lot."
Photo: Courtesy of Friend or Defoe.
Thursday 27 August 2009
  Parkinson's frustration Phil Parkinson talked again today about his frustration towards the longest takeover in history. Still whispers are being heard of two current directors wanting a return on their investment, not just their loans. One can presume the new investors want to allocate funds towards the future of the club and not the past. It is close to 4 months since Peter Varney brought a group of businessmen to the table, in the meantime non-playing employees have been sacrificed, money has been raised via player sales and wages have been saved from players moving on and yet Parkinson has taken the team to the top of a fledgling league table.

We have to accept though that money raised has only helped to keep the club in operation and avoid administration. If there is uncertainty now then without a slightest doubt a takeover, this or any other, not happening will propel us much further down the road of precariousness.

Parkinson has made it pretty obvious that he only wants Yassin Moutaouakil to move on and he wants to add to the squad, with a centre-half and a left sided midfielder viewed as essential. There are five days left until the transfer deadline and I like this comment from Parkinson: "If we can't bring anyone in, then we will have to move on, and perhaps go down the loan route. We don't want to do that, because we want to get our own players in the building." Lessons learned.

Nevertheless beggars cannot be choosers, and our cap is firmly placed outside in Harvey Gardens at the moment and what could happen is the unthinkable that other clubs come knocking (harder) on the current board's door with offers for some of the players that have given us such a great start. Offers of money that they feel they need for survival.

The takeover talks have been in motion for so long that I would hope much benevolence has been developed, particularly between men with Charlton in their hearts. Let's make this takeover happen gentlemen. 
Wednesday 26 August 2009
  The Hamptons Back on the rock today after my highly enjoyable Chicago visit and then a weekend in New York and a couple of days in Connecticut. On Sunday we drove up to the far end of Long Island to fleetingly visit some of the great little towns known as The Hamptons. Judging by the 'for sale' signs and shuttered stores Wall Street's burst bubble has certainly had an affect on the traditional default getaway destination for New Yorkers with big cars and big wallets.

Nonetheless the villages of Southampton, Sag Harbor and Bridgehampton are beautiful beachy enclaves and I still managed to lose count of the number of Ferrari's I saw. We drove out to one of the resident only beaches early Sunday evening to see the huge swells being produced from Hurricane Bill's tentacles out in the Atlantic and it produced a fantastic sight under high nebulous skies. Little dogs with fancy collars and little children with fancy parents were each in turn whooping at the angry ocean.

We then drove across Long Island to get the ferry from the pretty town of Port Jefferson across the Long Island Sound to the lot less prettier Bridgeport in Connecticut. The ferry was easy and saved a 3-4 hour car journey. Our arrival in Connecticut's biggest city represented a landmark for my other half as she collects US states like you and I collect football programmes and she didn't have this one.

We then drove the short journey to New Haven where Yale was to be our base for the tennis. I'll write a bit more on Yale, New Haven and Greenwich where we made a pitstop yesterday on our way back to JFK another day as I have to run to the curry house to pick up the takeaway for my birthday. 
  Crazy It is perversely comforting when in the crazy world of modern football West Ham and Millwall's followers can still hate each other so much that they seek to kick, punch and stab the living daylights out of each other. I was secretly (i.e. I hadn't told my blissfully unaware other half) planning on taking us all on an early Christmas return trip home for the weekend of December 18th and hoping to slip into the Millwall game as part of the festivities. If she sees the BBC News headlines this morning I might be grounded anyway but nonetheless my new responsibilities will have got me rethinking.

When in the first line I described football as "crazy" I was actually thinking of Sol Campbell. Did he really sign a 5-year contract at 4th Division Notts County? I am sorry but it has taken a couple of decades for a football transfer to be more prepostorous than European Footballer of the Year Alan Simonsen signing for Charlton Athletic.

I actually met Campbell once, when he was holed up alledgedly accompanied by a friend in Italy to escape the hatred enimating from one half of North London after he left Spurs to join Arsenal in 2001. He appeared in a mostly one way 2 minute conversation to be decent bloke who just didn't live in the same world as the rest of us. But why sign a 5-year contract? I have heard of players dropping down the leagues but to do it one wild leap would only be attractive if you getting paid £40,000 a week. Oh I see.

I like to follow ex-Charlton players fortunes, well those I liked anyway and it was nice to read Steve Bruce compliment Andy Reid after he single-handedly demolished Norwich in the Carling Cup on Monday like they were, well a six pack of Carling. Demolishing the Canaries is clearly not all it is cracked up to be mind because both Deon Burton and Kevin Lisbie have done for Delia's boys recently but by all accounts Reidy has lost 22 millimetres of body fat. Good for him and like a lot of Addicks I have a small soft spot for Sunderland and it would be nice to see Reidy and Benty tear up a few Premiership defences this season.

Update: The not so loved Franny Jeffers
Tuesday 25 August 2009
  The Pilot Pen Yale's University Tennis Center in New Haven, Connecticut was the venue of the last pre-US Open tournament called the Pilot Pen Tennis named after it's sponsors, one of of whom's products I won in a very closely contested scratch card affair. This event has actually been held in Yale's huge campus since 1998 firstly as a women only tournament but since 2005 joined by some of the best men in the world's tennis rankings.

We had tickets for both the day and evening sessions on a hot and sticky Monday. The world's best players sadly for us appeared to take this week off but we still saw a nice mixture of games with 5 courts being used. Polish number five seed Agnieszka Radwanska undeservedly beat the Italian Vinci first up in front of rows and rows of empty seats. Then the arrogant Californian Robert Kendrick beat the Dane Frederik Nielsen much to the joy of the growing crowd.

After a break for lunch according to the local Connecticut news tonight a record 5,000 people sat in the sun and saw the talented Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis lose inexplicably to Portugal's Fredrico Gil, who had qualified. The lady behind me told anyone that would listen that Baghdatis was from this small "Cyprus island called Crete." Then finally for the day session trim looking Amelie Mauresmo easily put pay Ai Sugiyama to win in two sets.

We had made our minds up to only watch the first night game which was between pevious French Open champ and first seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and Jie Zheng from China. These two were by far the best two players we saw on the day but we ducked out as the game approached it's 3rd hour and a 2nd set tie break (Kuznetsova eventually won after 3 sets) to get our shuttle back to the hotel. We've enjoyed our long and hot day and tomorrow we make our way back to New York for our flight back to Bermuda tomorrow evening, hopefully via the reportedly charming town of Greenwich. 
Saturday 22 August 2009
  Hurricane Addick Charlton Athletic 2 Walsall 0
As the high tides rolled into Bermuda thanks to Hurricane Bill, Hurricane Addick swept to the top of a fledgling Division 3 after a comfortable sounding home win over Walsall.

We were out and about around SoHo in New York City, so no live commentary for me, but instead both Twitter pages of CAFCofficial and All Quiet kept me updated of proceedings. Llera's scrambled goal relaxed me and young Scott Wagstaff's fine finish had me smiling a bit too much at a rather attractive sales assistant. I almost asked her about the takeover.

Our name looks sweet sat on top of the table. We've seen the bad times so let us enjoy it.

Reports: Drinking During the Game; Blackheath Addicted; Many Miles; New York Addick
Friday 21 August 2009
  Still my kinda town I'm sat at Chicago's O'Hare airport waiting for my flight to New York. My windswept other half managed to get on her flight out of Bermuda to New York, so we will meet up around lunchtime at our hotel in midtown. With 8 weeks to go to the baby due date, we are loooking forward to one last hurrah in the city and then on Sunday we are going to take a leisurely drive up through the Hamptons to New Haven in Connecticut where Monday we have tickets to see the tennis.

I had a terrific time back in Chicago and am sad to leave it again. Last night I might have overjoyed myself a little too much judging by what time I got to bed, but this morning at 5.30 when I was looking bleary eyed at the clock, I reassured myself it was good retraining for being a Dad again.

I spent a lot of time walking Chicago's wide streets as I promised myself I would, I walk hardly anywhere in Bermuda. I stood and admired the now completed Trump Tower (photo right), I ate in some great restaurants with some great mates, I window shopped my heart away and strolled around my old neighbourhood in River North remembering why I was so keen to live there in the first place. The only downside to the whole week was walking around my old apartment and trying to figure out how a 28-year old female laywer could live like like a tramp. My place was disgustingly dirty.

But the city was just how I recollected it, the stunning secret it always was. I just wish that Chicago wins their 2016 Olympic bid and can share with the rest of the world what I already knew. 
Wednesday 19 August 2009
  Hurricane Bill After Ana fizzled out and became just a big downpour in southern Florida, Hurricane Bill, the 2nd named storm of the season is heading to Bermuda roughly as of this evening about 1,000 miles away. The first effects of the storm are already being felt in Bermuda with increasing swells and surf off the south shore but I am hopeful that the Category 4 storm with 135mph winds will sweep around the island with about 180 miles to spare. Friday night and Saturday will see some very heavy rain and strong winds though.

Amazingly Hurricane Bill's route is expected to avoid all land and will move around Bermuda and away from the east cost of America and finally end up as a rather large bucket of rain in Nova Scotia. Bill could reach a category 5 and is an exceptionally large storm with an eye over 80 kilometres long.

Fortunately I am not due back in Bermuda until Tuesday and my other half should be able to get off the island to meet me in New York on Friday. Saturday will be a crappy day on the island but there should be little or no damage, the worse thing will be loss of power and water pressure, hopefully all resumed by our return. 
Tuesday 18 August 2009
  Gone for a Burton Leyton Orient 1 Charlton Athletic 2
I hope no one was having an afternoon nap in the hotel rooms either side of me because I got a tiny bit excited earlier. Steve Brown said it wasn't vintage, but personally I am alright with a drop of east end liebfraumilch.

We didn't play well in the first half but I was thinking if we can get them back out 2nd period and regroup then we could still get a result.... bloody amazing what a bit of confidence can do eh?

Just come of the phone to my mate, and he said that it was Racon that was the driving force in the 2nd half. Just after the hour mark Shelvey scored a corker of an equaliser, the Addick masses (almost half the attendance) rediscovered their voices and after that if there was going to be a winner, it was likely to be us. Actually at that point I would've been happy with a draw but Burton grabs another 'strikers' goal and Yippee I Oh!

It was good listening to Brownie on CAFC Player, and he has just been appointed Brighton's youth team manager so good luck to him, but he made a number of interesting comparison's against the last few seasons. One of them how players and supporter's seem to be as one.

So it wasn't vintage but it was as Kings Hill Addick had hoped for. A win after going behind, only adding to the excitement and the belief. The Central Line will be rocking tonight as no doubt will I, although I am having dinner with a Brighton fan. Oh well, I'll be on good form anyway.

Quote: "When you’ve got a support like we’ve got travelling to the games, there’s no doubt it spurs us on and makes a big difference to us. I think we were pretty pumped up at the start and gave away too many fouls around the edge of the box. We knew it was going to be hard, which it has been and we’ve had to work hard in every game. It’s still early days but I’ve been impressed with the way everyone’s approached it." Christian Dailly
Reports: Charlton Casual; Blackheath Addicted; Doctor Kish; Drinking During the Game; New York Addick; Charlton Athletic Online; Kings Hill Addick
  Chicago and an ounce of Stella Sitting in a taxi coming down the Kennedy Expressway towards downtown from O'Hare, the skyline as it comes into view at roughly the Addison turn off never ceases to send a tingle down my spine. The city and it's umistakable peaks lie out before you like they are suspended from space. I have been lucky to have seen a fair few places in this world but Chicago is about as good as it gets.

When I worked here and particularly when I was single I used to have an expression that 'Monday night was the start of the weekend.' Often after a quiet Saturday and Sunday I would be eager for a couple of beers after work at the start of the week and new found friends would be happy to take the new boy out for a couple of sharp ones, which occasionally would end up sharper than the intention.

So to celebrate my arrival back in town yesterday I had collected together a group of my best friends and we hit the town pretty hard. It was harder for me because I left home yesterday morning at 6.30am (4.30 Chicago time), my tiredness only aided by a fidgety-other half and the cab drive ringing my mobile at 4am to check he had the right number in readiness for my 6.30 pick up! To say I was a bit frosty with him on the way to airport would be an understatement.

Anyway out in downtown Chicago last night my mates took me to this bar that had 10 different booths complete with it's own beer tap, each booth representing a different beer. The Stella booth was chosen and ingeniously and probably stupidly one proceeds to pour one's own beer and pay for it by the ounce. An ounce of Stella was 40 cents, and at about 0.05 ounces to an imperial pint, it of course was a bit of a moneyspinner for the establishment but it was also a load of fun too.

Bed by a little after midnight before I turned into a Stella laden pumpkin but not until we had a stopover in the acclaimed Portillos for food. Great night just a shame my bodyclock decided to set my alarm for me this morning.

Today I have a few errands to run and I'm also going to go round to my old place to take a look at it. It has been rented since October last year. Then I'm hoping to join the 3,000 strong Addicks via internet in supporting Charlton at Brisbane Road this afternoon before heading out for drinks and dinner later. 
Sunday 16 August 2009
  Bailey's relish Hartlepool United 0 Charlton Athletic 2
An enjoyable and stressfree morning sat in front of the internet commentary on Saturday. A healthy 505 Addicks (11% of the total attendance) enjoyed a victorious away day, let's make this habit forming not a rare sighting like it has been for too many seasons now.

Hartlepools are no pushovers, they have had a solid first week but what was pleasing was the way defended resolutely but sparkled going forward and christ on a bike, we even had a centre-forward score a goal. An excellent finish from Burton and reward for two fine lone striker performances.

Whilst witnesses questioned Shelvey's performance again yesterday, what hasn't been questionable is Nicky Bailey's attitude. Some had concerns during pre-season that his mind was elsewhere but the dynamo has grasped the captain's armband with relish - more please Nicky.

On to the Orient then on Tuesday, when an army of Addicks will descend on the east end. I'll be in Chicago but hope to listen in on CAFC Player. There are doubts over Llera's head injury. Hopefully he will play but I don't understand why Mambo is not on the 7-man bench.

Reports: Drinking During the Game; All Quiet; Addicks Diary; Doctor Kish.
Photo: Courtesy of All Quiet's Twitter Page
Saturday 15 August 2009
  No more pain We went to see Mary J Blige play last night to get our all too seldom live music fix. Her appearance had been heavily advertised but she sung in front of a sparsely populated crowd at the National Stadium, which must have been disappointing for both the promoters and the tourism department.

Robin Thicke led things off, and he was pretty woeful with Mary J coming on at around 10.30pm. It was a slow start but the crowd slowly livened up after she threw out a few foot tappers bringing people slowly to their feet, namely Real Love and Family Affair, although my personal highlight was No More Drama, a song that resonantes with me from not a particularly happy time of my life. Her voice was good but the atmosphere was such that from our seats to the side of the stage it was like watching her on television.

I always defer my ratings of a live gig to the morning. Is my heart still racing? Is my ribcage still vibrating, do I have a broad smile on my face? Is my head full of lyrics and vivid music. No, I woke thinking of Hartlepool United! 
Friday 14 August 2009
  Ten things to do with a child in Bermuda If you ever find yourselves in Bermuda, and I hope you do, then you will soon realise there is a lot of stuff to do with children, that is as long as it doesn't rain because nearly even single activity involves being outside. Below in no particular order I have listed the top 10 things to do with a child on the island:

1. Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo
The Natural Museum might be somewhere to keep the kids out of the son or the rain and zoo has it's flamingoes, tamarins, giant tortoises and wallabies but it is the Aquarium that takes centrestage. 200 species of stunning indigenous species beautifully laid out. Pick out the Parrotfish, Groupers, Triggerfish and Puffer Fish. Cost $10 Adults, $5 5-12 year olds, under 5's free.

2. Crystal and Fantasy Caves
There aren't many real sightseeing things to do on the island but I was very impressed with the Caves. First discovered by two boys playing cricket and looking for a lost ball in 1907, the Crystal Caves are a labyrinth of stalactites and stalagmites. A pontoon bridge carries you across crystal clear waters 120ft under ground. If however you only want to do one of the caves then I would choose the Fantasy Cave, an underground jewel box of soda straw formations. Very cool and there is a very decent cafe on site too. Cost to do both caves $20 Adults, $10 for 5-12 year olds. Under 5's are free

3. Bell Helmet Diving
A very old concept developed by the Hartley family over 50 years ago. The helmet is weightless under water and it works like an upturned glass. Anyone can do this and it is very safe. In 12 ft of warm clear water Greg Hartley introduces you to all kinds of friendly fish and amazing coral. Cost $80 Adults, $55 under 13's.

4. Jet Ski
You can rent kayaks, boats or jet ski's but for the exhilaration of flying across the water and through the coral reefs riding a jet ski around the western tip of the island was thrilling. My son loved it and the guide even let the kids have a go on some open water. We fed the fish, watched the turtles and dived into warm transparent waters too. Cost for 70 minutes $125 for two.

5. Gibbs Hill Lighthouse
It is 185 steps to the top of the world's first ever cast iron lighthouse which towers 362ft high above the island. From here one can see the whole island in it's incredible glory. There is a gift shop and a new restaurant. Cost $3

6. Dolphin Quest
This might not be to everyone's taste as the dolphins, eleven in all, are kept in quite a small area in the Maritime Museum at the Royal Naval Dockyard. However the staff appeared well trained and helpful and no one can deny that watching and interacting with these amazing creatures is an incredible experience. Any doubt I had was washed away by my son's face during the hour he spent with just one other kid and the dolphins and how much he was full of it afterwards. It is expensive, around $250 but you can spend $60 to have a 5-minute encounter or in fact just entry to the Maritime Museum allows you to observe the dolphins at close quarters. Cost ranges from $50 to $300 depending on what programme you choose.

7. Boat ride
Now everyone should have a mate who owns a boat. I have no real interest in owning one because of the drain on money and valuable time and frankly I have better things to do on a Saturday than waxing a boat's hull. However being able to get out on the water surrounding this tiny hook shaped isle not only gives you a different perspective but also makes it appear much bigger. We spent an afternoon on my mates speedboat and my son loved it. He took the wheel, swam, fed the fish and put his sunglasses on and relaxed like the grown ups. You can hire a small Boston Whaler from $75.

8. Mini Golf
My son always wants to challenge me at mini golf. Bermuda is a haven for golf courses and there are two driving ranges on the island but also a very picturesque 18-hole challenging mini golf course with floodlights for night play. Cost $10 Adults, $8 Children.

9. Town of St George's
Where Bermuda was first settled and therefore St George's is a fine history lesson for children and at noon (check for days) at the town's square a nagging woman gets the ducking stool treatment all for your enjoyment. Plenty of nick-nack shops and restaurants plus some beautiful narrow streets to stroll. Free

10. The Beach
Try keeping kids of the pink sands and out of the turquoise waters. There are 70 public and private beaches surrounding the islands and probably the major reason why people come to Bermuda. Some of the small coves are absolutely stunning and during the summer the sea can be as warm as 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Be careful of the sun though, there is little shade and a lot of the beaches have no facilities. Horseshoe Bay (pictured) was my son's personal favourite. Free 
Wednesday 12 August 2009
  Hogge Roast The 20-game USL 2nd Division (the 3rd tier of US professional soccer) ended for the Bermuda Hogges on Saturday night in dramatic fashion. The Hogges, whose owner Paul Scope recently threw doubt on them making another season due to the financial cost of participating in the American, albeit predomiately eastern seaboard league, finished bottom of the table.

The title was won by Richmond Kickers who the Bermudians actually beat at home earlier in the season. Of course play-off's will decide the 'real' winner later in the month!

The Hogges only won 4 games all season, all of them at home but often in front of disappointing crowds. There was only 200 at their final home game and coach Kylie Lightbourne has consistently criticised Bermudian football fans for not getting behind the island's most vaulted team.

Nonetheless the cost of travel plus work and college commitments invariably means the Hogges travel away short on numbers and without their best players. With limited flights an away game can be a 3 or 4 day trip. However in the First Division the Puerto Rico Islanders appear to beat the same issues despite teams being spread as far as Vancouver, Austin, Minnesota and Miami. More money and sponsorship does flush around the USL 1 though including a television contract and regular games against MLS sides.

Anyway back to the Hogges' last game of the season Saturday night against Real Maryland Monarchs in Rockville, MD. The Hogges were two goals down when one of their better players Stevie Astwood hit a brace before half-time to bring it level. But then astonishingly the goalscorer was arrested by local police officers at half-time, taken away from the dressing room in his kit to the station! I read he was questioned about a "personal domestic issue" and later released and I have been scouring the local media for updated news but have found nothing.

In the 2nd half Hogges then took the lead but eventually lost to two late goals. Before that a player from each side was sent off, and so was Hogges' coach Jack Castle, and the Bermudians, proving their lack of players, had their reserve goalkeeper playing up front! Quite a game.

I wonder if the Hogges will survive another season, I hope they do as I have still not managed to watch them as they have a very awkward schedule, which does not help their appeal. Owner, in fact he is normally described as co-owner alongside Shaun Goater, Englishman Paul Scope has thrown good money after bad to bring a better discipline of football to Bermuda and his dedication hasn't been rewarded but I personally think they advertise themselves poorly and the website being updated would be a good start.

Oh, and losing to Simon Jordan's American mob twice is hardly giving me encouragement is it now? 
Tuesday 11 August 2009
  Load of old bull Hereford United 1 Charlton Athletic 0 AET
Tonight only emphasised the threadbare nature of our squad. With Dailly, Llera and Richardson all missing captain for the night Semedo joined Youga as a makeshift centre-half pairing with Solly and Basey playing full backs. Mambo despite plenty of pre-season action was an unused substitute.

323 Addicks made the journey, a very creditable and loyal number (11% of the entire attendance in fact) but they had little to cheer as Hereford made most of the clearcut chances and once again we relied on Elliot's efforts, this time to take us into extra time, something we could have done without and we would have if Gray had made the most of a free header in front of an empty net and then from the spot. Adam Bartlett saving his penalty after he stumbled under a challenge. Perhaps it is best for all concerned if we hurry through Gray's move to Barnsley.

At that point all was not lost as it was left to Stuart Fleetwood to finally make a name for himself but he put a great chance wide to save us all from the ignominy of another defeat to lower opposition in this competition.

Report: BBC Sport; Inspector Sands Twitter updates
  Memories of Hereford United Hereford United 0-1 Charlton, Wednesday 4th October, 1989
I don't know what possessed us on that October day in 1989 but after a convincing 3-1 win in the first leg at Sellout three of us took the day off work and drove down to Hereford for the 2nd Round, 2nd Leg of the what was then called the Littlewoods Cup. Actually it's all M40/A40 once outside of London and it wasn't a bad journey. We had also allowed ourselves enough time to stop at Ross-on-Wye for a lovely pub lunch on the River Wye. It is a nice spot.

We then got into Hereford a couple of hours before kick off and Edgar Street and the surrounding area was deserted. We searched around for a pub but ended up walking across the cattle market which had closed for the day but whiffed like it had seen a fair bit of business and up to the ground. It was then whilst having a pee in a public toilet attached to the outside of one of the stands that holds my abiding memory of the day.

All alone doing my business, suddenly someone shuffles up to the urinal next to me. I look over, as you do and he had a Charlton top on. Now all the way down the M40, in Ross-on-Wye and doing the sights of Hereford's town centre we had seen no life of Charlton at all. So I said to him: "Blimey, a Charlton fan. I thought we were on our own?"

"What, there are bloody loads of us down the street in the pub on the corner." And sure enough with directions we set off, opened the pub door and there were about 150 Charlton fans singing and drinking their hearts out. Fantastic and one of the many reasons why in those dark Selhurst days we often chose away games over 'home.'

Anyway the game was over in 13 minutes when Paul Williams got ahead of a young Darren Peacock and stabbed in from close range leaving the tie 4-1 on aggregate. That description was given to us afterwards as we couldn't see the goal as our view from the Blackfriars Street End was so bad and I remember it wasn't until Hereford kicked off again that most of us realised that we had scored!

1989/90 was our relegation season under Sir Lennie Lawrence, it was a tough old season with dwindling crowds at Selhurst and hopes for a return to The Valley becoming less and less likely. The attendance at Edgar Street was actually 1,100 more than it was in the first leg and other than those Hereford games up until the middle of October we had only won one league game, this despite starting the season with three draws and that solitary win under the lights at Selhurst thrashing Chelsea 3-0 helping Lawrence to August's 1st Division Manager of the Month!

Charlton: Bolder, Humphrey, Reid, MacKenzie, McLaughlin, Pates, Lee, Williams, Jones, Walsh, Mortimer.
Subs not used: Leaburn, Minto
Hereford: Elliott, MA Jones, Devine, Pejic, R Jones, Bradley, M Jones, Narbett (Hemming 46), Peacock, Robinson, Tester.
Sub not used: Stevens
Attendance: 4,777 
Monday 10 August 2009
  Knackering Knackered today after a weekend of putting together bedroom furniture for the new baby, suffice to say if anyone needs some long screws (I obviously have a couple left over) or an allen key then I am your man - email me at the address over there with sensible offers only. The instructions were slightly better than IKEA, but clearly only meant for chemical physicists with a knack for DIY.

Nonetheless despite a couple of tantrums and filling a couple of swear boxes they look alright, in fact I was just staring into the room very dreamily before I sat down to write this and it does make the whole thing v-e-r-y r-e-a-l especially when my Bermudian brethren and his lovely other half gave birth to a fantastic looking son on Friday evening, a couple of weeks early. Gulp. However despite rumours of naming him after Saturday's first goalscorer they decided against Christian and my suggestion of Killer and went with Evan.

This morning I went for an annual medical or physical as the Americans call it, and can I say a prostrate examination doesn't quite work like a bowl of Ready Brek in the morning to brush away the Monday blues. Anyhow cholesterol is too high and I need to keep of the cheese. I was wondering if Laughing Cows count because I have been quite into them recently. Any doctors out there with advice?

Work is reasonably calm, so Dave will be pleased to know I thought it about time I went on some travels again. I will be back in my old stamping ground of Chicago next week and I can't bloody wait. Apart from a 24-hour stopover in February I have not been in the Windy City for over a year. I leave here next Monday and will be in Chicago until Friday, after which I will meet up with my other half and her bump in New York for one last fling together. 
Sunday 9 August 2009
  Exhausting Charlton Athletic 3 Wycombe Wanderers 2
I was exhausted after listening to the game yesterday but equally I don't think I have been that engaged or excited or nervous in a Charlton radio commentary for some considerable time. It was important to win and we did, one can only imagine how Norwich fans feel today. Two Canary season ticket holders even threw their season tickets away, I hope for their sake they got their relegation refunds during the summer?

At 2-0 we were playing superbly but I think we were too complacent when Llera was off getting stitches (if Mambo was among the substitutes I wonder if Parkinson would have made a straight sub?) but we will learn in this division how to defend leads better and also extend them. It was confusing to me why Parkinson took off Sam, more confusing than the actual formation change. Shelvey had done his work, and like last week wasn't quite at the races and perhaps he should have been relinquished.

Gray and McLeod should have both put the game out of doubt but once Zebroski got his second old demons came back to haunt us but despite a wonder point-blank save from Elliot and various off the line clearances we still won. We wouldn't have last season.

Of course we all want to win like kings and maybe we should have done. Last week at Bournemouth, in only a friendly I know, we dominated the game but could have ended up drawing it. It is a fine line and we do need more players, but Parkinson acknowledges that.

The noise on the radio was tremendous and the crowd of 16,552 was fantastic and I have to say I was very impressed with the new CAFC Player. Onto Hereford then Tuesday, with Llera, Dailly and Richardson all carrying knocks I expect a few changes to the line up.

Addicks' view: Drinking During the Game; New York Addick; All in a Day; Addicks Diary.
Wycombe view: Vital Wycombe.
Quote: "We were probably lucky not to be more than two games down in the first half because Lloyd Sam was causing us a lot of grief, but in the second half our performance was really good." - Peter Taylor 
Friday 7 August 2009
  Little Charlton are back I hate to do this to you but football is back tomorrow, at least it is in the backwater of the lower English divisions where Charlton have come full circle from the day's when I used to go with my Dad with a wollen scarf tied around my wrist eagerly anticipating every game win, lose or draw. Only growing older brought competitiveness, nerves and doubt to my Charlton avocation. Oh and success, because we had plenty.

In the car on the way down to Bournemouth on Saturday we accepted that we have to reconsider our expectations and dreams. Simply I would forego promotion this season just to see a group of players who show they care about the red shirt, a manager who tried to win games by playing exciting football, owners that put pay to any doubt about the club's future and a group of fans that stood side by side vocally backing future Charlton heroes and overall the team, our team.

Us old timers used to say that we wanted our Charlton back, well I guess we owe a few people then, people that were so incompetent and careless that they've left us where we begin a new future on Saturday. We indeed have our little Charlton back like it or not.

It has been a long and dismal summer but cracks of hope have been appearing. The next month is critical in terms of any takeover, the first games and the transfer window. I never asked a lot as a Charlton fan, I have certainly put more in than taken out. All I ever wanted was to belong and feel proud to be an Addick and whatever the next month and the rest of the season brings my overall hope for the next 9 months is that Charlton give me back that enthusiasm and enjoyment that I used to have, you know when we were little Charlton. 
Thursday 6 August 2009
  Black and blue all over Getting closer to kick off, no further signs of a takeover (yes, I know what takeover) or new signings. The squad numbers did come out yesterday included Andy Gray at 9. Robbie Elliot collects the number 1 shirt and Semedo and Racon both move up the pecking order to 6 and 8 respectively. Unsuprisingly there are no numbers for either Yassin Moutaouakil nor Martin Christensen, who is still on loan at Lyngby Boldklub in the Danish 2nd Division. Interestingly Jon Fortune's previous number 24 has not been taken. Fortune by the way is currently injured and no announcement has been made either way by Sheffield United to him joining them.

And what do you think of the new away kit? I like it, certainly the best two kits for many a year. I knew that lucrative tie-up with Inter Milan would come to fruition at some point - they've let us borrow their kits! 
Wednesday 5 August 2009
  Unity Excellent New York pizza at Adrienne's on Stone Street signalled the end of a very long day for me yesterday. I stepped off the plane at JFK from Heathrow to go straight into a presentation that I had to give and by the time I hit the sack last night I'd been awake for 24 hours.

Unfortunately flying back from London yesterday meant I missed last night's introductory Supporters Trust meeting in Charlton, which I would've liked to have attended. From what I've read 50 or so Addicks, with the help of James Mathie from Supporters' Direct debated the idea of setting up a Trust. Next step will be for the group to declare some joint objectives. I would have personally liked to have heard Ian Cartwright's rallying cry to unify fans. Being a Charlton fan has never been more exciting when we, the fan's have stood side by side.

So, in New York today and will then fly back tomorrow to Bermuda. Oh and I renewed my CAFC TV subscription this morning. Come on you reds. 
Monday 3 August 2009
  City break In the City today with some meetings starting a little later followed by beverages this evening before an early start in the morning. I fly to New York tomorrow for some worky meetings I needed to be at which is a pain in the bum as I originally planned to stay in London until later in the week.

The highlight of the weekend was the trip down to Bournemouth but with Chislehurst my base I continued my tour of south coast towns when I whizzed down to see my parents for lunch yesterday in Eastbourne. I drove into town last night dropping my rather more depreciated rental car off in Tower Bridge. What amazed me was how busy it was in the City last night. The roads around the Tower were rammed and there were literally thousands of people wandering around. I remember Sunday's in the city being like a ghost town.

This little spate of activity is more like my life in Chicago than Bermuda but I'm making the most of it as it won't be long before I'll be 'housebound' waiting for the contractions to begin! 
Sunday 2 August 2009
  Positive vibes AFC Bournemouth 1-2 Charlton
My son and I showed up in our shorts at the Fitness First Stadium yesterday, maybe slightly underdressed considering the weather and rain, but what we witnessed was a stylish performance from Charlton in the final friendly before we get down to business next Saturday.

The fact the four of us made it all was touch and go thanks to god-awful traffic from the minute we got on the M25 at Junction 3 all the way down to the back streets of Boscombe. We parked in the car park next to the open end of the ground just as the referee blew his whistle for the start of the game. I bumped into a fellow blogger and we watched the game together in a busy and good heartened away enclosure.

On the way down we had plenty of time during the drive down to discuss our hopes and fears for the new season but we agreed while the game's result wasn't going to be important, the way we played and the unity and spirit shown from the team was.

And what we saw was an excellent performance full of good movement, passing and creation plus a solid looking back four. The rental car on the thankfully shorter drive home was full of good humour and positivity.

I was glad we went, I have never been one for friendlies but beggars can't be choosers these days and I was impressed on many levels particularly the way we dominated the game in every area. Sam, Racon, Llera and Spring (for 45 mins) were stand-outs and even McLeod's direct play was recognised by Addicks around us. As for Gray's appearance it was met by a combination of surprise and cynicism. Perhaps reasons for Gray and McLeod's showing and Dickson's omission will become clearer this next week, or perhaps not!

So a very enjoyable, if long day out, my two mates who joined my son and I will both renew their season tickets this week on the back of that performance but as I said the real business begins next Saturday.

Reports:; Drinking During the Game.
Quote: "I thought Charlton were excellent. I was very impressed and they gave us a tough game, probably our toughest of pre-season. For whatever reason, I thought we looked a little off it so it's a little wake-up call ahead of the season. I thought they were better in all departments. We can't complain about anything and got what we deserved." Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe. 
About Me
After living in Chicago for four and a half years, I moved to the beautiful if bewildering island of Bermuda in July 2008. This blog is about being an exiled and depressed Charlton Athletic fan and whatever else the day brings.
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