Shall we attempt to sum up what felt like the longest pre season in history… ohh go on then.

The world got put on pause a while back, if you remember rightly, and this resultantly meant that FAT Semi aside, we hadn’t competed competitively since mid March. FF to today and we find ourselves in a different kind of pickle with football scheduled to resume, albeit with no fans. Too dangerous apparently, although not for step 3 sides and south where the only virus in history to be credited a full Mensa member can cleanly distinguish the infect-able step 2 supporters from the unsusceptible pyramid base layer game goers. Unbelievable tekkers.

Anyway, we’re evidently being granted a ‘financial bailout’ package of our own. Hallelujah, great to temporarily ease clubs financial woes, but not so great for the people who love to frequent these fine establishments, not that our hapless Whitehall diktat’s give a toss. You could always go watch a game packed into your local cinema though, go figure. Now, onto the pitch.

Our weaker more feeble next door neighbours stood up to act as our first warm up. So many faces featured at Park Lane, a couple of them could’ve been competition winners, I’m not sure. We waltzed off 1 nil winners, whilst keeping our donkey years worth of “Island el Clasico” supremacy intact. Like taking candy from a baby.

The completely overhauled East Thurrock stood next in line to offer up a patch to play on. Despite a second half super storm and hosting rally, we turned out a thrice twice one-upmanship from our trip down Rookery Hill.

Peterborough Sports of the Southern League Premier Central division to give it it’s full moniker made the mid length trip to join us on Concord Island for a game of practice ball. In what I like to call a Duracell outcome, the Turbines committed battery bang in front of the scout our FAT Semi oppo decided to send, the positive having said Sir peddling home having learnt Jack shit, the negative, the bottom line, which read 1-4.

Our local football league custodians Southend United were booked in to provide a stiff test ahead of our big one. The curtain thrown over our identities was well observed by the media heads in attendance who we owe great thanks to where a masked marauder managed to muck in with a first half hat trick. A perky 3-0 was posted.

We welcomed in a admirable FC for our next outing when Boreham Wood made the tour to our shore where a stellar show was spread out over our pristine pitch in the stunning summers sunshine. They left us with a slender 1-2 turn over.

A midweek move about on the white cliffs of Dover allowed the full depth and breadth of our squad to be utilised. The chaps in question took full advantage from the opportunity to impress having returned 2-1 toppers.

The relentless Rona retracted enough to allow us the pleasure of partaking in a pilot event at our National League London bound neighbours, Dagenham & Redbridge. The Daggers, sharp as a knife put our personnel to a proficiency level test of extremely beneficial extent. Handed a narrow defeat of 2 goals to 1, we left Victoria Road with plenty of the proverbial positives.

A little fitness fine tuning was required to complete the pre season preps so we enlisted the help of a pair of Isthmian league step four football fraternities to add some much needed mileage prior to seasons procession. Harlow Town succumbed to a tree nil topple in the penultimate practice before the Great people of Wakering were walloped 6-2 to wrap up this weary work.

Now comic moments during the dreary pre season preps are scarcely dispersed, however ones peepers captured the gurn Alex Wall created for our bouncy Basqueman Odei when the dynamic midfielder directly suggested to the free scoring striker that he pass him t’ball when one on one. If expletive dismissal had it’s own Pablo Picasso portrait adorning the Tate Modern, Wallys boat race was it.

Here’s an interesting factoid for you folks, if we fail to compete in a league fixture of which we win for the remainder of this wretched year, that’ll mean we went a whole great British calendar spin without registering a league win, a first time occurrence since 1966. Having simultaneously achieved FAT Finale status we’d be etched into trivia question folklore forevermore… let’s not do that shall we.

Needless to say, our magician management contingent have readily assembled a clearly very capable unit with the wands they work with. A potentially promising period peeks tentatively over the horizon to welcome us Beachboys and Girls when we’re finally allowed to embrace the feasibility of finally letting fans back into our grounds. Cruelly robbed of what would’ve been one of our greatest ever occasions to share with supporters with the Trophy Semi Final, we are lobbying tirelessly to turn this tide, to help transition from prohibition to the safe return of football fans into their mini Mecca’s.

Always remember the wise words of the frivolous Forrest Gump when he said this. “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Whatever appears to be waiting in the wings for us all, I’d like to wish good luck to everyone at our football club, both in life and in sport.

Be safe you beautiful beasts.

Be seeing you.