Monthly preview

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January preview:

The resumption of the FPL gets underway at 10-30am. on the 30th. of January – lets hope for an absence of snow , the only thing that can scupper our plans.
The first round of games sees the fancied Bolton Arena team take on  top of the table Nash Bees on Pitch One . Can the Bolton men trim the Bees lead back a bit and stay in contention? Bees Co-Manager Gordon Nixon is unavailable for this round of games and so Colin Fielding steps up to the solo plate to lead his Bees. With four games he faces a stern test.

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    Tameside Striders face Burnley F.C. W.F. and welcome Rob Lake back into their ranks. Rob missed out  injured last time out as did Peter Dixon, leaving Striders a bit short.  Peter Smith was temporarily drafted in (having missed the Amblers October games) to make sure Striders could fulfil their fixtures. Smith now return to the Amblers squad and their first game is against Vintage Celtic. Just as well because they have ‘lost’ Steve Tomlinson.
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    Short term loans and longer term transfers are permitted in the FPL.  If ANY team is struggling to raise sufficient numbers get in touch and we will see if we can help. The four teams from Denton and Ashton groups do not have an inexhaustible supply of players – far from it –  but most will manage to have a player or two on the sidelines.  IT can’t be guaranteed they’d accept but the question could be asked.  Like wise, if you ‘discover’ a player between rounds and want to include him in your squads there is nothing to stop you so long as they endorse  the fair play ethos and your average age remains above 62 years. Let’s keep peripheral rules to a minimum.
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    *This time , only players who did not attend in November will need to self-identify on camera. * Team sheets will be available on the morning but the lack of an  i.d. ritual will save time.
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    Bees, Bolton and Burnley all have four games this month. Denton Wednesday get off to the later 11-00am start and the Nash Amblers will be  done and dusted for noon and the early finish.
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    The snack bar will be open by then and the Ambler’s John Smith is January’s sponsor for  twenty buttered muffins , one given free to the first purchasers of chips n’ gravy. It’s appropriate that John’s  team will have first bite at a free barmcake. (If you don’t want to miss out on   a chip butty bring your own barm)
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    The full  January fixture list is live  on the website. We hope to  have a couple of extra volunteers to capture the action and maybe also to man a linesman’s flag if required.
    Good luck to all taking part and we’ll see you on the day. A reminder : entry fee is capped at £35 per team payable to Mark Bradshaw of the Curzon club who Referees on pitch 3. . Incidentally,  since we last convened Mark has been appointed team manager at ‘The Nash’ in case you didn’t know. After a couple of early reverses his team has now won four games on the bounce in  Vanarama National League North – 6th. tier of English football !
  • If any of our teams has a  story or piece of news they want included in this preview or any part of the website you are welcome to email it to



The ultimate FPL session of the year takes place on 28th. November as we revert to the final Wednesday of the month once more. Please arrive a little early for a prompt ten thirty am. kick off.
We maintain the  change in layout established in October, and will keep the Pitch numbers from last month. The pitch immediately in front of you as you access the 3g will not be in use and can be taken up for warm ups by late starters the Nash Amblers if they so wish.
The pitches in the distance will be numbers two (top right) and three (top left). Pitch one will be to the right, closest to the main building and dressing rooms.

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    On arrival please bunch in team groups for a quick video i.d. parade stating name, age and date of birth.
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    Note: Our new ‘statto’ Dave Wenham will be stationed in one of the brand new dug outs with table, white board/s and results book. All Referees should approach David with results and FP point allocation s at the end of each game. There’s ten minutes to do so after all . Teams wishing to have their goalscorer’s recorded must inform David themselves. Thanks.

It’s hoped the Academy linesmen and photographers will stay the course this time. Counting touches and checking for any off the ball runs. Hopefully  they’ll bring their winter coats as it might be a bit inclement out there. We now have adequate shelter though on both sides of the pitches.
On pitch one first of all we have a top of the table clash Nash Bees (top) v. Vintage Celtic (third). Garry Pearce will Referee this one. When the teams met in September the Bees enjoyed a narrow one-nil win.
Other openers see Denton Wednesday take on second placed Burnley Comm WF . Wednesday will welcome striker Rod Seddon into their squad and have had several injuries to contend with. Alan Graham will officiate this one.

On pitch 3 Mark Bradshaw will supervise Bolton Arena v. Tameside Striders. The former the only team with negative fair play points – will they collect some this month? – and the latter, Striders are without injured Peter Dixon. Alan Richards should be available for at least one game it is hoped and Laurie O’Toole is ‘reclaimed’ from his loan deal to Denton Wednesday to strengthen Striders team.

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    The second round of games sees two ‘derbies’ with Wednesday facing the Nash Amblers as they open their November campaign. After several injuries the squad is now fully fit giving managers Stewart White and John Smith some decisions to make. The last game between these two ended goalless with each team taking a Fair Play point away with them.
    Celtic and Burnley meet on Pitch three , with Bolton Arena resting this one out.
    Arena return to action at 11.30 to face Burnley on Pitch one. They’ll be hoping to augment their good performances on the results front, with a few fair play points this time around.
    Tameside Striders meet the Amblers in the third of their four games. Mark Bradshaw Refereeing this one. Familiarity will breed no contempt in this one as both sets of players will be seeking to play fair and square and gather all three points with NO fair play deductions.

The day on the 3g will close after Celtic play Striders, whose depleted squad might be feeling the pace by then. On pitch one at least they won’t have far to walk to the changing rooms. Celtic have been impressive so far and are clearly enjoying the league. Bees face Amblers in another clash of the Nash and will be looking to avenge last months heavy defeat, when John Smith ran riot with a hat-trick. Wednesday’s fourth game will be a real test as Bolton Arena await them on Pitch three.

After the games why not enjoy a brew in the Nash snack bar. The chip frier will be on the go and there’ll be gravy too I’m told. I’ll be bringing twenty buttered barms for the first twenty purchasers of pomm frites avec / mit gravy. Or sans/unmit gravy, as you please. Three languages murdered there. Let’s hope none of our teams face similar catastrophe on the day.
SHINPADS + PHOTO I.D.which may be required to be shown + £35 per team.
Max. squad of nine.
See you Wednesday. No mean feet.


We can only hope the October fixtures bring similar enjoyment to that we all seemed to experience last month.

With Burnley Comm.WF not kicking off untill 11-00 am. the first three fixtures throw up intriguing games between the other competing teams.

A clash of the Nash – with Amblers facing Bees, who top the table at the moment.

Vintage Celtic meet Tameside Striders in a re-run of the 2017 People’s Cup group game that ended in a 2-2 draw. The teams have met a couple of times since with Celtic just having the edge.

Denton Wednesday take on the fancied Bolton Arena. Both teams lost fair play points last time out and will be keen not to repeat such a deduction. Mark Bradshaw Referees this one.

Burnley Comm.W.F.kick off with a game against Tameside STriders. These teams last met in February at Turf Moor when Striders romped home in a friendly fixture. The personnel is very different in the FPL and a tighter game is expected on Pitch 2.

Nash Amblers meet regular rivals Vintage Celtic at eleven am. Renewing an acquaintance cemented at Heywood where honours were about even over three seasons in the G.M.W.F.

Other notable games see Bolton Arena face the Nash Amblers on Pitch 2. The arena team have four games this month, finishing with a match v. Vintage Celtic on pitch two at noon.

Three game Amblers meet three game Burnley Comm.WF at mid-day on Pitch One. A re-run of last months game on the same pitch when a Grimbaldeston goal saw the Amblers clinch three valuable match won points.

All players are asked to think carefully, and don’t squander your hard earned successes by losing fair play points. The threshold for awarding Referee’s single FP point award means it will have to an exemplary performance to get one. Worth holding back from a mis-timed or late challenge and restraining yourself when tempted to run. Our Ref’s can spot a runner a mile off most of the time ! If they don’t their assistants might.

Last month we had just the one blue card for three individual runs, but that cost the players team three fair play points.

Turn up in a semi-competitive spirit and we should all have another interesting and enjoyable day. See you Wednesday…