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It's Been Emotional
Reflections on the completion of the normal season, with all eyes now on Tuesday… By: Max Bygraves 01/05/2023
Dagenham and Redbridge
0 2
League 29/04/2023
2022-2023 Attendance: 2256 (347)

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It doesn’t feel that long ago since I sat down to pen the first article of the year, Season Ticket. There was optimism and positivity aplenty back then, but I was somewhat guarded deep down in how I truly saw the next 9 months panning out.

Writing this severely hungover (still) on a Sunday evening after a great day with a load of old Barnet mates, it really has surpassed all expectation.

This article isn’t going to be just a relentless citing back to previous work, but this week I did think back to what I wrote just over a year ago at the end of last season: Not An End Of Season Review.

It was hard to feel too positive about anything around the club twelve months ago and I’m not sure I was the only one a little unconvinced that Dean Brennan would be the man to revive our fortunes. Absolutely delighted to have been well and truly proven wrong on that one.

When looking for positives in the article at the end of last season, I cited the summer of 2003 and the rebuild done by Allen then as something we could try to replicate. I didn’t think it possible to the extent of making the play offs. Again, how great to be wrong!

There have gone on to be lots of parallels to the brilliant 2003/04 season. A likeable team. An enthusiastic manager. Odds defying wins. A bit of burn out towards the end but getting over the line. Let’s hope what comes next has a slightly different, even better outcome. More Simon Clist at home to Shrewsbury than the away leg.

At the time of writing that article, the notion of going regularly again wasn’t even something I was entertaining. Then, along came the fantastic BOGOF on season tickets and after umming and aahing for a few weeks, on the eve of the new season the plunge was taken.

It took a few months to truly feel re-invested but I can honestly say now it almost feels like I was never away. True football love runs very deep. I hadn’t realised that it had been kept in storage quite so well since 2013.

That goes both ways too; for the happiness and highs, frustration and disappointment stings and rankles. We came in for a bit of criticism on Twitter this week for some negativity toward the club’s marketing and once again, the words of the chairman.

There is often a lot of having to look the other way in supporting Barnet. I try keep the blinkers on and just enjoy watching the matches now, but it’s not always easy to bite my tongue. And after all, the use of this platform is to share the good, bad and ugly of being a Barnet fan.

Those BFCSA minutes from the latest meeting with the chairman released last week were a difficult read. Nothing against the supporters association, just once again, the man at the helm saying and doing exactly as he pleases. The SA have my sympathy and I admire their patience.

So many basic things still not being done. So many bad excuses. The bloody scoreboard! So disappointing, but sadly, all so familiar.

When we posted an example ticket price from 1994 which contradicted what he said according to the write up, we were accused of moaning by some. Very little he says or does ever gets challenged. We are where we are in many areas due to this. We are where we are on the pitch at the moment despite his stewardship of the club.

I do agree now isn’t really the time to be looking at the negatives, but despite the results on the pitch, it’s very hard to pretend everything is ok off it. But we won’t dig any deeper into that just now. Exhale. Back to the final match of the season…

It was an unusual luxury to be able to go to a game and be fully relaxed regarding its outcome. Brennan sensibly rotated the squad, saving legs for Tuesday.

It was a proper end of season affair. Not many of the stand-in team impressed. The youngster Granville put in a good shift, but in most other cases, it was clear to see why most of these are not regularly involved. You’d imagine a few goodbye appearances were being made.

There was a good atmosphere nonetheless. The Amber Battalion doing a fine job at continually making noise, supported by a group of Norwegians in town who randomly decided to join in to bolster our numbers.

A low point of the matchday experience for me was the first purchase of a burger at the ground this year. £6.50 for an incredibly mediocre, dry, basic offering, lovingly handed over in a piece of kitchen roll. Work certainly still very much needed in this area.

On the pitch, it finished 0-2. A late second goal perhaps a little harsh overall. About as exciting as the aforementioned burger, on the whole.

Dagenham have a big summer ahead of them, with Ben Strevens looking to have the kind of impact recruitment wise seen at Barnet this year. Certainly no fan of theirs but a big Strevens advocate. For his sake alone, hope things go well there next season.

The players line of appreciation (more than a lap, given the layout of the ground this year) saw most stay behind to give them a good ovation. It was nice to be able to acknowledge a team who have certainly earned the appreciation of the crowd, rather than a tokenistic, sheepish effort where everyone is embarrassed to be there. We’ve seen plenty of those down the years!

So, it’s onto Boreham Wood on Tuesday night. Whilst it is a case of ‘just happy to be there,’ now we’re in it, you’d hope we’ll make the most of the opportunity. It’s a very winnable game. Although the prize of a trip to Notts County in the semi final would be a pretty daunting prospect, let’s hope we go all out to give ourselves a chance of going there.

Tuesday could be a huge night in terms of really looking at the club kicking on and building momentum after the dark recent years. A healthy sized crowd, a bubbling atmosphere and plenty to dream big about. It really is quite exciting. Let’s not let this chance pass us by. Not to wish away a bank holiday, but it can’t come round soon enough…

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All Articles By This Author:

13/06/2024 How It All Began
13/05/2024 Togetherness
29/04/2024 Outfought, Outthought, Out Of Ideas
10/04/2024 Nearly There
25/03/2024 "A Game Of F*****g Demolition"
20/03/2024 Another Step Closer
09/03/2024 Tepid
06/03/2024 Bring Barnet Back
21/02/2024 Shot Down
14/02/2024 Simon Clist

Other Articles By Category

13/06/2024 How It All Began
07/06/2024 A Barnet Story
13/05/2024 Togetherness
29/04/2024 Outfought, Outthought, Out Of Ideas
21/04/2024 The Best Of The Rest
10/04/2024 Nearly There
25/03/2024 "A Game Of F*****g Demolition"
20/03/2024 Another Step Closer
17/03/2024 Card Bored
09/03/2024 Tepid

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