So, the first of our TVPL Season Reviews sees us tackle Division Four harder than an Old Firm challenge on Scott Brown. We’ll follow the usual road of detail; us reminding you of who we chose in the summer, a memory of our (drunken) mid-season review, us saying “I told you” or “What do we know”, then some season highlights, lowlights and a celebration of our Champions.
We’d also like to reaffirm that this is all tongue in cheek. We jest. It’s for fun. And we normally make mistakes. We’re tired. Babies really exhaust you right? If you don’t know, having a baby is like having a night out in Reading; you look forward to it for weeks in advance, buy some new clothes, you get a bit nervous but then you love it for a few hours, you get a few cuddles and it makes your year, but you normally feel exhausted the next day, it costs a fortune, you have pee on your trousers and you’ve probably caught something.
(let’s move on….)
So, in line with that…….we told you so!
It was a victorious season for our debutants Datchet Village! A tremendous title race was taken to the penultimate game where the Villagers secured the title with a thumping 4-1 away win over Harchester Harks Dev. A brilliant run from Westwood United Reserves – to round off a great season for the Wood as a club, more on that later – left them runners up to Datchet, who also claimed the Junior League Cup, a 4-2 win over those Hawks again!
The Villagers only league defeat this season was a 4-5 belter v Westwood, a win that kept the title race going. But for any team to lose just once in a league campaign is impressive. But they had firepower that would make Guy Fawkes smile; 77 goals in just 16 games (for reference, the nearest anyone else scored was 50). And it’s here we see why the league was won; The Villagers have the former Windsor FC striker Barry Dunbar, who smashing 16 in just 9 games, along with an ex-Flackwell winger and some real talent amidst their ranks. While the Double is well deserved, we’re very keen to see how they fare at a slightly higher level than D4; a level they can clearly push for.
The League Cup was won with a great 4-2 win over fellow D4 side Harchester Hawks.
An incredible season for Westwood Development whose young side only lost 3 this term. A deserved promotion will see another successful young TVPL side earn plaudits and promotions; proof there is local young talent for our sides to embrace.
We called a good season for Berks County Rovers and with Matt Panton ending as Golden Boot (20 in 14 games), 3rd place along with a League Cup pens loss shows development from the previous season. Perhaps fell away a touch since the mid-season review, but a good term none-the-less, the highlight being scoring 8 in October vs Henley ev, a game that saw 2 hattys, Panton (4) and Richard Cumner ensuring they sold papers.
Bar the winners, possibly the standout side this term was Farnham Mavericks; another young side with a young player-coach in Chris Maynard, the Mavs ended 4th this term after finishing the previous term bottom of the pile. A brilliant achievement for this young squad that will eyeing a promotion bid next term. With 7 wins this term (over double last), Farnham showed they could almost every side in the league on their day.
We liked the look of both Henley and Taplow last summer, but sadly consistent form never materialised and bar a brilliant late run from Taplow – picking up 14 points from their last 7 games, beaten only by the Champs – the sides ended the term at the foot.
It was middle earth for AFC Corinthians and Phoenix Old Boys, while Harchester Hawks Dev seemed to be involved in the big games, along with an excellent cup run.
So there. Now, some unofficial awards.
(We hope you’re enjoying all this. Our minions have been flogged to produce it and now we’ve run out of Red Bull to bride them with – blame Brexit – we’re promising solid food for dinner as their incentive).
Team of the Season
Can’t fault the double winners…Datchet have to take the crown this term, although close runners up are Wood after a brilliant term.
A double is good, but to finish 4th with a squad that ended bottom the term before? Has to be Maynards Men, Mavericks. Well done lads.
Tricky here, but we have to say Henley Dev…for a side that only a few years ago were plying semi-pro trade and have the heritage of the Kites, we hope to see a resurgence term. A tough job ahead, but embrace local players and we’re sure a better term lay ahead.
Fair Play to Fair Play
Our Champs actually won the Reading Refs Association Fair Play Award! Given we’ve no idea who was included (could have been open only to teams called Datchet) and it’s nothing to do with TVPL, we don’t really know how this came about. But anyone that’s called a Fair Play Winner in local football needs nuff ‘spect getma, so well played lads, its deserved.
While a massive statement of intent was the Champs 8-2 demolition of Berks County in October, we cannot escape the 9-goal thriller on 23rd March – The Champs 4 – 5 Westwood Dev! A hattrick for Barry Dunbar wasn’t enough as Wood’s Jeilyn Liriano fired the winner with just minutes left to keep the title race going. Superb game of football, sums up this Division!
Matt Panton at Berks County Rovers bagged 20 in 14. Golden. Clap Clap.
‘What You Up To’ of the Year
Taplow Reserves. Terrible before Xmas, sublime after it…Father Xmas bring you form or something? Play like that next term, you’ll have promotion on the table gents, you were excellent. Which leads us to ask, before Xmas, what you up to?
The Aly-Us ‘Follow Me’ Award
(this is tenuous, a quality US House track, the ‘Full Intention Club’ mix is the one to search, incredible)
We like clubs that keep us informed of their bid’ness. Lots do. Some don’t. Down in D4, it’s murky, so we’ll try to offer 3 sides to follow, but not sure we can…but follow….
Mavericks – They offer Monday Motivation. Why wouldn’t you follow this? These lads are the shining light in D4.
Datchet – they even posted when Westwood beat them. Hats off Champs. Plus they engage the local area…how they only have 153 followers is madness. FOLLOW
Our minions are tired now. We think we’ve covered TVPL D4 in it’s glory and are delighted that we have new teams jopining the TVPL that are finding success by doing things the right way. Well done to Datchet and Phoenix for joining and we’re also happy that Westwood’s new side performed well and that the term ‘Development’ seems to be back to what it means.
We’d welcome your feedback. Not if it’s bad. Keep that to yourselves. Otherwise, tell us how great our teams are and how wonderful we are.
Check our @thamesvalleyPL for all our news. If you don’t, we’ll cry.