Everyone’s favourite RDFC Fans Blog feature is back, with five fans giving their views on a range of topics, from Michael Rankine to Diamonds Burgers. Because so many people responded to the EOTT offer, a selection of answers will be shown for each question.
Five past editions are viewable in the Special Features section of the site.
22nd, 22nd, 24th, 12th, 16th, 11th… is this finally the year for a top-10 season?
Pigman – Yes…….. just ! I don’t think we’ll pull up any trees this season, my expectation levels are well in check, but we’ll do okay. I actually predict a 10th place finish for us, which will be progress, I’ll be happy with that, providing the year after we improve on that and so on.I’d be delighted with 10th, providing we have a long, long Cup run, FA Cup preferably, but I’ll take a Trophy Final. Keith Cousins deserves not just the revenue that comes from this, but the national recognition. Who knows we may win some of those fair weather, glory hunting, supporters……………(ahem), I mean some of our loyal fans back eh?
2ofDiamonds – Yes, I think we xan move into the top ten with the players we’ve brought in. If we can keep this side together for 2 or 3 seasons and let it grow up together it has the potential to move into the FL in my opinion.
Sturman – Obviously we’ve got big teams like Mansfield, Oxford, Luton, Wrexham etc who no doubt will probably be in the top 10, but I see no teams to fear in this league – anyone can beat anyone on their day.
Were you happy to see Michael Rankine leave?
2ofDiamonds – Yes. Since his opening day (3-yard open-goal miss at Crawley in our first seaon back in the Conf) I’ve never seen him as having good enough quality for our club.
BartonRaz – Initially no, but in hindsight i think it was probably the right decision. After his second season i really thought he was beginning to realise his potential but he was very disappointing on the whole last term. I’ll always give him a good reception at Nene Park because he never gave anything less than 100% but 10k and Craig Farrell in return is a great bit of business our end.
Pigman – Mixed feelings. Ranks was a nice guy and you couldn’t hope for any player to put any more heart and effort into his performances, but it just never came off for the lad. Who knows, his move may be the making of him, I hope so. He could change a game for you and his strength and pace could really unnerve sides in the latter stages of games, his build and physique shouted centre-forward, but he was a bit like Bambi on ice at times and he sure as hell didn’t know where the goal was – I felt for the lad and I’ve NEVER willed a player to come good as much as I have Michael Rankine, but it wasn’t to be.
I will hasten to add, I think it was a great bit of business by Justin, a player AND cash????? I was gobsmacked – I guess we’ll have to wait and see how his replacement (and Ranks) does before we say just HOW good a deal it was won’t we? I wish Ranks well, and I hope he proved me wrong, but I think he’ll end up stacking shelves somewhere and playing football on a Sunday morning for a pub side somewhere. The sad thing is that if a few other members of our team had demonstrated his heart and commitment, which was “Darbyesque” at times (praise indeed), then we would have done a darn sight better than 11th last year.
Downsie53 – No, I’d have rather kept him as I feel we could miss that physicality up front in what is a very physical league. I don’t feel any of the four strikers we have at the club offer us that ‘presense’.Sturman – Certainly not, I loved the guy, plenty of hardwork and passion and certainly a dangerous player when brought off the bench to run at tired defences.
What was your best moment from last season?
All five agreed on two moments in particular: the managerial change in February, and a certain goal versus a certain team.
What was your worst moment from last season?
BartonRaz – The ‘Evesham debacle’ was astonishing to watch, and Stevenage away will live in the memory for years to come. How Garry Hill remained in charge after both of those games (he should have gone after the first!) is absolutely mind-boggling. Why he would have wanted to stay is just as confusing.
Pigman – Worst? Errrm, gawdd, too many to bother with – I’m a glass is half full kind of guy so try to wipe the worst memories out of my mind so I’ll say my worst memory of last season was working on the stadium clean-up crew when there were only 6 of us bothering to stay behind, bloody hard work it was, and we’d lost with another clueless, gutless performance!!! I felt like throwing the bin bags at the players and telling them to earn their money for a change – I was a tad pissed off !!!
The Evesham ‘debacle’ came up in all five answers to this question, often alongside the words ”bollocks”, “gutless”, “terrible” etc. etc. etc.
Who are you tipping for the title this season?
Sturman – Difficult one, Luton will come with the usual arrogance of a ex-big league team, but the’ve certainly got good players in Hall, Nicholls, Craddock and Tyler. But I think Oxford will take it, in Wilder the’ve got a fantastic manager as shown at the end of last season abeit some dodgy signings in Potter and Kelly, but also some great ones in Creighton, Midson and Bulman.
Downsie53 – Oxford……..no, Luton, no……Oxford. Can i just say a two-horse race between those two?!?!
Pigman – The side that finishes above Luton (if there is one) will be the Champions, I’ve got a funny feeling that Oxford United may do that. They’ve signed some good players… good times at the Kassam this season I reckon. That said, if they adapt to life in the Conference I think Luton will take some stopping.
BartonRaz – I think its going to be a two horse race, with Luton just beating Oxford, however I expect both to exceed 90 points. They were probably the best team in the division when Wilder took over last season and i expect their good form to continue. Luton however realistically shouldn’t be in this division, and have a squad capable of winning League Two in my opinion let alone the Blue Square Premier. Whilst they don’t have a manager with experience of this division, they have the fan base and quality players to see Oxford off.
Be honest – supporting the Diamonds hasn’t been much fun recently, has it?
BartonRaz – It wouldn’t take a rocket scientist to work that one out. We’ve had our moments, Setanta Shield Final, beating K*ttering, etc, but overall of course it hasn’t. It’s never nice seeing a talented team perform so poorly, or in the case of the 2004-2006 teams, its never nice watching absolute rubbish full stop.
2ofDiamonds – Depends on your definition of “recently”. I did enjoy last season compared to the previous 4 or 5 as we stabalised on and off the pitch. In KC we have a great chairman who has the correct grip on the finances, and deserves success. If we could get to the FL I feelwe’d hold our own now.
Pigman – I agree, it’s been crap, but the win over the Scum made it all better! Seriously, I felt a “feel good” factor returning which I hope we can keep going now. A clean slate, a young manager, a youthful squad – who knows, this coming season could help to heal the memories of some VERY bad years – those of us who have stuck it out deserve some happy times eh?
Downsie53 – No. But we do it because we love the club. I feel we are really down to the 1000 or so ‘hardcore’ fans, and as long as we stick by RDFC, we WILL see better times again.
Sturman – Ha, it’s been okay, there’ve been some cracking games – Oxford 5-0, K*ttering 1-0, Tamworth away, Setanta Shield final, Burton away 2-1, to mention a few. I always have a good laugh at football with the lads so it’s all good.
Have you ever considered just packing it all in – that all the grief RDFC have given us over the last few seasons is too much?
BartonRaz – I think during the Tippett/Hunter/Hart era, it would have been very easy to walk away from it all, which is why most people did. At times, particularly under the very dark days of Tippett, watching the Diamonds felt more like a chore and if it wasn’t for having a season ticket i’m not sure whether I would have continued going. Similarly the final few months of the Hill era would make any fan question their loyalty. To answer the question, yes i have considered it, but I know I could never do it. I wouldn’t want to miss the good moments.
2ofDiamonds – Sure I have, but I have always changed my mind come the Thursday or Friday before the match.
Pigman – Don’t be stupid, its what being a football fan is all about, sticking with your side through thick and thin…………..….or in our case, thin and thinner – you wouldn’t run out on your family if times were hard would you? People who turn their backs on their club when the going gets tough and creep back claiming to be loyal when the tide turns annoy the hell out of me……………..but I’ll happily welcome them back with their wallets, I’ll prostitute myself for the future of my club no worries, the more glory hunters we get next season the merrier, but I’ll tolerate them at best. I remember a very old wise man once telling me, supporting a crap football team is character building …………….lying bastard !!! It just gives you an ulcer, constipation and makes your hair fall out!
Sturman Never theres nothing else to do on a Saturday and watching another team wouldnt be the same, sometimes i walk away from ground questioning why i go, but i know ill always be back next week.
Diamond Burgers – heaven in a bun, or to be avoided at all costs?
BartonRaz – I used to like them as a kid but its recently dawned on me how revolting they actually are.
2ofDiamonds – Heaven in a bun.
Pigman – I prefer a Steak and Kidney pie myself ! I’ll have a little moan here though, lovely pies with a piping hot filling and NO BLOODY PLASTIC FORKS TO EAT IT WITH !!! What the hell is that all about ??? KC, please take note !! I feel a strongly worded letter coming on!
Downsie53 – YUCK! – what’s with that fake cheese crap?! Rubber cheese in a bun?! Think i’ll pass……!
Sturman – Quality, prefer a cheeseburger myself, but if I have the money I always get a Diamond Burger.
A good FA Cup run or a double-victory over K*ttering?
BartonRaz – Depends what is meant by a good-cup run, if it means getting knocked out in the 4th round away at Liverpool or Man Utd then i’d take that all day long, i’d rather have 7/800k in the bank than bragging rights for the season.
Pigman – My heart says 6 points from the Scum, but my head says a good long, money spinning FA Cup run is what is needed to help keep the club alive. Keith Cousins deserves a bit of time in the spot-light and I’d love us to do it next season. I think I’ll sit well and truly on the fence for this one and say a long cup run and 2 score draws against the Scum will do – losing to them once, let alone twice, is unthinkable !!
Downsie53 – Double win over the Scum, definately.
Sturman – Double over K*ttering no doubt, i’ve got too many mates who support K*ttering to lose agaisnt them.
Why do you support Rushden and Diamonds?
BartonRaz – I started going in 1996 just as Talbot was about to turn things around, i’d regularly go to Nene Park and see 4-0 wins or even in one case a 5-5 draw. As a child i wanted to see goals and excitement as well as an upbeat atmosphere and i found it all at Diamonds. I got my first season ticket in 2001 but i had been going very regularly before, and remembering all the good times and great players makes me want to come back again and again. Perhaps its sympathy but i wouldn’t like to think of it like that. I support Diamonds because they gave me 7/8 absolutely brilliant years and i owe them for it to stick by them no matter what.
2ofDiamonds – It’s my local side that I have been watching since 1970.
Pigman – Back in 1994 it was out of curiosity and because they were within 15 minutes of my house, cheap to follow and easy to get to, then it grew into a passion through the Griggs years and all the success, I’ve been VERY lucky to have witnessed some fantastic times, the likes of which we may never witness again. When I think back over them I have to pinch myself sometimes to make sure I believe it actually happened, FA Cup runs at places like Sheffield United and Leeds United, promotions, that first game at York as a league club (that cheeky goal by Patmore) and playing at Hillsborough on level terms with Wednesday in the league, away at West Ham in the League Cup and THAT free kick by Lowe, play-off Final at Cardiff, Tuesday night at Blackpool in the rain, Tuesday night at Torquay in the rain, Tuesday night at Bury in the rain and THAT goal by Hatswell. By the time it all turned to ratshit (and it HAS been that bad at times) it was in my blood, how could it not be after witnessing all that? I’m here for the duration now I’m afraid.
I’ve said it time after time, if Diamonds were to go under I’d be following Bedford Blues RU, I couldn’t support another football team. I support R&DFC because I feel as though I belong here, its MY club and I love it !!