IT'S good to be back. Even if the first football date in the diary was as crazily early as July, and as we all know, there is an even crazier reason behind why that was the case.

What it means is that there is a longer than usual season ahead of us, but what will it bring for the U’s?

Will it be another rough and tough fight for survival near the foot of the table, or will we have a more successful time in the top half and flirt with the play-offs or better?

I think I will make a more informed judgement probably after a dozen or so games, and definitely after the end of the transfer or loan market, because for my money, the U’s are probably two or three new faces short of what I would call a strong squad.

Our good squad visited the Cobblers last Saturday to start proceedings and despite the holiday period, it was brilliant to see nearly 500 U’s fans there.

So what did we learn from the narrow and frustrating defeat? Northampton are yet again a big old physical team who could challenge for promotion.


A certain Frank Nouble made a cracking case for his rejuvenation with his cameo powerful dribble and excellent control to set up Noah for his goal.

As for Noah himself, he again showed why he is such an asset for us, and unfortunately still on the shopping list of other clubs.

I do not think we learnt anything new on this matter, because the standard and consistency of officials in League Two has been indifferent for many season, however it reached a new low last week.

In fairness I have not seen the trip on the aforementioned Mr Chilvers again to see how “soft” some people think it was, but I have seen many times the shocking “handball” given against Junior.

The assistant referee has hopefully been sent back to school for that decision. Our young right-back, left-back, star of the future was rightly livid until well after the final whistle.


And on the same theme, quite how Danny Hylton was not sanctioned at least once during the game is beyond me. Fingers crossed for a better time tomorrow with our officials.

I also learnt that Freddie still knows how to hit the back of the net, that Cole Skuse is still a master of the midfield, and that Tom Eastman is still my most favourite of players since we have been at our new home.

All in all, whilst the defeat was a bitter pill to swallow, there were still some strong performances from within the U’s ranks.

It feels a little odd though that for our season opener was not one “new” face in our starting XI, and only one in Alex Newby on the bench.

On the flipside though, it is not as if the U’s have had a large churn since the end of the last season.


The sad departures of Shamal and Brendan were the two main “goodbyes” over and above the loanees we had, but little else happened.

Like I said though, in my opinion we need to strengthen with a few over the next month.

On this subject though, our chairman talks a lot about budgets, and I think he said ours is a mid-table budget?

He may well be right, and I am sure there will be a final league table from last season somewhere showing where each team finished in comparison to their budget.

But I do find it a little strange as I always thought that success or failure comes from what the players have been told to do with the football, or what they actually do with the football, regardless of how much money they are being paid.

It feels a little like League Two is becoming like a well-known games console experience!

So it’s good to be back, and it will be even better to be back at home tomorrow when Carlisle pay us a visit.

From what I understand, the Fan Zone will be back to where it was before the pandemic, hopefully with the big screen too, so why not come and enjoy the refreshments in the sun before the game? After picking up your new stripy shirt, of course.

Good luck tomorrow U’s and thanks to all of you U’s fans for your continued support.