23 December 2012

City Alerts Christmas Special by Mike Truscott

Hello, Everyone

I am attaching today's Truro City Sunday Independent column for those of you who have not already seen it.

Also, following yesterday's match postponement, and truly entering into the spirit of Christmas, I have taken time out to retrieve my Trusty Truscott Crystal Ball, dust it down, and have a look into the not-too-distant future.

Despite the massive problems and challenges confronting the club, the past few months have contained "a number of positives," as they say, culminating in the best Christmas present of all just over a week ago. There has been much to smile about, in contrast to how it all looked just a wee bit earlier when it seemed The Grim Reaper had well and truly arrived.

Okay, there's still a mountain to climb, and there will of course be plenty more setbacks; there's no denying that the threat of relegation looms large.

In the meantime, it's vitally important that all the newfound enthusiasm and support are maintained rather than allowed to go off the boil. To that end, therefore, it's perhaps worth taking a little glimpse into that not-too-distant future - to remind ourselves what can be "just round the corner" again and to keep those spirits up when the going gets really tough.

So . . . as I peered deep into my Crystal Ball, I spotted the following City Alert issued at the end of NEXT season. My only rider is that it is some time since I last consulted said Trusty Ball - it is long overdue for a full service and so the precise details in this Alert should not be regarded as entirely reliable. All the same, the fundamentals can definitely remind us that the really good times can indeed be not too far away once more if we maintain and build on everything that's going for us now.

Mike Truscott, City Alerts

Dateline Treyew Road, 5.15 pm, Saturday, 26th April, 2014

Treyew Road was the scene of wild celebrations today as Truro City received the Blue Square Bet South championship trophy and bid fond farewells to team boss Lee Hodges and legendary striker Stewart Yetton.

The dramas and traumas of the previous season seem like a lifetime ago now - yet it is still only 17 months since the White Tigers were rooted to the bottom of the table, still in administration and 13 points from safety with a threadbare squad. That they eventually managed to stay up must go down as one of the greatest escape acts of modern times - certainly, it merited that memorable mention by Gary Lineker on Match Of The Day.

Then, of course, it all started to happen big-time as that incredible £50,000 leap of faith by Pete and Jason Masters and Philip Perryman bore fruit - and the club they brought back from the dead rose like a rocket-powered Phoenix. With that wretched transfer embargo finally lifted, back came the pick of the exiles during the close season - Barry McConnell, Scott Walker, Martin Gritton, Steve Adams, Adam Kelly, Ben Adlesbury and Arran Pugh.

Together with the return to top form of Martin Watts - TEN terrific Ronaldo-type goals this season - and the further progress of Ben Williams, Kieffer Moore and Calron Hall, it all gave Hodgey what he rightly described as "the dream ticket."

With a squad like that, it was not difficult to start thinking in terms of the league championship.
But who could possibly have imagined that City would also finally break their FA Cup "duck" and go on to reach not only the First but THIRD Round Proper of that famous competition? We will all cherish until our dying days that marvellous Saturday afternoon back in January this year when Pep Guardiola's mighty Manchester City - Messi, Iniesta, Silva, Toure, Tevez, Aguero, Hart et al - graced Treyew Road.

Okay, we were slaughtered 9-1, but who will ever forget that biggest cheer of the whole afternoon, when Watts had Hart beaten all ends up with a trade-mark 75-yard free-kick thunderbolt!

After that dream afternoon, the rest of the season could have been an anti-climax, with maybe even complacency setting in to jeopardise our promotion push. Not a chance! Our final ten-point lead at the top - and today's celebratory scenes, with Tom Trust blasting out "We Are The Champions" - bore testimony to that. What a way to mark the club's 125th anniversary.

How the supporters loved it all as the champagne was sprayed in all directions and a succession of fans' favourites took to the microphone - with every word clearly audible as far away as Truro Cathedral (prompting numerous baffled looks on shoppers' faces), thanks to that superb new PA system installed as one of the many great improvements made by our new owners.

Today's 7-0 win over second-placed Dover Athletic was watched by a record league crowd for Treyew Road of over 3,000. The match had been widely publicised, not least through the half-mile-long poster-cum-flag that Barry Milligan had hung from the Tamar road bridge. And Alex Driver had quickly sold out with his 200-page special souvenir programme.

At the centre of the mass pitch invasion after the final whistle, Chairman Peter Masters first read out a message from Prime Minister Ed Miliband. "Warmest congratulations on coming 'back from the dead' in such spectacular fashion," said Miliband. "Believe me, I know the feeling, and I must say that your new owners represent a much more effective 'coalition' - night club and taxi firm - than a certain other coalition I vaguely recall!"

How the fans lapped that up - but their laughter was quickly drowned out with a fresh rendering of "Who needs Mourinho? We've had Lee Hodgio." That's right - HAD Lee Hodgio. For now here he was, saying his goodbyes to the club, with Chairman Masters reminding everyone: "Again and again, Hodgey has performed miracles for Truro City. With all that he's had to contend with, he must go down as one of the most successful managers in non-League history.

"He has well and truly earned his right to move on up the career ladder and we all wish him the very best in his new role as manager of Plymouth Argyle. The club is lucky to have had him this long. Every manager changes clubs or retires eventually. Even Fergie called it a day last summer and for a while we all feared that Hodgey might even have been recruited to Old Trafford!"

Then it was the turn of Hodgey himself - his hair long since turned totally grey - to take the mike.
After thanking the fans, players and staff for their "incredible support and loyalty," he revealed that Jake Ash would be succeeding him as Truro player-manager, adding: "I know Captain Marvel will do a great job - he's already demonstrated there's not much that he CAN'T do, after all - and I know you will also agree with me that Yetsi deserves his second chance at Football League level.

"As you know, I'm taking him with me to Argyle and I thank him from the bottom of my heart for all his goals this season in particular and for his terrific spirit. What a partnership he and Watto have made. It was cruel when Yettsi sustained that serious knee injury back in October, 2012, just as he was running into the form of his life, and it was no big surprise when he never quite regained that magic when he came back later in that season. But he worked like a Trojan on his fitness throughout last summer, and we have all seen the results this season."

Finally, the spotlight was turned on to big Rhod Mitchell, the sports reporter who has written more words about City than any other scribe over the past 25 years or so. With Jack Murley going into overdrive with his live commentary for BBC Radio Cornwall, Chairman Masters thanked Rhod for all his efforts and wished him well in his forthcoming retirement after 40-odd years with The West Briton.

"You were with Truro City in their leaner years, you covered the Truro City 'revolution' as they roared through the Leagues, you saw them win the FA Vase at Wembley, and now you've chronicled all the well nigh incredible events of the past two or three years," said our Chairman. "You could write a book on all that in your retirement, couldn't you, Rhod?!"

"Err, yes . . . I could . . . " replied Rhod hesitantly, his whole massive frame now drenched from head to toe in champagne sprayed by a rampant Yettsi. "The only trouble is - NOBODY WOULD BELIEVE IT!!"

Cue more laughter, and once this had died down Rhod began to say something else, but alas I could no longer hear him clearly; his voice was fading into the distance in echo fashion. It was being replaced in my throbbing head by an unmistakably hostile voice - a familiar female voice, along with a blurred image of distinctly dragon-like features. Indeed, I became increasingly aware of someone gripping my shoulders, shaking me violently, slapping my face and demanding to know: "WHAT'S THIS EMPTY ******* WHISKY BOTTLE DOING BESIDE YOUR BED?"

Mike Truscott, Editor, City Alerts

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