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December 29, 2016, 4:38 pm
Filed under: Getupfront

Getupfront – an obituary

2016 – what a shite year eh? All that bad news. And here’s something else to bring a tear to your eye. It is with a heavy heart that this blogger must report the untimely demise of Getupfront. After weeks of uncertainty and instability, the life support has finally been turned off.

Getupfront weren’t your archetypal 5-a-side team. They played the game a different way to their opponents – it didn’t always work. In fact it hardly ever worked. They were formed by original manager Mike Lines and they played their first game on 22 Sep 2013. A crushing defeat to top dogs Trotters didn’t augur well  – would the team disappear after just one week? That they didn’t showed great spirit and this would become the main feature of their very existence in the years to come.

The squad changed many times over the years with players coming and going – mainly going – until there were only 3 left and the great footballing gods in the sky decided that the full 90 minutes plus injury time (accrued mainly due to Jay Robson’s never ending list of ailments) had finally been all played out. We may never see their like again…..

The glory years

Yes there were some you cheeky blighters! That sequence of results at the end of 2014 that read P10 W8 D1 L1, those 3 cup semi finals in one 12 month period, the record 15-2 win against Propping FC….yes, those were the golden days when teams would know they were in for a tough game if their opponents were Getupfront.

The dark days

The start of the slide to oblivion can be traced back to Jan 2016 when Mike Lines left. It was never the same after that . In the 36 games after the original gaffer walked away the record read W4 D 2 L 30. An incredible 22 games on the spin were lost. Nadir after nadir was reached as the team mined the very depths of 5-a-side despair. New manager Richard Bayliss desperately wheeled and dealt in the transfer market but nothing seemed to work. Promising signings were cut down by injury, bath and bed-time duties  and on occasion sheer reluctance to play.

When the end finally came it was a relief to all concerned. It was a slide from prominence into the doldrums only rivalled by Leicester City’s short lived reign as unlikely champions to the edge of a relegation battle.

The legacy

Tales to tell the grandchildren? Unlikely….unless you’re Aaron Barwick (see “The nearly guys” below)

The results

YEAR 2013 2014 2015 2016
P No records available 88 84 46
W N/A 27 25 4
D N/A 3 5 3
L N/A 58 54 39
Win Ratio N/A 30% 29% 8%

 

The Legends

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Mike Lines

The founding father of Getupfront  – without his vision for a 5-a-side team, none of …errr…all this (?) would have been possible. Led the team for just over 2 years with a mixture of results including 3 cup semi-final appearances. As well as being the manager, Lines was also a fine player. Confident in possession, always showing for the ball, an immense dribbler with a fair few goals in him too. His rallying call of “C’mon reds this is our time!” was a staple of Sunday nights. But then in Jan 2016 – the bombshell…Lines just walked away with hardly a backwards glance. Despite numerous beseeching requests from his team mates for him to return, he wouldn’t….apart from one solitary appearance months later where he gave a tantalising glimpse of what they were missing. And then….nothing….again….There was to be no second coming.


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Richard Bayliss

This man WAS Getupfront  – the only constant in an ever-changing team. Never injured, never suspended, always there (unfortunately for his team mates). Stepped into the breach after the departure of Lines – deserved better than the fate that befell him  – a 22 match losing streak under his stewardship. As a player he was like Jose Mourinho (never made the grade professionally) and as a manager he was like Geoff Hurst (presided over a period in 1980/81 as Chelsea manager when his team scored in only three of their final 22 games of the season). And yet…you have to give him credit for being the only permanent figure throughout the Getupfront story from beginning to end. His loyalty was unswerving. And there were highlights – that 5 goal spree against FC Tigers, being part of a squad that reached 3 cup semi-finals, errr…that time he did that good pass…OK not so many highlights but, similar to Lines, without him the Getupfront story could never have happened.


 

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Tony Ward

Getupfront’s resident quinquagenarian. If Man of the Match awards were given for enthusiasm, Tony would have had a wardrobe full of them. As it is they are given for performance and sadly Ward the Elder never quite managed to balance his effort / performance spreadsheet. Nevertheless, his constant service to the team made him a reassuring presence. Everything in the world felt just a little bit better if Tony was playing.


 

il_340x270-655152524_bqe2Luke Ward

Son of Tony but so much more than that. The youngest person ever to play for Getupfront, Luke was a combative and loyal soldier for the cause who wasn’t afraid to rough it up if necessary. Sure, that approach didn’t always work out for him and he was sent off more than once during his career but he was a stalwart of the team for 18 months or so. He also had goals in him, some of them absolutely spectacular. His Getupfront career was cut short by the lure of paid employment with Ronald McDonald. What a waste.


 

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Stu Taylor

The phrase “Legend” doesn’t quite cover it. An immense figure in the team’s history. Before Taylor,the team had used a rotation system with each player taking a shift between the sticks. The arrival of Stu changed everything and made Getupfront a credible outfit. Hugely talented, he could easily have played at a higher level. Who knows what farcical score lines might have been recorded but for his bravery and athleticism between the posts. Surely this can’t be the end of his career?

 


 

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Jay Robson

Getupfront’s all time top scorer mainly due to his stubborn refusal to pass the ball once in possession. His mazy length of the court dribbles were the stuff of fantasy usually ending with a powerful shot. He will also be remembered for his outright refusal to don the team’s red strip preferring instead his beloved Newcastle United top with a red bib on top. Retired due to persistent injury.

 

 


 

 

 

The nearly guys

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Aaron Barwick

A major coup for manager Bayliss when he persuaded Azza to sign on for Sunday nights. Possessor of a proven track record of 5-a-side greatness – this was a win-win situation – nothing could go wrong. Apart from when after just one game Barwick announced that actually he didn’t have any free time on Sundays and left. Returned for one final solitary appearance but what an appearance as he was able to say ” I was there when Bayliss scored 5″


 

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Mike Ewen

Genial scouser who always lightened the mood whenever he played with his nice guy demeanour. Great motivator  – always talking – always cajoling – just a shame he couldn’t have played more.

 

 


 

 

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Blake Mace

Another big name Bayliss signing who was meant to rejuvenate the side. However, after just two promising outings, Blake succumbed to a thigh injury and never made it back to match fitness.Think Pierluigi Casiraghi but without the err…one goal.

 


 

The rest of the squad

 

 

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Pete Redford

Brought in late doors by Tony Ward – his top knot and beard helped update the Getupfront image. A neat player but never managed even one goal.


 

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Ady Sharp

Great squad member when available as he could play as emergency goalkeeper or as a striker. Went onto bigger things when he won a league title with …some other 5-a-side team.


 

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Lee (Jay’s cousin)

Joined the team in the last  weeks of its existence – played a few games, scored a few goals – left when the pull of his fishing rod (his other great passion) became too much to ignore


 

 

 

 

 

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Mike

Busy goalscoring forward – could have been a Getupfront legend but retired after sustaining a broken foot in April 2014

 


 

 

 

 

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Kev

Replaced the injured Mike as regular forward – effective player but was often involved in flash points with the opposition and remains the only Getupfront player to have a punch thrown at him. Left to pursue a career in pugilism.


 

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Lee – Kev’s cousin (?)

A formidable obstacle in the middle of the court – his inability to score became a thing of mythical proportions but he finally debunked said myth when he scored his one and only goal from the penalty spot in his final appearance.


 

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Mikey

Only played once – decided the level of football being played was beneath him – he was probably right


 

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Ricky

Utility player – left when watching his beloved Hull FC took priority


 

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Gary

Mate of Mike Lines – yep – think that just about  covers it.


 

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That other guy

Just left


 

Getupfront  – born 22 Sep 2013, died 23 Oct 2016



Getupfront vs FC Tigers 2nd Oct 2016
October 22, 2016, 4:05 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Chronicling the fortunes of Getupfront is becoming a very depressing job for this blogger. Every week it’s yet another tale of woe, another episode of ineptitude, a saga of footballing farce. england1When will it ever end? When will the story have a different ending?

Well certainly not this time. Those of you who love a routine will be comforted to know that this match report has all the usual ingredients…Two  defeats? Check! Masses of goals conceded? Check! Shocking lack of any football know how whatsoever? Check! It’s all here and more…

The cast of characters? The usual suspects…Bayliss, Tony Ward, Pete “new boy” Redford….the only change was the return of Jay Robson from injury after missing the previous week’s slaughter meaning a squad of 6 and guaranteeing a substitute for once.

Game 1 Getupfront 1 – 12 FC Tigers

As with every other week the night started off with some form of resistance on display from the boys and with 6 minutes of the 1st half played the score was only 0-2. The 6 minute mark was enough for Bayliss’ legs to start screaming for respite and so the player manager subbed himself for Tony Ward, comfortable in the knowledge that he had played his part in a respectable showing so far.

The 4 minutes that followed up to half time played out like a horror show in front of his eyes as he stood helpless on the sidelines. Not since his playing days as a child with the Cubs had Bayliss been associated with such a sporting shambles (on his debut for the Cubs aged 9 and a half, he’d been part of a team that lost 26-1! Ouch!)

Getupfront literally self imploded – 5 more goals were conceded in those 4 minutes that felt like 4 lifetimes to Bayliss and his team mates. The catastrophic errors being made gifting goals to the opposition were criminal. Keeper Stu Taylor was apoplectic with frustration and rage. As the half time klaxon sounded, for the first time ever in his Getupfront career, Bayliss really didn’t feel like coming back onto court for the next half.

France v England: U21 International Friendly

“Don’t worry Harry, I was shit when I played for England too”

This was more depressing than realising that not only was Gareth Southgate the best choice for caretaker England manager, he was actually the best choice for the permanent job.

Half time: Getupfront 0 – 7 FC Tigers

Inevitably in the second half FC Tigers got bored and just started toying with their prey, knocking the ball about from side to side as the Getupfront boys manically scuttled across court chasing shadows like demented crabs.

Actually, that’s unfair to crabs – check out the back heels on this guy!

When they could be bothered to, Tigers would pop the ball in Taylor’s net and only a solitary strike from Jay Robson avoided the dreaded “brush” for the second game on the trot after losing 0-15 to Unreal Madrid the previous week. At full time Getupfront looked more lost and bewildered than Wayne Rooney finding himself playing centre forward once more.

Full time: Getupfront 1 – 12 FC Tigers

Game 2 Getupfront 4 – 12 FC Tigers

Things couldn’t get any worse could they? Well statistically I suppose they didn’t – yes the boys were beaten out of sight again, yes they conceded 12 goals again, yes they were awful again but they did at least score a whole 4 goals and in the world of Getupfront, that’s progress. Indeed at one point they were actually level in the 2nd game and not just by default at 0-0 one second after kick off! Despite going 0-2 down early on, goals from Jay Robson and cousin Lee (the latter actually being a well worked move) meant that the score was astonishingly 2-2!

If only that blasted full time klaxon could have sounded there and then. Of course there was still plenty of time left for FC Tigers to rattle in five goals without further reply before half time. And yet this wasn’t even the worse thing to befall Getupfront before the interval, as Jay “sick note” Robson succumbed to yet another injury after he was savagely hacked down whilst attempting one of his daring length of the pitch dribbles.

sicknote

Jay Robson feels the pain vs FC Tigers

Unable to carry on Robson would not be seen again for the rest of the evening. Outraged at the treatment being handed out to his team mate, player-manager Bayliss confronted the perpetrator of the foul declaring “Look mate, you’re going to beat us whatever so cut out the rough stuff eh?”. Hmm…maybe not the encouragement and belief in them that his team will have been looking for from their leader.

Half time: Getupfront 2 – 7 FC Tigers

The final half turned out to be Getupfront’s best of the night losing only 2-5 over the 10 minutes of play. This was mainly due to the goal power of Lee who completed a hat-trick for the evening including a lovely volleyed finish from a Pete Redford set up. Although you couldn’t say that it brought respectability to the scoreline, it at least made sure that it wasn’t indecent.

Full time: Getupfront 4 – 12 FC Tigers

How they rated

Stuart Taylor

Goals: N/A

Rating: 7/10

Comment: Has a goalkeeper ever performed so outstandingly and yet been beaten so many times? Week after week Taylor is the difference between Getupfront being soundly beaten  and being totally and utterly blown away. Couldn’t give any more. MOTM


Pete Redford

Goals: 0

Rating: 5/10

Comment: Still waiting to break his goal duck but showed some nice touches. Unfortunately though for Getupfront not enough of them.


Richard Bayliss

Goals: 0

Rating: 5/10 

Comment: Every week Bayliss gets rinsed in this blog and mostly its well deserved. To be fair to him this week though, he wasn’t awful (he wasn’t great either) but he wasn’t awful. Ran, harried, won a few tackles, completed a few passes – but nothing that was ever going to influence the game in any meaningful way. So a bit like Wayne Rooney then!


Tony Ward

Goals: 0

Rating: 4/10

Comment: A dreadful night for Tony – he was sacked in possession of the ball over and over again – in fact he was sacked more times than a Leeds Utd manager. You could never doubt Tony’s heart or passion but oh dear….


Lee

Goals: 3

Rating: 6/10 

Comment: A couple of quality finishes were the highlights of Lee’s night. Lee is a keen angler but too often failed land the nibbles he got in front of goal. Solid if unspectacular.


Jay Robson

Goals: 2

Rating: 6/10 

Comment: Claimed a brace but his evening was ruined by another bad injury which forced him to retire early. With the injuries now piling up for Robson, have we seen the last of this Getupfront great?



Getupfront vs Unreal Madrid 25th Sep 2016
September 29, 2016, 8:37 pm
Filed under: Getupfront

Anniversaries – we put a lot of stock in them don’t we? Not just birthdays but the marking of those dates that have some sort of special significance to us. Dickiebliss is not immune to such behaviour and can,  given the date of a football match from years ago, be able to say what he was doing on that day. So for example, 28th September 1986 Man Utd v Chelsea? He had just started at Sunderland Polytechnic and watched the game in the TV room in halls (and probably pissed off those people watching Eastenders when he changed channel to do so – ah well)

Wondering what happened in that Man Utd v Chelsea game all those years ago? Wonder no more…

And again I hear you ask, what has this got to do with Getupront? Well the team had its own anniversary last week as it was 3 years ago that it came into existence and played it’s very first 5-a-side game. Yes 3 years already and this blogger for one can recall what happened on that historic day. With a certain amount of spooky symmetry their opponents that day were Trotters who were to eventually morph into this weekend’s opponents Unreal Madrid.

And in the Getupfront team that day? Well it was a very different line up to the one turning out today. There was Ricky, Mike, Mike Lines, that other guy….wondered what happened to them all? So no surviving members that still turn out for this grand old team then? Well there is one….player manager Richard Bayliss is the only constant thoughout the years, turning up every week     still trying to convince himself he can actually play. And the result of that very first encounter? They lost 24-1! Would history  repeat itself on the 3rd anniversary? What do you think?!

Game 1 Getupfront 1-9 Unreal Madrid

With Jay Robson injured due to his sensitive groin, the squad was again stretched to the limit and could only just put out a team of 5. Returning to replace Jay was his cousin Lee who was last seen 2 weeks ago. Luke Ward was unavailable having secured himself some paid employment down the local Golden Arches so his place was again filled by newbie Pete Redford.

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Luke Ward enjoys a kick about during his lunchbreak

Expectations for a good result were not high but the boys played a tight game to begin with and with 3 and a half minutes gone, which is a long time in the high-octane world of 5-a-side football, there was no score. Needless to say it didn’t stay like that and just 60 seconds later Getupfront were 0-2 down. “Here we go again” player-manager Bayliss agonised but remarkably his team hit back immediately with Lee hitting a shot into the corner in a rare Getupfront excursion..err …up front.

But this was Unreal Madrid and nothing was going to jolt their supreme confidence. Another 4 goals were quickly bagged to leave Getupfront with a mountain to climb in the 2nd half.

Half time: Getupfront 1-6 Unreal Madrid

The interval brought the usual enquiry and theorising into what was going wrong (again). This week’s theory was that the guys were not coming near enough to each other to receive a pass meaning they were all attempting the fabled “Hollywood ball”*

Hollywood ball: a spectacular-looking long range pass, but one which rarely achieves what the passer hopes (unless you are Steven Gerrard)…

So short passes was the answer and the boys returned to the court determined to show they could kick a ball accurately to each other from 2 yards away. And you know what, they didn’t do too badly – yes they let another 3 goals in without reply but to only lose the half 0-3 against these opponents seemed like a win (almost).

Full time: Getupfront 1-9 Unreal Madrid

Game 2 Getupfront 0-15 Unreal Madrid

Ah…the second game…yeah there was one but we don’t really need to discuss it do we? We do? No! Please NO! Oh FFS! Alright yes… Getupfront lost 15-0.! Happy now? Yes its the biggest beating they have taken since that very first game 3 years ago. No there weren’t any positives to be taken from the game at all. Have they hit rock bottom? Yes, yes they have. Will they be back next week? You betcha!

How they rated

Stuart Taylor

Goals: N/A

Rating: 6/10

Comment: Couldn’t have done much more despite the score lines. Hopelessly let down by those in front of him. Stu must really love Getupfront to endure this  week in week out and to add insult to injury, he had to pay £6 for the privilege of conceding 24 goals in 40 mins of play!


 

Pete Redford

Goals: 0

Rating: 5/10

Comment: Realised before the kick off that he had yet to score in his previous 4 games. There was little chance of that statistic changing against Unreal Madrid.


 

Richard Bayliss

Goals: 0

Rating: 4/10 

Comment: He must surely now be the worst performing manager of any team in the UK currently – be it professional, semi professional, sunday league, 5-a-side, kick about in the park, subbuteo – there is no end to this man’s appalling inability to get any sort of result out of his team. The sack you say? When he goes to bed at night and hits the sack, he misses.


 

Tony Ward

Goals: 0

Rating: 5/10

Comment: Tony has the enthusiasm of a 12 year old kid but unfortunately the fitness of a 51 year man (which is understandable being 51 and all) but at times his ball skills looked as awkward as Sam Allardyce being summoned to Wembley by the FA on Tuesday.


 

Lee

Goals: 1

Rating: 6/10 MOTM

Comment: Scored the crucial goal in the first game to ensure there would be no first ever double shut out in Getupfront history and for that he deserves to be Man of the Match. Could have had another goal but missed a penalty in the second game and for that he deserves to have his Man of the Match award taken off him.



Getupfront vs Pearson Park Pork Pies 18th Sep 2016
September 24, 2016, 10:47 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

There are some things in football that are just too painful to recollect. For this blogger, the Chelsea 78-79 season is particularly harrowing, for Getupfront stalwart Jay Robson it must be Newcastle’s supposed stroll to the title in 1996 imploding, for all of us there are all those England defeats on penalties (well the England national team full stop actually) and now there is another horror story to add to this dark collection…

Remember this Jay?…..never fails to entertain!

After some last minute negotiations over new recruit Pete’s transfer fee, Getupfront were just able to field a team of 5 for last Sunday’s meeting with perennial adversaries Pearson Park Pork Pies – a bit of a reality check after the previous week’s ample squad of 7. With 2 of the 5 being Tony Ward and player manager Bayliss (combined age 99 lets not forget), it promised to be a long night….

Game 1: Getupfront 1 – 9 Pearson Park Pork Pies

Despite the eventual outcome, it had all started reasonably well. As the 4 and a half minute mark ticked over the scoreboard showed 0-0. The Getupfront defence was tight and working hard to marshall their (much) younger opposition. True, the ball had taken up permanent residence in the Getupfront half and Tony Ward had yet to touch the ball as the lone striker but the scoreboard didn’t lie. This was OK. However, the danger with this “defend, defend and defend some more” plan is that once the gates are breached  the game is up. You are forced to go looking for goals , the formation loses it shape, the play is stretched and holes appear. And Pearson Park Pork Pies were more than capable of exploiting said holes. Three goals were conceded in quick succession despite some fantastic saves by Stuart Taylor in the Getupfront goal. What a night for Stu – he turned in one of the all-time great keeping performances and yet by the evening was all played out he had conceded 15 goals. His frustration was palpable.

Half-time: Getupfront 0 – 3 Pearson Park Pork Pies

And yet , as stated by newbie Pete in the break, “that could have been a lot worse”…unfortunately for Pete and his team mates there was no could about it from here on in. Time and again in the 2nd half, Getupfront were cruelly exposed, metaphorically caught with their shorts around their ankles, as the goals flew in. And to add to the shame, they seemed to be conceding the exact same goal over and over. Every time there seemed to be an opposition player totally unmarked and in space with time to pick his spot before scoring. At one point it seemed as if Pearson Park Pork Pies were forming an orderly queue to score.

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At the end of the first game, the referee found this near to the Getupfront goal

By the end of game 1, that damned scoreboard was literally mocking Getupfront, blazing the score at them. It was a battering, there were no excuses and no hiding places….and the humiliation was only half way through….

Full-time: Getupfront 1 – 9 Pearson Park Pork Pies

Game 2: Getupfront 0 – 6 Pearson Park Pork Pies

After such a mauling in the first game, what was the Getupfront plan for game 2? From the evidence on court it seemed to be a mixture of “damage limitation and play like we did in game 1”. It was like Groundhog day – the same mistakes made again and again. Passes misplaced, nobody showing for the ball, shoddy marking, poor ball control and zero goal threat. Actually no…there was one massive chance to avoid the ultimate 5-a-side shame of a shut out (i.e. no goals scored). Jay Robson struck the base of the post with a shot that rebounded straight into the path of Bayliss. It was a simple tap-in. The goalkeeper was sprawled on the floor and the net unguarded. Any sort of first time connection would have done the job. But Bayliss was so poor on the night that even this was beyond him. Lacking the confidence to hit the ball first time, he struggled to get it out from under his feet and when he finally did, he swung  wildly at the ball sending it careering high and wide of the goal. Truly awful.

Half-time: Getupfront 0 – 3 Pearson Park Pork Pies

With no subs available, the night’s final half was always going to be a hard watch for Getupfront fans (if such a thing exists). Somehow, due to a combination of Taylor;’s outstanding keeping and wasteful opposition shooting, the score stood at 0-6 with 2 minutes left. it was at this point that Jay Robson’s groin gave up the ghost and he had to leave the pitch in agony. The ruling on going down to 4 players is that the front player regulation no longer applies meaning that Getupfront could literally park themselves in their own half. Bayliss, in a rare show of tactics, decided this was the way to go and they played out the rest of the game with no attempt to try and get the ball in the opposition half and thereby inflicting the final and ultimate shame upon themselves by even ridiculing their own team name.

4-6-0

Bayliss isn’t the first manager to adopt a “no forwards” formation. This is the then Scotland manager Craig Levein’s infamous 4-6-0 line-up for a game vs Czech Republic in 2010 – they lost of course.

By the end of the night, Bayliss had led Getupfront to their 17th straight defeat and rock bottom of the league with zero points. If there is a worse record currently in the UK we are yet to hear of it.

Full-time: Getupfront 0 – 6 Pearson Park Pork Pies

How they rated

Stuart Taylor

Goals: N/A

Rating: 8/10 MOTM

Comment: By far the easiest Man of the Match decision this blogger has ever had to make. A blinding show of goalkeeping. The thought of what the scoreboard might have displayed without Taylor in goals is horrific.


 

Pete

Goals: 0

Rating: 6/10

Comment: Unfair to lambast Pete due to a) being the new boy he is still in his honeymoon period with the (ahem) fans  and b) if it wasn’t for Pete’s last minute agreement to play, there wouldn’t have been a game at all….Hang on…if Pete hadn’t played none of this would have happened? It IS all his fault!


 

Richard Bayliss

Goals: 0

Rating: 4/10 

Comment: Useless


 

Tony Ward

Goals: 0

Rating: 5/10

Comment: A brave attempt to impersonate a footballer that wasn’t quite convincing enough.


 

 

Jay Robson

Goals: 1

Rating: 6/10

Comment: Gets a 6 for being the only player able to score a goal over 40 minutes of football and the sympathy vote for his nasty sounding injury. Nobody wants to have to contemplate an inflamed groin do they? Oh sorry! Quick where’s the Brain Bleach?!


 

 



Getupfront v FC Tigers 11th Sep 2016
September 17, 2016, 11:39 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

New beginnings eh? Don’t you just love them. A time for optimism and renewed hope.   A time when the phrase “It’ll be different this time” doesn’t sound hollow. There are of course many examples of new starts throughout popular culture. Take Star Wars for instance, or Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope to give it its full title, probably the best loved of the saga’s films with its theme of the resurrection of a force for good and the hope of a better future.

Football of course is also a perfect platform for new beginnings. What fan doesn’t get that whiff of excitement come the first day of the new season when a ball has yet to be kicked, destinies are yet to be played out and everyone starts again on the same amount of points (i.e. zero). And what about the buzz you get when your team has made a clutch of new signings just in time for the new season’s  opening weekend? Where will they play? How will they play? What chant will they get dedicated to them?

Football history is littered with examples of new teams being built out of the ashes of those who went before. We all know about Fergie and his rebuilding of Man Utd with about 3 different teams. My personal favourite though is when my beloved Chelsea were rebuilt in the Summer of 1983 with 6 new players brought in who led the club to promotion and the 2nd division title.

And what has all this got to do with Getupfront? Well our boys experienced their own new beginning last weekend when their starting five featured not one but TWO brand new recruits to the cause! The  “Faithful 5” squad of Taylor, Robson, Bayliss and Luke and Tony Ward had been stretched to breaking point – indeed the team had not played since July due to absences that had decimated the tiny pool of players. There had even been talk of – gulp! – packing it all in!

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Only Tony Ward and Richard Bayliss are old enough to remember these guys

Cometh the hour though cometh Pete (Tony Ward’s mate) and Lee (Jay Robson’s cousin), a double act that was only 2 letters away from being a schmaltzy pop duo from the 70s.

Game 1: Getupfront 2-7 FC Tigers

The decision was made to put both newcomers in the starting line-up meaning Tony Ward and Bayliss were left on the sidelines thereby knocking a combined 99 years off the age of the team at one stroke.  In an unlikely move, Jay Robson surrendered his normal lone striker role and Getupfront began with Lee as the man up top. The new formation brought immediate dividends with Robson skating through the opposition defence to score the opener and put the boys one up! A new beginning indeed! However, this brave new world soon turned out to be a false dawn as FC Tigers took control of the game and rattled in 3 goals by half time. The only other Getupfront highlight came when Robson tanked a strike right into the ref’s head. Ouch!

Half time: Getupfront 1-3 FC Tigers

The 2nd half didn’t bring a reverse in the fortunes for our heroes. Despite no lack of effort the boys were unable to prevent 4 more goals being shipped with only a solitary strike by the ever industrious Luke Ward in reply.

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Jim Royle gives his verdict on Getupfront

A new beginning my arse!

Full time: Getupfront 2-7 FC Tigers

Game 2: Getupfront 4-6 FC Tigers

The break between games brought the usual discussion about what was going wrong – this week’s theory was that the boys were not pressing the opposition enough. So with renewed intention to “press” more than Johnsons Dry Cleaners on Clough Road or at least as much as Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp, Getupfront went to battle again.

The pressing thing seemed to be working as the match ebbed and flowed but crucially with our heroes staying in the game. A well taken debut goal from Lee and another smart finish from Luke Ward meant that half time came with only one goal in it.

Half time: Getupfront 2-3 FC Tigers

The night’s final half saw that new beginning feeling on the rise again as Getupfront equalised and then took the lead within a 2 minute period. First, Richard Bayliss, inspired by reading his 80s hero Kerry Dixon’s autobiography in the week, found a clever reverse shot into the corner after being set up by Luke Ward and then Jay Robson fired in a fierce pile-driver after being set up by a quickly taken free kick by Bayliss. GET IN!

At  this point player – manager Bayliss, believing his work was done, subbed himself for the night and was not on court to see his dreams of a long awaited victory disappear under a weight of attacks from FC Tigers that turned the match on its head. Three goals without reply meant Bayliss* and Getupfront  had to experience that sinking feeling yet again.

Full time: Getupfront 4-6 FC Tigers

*To be fair to Bayliss, this management lark and the whole process of picking players isn’t that easy. Even the greats get it wrong sometimes…

 

 

How they rated

Stuart Taylor

Goals: N/A

Rating: 7/10

Comment: A new beginning for his team but Stu remains as solid as ever even pulling off a penalty save in the 2nd game. Players may come and go but Taylor really is irreplaceable.


 

Pete

Goals: 0

Rating: 7/10

Comment: Looked to be a decent player. Never tried to hide, comfortable in possession and delivered a few killer passes. Unfortunately his performance was somewhat curtailed by being hit by the ball right in his nads early on! Welcome to the team Pete!


 

Richard Bayliss

Goals: 1

Rating: 7/10 

Comment: No 5 goal heroics this time but you know what – he wasn’t half bad again. Well – he wasn’t useless which in the case of the player- manager is definite progress. Even managed to squeeze himself onto the score sheet once more.


 

Tony Ward

Goals: 0

Rating: 6/10

Comment: Poor old Tone didn’t really do himself justice as he was coming back from not one but two injuries ( probably a week or two too early ). Only managed intermittent game time and nothing at all in the final half of the 2nd game. He will come back stronger and remains the only Getupfront player ever to pick up an injury whilst doing nothing on holiday.


 

Luke Ward

Goals: 2

Rating: 8/10 MOTM

Comment: Its about time Ward the younger got proper recognition for what he does in the team. Ran his socks of and took his goals well. Take a bow Luke.


 

Jay Robson

Goals: 2

Rating: 7/10

Comment: Pretty good stuff from Robson despite operating from a much deeper position than normal. Could it be that Jay is going down the Wayne Rooney route of switching from striker to midfield as the years catch up with him? Exactly how old are you anyway Jay?


 

Lee

Goals: 1

Rating: 7/10

Comment: Promising performance. Played the whole game up top and was rewarded for his endeavours with a debut goal. Could Lee be another goal threat to take the weight of  responsibility from Robson?

 

 



Getupfront v FC Tigers 24th July 2016
July 31, 2016, 1:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Dear reader let me tell you a tale, a tale so fantastical as to be preposterous, so far-fetched that even in this barmy year of 2016 when seemingly anything might and will happen, this just couldn’t.

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Bah! This guy has nothing on Bayliss

Forget, Jamie Vardy, forget the whole of Leicester City even, move over Roy of the Rovers – you are all officially redundant in the “it can’t be true” stakes for this, my friends, is the story of how Richard Bayliss scored FIVE goals in one night in the Sunday 5-a-side league!

No wait…come back! It’s true I swear. There were witnesses! This is not a drill!

So how could this have happened you ask? This blogger can offer no logical reason except that maybe, just maybe, every deluded fool who thinks he can play football despite having no evidence of his ability to do so, gets one day in a lifetime where the stars align and everything they try just comes off. This was that day for Richard Bayliss.

There was no hint of the bizarre events to come as Sunday dawned. Indeed at one stage Getupfront did not have enough players to form a team. Only a last ditch text to Aaron Barwick who had routinely refused to pay for the lads since his one off appearance weeks ago meant that this monumental day could be played out. Finally, Aaron had run out of excuses why he couldn’t play and so it was a small but intrepid team of 5 that arrived at the Pro Soccer centre to play long standing rivals FC Tigers.

Game 1: Getupfront 5-6 FC Tigers

Early doors there was no indication of the legendary events to come as the boys were soon 2-0 down as is their customary way. As half time approached though Aaron Barwick swung his leg at a loose ball and managed to guide it beyond the Tigers keeper and into the corner. At least Getupfront had avoided the 5-a-side nadir of a shut out and had registered on the scoreboard. And then seconds before the break, the first chapter of this fairy tale was written. Keeper Stu Taylor lofted a clearance upfield where Richard Bayliss, stranded in the opposition half by his lack of fitness, was loitering. No danger there then thought the opposition. Job done. Half time lead and a swig of water here we come. Except…somehow Bayliss had managed to track the trajectory of Taylor’s clearance and had got his head to it. As it spun off the Bayliss bonce, the Tigers keeper looked behind him in despair as it landed in the net. Well well….an equaliser and from the unlikeliest source. But this was just the start…

Half time: Getupfront 2-2 FC Tigers

Inspired by his late goal, Bayliss decided to stay upfront despite the more obvious claims of 18 year old Luke Ward. With Aaron Barwick doing a great job of pulling the strings in the middle of the court, cajoling and encouraging his team mates to ever greater deeds and Taylor ever reliable between the sticks, this was not turning into the rout that had been feared.

The action was frenetic with FC Tigers forging a 3-2 lead early on in the 2nd half. Normally this would have been the cue for a Getupfront collapse but this was no ordinary day. Barwick strode upfield and passed to Bayliss on the wide right. The player-manager looked up and side-footed a precise low drive from a tight angle across the Tigers keeper and into the net via the foot of the far post. Wow! That was actually a very tidy finish and a 2nd goal of the night for Bayliss!

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Have you ever seen a man look so pleased with himself ?

However, the lead wasn’t to last long as FC Tigers cored again to go ahead for a 3rd time soon after. Ah well, it was good while it lasted the boys might have been forgiven for thinking but no….at this point the story went from unlikely to surely not? Luke Ward hoisted a ball hopefully up field and there again was Bayliss underneath it. With a flick of his neck muscles he looped the ball up and over the advancing Tigers keeper and it floated into the unguarded net. Oh..my…God…a Bayliss hat-trick and another headed goal. And the goal was good – even the opposition applauded it’s execution. What on Earth was going on?

 

But still the story was not yet fully told. Luke Ward found found himself blocked off on the right hand side of the Tigers goal and so used the boards to play a rebound hoping it would fall to a team mate. This play is used all the time in 5-a-side but rarely comes off. It’s like corners in 11-a-side – if you check the stats corners rarely lead to goals being scored which undermines the value so many of us, fans and commentators, put on them.

 

Corners rarely lead to goals eh? Never get tired of seeing this one…

But this was no ordinary night, this was the night when legends were made so of course on this occasion it fell to none other than Bayliss to prod home for his 4th of the night and to put his team 5-4 up!

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Bayliss cannot believe it and has to count his goals on his fingers so many has he scored

The game had now entered the realms of pure fantasy but there was to be no fairy tale ending for Getupfront. A scrappy equaliser for FC Tigers  was forced home and then with literally 15 seconds left, their lanky forward, enraged by having what he thought was a good goal chalked off earlier as the ref couldn’t determine if his shot had crossed the line or not, grabbed the ball, out ran the Getupfront defence and steam-hammered a drive into the top corner. Heartbreak!

 

So game 1 was lost but Bayliss had scored 4 goals and that was the real story.

Full time: Getupfront 5-6 FC Tigers

Game 2: Getupfront 2-3 FC Tigers

After all that drama, the second game seemed rather an afterthought but played it had to be. Aaron Barwick rallied the troops once more exhorting them to “stick to the plan – it’s  working”. There was a plan? Yes there was and it was this – give the ball to Bayliss and he will score. You have no idea how weird it feels to type those words!

The second game was a much tighter affair with a stale mate breaking out for the first 6 minutes of the 1st half. Then Taylor was finally beaten and yet again it seemed that Getupfront may crumble. But cometh the hour, cometh the man and that man – for once in his life – was Bayliss. Luke Ward broke down the right hand side and swung a delicious ball into the middle where Bayliss was lurking. He followed the flight of the ball and manoeuvred himself into position before extending a telescopic limb Peter Crouch style to prod the ball the other side of the Tigers keeper. GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! This was unreal. Bayliss had now scored 5 goals on the trot for his team. 5 goals I tell you!

His 5 goal haul puts Bayliss on a par with Robert Lewandowski (ahem)…

Half time: Getupfront 1-1 FC Tigers

FC Tigers were now clearly rattled – this was supposed to be an easy game, a gimme but it was turning out to be anything but. And it suddenly got worse for them as they conceded a free kick on the edge of their area. Whilst they disputed its  validity with the ref, a quick thinking Luke Ward slipped the ball sideways to his Dad Tony who was Johnny-on-the-spot to turn home into an unguarded net. The boys were 2-1 up!

In a frenzied final 5 minutes however, the game turned once more. FC Tigers scored a well worked equaliser and with time running out, scrambled a mis-hit cross shot into the net. Disaster! There was still time for one final act of drama as Tigers had a man sent off for trying to waste time by kicking the ball away in the dying seconds but there was to be no salvation for the boys and the game ended in another defeat.

Full time: Getupfront 2-3 FC Tigers

How they rated

Stuart Taylor

Goals: N/A

Rating: 8/10

Comment: Some great shot-stopping as ever from Stu who once again brought gasps of awe and frustration from the opposition but even he couldn’t topple the night’s truly outstanding individual performer.


 

Aaron Barwick

Goals: 1

Rating: 8/10

Comment: A commanding performance from Barwick who played as if he was a seasoned regular rather than the once-in-a blue-moon appearance maker he actually is. Talked a good game with his constant encouraging but backed it up with some solid play as well. If only he could be persuaded to play every week.


 

Richard Bayliss

Goals: 5

Rating: 9/10 MOTM

Comment: Just unreal! Everything he touched turned to goal. No doubt next game he will be back to his useless plodding self but for one night only (Matthew), Richard Bayliss was sensationally Man of the Match!


 

Tony Ward

Goals: 1

Rating: 7/10

Comment: Steady and determined effort from Tony whose highlight this week was his quick thinking goal in the 2nd match which looked like being the winner until the final gut wrenching minutes.


 

Luke Ward

Goals: 0

Rating: 7/10

Comment: No goals from Luke this week despite having the chances. A couple of one-on-ones were spurned but despite that Ward the Younger played his part in this epic night.with his best moment being the sweet through ball for Bayliss’ 5th goal.



Getupfront vs UFOs 17th July 2016
July 24, 2016, 1:19 pm
Filed under: blake's 7, football, Getupfront

An unusual night in the long history of  Getupfront in that for possibly the very first time they arrived at the Prosoccer centre for a game with a squad of seven meaning that they could have TWO subs all night! This was of course heavenly news to that pair of old codgers Tony Ward and Richard Bayliss. The bliss of being able to sub themselves after their legs have gone (normally around the 90 seconds mark) cannot be understated.

After a week off due to holidays and the small matter of Jay Robson getting married (congratulations Jay!), the squad was straining at the leash (no easy task for Ward the elder and Boss Bayliss) to get on court. And 7 players? How did that happen you ask? After the return of Mike Lines recently we had the return of another Mike – this time it was a Mike of the scouse variety – the ever genial Mike Ewen. With new signing Blake Mace  coming back for more, the regular team of 5 was now a proper squad of 7 – a Blake’s 7 if you will (ahem).

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The new Blake’s 7 inspired Getupfront kit  would take a bit of getting used to.

And the opposition? Another first as the opposition were for once unknown. For the purposes of this blog and to keep the sci-fi theme going let’s call them the UFOs.

Game 1 Getupfront 4-5 UFOs

There was nothing out of this world about Getupfront at the start of game one however and they were soon 2-0 down until lone space ranger Robson scored a simple tap in to reduce the deficit. After that the lads disappeared into a black hole of their own making as they were soon trailing 1-5 as half time approached. And then a lifeline  – the opposition failed to leave a man upfront and Jay Robson rifled in the resulting penalty.

Half-time: Getupfront 2-5 UFOs

What followed in the 2nd half was simply epic as the lads went supersonic with keeper Stu Taylor in particular putting in a stellar performance. Absolute scenes were happening as Taylor repelled everything that came near his goal. Save after save after save were made and meanwhile down the other end Robson and Luke Ward helped themselves to a goal each to bring the score to 4-5.

However, it was not all good news as Blake Mace pulled up after turning awkwardly and had to retire to the sidelines. In a perfect piece of Sci-Fi symmetry, he didn’t wasn’t seen again until the final whistle of the second game whereupon he returned with an ice pack on his leg.

No idea what I’m taking about? Watch this – the legendary finals scenes of the long running BBC sci-fi drama Blake’s 7  – derided for the fact that the titular lead character Blake disappears at the end of series 2 and isn’t seen again for 26 episodes until the end of series 4. Also look out for some dreadful over acting from  Paul Darrow as Avon. 

Talking of dramatic denouements , in the final act of the game Luke Ward squared the ball for Jay Robson to secure an unlikely draw as he converted an open goal from point blank range. Err… except he only BLOODY MISSED! Incredible! His excuse? The ball bobbled!

Seriously – Jay’s miss rivalled some of these…

 

Full-time: Getupfront 4-5 UFOs

Game 2 Getupfront 2-4 UFOs

Despite losing game 1, the boys had effectively won the second half 2-0 with Stu taylor keeping a clean sheet – no mean feat in the 5-a-side football universe. Despite now being a squad of 6 with Blake lost in space somewhere,  the quality football continued in game 2. Luke Ward scored a stunning long range goal and only an equaliser from the UFOS late in the half spoilt an other clean sheet performance. Nevertheless, Taylor had now only let in 1 goal in 20 minutes of play – talk about going boldly where no man had gone before.

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Stu Taylor – the man with the safest hands in the Universe

Half-time: Getupfront 1-1 UFOs

It could’t last of course and the second half brought 2 early soft goals for the UFOs effectively putting the game out of reach and beyond the stars for Getupfront. There was however to be one final trailblazing comet of a goal from the boys that involved every single outfield player (though not Bayliss obviously who was on the sidelines at the time). Mike Ewen picked up a ball from Jay Robson in his own half and passed it wide to Tony Ward who passed the baton onto his son Luke who squared for Ewen to finish with a curling drive into the corner. Super Nova!

Full-time: Getupfront 2-4 UFOs

How they rated:

Stuart Taylor: 

Goals: N/A

Rating: 9/10 MOTM

Comment:

What a performance. A masterclass of goalkeeping. Without doubt one of his best performances. Bravo sir!

 

Richard Bayliss:

 

Goals: 0

Rating 5/10

Comment: 

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to describe just how anonymous this guy is. OK – how about this – it was a ghost poo of a performance. You know, a ghost poo. You know you have passed a stool but there is no evidence in the toilet bowl or on the toilet paper. A ghost poo. Similarly, we know Bayliss was there but there was no evidence at all of him doing anything. A turd of a performance. 

 

Tony Ward: 

Goals: 0

Rating : 7/10

Comment: Benefitted from the availability of subs and it helped produce a more than competent performance from our Tone. This week’s highlight – his part in the build up to Mike Ewen’s goal of the night.

 

Luke Ward: 

Goals: 2

Rating : 8/10

Comment:

Would have been MOTM but for Taylor’s supersonic performance. Scored 2 great goals and worked his channel tirelessly. Not sure why he needed a break in the last game though being comfortably the youngest member of the squad by a good 15 years or so.

Jay Robson: 

 

Goals: 3

Rating: 7/10

Comment: 

A mixed bag – 3 goals again to cement his place as top scorer but oooh….THAT MISS!

 

Blake Mace

 

Goals: 0

Rating 6/10

Comment:

Blake’s night was tragically cut short by injury. He had started full of running – if anything he (along with Luke Ward) was too keen chasing everywhere and therefore sometimes being caught out of position. No doubt would have grown into the game had he remained on the court. Should have done one of Tony’s legendary lengthy warm-up routines before hand.

 

Mike Ewen

 

Goals: 1

Rating 7/10

Comment:

A solid game from the ever talkative Mike. Scorer of a stunning goal in the 2nd game. He’s the glue that keeps the rest of the team from coming unstuck.