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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


 

 

 

 

 

 girl-soccer-player-silhouette-soccer1

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


 

girl-soccer-player-silhouette-soccer1

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


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