That’s It For Now – 25/5/16

It has certainly been a long, hard season jammed full of ups and downs.

We have been taken to the heights and also plummeted to the depths.

I cannot think of another season in which our fortunes have fluctuated so much, so wildly and to so great an extent.

Thankfully we ended on a real high and we are now all looking forward to the next season with a real sense of anticipation and excitement.

I fully expect that the close season will also be jam-packed with activity as some players arrive and perhaps others will leave.

Maybe there will also be more positive news about progress on the new stadium at Lionel Road?

In any case I am sure that there will be much to ponder on and write about.

That leads me onto this blog.

I wasn’t sure if there was the overall interest in my continuing to write it throughout last season or if I could also summon up the energy and enthusiasm to keep it going.

My ego also demanded that if I did, then it would have to be good enough in terms of its content and style to ensure that it was up to scratch.

I am glad that I did carry on as there was always something new to write about – some good – some bad, and I have really enjoyed myself and I hope that you all have too.

It has been worth the late nights and early mornings and staring at a empty computer screen willing my brain into action.

After writing the best part of three hundred thousand words, I am now going to have my own break, firstly to have a rest and recharge my batteries and also to finish off my next book.

Growing Pains will feature the best/worst of the blog and will cover in detail all of the key events of last season, both on and off the field.

For those fed up with me, it will also include lots of fantastic and illuminating specially commissioned articles and forewords from insiders and experts such as:

  • Matthew Benham
  • Cliff Crown
  • Phil Giles
  • Tom Moore
  • Billy Reeves
  • Phil Parry
  • Jim Levack

They, and several others will be providing their own thoughts and assessment on what happened last season and, more importantly, how we will do next season.

There will also be a fascinating update on how Mark Warburton has been doing in his new role at Glasgow Rangers.

Hopefully there will be something for everyone to enjoy.

The book will be published within the next six weeks or so and I will provide you all with updates as soon as I have more news.

As for next season… Who knows? Again I feel a bit conflicted as I do not want simply to produce more of the same.

I am not sure if I have anything new to say although I’m certain that what transpires at Griffin Park will provide me with lots of fresh ammunition.

That is a decision for another day assuming that some of you actually want to keep reading what I write.

In the meantime thank you to everyone of you who has read what I have written or posted a comment or even provided an article.

I am eternally grateful to all of you.

Have a good Summer!

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A Nice Surprise – 4/12/15

Please forgive me if I blow my own trumpet a little bit today. I woke up yesterday to a lovely and totally unexpected surprise – a long and detailed review of Ahead Of The Game from Rob Langham, the co-founder of the quite excellent Football League website and blog, The Two Unfortunates.

Here is what he had to say:

AHEAD OF THE GAME

 

logo9nobannerThis is a remarkable book from Greville Waterman. Weighing in at a colossal 400 pages, it’s a sumptuous chronicle of one of the best seasons in the history of Brentford Football Club, a warts and all expose of club’s march to the Championship play-offs which, although predicted (kind of) in these quarters, obviously came as a surprise to the nation’s press and the bulk of their opponents, such was the inability to cope with the Bees’ fluid passing style and shrewd tactics in 2014/15.

So how did Greville Waterman, an autogenic therapist, find the time to compile such a tome? The answer is incrementally. By piecing together contributions to his excellent blog, BFCTalk, Waterman has opted to republish the whole set of exhaustive posts within the covers of a print edition, supplemented by the odd new entry.

It’s a format which various blogs have followed before, most notably the pioneering sites Pitch Invasion and In Bed With Maradona and serves a useful purpose. Few of us read every word a website produces so to have them gathered under one roof is a logical summarising statement. IPads notwithstanding, there is also the ease of digestion that a hard copy brings.

Of course there are disadvantages – the immediacy of online commentary as a medium is hard to beat and one becomes used to immediate feedback on one’s work via twitter, comments sections and other social media. That’s less the case with a book where the pedestrian process of printing and distribution and the difficulty punters have in immediately responding can leave one wondering what people think of your writing. Hence, a club based project for the specialist reader will rely on distribution through channels such as the club shop and the community of fans – Brentford are one of the best represented among football league clubs in this respect, the excellent Beesotted sitting alongside Waterman’s blog as a home for considered, thoughtful opinion.

Of course no discussion of Brentford in 2014-5 can avoid the unceremonious parting of the ways with manager Mark Warburton in the season’s run in. Avoiding the inclination to side with club policy, Stalinist style, Waterman takes care to provide opposing points of view and this is the correct decision given that none of us know the real story behind the ex-city trader’s departure and the unusual way in which it was handled.

On the face of it, Warburton, now shooting turkeys in charge of Glasgow Rangers, seemed the perfect fit for Matthew Benham’s stat attack. With a background forged among metrics and variables, the fit was obviously a good one and it seems that less than 100% control over recruitment was the sticking point. Waterman correctly predicts the emergence this season of an ‘I told you so bandwagon’ and no sooner was 2015-6 underway than that particular vehicle could be seen riding into town. But Brentford have stabilised quite well under Lee Carsley and have now managed to tempt Dean Smith away from Walsall. Only a fool would write them off just yet.

Meanwhile, Waterman continues to type away and his musings provide much of interest, not just to Brentford fans, but to supporters of all clubs in the division, not to mention football as a whole. That comes on the back of 50 years supporting the club through thick and, let’s face it, mainly thin. So, the enthusiasm that pours from the page at such a stunningly successful season for the Bees is unsurprising; leaving anyone with an ounce of emotion warm inside.

Ahead of the Game by Greville Waterman
Published by Bennion Kearny 2015 : £15.99 from Amazon

I was totally bowled over by Rob’s kind words and for once almost find myself struggling to know what to say in response – a rare feeling as I am sure you all fully realise.

Recognition from an acclaimed football writer like Rob – even if he is a Reading fan – makes it all worthwhile as does the realisation that your words do matter as they are having an effect upon somebody and that readers are really enjoying and identifying with what you have written.

I love writing this blog and I am giving you all an advance warning that I am already well over one hundred and twenty-five thousand words into next year’s book with the season still less than halfway over and with much more activity anticipated at Griffin Park over the coming months. More grist to my mill I am sure!

Even though there is so much fertile material about the club and everybody associated with it that just begs to be written about, discussed and analysed, sometimes it is hard to find the time, energy and motivation to get it all down on paper, so to receive a boost like I did yesterday from Rob makes it all totally worthwhile.

Thank you once more and now – back to the grindstone!

Ahead Of The Game – Available Now! – 19/6/15

Final Cover 020615Just to let everyone know that as of today Ahead Of The Game is now available to purchase either as a paperback at The Brentford FC Superstore or it is can be bought as a paperback or Kindle eBook on Amazon.

Here is some information on the book itself:

AHEAD OF THE GAME: BRENTFORD FC’S 2014/15 SEASON

By Greville Waterman

In May 2014, Brentford FC were promoted to the Football League Championship. It was only their second season at such a level, in sixty years, and many asked how the newcomers would cope against the so-called massive clubs Norwich City, Blackburn Rovers, Cardiff City and Leeds United. Would they survive? Would they thrive? Or, as many expected, would they fall short and crash back to Division One at the first time of asking?

The 2014/15 season answered these questions in emphatic style with Little Old Brentford – the perennial underachievers – displaying a vibrant brand of positive, attacking football that took the Division by storm and rocketed the Bees into the playoff places. Under the visionary ownership of Matthew Benham and the ultimate man-manager, Mark Warburton, the club had created a new and different way of doing things that piqued the interest of the Football World. Rather than look downwards, the disbelieving but delirious Brentford supporters began to harbour dreams of reaching the Promised Land of the Premier League.

Screen shot 2015-06-19 at 17.30.32In Ahead Of The Game, long-established supporter and blogger, Greville Waterman, puts together selected articles from his blog, alongside new content, to detail Brentford’s journey. He offers a fascinating and incredible inside story of how this unfancied team defied expectations, overcame the unforeseen break-up of the successful partnership between Benham and Warburton, did the double over Fulham, and came within a whisker of promotion.

This book is a must-read for any Brentford fan and includes guest contributions from Cliff Crown, Richard Lee, Billy Reeves and Jim Levack. Whatever the future holds, it is clear that The Bees are truly Ahead Of The Game and the best is yet to come!

“Greville has written an excellent and perceptive overview of everything that happened at the club during this incredible season. I loved it and I know you will too!” Matthew Benham 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Greville Waterman is a long-term Brentford supporter who has enjoyed all the good and bad times at Griffin Park and who can finally see light at the end of a very long tunnel.

He was a director of the club for a brief spell in 2005 (don’t ask) and is currently on the board of Bees United.

Greville owned a sponsorship consultancy for many years and now teaches Autogenic Therapy, a Mind/Body relaxation technique that helps people who are suffering from anxiety, stress and mild depression (see www.howtobeatstress.co.uk). Greville needed the help of AT after suffering the trauma of watching the Bees over a fifty year period! He is also Chief Executive of The Institute, a long-established adult education college in North London.

Greville is married to his long-suffering and beautiful football widow, Miriam, and has two wonderful children, Nick and Rebecca; this book is dedicated to the three of them.

Greville will be making a contribution to Brentford FC out of his royalties.

Screen shot 2015-06-19 at 17.33.34The book is available in the Brentford FC Superstore .

Note: Amazon is currently displaying “Usually dispatched within 1 to 3 weeks”.

Please be advised that stock is shipping to Amazon right now, so customer copies should be shipping out very soon.

Published 17 June 2015 | 978-1-910515-14-3  | 408 pages | Print and Kindle | £15.99, £8.99

Available Now!

Here are the Links to where the book is available:

http://www.brentforddirect.co.uk/product/400/0000-4811

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ahead-Game-Brentford-2014-Season-ebook/dp/B00ZPO1OBU/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1434732211&sr=1-3&keywords=ahead+of+the+game

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ahead-Game-Brentford-2014-Season/dp/1910515140/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1434732211&sr=1-3

I really hope that you enjoy it and that you think that it gives an accurate and ideally, entertaining, account of all the incredible things that took place both on and off the pitch during what was certainly the most amazing season for Brentford FC within living memory!

Please let me know what you think?

Many thanks.

Greville