EXTRACT FROM EMAIL SENT TO MANAGERS
First of all, thank you for the leather travel and wash bag - was very unexpected and very nice surprise. Shall be used on my travels and with my initials residing on the very nice leather, it won't be lost ! So THANK YOU.
Secondly, thanks for all teams and managers of teams for turning up at the awards - was really nice to see so many of you there. We had the full Madras, Celtic, Subutteo, WKK teams there and representatives of Uncle Bob and Bloods there. Barnes couldn't make it as team was away on hangover duty and Lisbarnes, well, no idea where u guys disappeared to ;-)
Celtic picked up the League Winners (Lisbarnes, I imagine you have the cup/shield... we need to arrange getting it to the Celtic lads.. can whoever has it get in touch please). Apologies to Celtic for not having the actual cup to hold up and all that.. embarrassing but hope we can all smile at that.
Terry picked up all of Bob's trophies and the Barnesalona Cup - thanks for representing your team !
And Michael picked up all of Bloods trophies and the James Rettie cup - thanks for representing yours !
Player of the Year went to Michael from the Bloods - congrats on that one !
Top scorer to Cian Leahy (celtic x10 goals - is that all !?)
Fair Play went to Sporting Subbutteo - well done to the lads ! you deserve that one hands down.
Contribution to the Club went to Eddie from the Celtic - he has hung up his boots and merited an award for constantly nagging me and pushing me to better the league ! ;-) Well done Eddie, pleased you have that award.
I have medals for the teams that were finalists - will hand these out to you next season (unless i see u before hand..) = Barnes for Barnesalona and Lisbarnes for the JR Cup.
There were also 2 announcements made.
The first was to do with BarnesAidlona (those who don't know much about it - u can read it in the blog in the year 2006 dates). My folks went to Kenya last March to find the kids and people James had met 7-8 years ago. The aim was always for us to go there (Diani beach) and find these people to fulfill James's promise to them that he would be back with footballs, kits, nets, boots. And amazingly enough, my folks found them. They gave them WKK old kit (thanks for the donation and i will get u some pics and videos of the kids in ur kit ! - these kids were apparently over the moon wearing it. I have seen the pics or videos yet myself; some footballs and a i believe some boots... Anyways, the idea is now to get them a pitch to play on.. which they don't have.. it apparently costs 5000 euros to buy the land and to get them a pitch - so this is our next venture.. Alan from Madras has proposed a very nice day out on Chelsea's training grounds... looking into this so watch this space.. would entail a fee for each team playing in some competition on the day.. but early days yet for any detail.
The second announcement was that I was retiring from Barnesalona. Been running it for 7 years now (more than I had anticipated !), and need a break. So, Dorian (who was James's best friend) has agreed to look after the proceedings. I am sure most of you know him, as he has looked after things when I've been away. He will probably run a tighter ship than I ever did, and will be running I am sure even more smoothly than I have ever managed to ! So, a big thank you to Doz ! THANKS DOZ :-)
I won't harper on about my retirement as you have enough to read in this email, but just to say it has been a rewarding, interesting, and challenging experience. I have enjoyed dealing with u guys, seeing the banter between teams, seeing in the clubhouse, etc.. My biggest achievement for me has been the incredible improvement in people's attitude to playing the Barnesalona way - friendly but competitive football. We have had some characters and teams on board in the past that made the enjoyment less apparent, but it feels that the majority have left us. This last season I think has been the best. And for that, I thank all the managers, who have worked on achieving this - and myself a little ;-) This doesn't mean you've seen the last of me. I may grace the hallowed turfs next season as a player (gonna be weird!). Thanks.
Teams Next Season
Next season - please get back to Doz as to whether you are in or out for next season - i understand Uncle Bob may join with Subbutteo which would leave us with 7 teams - i have however found a new team who could bring us back to 8 (a French team who were there on the last day and expressed their interest in a friendly league where u don't need to travel all over London to play! oh yeah - that would be us..).
THANKS EVERYONE - have great summer, take care, and remember.... live it, love it, play it.
There will further updates on stats for the season, and other commentary.