The Beautiful Game: Robin Richards, Dutch Uncles - Stockport County

I’m trying not to get carried away, but this is the first time County have won our first two games of the season since 1999/00.

stockport county

If you’re anything like some of us at DIY, you’ll have spent the last week finely tuning your Fantasy Football team ready for the new season. Now, with the new season in its mere infancy, it’s time to take a balanced look at just what’s in store. We’ve asked a bunch of bands, artists and music industry types to let us know exactly what they expect from their team in 2012/13. Anyone for a Bovril?

As I write this, Stockport County are currently sitting pretty in 2nd place in the Blue Square Premier after winning our opening two league fixtures against Alfreton and Grimsby. I’m trying not to get carried away, but this is the first time County have won our first two games of the season since 1999/00 when we were a half decent Championship side, so it is difficult not to be a tad optimistic about our campaign ahead.

Last season was County’s inaugural season in the Conference after 107 consecutive years as a football league club, and I for one really didn’t know what to expect from this weird league we had fallen into. As the season progressed it was clear that we were still pretty dire even with an entire new squad and Dietmar Hamann as manager. ‘The Kaiser’, as he preferred to be called, clearly didn’t have a clue how to manage a non-league side, and as it looked like we could be heading for a third relegation in a row and regional football, it was up to County legend Jim Gannon to step in once again and guide us to safety!

Jim has since built a young, exciting squad and has managed to get rid of the crock of shit that Hamann had brought in last year.

Players such as left back Sean Newton, ‘technical god’ John Nolan and striker Danny Hattersley are going be instrumental in the team’s progression this term. I am backing Hattersley to grab 20+ goals this season. The return of James Tunnicliffe, who left the club for Brighton in 2009 whilst we were in administration, is a huge boost to our defence.

As optimistic as I am at the moment, I still don’t feel that we will be promoted to League 2 this season. As Gannon said, ‘the Blue Square Premier is the hardest league in Europe to get promoted from’. Teams like Luton, Mansfield, Wrexham and Hereford will all be challenging for the one automatic spot. I reckon County will finish 6th, tragically missing out on the playoffs on the last day…

Dutch Uncles will return with a new album on Memphis Industries in 2013.