JOHN LIGHT COLUMN: Forest Green Rovers have the ability to go all the way
9:00am Thursday 4th October 2012 in Sport
I START again with another football chant. "We are top of the league, yes, we are top of the league!" And so we certainly are.
Forest Green followers are at last beginning to believe - to believe they have a team capable of achieving the as yet unmentionable 'P' word. You know it is the one that rhymes with commotion.
Friday evening's game against Lincoln was wonderful. There were three great goals and some thrilling moves that could have brought more. Many FGR veterans could not remember seeing the team play better.
After fourteen seasons of anxiety and anguish a new dawn is breaking at nearby Nailsworth. As daylight comes could it bring with it league football? Friday night showed the team are certainly capable of playing in division two. They have the ability and the squad has strength in depth. Friday night's victory was achieved without the highly rated Reece Styche or the electric speed of James Norwood.
It will be tougher at Wrexham on Saturday as they seem unbeatable at home but Tuesday night (October 9) will give us all a chance to cheer another victory.
The noise, joy and jubilation that greeted the final whistle on Friday evening was memorable. "If I ever saw blessing in the air I see it now", wrote cousin Laurie (Lee). He was not writing about football, but those words sum up that happy occasion.
There is something else to rejoice about. That is the signing, by the county cricket club of Matt Taylor and Craig Miles. Taylor is one of the redoubtable Great Tew Taylors. His brother Jack is already with us. Craig Miles comes from nearby Purton. He has been playing for the second XI since he was fourteen.
Both bowled in tandem at the Cheltenham Festival in 2011. It was the CB40 against Essex, both were 16 and were still at school. Craig dismissed Ravi Bopara with what I think was his first ball.
This is yet again evidence that our Academy is producing fine young cricketers who I am convinced will take the team to a high position in the championship. The seven years of famine have gone. It is now the seven yeas of plenty!
We obtained our fine bowlers of the recent past from elsewhere. Jon Lewis started his first class career with Northants, Mike Smith joined us from Exeter University after playing in the Yorkshire schools teams, Gemaal Hussain was a Jack Russell discovery and Steve Kirby came from Yorkshire. Our current crop are, with the exception of James Fuller, home produced.
Part of the young cricketers education is fitness and Craig Miles is going to experience a daunting winter. He will be under the guidance of Chris 'The Beast' Bodman. Chris is the county's strength and conditioning expert and the players tell me his nickname 'The Beast' is well deserved.
Mrs Light constantly threatens me with sessions with him in charge.
Next weekend is the final Cirencester Old Grammarians reunion. Over 200 former pupils are expected.
In the late 1950s the school changed from soccer to rugby. It was possible for a short time to get 'colours' in all three games (cricket in the summer and the two winter sports) I believe only three pupils managed this. David Smith from Stratton, Denis 'Buttons' Stevens from The Beeches and Jock Ambrose. Jock married his childhood sweetheart, Angela Gearing. I wonder if next weekend I will find out what happened to mine.
Cotswold Wags enjoyed their Torquay skittles tournament and reached the third round before being knocked out. Apparently a good time was had by all. Sunday morning will not have been a good time for Cirencester motorists.
Criss-crossing our town I saw traffic wardens ticketing too many cars. None were causing any sort of obstruction. Traffic was in no way hindered. Yes - they many have been parked illegally, but is Sunday morning enforcement really necessary? If there is no obstruction leave well alone.
Many of those receiving these dreaded yellow notices could be visitors to the town. What will they think? Next week it could be returning Old Grammarian's who are booked. We all deserve better.
I must cheer myself up by remembering Friday's football, and of course our league position.