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“En Oppfordring Fra Oss!! Støtt en God Sak! ” - Notes for the Chippenham Town Friendly
written by HarryfromBath Thursday, 11th Jul 2013 09:57

HarryfromBath, with helpful notes from BluebirdChippy, a Chippenham supporter visiting our forum, assesses the mood in the opposition camp ahead of Saturday's friendly match by delving into their forums.

Some Brief Introductory Notes

Founded in 1873, Chippenham Town have been stalwarts of non-league football in the Southern League for the last few years. They enjoying a period of notable success around a decade ago, losing the last FA Vase final played at the original Wembley Stadium to Deal Town in 2000.

“We reached the (Southern League) play-offs a couple of times in recent seasons under (Tyrone’s father) Adie Mings, but he has now been appointed as a scout at Chelsea. We're stable financially which is a huge relief, in non-league.”

With crowds averaging 400 for home games, they are a solid and well run seventh tier club.

“The Bath (Barf) City rivalry used to be quite a draw for the club, when we were in the same league, although Bath had a good stint of climbing the leagues and now play in the Conference South, a league above us.”

“Gloucester City and Salisbury City were also highly-anticipated games at the club, but they've both also been promoted in recent years. I think that Frome Town are our closest away fixture in the league, this season.”

“What a strange league…”

“We had a comparatively difficult season last season, a couple of good players left the club for personal reasons, and we were caught in a bit of a relegation struggle.” “We finished nine points above the relegation spots, but less than seven wins from the play-offs”.

“Things really picked up at the end of the season though and the team began to look more cohesive, with some fine victories home and away, we looked absolutely unbeatable with wins like 4-3 over St Albans, 2-4 win away at Kettering, and to top it off a fine 4-0 win over Stourbridge on the final day of the season, and we finished safely clear of the relegation zone.”

Chippenham were in a relegation struggle by Easter time, after enduring a wretched 17- game run without a victory. This danger was averted by a barnstorming end of season run, in which they won six of their last seven games. The Bluebirds finally claimed 15th place in the Southern League Premier Division last season.

“The performance of all the team over the last seven games has been enough to dull the pain of the previous few months. All credit to Rudgy and Richard (Fey, the assistant manager last season) for turning it round.”

Nathan Rudge

“(Former Norwich youth player) Nathan Rudge was our player-manager until he hung up his boots this summer to focus on directing from the side lines. His assistant is Steve Winter.” Rudge became player/manager in May 2012, having played for Tiverton Town and the Bluebirds.

He gave an interesting insight into non-league management, when speaking to the Wiltshire Gazette in an end of season review: “You are more of a social worker than a manager and a lot of players seem to expect everything to be given to them. The bottom line is that when you’ve got players not on a lot of money, we need them more than they need us”.

Steve Winter, their newly appointed assistant manager, brings a wealth of lower and non-league experience, having played for Yate, Walsall, Forest Green Rovers, Yeovil and Tiverton.

“It's good to see Tyrone doing well at Ipswich”

“Well, we were surprised really to see him make such a leap upwards, although nobody can question that he deserved it, considering the hard work he showed here. He was only here for a few months, but he showed himself to be a physical and proactive defender, who distributes the ball nicely.”

“The point which seemed to make him stand out at this level is that he was always clean in the tackle, and seemed to have some vision as to where the place the ball once he was in possession.”

“We acquired him from Yate Town, and it seems to have become something of a speciality at the club to acquire promising players from the Southern Football League Division One South and West. He was previously on the books at Southampton, but they released him, and presumably Yate picked him up for free.”

“Tyrone Mings is in starting line-up for Ipswich today (against Burnley in May).” “Is this his debut? If so, well done to him.” “Yeah, it was his debut and played the full 90 minutes. In the words of his manager: "Had a brilliant game".” “Amazing!” Bluebirds are hugely proud of their player and the progress he has made this season.

The Tactical Overview in One Sentence

Chippenham’s team is built around a traditional 4-4-2 system, using speed and width to support powerful strikers.

“Yes, 4-4-2 is accurate”. “We tend to play a lot down the flanks, but also play aerially as we have quite large and physical strikers. We are quite rapid in attack and can move the ball quickly on the ground in counter-attacks“.

Several newspaper match reports did, however, mention aimless long balls from the keeper, one poetically describing them as being “helplessly carried away by the four winds”.

Defence

There was little comment about established goalkeeper Ben John. One player who was regularly mentioned was “reliable” Greg Tindle. “Greg is a thoroughly reliable defender for us, and has cemented his position at centre-back in recent seasons.” In his manager's words, Tindle was “probably the performer of the season for the games that he was in”.

“Jack Allward is the regular left-back, described as “accomplished” by his manager.” “Twenty-year-old Shane Blackmore is a young centre-back who has a lot to prove, as manager Nathan Rudge previously played this position and hasn't completely hung up his boots yet!”

Midfield

“One player worth watching out for is 'Super Joe' McClennan, who the fans have taken to their hearts after some excellent end-of-season performances. He's a young, incisive and skilful right-midfielder who we signed from Bridgwater Town in March 2013.”

“He excites the fans quite a lot”. “He is some player, turns players inside out. He has made such a difference. I think any team would love to have him in their side.” He was praised effusively in local newspapers for his contribution to the Bluebirds end of season resurgence.

Two regular players are central midfielder and last season’s players' player of the year Iain Harvey and the busy left-sided midfielder James Guthrie. Guthrie gets more than his fair share of chances, and, from reading match reports, is a dangerous shooting threat. The central midfielder Adie Harris may also feature.

“We also signed 24-year-old midfielder Harley Purnell from Yate Town recently, and he could make his first appearance for us against Ipswich on Saturday.” Coming from the club which also provided Tyrone, they have high hopes for this new signing.

Two young players who have been brought into the senior squad, and who may feature on Saturday, are central midfielder Ben Wickens and the memorably named right-sided midfielder Charlie Austin.

“Toby Osman is the son of Russell Osman, who Ipswich fans may be familiar with. He can play both in central midfield and as a striker.” Phil pointed out on the forum a few weeks ago that it was a tip off from Toby that ultimately brought Tyrone Mings to ITFC.

Strikers

“Lee Phillips has agreed a contract for next season at CTFC.” Great News.” “Lee Phillips is a player to watch out for.” The 32-year-old striker is a veteran of the West Country scene, and “was once a first-team player at the likes of Plymouth Argyle, Torquay United and Exeter City”. He is a powerful and awkward opponent, and will be a handful for any younger defenders we may decide to play.

“Alan Griffin has been at the club for ages and is another powerful striker.” Brother of Swindon and Stevenage striker Charlie, the 30-year-old striker is an experienced non-league player, having also played for Corsham Town and the Mangoes (Mangotsfield United). He is hugely popular with Bluebirds, having won ‘supporters player of the season’ for the third consecutive season.

Tom Knighton may also feature. He scored six times in 20 appearances, picking up one man of the match award in November against Totton, but faded in the Bluebirds poor mid-season run.

Chippenham Town Supporters' Views of ITFC and the Game

Apart from Saturday’s game, the Bluebirds play Exeter City on July 27th and Swansea City on July 31st. Supporters are looking forward to Saturday’s game as much to give Tyrone a warm welcome as much as anything else.

The Bluebirds Beak

In November 2006, the club took the decision to shut down its official forum, which was getting 10,000 hits a week. The Wiltshire Times reported that it was shut down “ten days after chairman Sandie Webb hit out at armchair supporters' who used the forum to criticise the running of the club”.

The report continued: “Then she accused some fans of hiding behind pseudonyms in an attempt to stir up trouble behind the scenes, though she insisted she did not want to close the forum down.”

The club secretary, explaining the decision said at the time that "of late there have been a great many derogatory comments, and in some cases completely untrue statements, made about the current and indeed former directors which in our opinion are totally unwarranted and most certainly detrimental to the Club”.

The Chippenham Vikings

“We have a Norwegian supporters club who come over occasionally to attend matches (They're very loud and rather well-known among teams at our level!)” “The Norwegian supporters club website is http://www.chippenhamnorway.no/ Very little of it is written in English, though.”

Chippenham Town FC’s Norwegian supporters club was formed after Bjorn Ove Herdal and Jan Erik Hiim found the town on a map while planning an annual canoeing trip. The pair were drawn to the Bluebirds’ motto of ‘pride and passion’ and have been committed to the club ever since.

“The Vikings returned for our home fixture against St Albans in April 2013. Naturally, a large Norwegian flag was flown, and a barbecue followed the game.” The headline to these notes (taken from their website) translates as “A call from us! Support a good cause!”, and could not be more appropriate for Saturday’s game.

One Last Word of Welcome

“As for anything else - We are a very relaxed and friendly club who has never had any need to segregate fans, so supporters tend to switch ends to stand behind the goal their team is playing towards.”

“Our vocal supporters tend to congregate in the covered terrace behind the goal, and then switch around to stand behind the right goal as necessary, although I can say that we're louder under a roof! I'm sure everyone from both sides is looking forward to getting out to a football match again after the closed season.”

Sources

The independent forum can be found here.







Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

BillBlue added 12:34 - Jul 11
Really interesting. Thanks Harry.
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whosroundisitanyway added 13:01 - Jul 11
Great blog as usual Harry.
Joe McClennan sounds like one to watch. Has he slipped under the radar or am I ill informed?
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HarryfromBath added 13:35 - Jul 11
Whosroundisitanyway, it will be interested to see how McClennan plays on Saturday, as we will probably put out a team of young players and he will be up against players of a similar age, as he is only twenty one.

He only joined Chippenham from Bridgwater Town in February, but seems to have played a key role in their revival. He seems to thrive in their style of play.

From reading press reports, he seems to have come through the Bristol City youth system, and played for a number of local teams including Mangotsfield and Tyrone's old club Yate Town, so he will already be well known to local scouts.

Many thanks to you and Bill for the kind comments. It's a pity the Vikings won't be there on Saturday. They sound like they would have been great fun to meet.
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whosroundisitanyway added 17:11 - Jul 11
Thanks for the added info, you always go the extra mile. I'll read the match report with interest. Will you be going to the game?
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HarryfromBath added 18:16 - Jul 11
Hugely looking forward to it. A sunny afternoon, a bar open during the game, and the ability to switch ends at half time. There will be a good turnout of West Country ITFC supporters there, looking at the forum thread which popped up last week.

From their website, Admission is £5 for adults, £3 for OAPs and Children under 16 have free admission. With a crowd of 500 likely, parking on local streets is not a problem, according to their supporters.
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whosroundisitanyway added 18:32 - Jul 11
Oh my, if only all away games were like that! I'm very envious. Have a great day.
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