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Oct 31, 2003
Felt the need to write a quick note as i dont get to do this much living in Australia.

You would think the older you get and the less you see of your team the more your interest wanes. How wrong! I was so excited and couldnt wait for the game to start. It was like being a teenager again.

All i ask when i come home is to watch a game and for the blues to get a win and again they produced the goods.

I keep up to date with all the news through the offical site and through this forum which is brilliant (so keep it up as its great for all of us that cant get to games).

The game was somewhat cagey to start. However when the blues moved the gear stick up a couple of notches i felt they started to control the game. Peterborough looked quite handy in the first 20 minutes and im sure they will win more than they lose but we really looked rather good.

Strong in defence (much stronger than i have ever seen) with mildenhall looking like a one man defence with the size of his frame. The back four looked organised, the midfield - especially and unfortunately Bailey. The forwards worked their socks off but with little reward. The real plus form what i could see was the team spirit personified by Captain Barrett.

I definitely think we still need players to unlock a defence with some skill and intelligence rather than blistering pace and one or two players who can cross a ball into the box for the strikers to get their feet/heads to the ball and put the ball into the proverbial onion bag. This may mean perhaps another winger and a midfielder with that eye for a through ball.

After reading all the notes on the pessimism of the oncoming season, which is totally understandable im feeling a little more optimistic - even if it is just one game and the first of the season. Heres hoping we keep fit.

As i never get to offer any ratings for the players, here is my effort.

Mildenhall - 7 - Large, strong, commanding - never really troubled but made me feel safe sitting in the stands! Made one punch in the first half which highlighted the glaring difference with Flavs that bodes well.

Francis - 8 - Confident display, always looked very composed and untroubled by Boyd (apparently the pele of the lower leagues). Looks like he knows how to play the game and has progressed so much since i last saw him.

Clarke - 8 - Another player with a confident display. I dont remember a foot wrong and scored the goal. Loved the solidarity hug with Barrett pre kick off.

Barrett - 7 - Solid without being spectacular. Organised the troops as a captain should. Good walk around to some of the players in the first half to let them that they were playing well and to keep the chins up.

Harding - 8 - signed on Friday, plays on saturday. Has a quick chat with Bailey and barrett at the beginning and plays like he has been there all last season. Obvious why Leeds plucked him from brighton. Very quick, good tackler, good passer, patient, read the game well and linked up well with the team around him. The only negative was some of his set pieces. Again it was his first game after what can only be one training session. Will get better and a better defender IMO than Mulgrew.

Scannell - 6 - Played well but too often found himself in alone. I dont remeber any crosses coming in from him. Did play well for the team though and some of his bursts of speed and skill bode well for the season. Remembering he cost 5k, as a fan, im rather chuffed.

Moussa - 6 - played ok without being spectacular. Passed ok but overshadowed by the brilliance of midfield play from Bailey.

Bailey - 9 - MOM - IMO he was brilliant - almost perfect midfield play. He was everywhere and got stronger the more the game went on. Took command as the more senior midfield player. He tran everywhere, tackled, blocked, broke up attacks, passed sensibly and put some good balls into the box. A real end to end performance. Made Lee and Keates look very ordinary. What a shame he wants out. We will miss him massively if he plays every game like this and he leaves. Im not sure McCormack is anywhere near this standard.

Walker - 5 - completely out of position. Made some good runs but didnt cover back enough. Quick and skilful but needs to play up front. Team looked more solid when Grant and Betsy came on.

Furlong - 6 - didnt have too many chances apart from the shot towards the end which lewis punched away - even with the shot i think he took too long. Didnt really stamp his experience on the game and for a player thats supposed to hold the ball up, it seemed to bounce off him a little too much.

Barnard - 6 - worked very hard without any reward and without providing anything spectacular. Made some good runs and led the line well with his strength against a defence that was marshalled well by westwood and morgan. Tried to being other players in which will work in other games.


Betsy - 7 - looked quick and strong and his apparent experience of the league should benefit the team. Looks to have a cross on him which will be excellent for the team and the strikers as the season drifts on.

Grant - 7 - another strong player with a good pass and apparent good pedigree. This was the first time i have seen him play and it was clear that there is some intelligence here too.

Revell - no mark as wasnt on long enough

All in all i thoroughly enjoyed the build up and the game. I think we will get better and on this showing and the way the players bonded and played i think we will still be up the top end at the end of the season. Ill be looking forward anyhow to logging on every sunday morning in Australia to see the blues score and all your comments.

Up the blues!!