The Not So Secret Footballer and the So Solid singalong

Fines, fruits and riots – Jack Midson reveals all about AFC Wimbledon’s first few weeks in the Football League.

We have had a mixed start to the season. We had some very good away wins at Dagenham & Redbridge and Plymouth but then slipped up quite convincingly at Macclesfield and left Aldershot with a draw after they scored a late equaliser. Our first home win of the season came against a good Port Vale side and there was also a convincing win against Cheltenham. We need to improve our home form slightly and make Kingsmeadow a fortress. Hopefully we can do this now that we have had a couple of home wins.

We believe in what we are doing and the way we are playing will pay off. I have scored six goals so far this season which I am very happy with but as a team I would like it if we had a few more points on the board. That will come and we have to be patient. The fans have been brilliant this season, both home and away. I think I was spoilt a bit over the last two years at Oxford United as the away support was always tremendous and the Wimbledon fans also give great support on long away journeys.

I did an interview recently after the Hereford game and answered the questions that the interviewer asked me. He asked me about that game and also some questions about my time at Oxford. I answered truthly as I always do. But it seems that some of my comments were taken the wrong way by a minority of Oxford fans and it was written in a certain way that is likely to offend. This was not intended and I apologise if it did offend anyone for any reason. You try to answer questions honestly, to do all interviews and not refuse but you have to be very careful with the media and how what you say is perceived. You can’t always say what you think.

I was recently asked to go into the Sports Tonight Live studio. I have been in to the studio a few times and there are some really good, professional people there. This is a good opportunity to do some television work as it’s something I enjoy and would like to do some more of later when my football career comes to an end. Someone has mentioned about getting involved in BBC Late Kick Off too – this would be amazing and I hope that something comes of it.

I have been looking for (and noticed) other people’s blogs and write-ups – not just footballers but people outside of the game too. I have taken some tips from these, both for my articles and life in general. I think blogs are a great idea and it’s interesting for people to have an insight into other people’s lives, especially people in the public eye. Luton striker Stuart Fleetwood writes a regular blog – I found this interesting and could relate to it well as we are in the same profession (and the same position).

Throughout the season, fines are enforced for many different reasons. There is a fine sheet given out on the first day back in training and a fines committee is selected. Although this seems a bit silly and people often say we should concentrate on football, it does keep everyone in the squad professional, standards high and helps with punctuality. Catching people out helps to pay for Christmas and end-of-season parties and other team nights out. Fines for forgetting to wear heart rate monitors, for example, are quite frustrating but it is for a good reason so you don’t mind paying.

We are looking to get a table tennis table soon at the training ground. I think this will be a good addition and might even encourage people to get into training early. From what I’ve seen so far though, not much encouragement is needed and punctuality doesn’t really seem to be a problem. There seems to be a craze at the moment of putting fruit in people’s bags. It isn’t a surprise any more to arrive home to empty my bag and find a random piece of fruit in there – the “banter” of football, eh? The boys do like to have a good laugh but everyone cracks on, works hard and puts the serious effort in – you do need a balance.

Some people have asked me if I have any superstitions during the build-up to games. I used to have a few silly things that I had to do but not any more. Now I do make sure I do the same things but that is more to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. I do have OCD so normally have everything organised and in place way before kick-off. That way I can feel pretty relaxed!

We have another away trip coming up and that spells a time for more new signings to sing their initiation songs. I had mine recently and had to sing in front of the whole squad on the first away trip of the season – as did my regular room mate and old friend Gareth Gwillim. I sang 21 Seconds by So Solid Crew – maybe not a song my team-mates expected me to sing! Away trips any more than three hours away mean we have to stay in a hotel near where we are playing. This can be a bit tedious but it is in our best interests as sportsmen.

One last thing to mention – it was a real shame that the recent riots caused some games to be postponed. However, I think that the clubs and authorities made the right decision and that the clubs had a duty to do this. Let’s hope it never happens again!

The Seventy Two
The Seventy Two published an outstanding series of articles about the Football League between 2010-12 and was the brainchild of Leicester City fan, David Bevan. As well as collaborating with The Two Unfortunates on the Football League Blog Network and a mammoth 2011-12 season preview, the site featured a host of leading bloggers and David was rewarded with a nomination in the 2011 Football Supporters’ Federation awards. Latterly, he was joined as co-editor by Joe Harrison and TTU is happy to present this archive of the site’s output.

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