Tom Watt - engaging and knowledgeable
Quite a good day at The Valley yesterday as Charlton held its club day. The glorious weather continued to make it an extremely pleasant day all round.
ANEM's very own Clive had been lucky enough to win a golden ticket that saw him take a penalty on the infamous Valley turf. Ben Hamer's less than glorious record for saving penalties was never in any serious danger of being further damaged as Clive's Michael Gray-like effort tamely made its way towards the goal.
Clive had needed to report in at 11am and so an earlier arrival than otherwise needed was called for. Upon arrival we wandered around the car park and I took advantage of the 6 for £5 offer for old CAFC dvds.. A very good deal and I'm really pleased with my purchases.
I also, finally, managed to sign up to the supporters trust. I'm glad to have finally done so at last !
A quick beer was quaffed before entering the ground to witness the training session. It was never going to be an intense affair but was interesting enough. The session was compered by Tom Watt.As most will know, Tom is an Arsenal fan with a deep knowledge and love of the game and so he was an entirely appropriate and suitable choice for the job.
I later met up with Tom for a photo and from chatting to him I gather he's a close contact of Sir Chris. I reminded him of the time a caller to 606 was moaning about Charlton being in the Prem and how we didn't deserve to be there. Tom pounced immediately and asked the caller if he knew the history of the club. Suffice to say Tom put him in his place..........I've never forgotten that and it's not hard to imagine an entirely different scenario had it been Alan Green !
The light training session was interspersed with interviews with Sir Chris and the support staff. All quite entertaining and fun, not least Sir Chris's penalty and subsequent celebration. After the penalty shoot out we retired to Bartrams for more refreshment. Whilst sitting outside we were invited along to the Q&A session with Hamer, Jackson, Harriott, Gower and Roberts, Bloom and Umut.
The session was again hosted by Tom who asked the written submitted questions and posed some sensible, appropriate supplementary ones too with good humour. No shocking revelations unless you consider the news that Jackson and Hamer use Shockwaves on their hair as earth-shattering. However, it was clear they all have an affection for the club and are aware of our history. Jackson stressed how important the fans support is and cited the Cardiff home game as how it played its part. Skip also said that he felt that result was pivotal to the season's success as it gave them all real self-belief.
Had we not attended this q&a session then the day wouldn't have been as enjoyable. I would like to have attended the one with management team but it was not to be.
A couple of improvements could be made. I didn't understand why the q&a sessions were restricted as these could easily have been held on the pitch thus allowing everyone to submit a question or at lest hear the replies to them. I really couldn't understand why this didn't happen.
No bar was open in the West Stand. Why ? Surely that was a missed revenue opportunity on such a hot day. They could have opened a small part and sold beers at £2 a pint and soft drinks at £1 a go, say and still made a tidy sum.
I know Bartrams was open and some folk did bring in a drink from there but I couldn't be arsed to go out to get one from there.
Anyway, overall a good day and one that I hope will be repeated next year and an adoption of those ideas above plus an opportunity for everyone to meet more players and the great man himself would make the next one even better.