Well, another football season over and the academic year is soon to follow. Last Saturday Notts County faced Brighton Hove Albion, the Champions, at Meadow Lane knowing that relegation was still a possibility. It hasn’t just been me behind my desk but the whole Club has been buzzing for the last five weeks since the arrival of new manager Martin Allen who has truly brought everybody together (something he’s known to have done throughout his career). Back to back wins away from home, the first time for two seasons, against Tranmere and Swindon were the biggest victories in the Club securing its League One status. Nonetheless, the last day of the season could have conspired against Notts County. In truth this never happened with both Walsall and Dagenham & Redbridge losing, while the Magpies secured a draw against the Champions. The crowd of over 10,000, the atmosphere in the ground, the dominant performance from the players and the post-match celebrations are all factors that leave me feeling extremely optimistic about the future.
Dagenham and Redbridge went down, with probably the smallest amount of resources to call upon in the League. Despite this, they battled all the way and played some really attractive football across the season, only very narrowly being relegated. I am sure their reputation for bringing through young players and playing very tidy football will see them push for promotion next season.
The annual Varsity football match was held at Meadow Lane on Monday night, what a good night it was too. I was sat with Impact’s reporting team before the game while the atmosphere was just starting to build. The banter between the University of Nottingham students and Trent was as good as ever. It reminded me last year when I sat with the Uni fans, rather than across from them with the Notts Couty staff, and it’s safe to say I haven’t lost the appetite. The win for the University of Nottingham was an epic one as it went into extra time, I found myself jumping out of the seat just as I did as a student! Uni’s striker, a the small and quick Chris Plummer scored both the goals in the 2-1 win and was outstanding throughout. Before the game I spoke on University of Nottingham student radio, which was great to be part of the night and reiterated how important I felt it was that Notts County FC are the local Club for students.
The Summer will see me and the team at Notts County I work in continue to work in the Community with local primary schools with the A Game of Two Halves project. This scheme has won Football League backing and is going from strength to strength as we have over 100 local schools on board. In addition to teaching in the schools about medical health sciences and nutrition, we increase physical activity which is a key part of the curriculum. This then leads to School of the Week where the children can experience a live game at Notts County free of charge, the whole school has a big day out.
Also this Summer many Impact readers will be Graduating. With it being almost exactly a year since I did the same I have only one piece of advice: Be sure to enjoy a couple of glasses of the pimms! Back to things here at Meadow Lane though, it’s going to be a busy and exciting Summer for the Club and we have a jam-packed Community programme ready to drum up support for the future generation of supporters. A sign of how excited people are for next season is shown in the number of School of the Week applications I have already had. The end of the season also brings with it some monitoring of the players , which I am doing this week, where we take weight, body fat and body mass index amongst other measurements. This is a vital part of being a Dietician & Sports Nutritionist and I look forward to record and present it ready for July, the start of the 2011/2012 Season.
Best of luck for the future to all Nottingham students,
Matt is happy to answer any student related enquiries about Notts County, which should be directed towards [email protected]