Chip Wrappers: w/e 18 August 2006

On to the back page of the Advertiser, where editorial content is fighting a losing battle against the adverts, Curzon Ashton manager Gary Lowe has announced that their "target is to win the league." Quite admirable too considering the opposition they have to face; if you're going to tilt at windmills you might as well make them frickin' big ones.

Lowe goes on to say, "not getting promoted would be disappointing because we’ve got a bit more experience than last year." With the possibility of as many as six teams getting promoted from the NWCL this season, disappointing would be something of an understatement. But then he's hardly likely to say, "I'm for the chop if we don't get into the Unibond this year" is he?

Elsewhere in the paper Stalybridge's first attendance of the season (430) is described as "meagre", vaguely hinting that Celtics poor pre-season form may have been the reason for it. Maybe so but I'm sure the decision to charge £10 to gain admittance to Bower Fold this season may have been a slightly larger contributory factor.

Bizarrely there's no report or mention of Droylsden's first game of the season at Farsley yet their second game at home Redditch gets a report and a photograph. God may move in mysterious ways but he's got nothing on the Advertiser's sports department.

At this point I'd like to write about the coverage given to Mossley except I can't because there isn't any - not one solitary mention outside of the fixture list. Then again we shouldn't be surprised about that anymore, should we? After all it is only the local paper. It's not as if they don't know that the Unibond League is starting this week because there's a piece about Ashton United in a sidebar, three pages from the back which, admittedly, you could very easily miss. And if you did - don't worry! Just pick up a copy of the Reporter because the unabridged version of that very same Ashton United press release is on the back page.

The main story on the back of the Reporter is dedicated to Droylsden's capture of Steve Daley, a signing that last week Dave Pace claimed would "rock non-league football." Whilst experts look into whether it even actually moved the needle on the semi-professional Richter scale, Tameside's Mr. Modest continued in typically hyperbolic fashion this week declaring that his latest signing was "the missing piece of the jigsaw." I don't know about you but when I discover there's a missing piece when I'm doing a puzzle I normally have a look on the floor or down the back of the settee. Not Dave Pace, he goes to Southport.

I'm not sure about the jigsaw analogy though. With Daley joining Denham, Fearns, Banim and Talbot at the club, surely a better one would be Pokemon with his 'Gotta collect 'em all!' attitude towards non-league forwards.

Sadly, just like the Advertiser, Mossley's only mention comes in the list of upcoming fixtures and then they haven't even bothered publishing Tuesday's game at Marine. In all fairness to the Reporter though they did devote plenty of space to the friendly win over Stalybridge last week but surely a brief mention to say our season was starting this weekend wouldn't have gone amiss?

At the FC United of Manchester Evening News the return of the Premiership has meant that the non-league stuff has been relegated to its usual small column at the edge of the page, with a third of it made up of FCUB 'news'. Interestingly though the paper did publish a letter this week criticizing the amount of coverage given to the 'Only Alternative For People Fed-Up With Professional Football™.' Sadly though I missed it but the responses are starting to appear and when the crux of one is based around the fact they deserve it because “the fans have dropped ten levels,” you do start to wonder if it's possible to have an intelligent debate about this.

Thankfully though we've got the Oldham Chronicle to rely on for information and publicity about upcoming games and it doesn't let us down this week. In an article previewing the coming season Mossley manager Jason Beckford says, “the aim is to be competitive and consolidate,” and I don't think anybody could disagree with that. It would be nice to think that at some point during the season there'll be hopes of a play-off spot or a cup but, personally, I'd be more than happy with securing at least fifth from bottom as soon as possible.

And that's it for Mossley80's first review of the papers this season. Whether it's a regular feature or not depends on a number of things but rest assured, whatever happens Mossley80 will be reading the papers so you don't have to.