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Thursday, June 28, 2018

From The Archives - Fixture Computer Unkind To Hereford

With the fixtures due to be released next Wednesday, Bulls News looks back to this day in 2003.

At the time, Graham Turner felt that the computer that selected the Conference fixtures could have been kinder to Hereford United. 

But the season didn't turn out too bad for the Bulls as they finished second, and the 9-0 win at Dagenham and Redbridge remains the joint biggest win in the league's history.

Unkind To Hereford

By Organic Bull

"It seems to be our lot that we get a real challenge on the opening day of the season," Turner told BBC Hereford and Worcester. "To go to Tamworth was always going to be a difficult one, especially a side that won the Dr. Martens League. 

"We are particularly disappointed with the Christmas/New Year games. To have to travel to Exeter and for them to come to us, it's a long way for these games. I know they are geographically a long way from any other Conference clubs but for instance we pass Forest Green going south and they are going north past us up to Telford. It leaves me baffled how we've got a fixture like that and I'm sure our supporters will be disappointed with the amount of travelling involved in the New Years game." 

Trevor Owens then asked Graham Turner how the fixtures were selected. 

"What happens is that you get a form which asks if we want to be paired with anybody, are we close enough to a premiership or league club we want to avoid being at home on the same Saturday. There is no problem with us in that respect. Then we get a choice of games over Christmas. We put down our three preferences which were Shrewsbury, Telford, or Forest Green. So as luck has it we have got none of them. 

"And then any other dates we want to avoid so we asked for Grand National Day, to avoid being at home on that day simply because last season it coincided with a big race meeting at Hereford. It wasn't just the National although there is a lot of interest in that but I think we lost a fair bit of support to the local racecourse so we asked if we could avoid that day and they have done that for us." 

Returning to the first game of the new season at Tamworth, Turner continued: "It's a big challenge for them and we know what we will face a ferocious game. I made the comment after the game when they played Burscough in the Umbro Trophy might come back to haunt me. Some Tamworth supporters asked me how I thought they would do in the Conference and I said they would be relegated by Christmas on the evidence of what I saw against Burscough. 

"But I have seen them other times than that and I know they are a decent side with a lot of experience there. We could not ask for a tougher opening game. It's a tight little ground and there will be plenty of vocal support for them from the terraces but we have got to prepare right through pre-season. We have a well-balanced programme now and we shall be ready for the day and we shall have completed our squad of players by them."