With 1905 suburbs in the Greater London area it’s deeply flattering to me that Chelsea choose to play an annual pre-season friendly in my home suburb of Northwood. I mean fair’s fair, I travel all around the UK, and now Europe on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (Tottenham fans please note), following the Chels so occasionally the club has to make a bit of an effort and visit the fans.
Northwood is on the London Underground Metropolitan line which was the first underground railway in the world, although by the time it reaches Northwood it’s overground.
Northwood is also home to Northwood Headquarters, the UK’s principal military HQ site which is home to four Operational HQs (Permanent Joint Headquarters (including the JFHQ), the Commander Naval Forces North (one of NATO’s three major Commanders) and Headquarters of Commander in Chief Fleet). Therefore in the event of any scraps between John Terry and opponents, military assistance is close at hand to quell any trouble.
Northwood is well located and within easy distance of the Central and Piccadilly lines to get to Stamford Bridge and the Metropolitan line is only seven stops from Wembley, our second home.
We fielded the under 21’s and surprisingly the game was 50-50. All that expense of trawling around Europe to find the best youth available and then treating them to the best facilities money can buy in Cobham against a team of locals that looks like they’ve had a few kebabs but still managed to compete. Roman had better not put his cheque book away just yet.
We changed almost every player bar the centre-back and our average age dropped two or three years. We played much better and had at least 80% possession but obviously the players watched a little too much of Spain in the Euros and followed the philosophy of why shoot when you can pass.
It’s equally important for us fans to ease gently into the season so although my limbs will be aching tomorrow it’s important to get matches under my belt to be able to withstand the rigours of a full season.
Result: Northwood FC 0–0 Chelsea Reserves