The Retirement Academy – Part 9: Betterton all the rest

HELLO! We’re back in Holland or “The Netherlands” for those of you who know the difference. I don’t, FYI. Here at the Retirement Academy, we’re on course for our highest ever finish, which sounds impressive but it’s season 3 and we have a playoff promotion and a playoff survival to our name so far. 14 games to go…

Our first game of the run-in is RKC, who are 17th. That seems like a game we should win so naturally we go 1-0 down after just two minutes. Thankfully Spoons levels it up and Bakero shows the cool head of a 36 year old to equalise. He’s 37 next week. Anyway, we win and we enjoy it. Good.

You might remember Groningen gave us a good old thrashing in the cup so we head back to Oosterpark full of trepidation. We go behind but something incredible happens – we don’t just lie down and die. Boaty equalises and Uncle Bulgaria wins it. He’s a spritely 37, 38 in April. Good man.

Vitesse are usually full of goals but with Mahlas already departed and Nick’s favourite Reuser suffering from a fractured skull, our chance of success is slightly increased. Mark B Owen gives us the lead which is embarrassing enough but after a proper back and forth match, 39 year old Chris Waddle scores the winner. We’re 8th.

Uncle Bulgaria starts a two match suspension as we go to NAC. It’s always fun going there as they play at the FUJIFilm Stadion which means I can make some terrible photography jokes. We’re behind and struggling to make much of an impact but the delightfully named Fred Grim scores an own goal. You could say he paints a Grim picture.

Look at all these clubs Marl will be rejecting in the summer

Our good run was always liable to end out of the blue and we barely muster a shot at home to AZ.

Veendam away and Ruud Gullit captains them. Hopefully he will be available for transfers, or retire. I’m fine either way. This new found backbone we’ve got comes in hands as we come from 3-1 down to win 4-2. The Micker is amongst the scorers, as is Gary Pally junior.


With JB out, De Wolf is also out for a month. Young Moses is injured so that great defensive midfield backup plan failed at the first hurdle. Mark Bowen moves in there with old Nigel Worthington in at left wingback. Heerenveen have our number at the best of times and it’s no surprise that we lose 2-0.

Up next is the trip to Ajax, which is always enjoyable. That is if you find being punched in the face repeatedly an enjoyable experience. We take the blows to the chin, repeatedly in fact, and we’re still standing on 82 minutes. Then Demtsjenko breaks the deadlock, our hearts, our hope. Ah well.

Willem II should be easier but it turns out they’re also exponents of the 82nd minute winner. Melga picks up two yellows, he’s a very ill disciplined Paraguayan.

The misery continues against Utrecht. We’re 2-0 down inside 10 minutes and they even have another disallowed. It’s a poor run of form.

With two games in three days over Easter, the squad is rotated for Roda away with PSV waiting on Monday. De Jesus and the Micker, often confused as the same person, do the damage and it’s a welcome away win. We officially can’t be relegated!

Unfortunately we can’t repeat the trick against PSV but it’s a good effort.

Twente are in real relegation trouble but go 1-0 up before Boaty equalises. Estay has a penalty saved, the angry Paraguayan gives us the lead before Betterton saves ANOTHER penalty. Boaty rubs in the salt. 20 shots to 9 in their favour, two missed penalties. Three points stolen.

We finish with a very encouraging with over Feyenoord. I mean, they’re 7th, so it’s less special. But we still won.

All of that means we finish 9th. It’s our best yet and progress is being made, slowly.

Rush Junior did all the hard work. Most of King’s goals came in the pints cup, I don’t know why he is coveted by some of England’s biggest clubs.

Betterton is brilliant. He’s wanted by Huddersfield, PLEASE DON’T BID. He is everything to us.

All that’s left now is the awards and the retirements..

Anthony Betterton is absolutely cleaning up!

So much so I didn’t realise he’d won twice and pressed done twice. Anyway, here’s the proof:

Will anybody retire?

I’ll miss you, Nigel. Well, not really. Good news though, there are 5000 new seats for you to sit in to watch us.

We’ve got some incredible signings coming which I’ll share with you next week. So there we go, see you next week?

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