Saturday 21 February 2009

Indian Gymkhana

Another very lowly venue for me, Indian Gymkhana, from the Middlesex County League Premier Division, but not just a new ground for me to tick off, but also for well over a hundred groundhoppers, for another of the Middlesex League early kick offs.
As to be expected for this rung of the pyramid the ground, if you can call it that, is basic. No more than a roped off pitch. Not exactly photogenic, but there were the spectators, and planes overhead from nearby Heathrow Airport every few minutes. So while there's not much for me to describe as we walk around the sportsground, I've taken a number of snaps of the 'hopping fraternity', just for fun. Maybe those of you who have looked in from the Tony Kempster 'family' will spot themselves...enjoy! ;-)

As you enter the ground the clubhouse is ahead, I didn't actually get a decent shot of it for some reason, but the changing rooms are on the ground level, and the bar was upstairs, with a balcony area, looking over the pitches. There were two pitches here, & it's also used for cricket in the summer.

The club crest is engraved into the glass doors of the bar area.

Here's the inside.

With a packed cabinet covering football, hockey & cricket.

Here's the view across the grounds from the outside balcony.

Programmes were on sale from a table, a bargain at two quid each, which included admission, so I hope everyone bought one!

Beyond the table was a large shed, which was the refreshment hut, doing a roaring trade in teas, soft drinks and sandwiches.

Here's another,fuller view of it.

These hoppers do like to note things down! ;-)

Obviously local hoppers, if they've cycled here!

The Marsh Rangers players come out for the start, they've featured in a number of these early kick off fixtures, so should be used to the big crowds by now.

In the red & white stripes are the Indian Gymkhana hosts.

And-despite what many hoppers think-the most important people at a game are the match officials. Without them we wouldn't have anything to watch. They rank higher than the programme editor & sellers! ;-)

The ground is a simple roped off pitch, well roped off on one side, and a little way behind one of the goals. The only 'structure' are the dugouts, and the anti-racism banner between them.

As you can see there's nothing behind the goals, you'll find a number of shots in this set of the game, which is unusual for me. Part of the reason for including them is either because there's the crowd as a backdrop, or planes in the picture. Plus one or two I've included kust for the sake of it, becuase I can! ;-)

From here on you won't find too many comments, as we stroll around the pitch. If you were at the match see if you can spot yourself...

Was this the 'serious hoppers' VIP enclosure? ;-)

I don't think much of that dugout 'extension'!

There's the regular 'one man & his dog' in there somewhere! ;-)

The 'main stand!'

If anyone from the Middlesex County League happens to stumble across these photos may I say a big thank you for them continuing to arrange the occasional Saturday morning matches!


Anonymous said...

May I say how pleased as a League we are to have entertained yourself, and the many other 'Ground Hoppers' who attended the game. You are always most welcome. I hope in the near future we are able to offer some more 'unusual' venues for you all to visit. Your photo diary, and information contained here are excellent. Big thanks to Tony Incenzo, for his advertising, and marketing. Peter J Kingham MCFL Referee Secretary.

Rabbler said...

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I love these early fixtures, I can't make them all as I work every other Saturday, but this was the third one I've got to. They're very enjoyable, & gives me the opportunity to visit clubs I would never, ever get to otherwise. It would be great if other leagues were as forward looking as yours with regard to early morning kick offs.

Anonymous said...

Thats not a football ground mate, it just looks like a pitch in the middle of a field..........
surely football grounds have stands for the spectators, here i see no evidence except for 1 bench holding 3 people max?

Rabbler said...

Point taken Anonymous, but it's STILL non-league football, albeit at a very low level. Speaking personally I do prefer to visit built up grounds, but I have no problem delving into minor venues way down the football pyramid. It is roped off, and there was a programme. The football wasn't too bad either. There were over a hundred people there who might disagree with you! ;-)

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