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Watford - The Phantom Menace II
By Matt Bunner
Remember the last episode where Jedi Master Taylor defeated the evil FA Empire to earn a slot in the Premier League? I closed the last episode after the great Liverpool smash and grab with this: "The Phantom Menace, that is our GT, is now showing at grounds around the country this season. Can't wait to see what completes the story". Fourteen months on, I can release the sequel....

After the initial raid on the Empire's Death Star at Liverpool, the Empire reconvened and started to assess the Jedi's strength and weaknesses. They realised that a simple manoeuvre was required to put the Jedi back in his place. The Emperor invoked the "Play football" masterstroke and instructed his loyal followers to spread the word around the Galaxy. Soon the Death Star became fully operational and, like a rabbit caught in headlights, the Rebel troops were being attacked from all angles and had to beat a hasty retreat. Unfortunately, there was no escape. Empire Squadrons from Arsenal, Man Utd, Spurs, Middlesbrough, Everton struck right at the heart of the Jedi defences, but the most telling blow was the skirmish at Wimbledon where the Empire crushed the Rebellion with five strikes to nil. The Jedi was reeling. The Empire had evaluated and retaliated and there was nothing he could do. Jedi Taylor knew that his troops were being defeated.

Later in the season, Jedi Taylor knew his fate and wisely resisted the calls from Press Stormtroopers to buy, buy and buy. He opted at this time to reassess and then consolidate what troops he had. They were young and inexperienced, but with training and good flow of the Force from the terraces, he knew that the long term future of the Rebellion was good. The Empire duly won the battle that season and relegated Jedi Taylor's troops, but they could not finish him off. Frustrated at their failed attempts to rid the Universe of the Jedi, the Empire highlighted the inadequacies of the Rebellion, pinpointing the lack of strikes and the amount of hits they took. The Rebellion knew it was all paper talk....

Far, far, far away in the secluded Planet Vic, Jedi Taylor refreshed himself and drafted new battle plans to strike back at the Empire. With the gains he made from the Empire, he lured some of the Dark Side to Planet Vic using their experience and knowledge to improve the Rebellion. In early August, the Jedi and his refreshed troops came out fighting. Battle gains were made against Huddersfield (subsequently made inoperable with desertion of their planet commander), Barnsley, a whopping annihilation of Sheffield Utd, Portsmouth. The Empire reared its ugly head in the form of Blackburn with Wing Commander Souness at the helm, complete with experienced Empire troops such as McAteer, Blake and Berg. The initial battle saw heavy losses for the Rebellion, but the new Jedi troops adapted and rallied majestically with four massive shots into the heart of the Death Star. Crewe were next to feel the Force of the new strike power and hot on the heels were Stockport. Birmingham tried in vain to derail the Rebellion assault, trying desperate tricks such as whinging about the Force influencing the referee, unexplained losses and Phantom diving. We knew Commander Francis was predictable as his troops were swept aside.

Battalions from QPR and Gillingham tried their luck but could not find a way through the stiff Rebellion defence. Forest, once a legendary army in the Empire's make-up, has dwindled to a little training camp just North of the Rebel base. Their resistance was futile and comprehensively dismissed. Bolton and Wolves were treated the same way, but proved more stubborn. During this time, the Jedi Taylor was taking a back seat, letting his Rebellion troops do all the fighting. He knew he had been proved right by his shrewd thinking during the quiet period a few months ago. Master Yoda had taught him well. The Empire is now sitting up and taking notice, and this time, I believe, the Jedi is not being underestimated. Although there is a long way to go in the struggle against the Empire, there is a New Hope that the Rebellion under the guidance of Jedi Taylor will rise and continue to strike at the heart of the evil Empire.

Feel the Force, Graham.