Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Great Fixture Lottery

Tommorrow the football fixtures for next season are released. This is one of the more notable dates in every football fan’s Calendar. To start, every fan takes a look at their opening matches and starts to plan their summer. They also always have a look at the fixtures over the festive period, the weekend closest to their birthday, and what kind’ve run-in your team has at the end of the season. The more travelled supporter might also look out for certain away dates that may be excellent opportunities for meeting up with old friends.

The occasion takes on extra significance however if you are one of those old friends. A fan in exile. I have lived away from Watford for the last 8 years. My last season ticket saw me go to almost every home and away game in our 98-99 season which saw us clinch promotion via the play-offs at Wembley. I can tell you, that season was quite an emotional roller-coaster, but that is a story for another time.

Being a fan of a small team in the Premiership last season wasn’t much fun for a number of reasons. The most obvious of which was we got beat, near enough every week. But also, the Premiership is a hostile place to exiled fans. Tickets for away games must be bought months in advance and cost a small fortune. Being in the West Country didn’t help matters as the closest ground was Reading over an hour away. I began to know what it feels like to be a Carlisle fan.

Anyone, who at this points says that at least there were more games on TV is correct, but also has never been a true football fan.

So it is with much excitement that I look forward to a season in the Championship, or whatever it’s called this year. Tickets available on the gate, meaning decisions to attend many games can be left till the day before. It also means we have games in the south west again (thank you Bristol City, nice try Yeovil). And this is why the fixture announcement day is a lottery. It will be just my luck that Bristol City (A), will be either when I am on holiday or on the day of my wedding/honeymoon. I would also like Cardiff City (A) to be a Tuesday night, so that I don’t have to commute an extra day to the city in which I work.

Oh great fixture generating computer. Please be nice to me.....

We'll I never thought I'd actually get Cardiff away on a Tuesday night. Shame Bristol away is also a Tuesday, but we all love school night drinking really! My third away draw, Norwich, where my mum lives is also a Tuesday night - what are the chances? - but this is far from ideal, as I go up there at weekends. Oh well - you can't win 'em all.


Coldbrain said...

Initial thought: tricky opening but decent run-in.

And I'm pleased to be able to resurrect my once-yearly trip to Coventry on a cold and wet Tuesday evening. Grrreat.

Billyo said...

Indeed. The first five look tough.

I quite fancy a promotion-clinching party in Blackpool....

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