Season 2008/09: The countdown begins

by Mystical Mike

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Roll on August

It’s the day that every football fan around the country has a reason to be happy going into work or school or waking up earlier than usual on a day off. The fixtures for the new season were announced and the excitement begins here.

It’s become something of a monumental day in the calendar for me and the first date I look for when the final whistle blows on the season is that of fixtures day. I remember being at school in Northampton, desperately trying to get a print out of the season’s fixtures as soon as they came out. Now I’m working it’s no different and the first thing I did when arriving at work was to get enough done early on to allow for a good half hour of early planning for trips next season come the 10am release of the fixtures.

It’s a crazy situation because you know you would see them eventually at lunch time or after work but the excitement of seeing the line up of games as soon as they come out has not been lost on me even after all these years.

There weren’t a lot of Northampton Town fans like myself in my school as the trend for supporting United and Liverpool struck at an early age for many of my friends.

The three of us that were Cobblers would gather in a corner and check out the printed fixture list at break time and discuss how we could possibly go to both Hull and Lincoln on Easter weekend and come back with anything or how easy that start of the season looked despite a trip to Rochdale early on.

Now I’m at work in Southampton, there is no playground but the enjoyment of the 10am print was still the same, if not more so now I’m older. Of course there’s no-one in a small Southampton office that I could talk to about a daunting trip to Leeds on the final day of the season so my housemate suffered with my excitable e-mails. Saying that though, he’s become a Cobbler himself in the last few years thanks to some gentle persuasion.

After a phone call to Dad back in Northampton a lunch time I pinned up the list on my work station and got a spare copy for home use. Part one of the 2008/09 season is checked off the list and now the wait for the pre-season friendlies begins.

There’s something about the day in the middle of June when all football fans are pressing the “refresh” button on their teams’ websites that gives you a gentle reminder after a month without league football that we’re not that far away from its return.

Now then, which way to Carlisle?

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  • Martin Tibbetts

    Look forward to seeing you at the Walkers this season. Despite all the upset at the end of last season I am finding something very refreshing about planning trips to Leyton and Brighton etc, knowing I can just rock up on the day and watch a good football match. It is kind of what the game is about, rather than sitting on hold for 3 hours to earn the honour of being robbed blind to sit at the back of a large stadium. I think I may enjoy this season a great deal….

  • Danny Brothers

    Very much looking forward to the meetings with Leicester…last time we met we were awful in the F.A. Cup 4-0 defeat, think we had a man sent off as well!

    We’re all anticipating next season as a great one for derbies with Peterborough, MK Dons and Leister in the mix. I’m sure you’ll be up there with the top sides if you can keep the team together but good luck!

    You’ll like League One I think, I went to a couple of Southampton games and there doesn’t seem the same atmosphere in half empty bigger stadiums than there is in a smaller ground that’s fuller. Hereford certainly has “character” so you’ll enjoy that one!

  • Ashman

    OOOh we all get that excitement!!

    Even in the big stadiums full of corporate-bods (as is so often the way at my beloved Chelsea) there is still a hardcore contingent of true blues that make matchdays exciting, home and away.
    I too clicked on the “refresh” button a million times that morning to see the fixtures as they were released.
    But i was less concerned about making arrangements for away days – we need the support abroad in europe more so – and those trips take much more organisation (*Ash hands his “holiday form” to his boss requesting three days off to go to Rome around may 27th next year)

    Unlike a lot of “plastic” Chelsea fans, my main concern was not early or late saturday kick offs – allowing armchair supporters via Sky Sports or Sultana.
    And unlike Sir Alex Ferguson, my main concern was not whether we are home or away after our European nights.
    My main concern was our end of season run-in with the other teams from the “big four”.
    One that sees us only have to play Arsenal, once, between January and the end of the season.
    Fewer chances to slip up maybe.
    Fewer chances for a 6-pointer like we had when we beat United at home in April.

    Roll on season 2008/2009….

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