Why don’t we travel to away games anymore?

by Mystical Mike

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
 

Away day blues

Hands up then, how many away games have you been to this season? Two? Three? I have seen precisely none. I nearly, nearly went last week, only to be told that if I wanted to make the 320 mile round trip I’d be doing it on my own. I didn’t fancy that much.

There’’s several problems with going up a league that you hearty souls of the football league will think are par for the course. Bigger and better players, bigger and better programmes, and bigger if not better fans. And then there’s the downside. Losing and travelling.

Travelling to away games used to be one of my favourite, if rarest, of trips. Armed with a battered map and a copy of the Non League directory we rarely went wrong.

I didn’t navigate of course, given my penchant for travel sickness if I even dared to read the description on the bag of crisps to distinguish the flavour. But despite the gauntlet of child cruelty run on every journey, I loved those trips.

But not so anymore. Last weekend, Dorchester it seems was deemed too far to travel, petrol costs, time spent out, and kitchen extensions unforgiving. And then it dawned on me. I’ve become too old to plead inability to drive and too young to plead ability not to drive. I have become what is known as “an away travel member” you know, in need of the coach.

But given my supposed sickness every time a car goes by, a coach trip was out of the question. So there was nothing else for it, I spent the day sat in front of the internet. “ Any update? Anyone scored yet? What’s the team? How are we playing?” It reminded me of the days my dad used to sit in front of teletext watching the cricket score tick over (slowly). This is not a future I want.

But, given rising petrol costs and increased entrance fees, it may be a future I and many others have to accept. It’s at this point that the ambitions of a side and its fans are really tested. If we want to succeed, progress and become a football league club then this will only get worse, or is now the time we should accept our lot and remain part-time, Non Leaguers?

I am taking the ambitious route and hoping my team go all out for the glory of professional football, the costs will have to be met and more importantly the sickness stopped. But that’s what we all dream for right? So next time I have a free Saturday and a long trip beckons I’m making that journey by hook or by crook, all that’s left to hope for is coach-loving “smelly Joe” and his 40-year-old bobble hat decide to stay at home.

Non League Show

Caroline Barker presents The BBC Non League Football Show
Every Monday from 9pm via www.bbc.co.uk/nonleague
Real Football, real fans.
If you’ve got a story email the team nonleague@bbc.co.uk

Be Sociable, Share!
  • stevie

    it’s to bloody expensive and you can watch the game on Sky, introweb or Saudi TV. It’s a shame as the bonding of travelling to an away game has somehow gone.

    I blame SKy!

  • jackie emu

    As an exiled Boro fan in London nearly all my games are away games. Anything south of Birmingham is a do-able fixture in terms of transport and time. I maybe see two home games a season and for the most part enjoy away games far more. The fans are much more up for it at away games and you feel a sense of belonging. But as Stevie says I might even be questioning some of my trips when it’s so easily accessible on the internet.

  • Matt Quinn

    Im gutted. I booked a trip to Prague and then a couple of days later, Villa were drawn away to Slavia Prague. The game takes place while im there.

    However, tickets don’t go on sale to just “season ticket” holders until Friday… and it looks like the “away day club”- of which, im not a member, have snapped up all the tickets already.

    Ive never been to an away European game before.

    Not particularly interesting but wanted to get it off my chest.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    You can get there by rail way
    You can get there by trail way
    You can get there on an airplane
    You can get there with your mind

    You can get there by caravan
    Across the desert like a Arab man
    I dont care how you get here
    Just get here if you can

  • Matt Quinn

    Yeah I know. Im thinking it should be pretty easy to get tickets off a tout when out there.

    Rumours are that 10,000 fans are travelling and we have an allocation of 1,300. Im not confident- even tho 10,000 sounds ridiculous.

  • Darren

    Villa message boards…
    Ebay
    Work message board
    Villa supporters london
    Slavia prague messsage board
    Nigel Kennedy

    Someone must have a one going.

  • Darren

    That’s also a great antidote Matt!

  • Matt Quinn

    It was certainly an antidote for my frustrations. I have to say.

    Ive been to Villa park, both wembleys, upton park, white hart lane, Hillsborough, old Trafford, Hawthorns, Coventry, Derby, Craven Cottage, Charlton, Bescott (Walsall)… and some others that I cant remember.

  • jackie Emu

    Go on the grounds application on facebook….when you put in non-league and defunct grounds it really boosts your numbers…
    Saving the New wembley until boro get there.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    me 17 away grounds

    Man U
    Forest
    Covenrty
    Shrewsbury
    Orient
    Fulham
    Spuds
    Villa
    Miwall old & new
    Palace
    Chelsea
    Wimbledon
    Man City
    Norwich
    QPR
    Barnet

    Ray 0 Matt 1 Oli 6

  • jackie emu

    seriously you want a list…I love this game.

    Newcastle
    Sunderland -Roker
    Middlesbrough -Ayresome & Riverside
    Hartlepool
    Darlington -Feethams
    Bradford
    Huddersfield -Leeds Road
    Barnsley
    Hull City -Boothferry Park
    Stoke City -Victoria Ground
    Preston
    Manchester United
    Man City -Maine road
    Tranmere
    Leeds United
    Sheffield United
    Oldham
    Stockport
    Grimsby
    Coventry -Highfield & Ricoh
    Nottingham Forest
    Aston Villa
    West Brom
    Ipswich
    Norwich
    Reading
    Watford
    Southend
    Leyton Orient
    Chelsea
    Fuham
    Millwall -The New Den
    West Ham
    Crystal Palace/Wimbledon
    Charlton
    Southampton
    Portsmouth
    Arsenal -Highbury & Emrites
    QPR
    Brentford
    Barnet
    Spurs
    Wembley
    Barcelona -Camp Nou
    Eindhoven -Phillips Stadium
    Roma -Stadio Olympico
    Malmo ff

    and a few non-league
    York City
    AFC Wimbledon

    Gauntlet laid…

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    hold on a min, visiting the Nou Camp doesn’t count, but saying that, you are the biggest footy fan here!

    Ray, where’s Ray? 2 grounds, White Hart Lane & Anfield. Digwace!!

    Matt 2 grounds, Villa and Stanhope Grove

  • jackie emu

    visiting?

    Barcelona versus Deportivo 1994 3-0 to barca.

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    ok, u win, where’s Tah when you need him, all those made up grounds poo poo!!!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    Ray, your silence speaks volumes

  • Raymond J Stanbrook

    Norwich
    Villa
    Bromley
    Sutton
    Coventry
    Spurs
    Liverpool
    Fulham
    Ipswich (outside)
    Barcelona (outside)
    Portsmouth (outside)
    Arsenal (outside) via train

  • jackie emu

    Raymond Disgrwace! not even West ham? Charlton? QPR? Palace? all on your doorstep!

  • http://www.ukfootballfinder.co.uk Darren

    so you’ve been to 6 grounds? that’s a total disgrwace!

    how many as Ben been to?

  • Steve40

    Palace, Palace, Palace & Palace!!!

  • Raymond J Stanbrook

    sorry….i have been to Palace, Millwall (trials for Wycliff FC), West ham, and Chelsea.

  • Raymond J Stanbrook

    Wembley and Cardiff (to watch rugby)

  • Tah Mez legend

    what’s that? yes me in Cairns with the lovely wife poo poo, living the life!

    Are you married yet Oli?

    I’ve been every ground in the world, me, knowledge!!

    Newcastle
    Sunderland -Roker
    Middlesbrough -Ayresome & Riverside
    Hartlepool
    Darlington -Feethams
    Bradford
    Huddersfield -Leeds Road
    Barnsley
    Hull City -Boothferry Park
    Stoke City -Victoria Ground
    Preston
    Manchester United
    Man City -Maine road
    Tranmere
    Leeds United
    Sheffield United
    Oldham
    Stockport
    Grimsby
    Coventry -Highfield & Ricoh
    Nottingham Forest
    Aston Villa
    West Brom
    Ipswich
    Norwich
    Reading
    Watford
    Southend
    Leyton Orient
    Chelsea
    Fuham
    Millwall -The New Den
    West Ham
    Crystal Palace/Wimbledon
    Charlton
    Southampton
    Portsmouth
    Arsenal -Highbury & Emrites
    QPR
    Brentford
    Barnet
    Spurs
    Wembley
    Barcelona -Camp Nou
    Eindhoven -Phillips Stadium
    Roma -Stadio Olympico
    Malmo ff

    and a few non-league
    York City
    AFC Wimbledon

    I’m looking around poo poo!

  • SImon

    I’ve been to London with Sunderland to watch us beat Spurs for the first time in 30 years this season. Love away games – the atmosphere amongst the fans is better and there is more singing! Sunderland are bucking the trend – have sold out every away fixture so far this season.

Previous post:

Next post: