It’s now coming up to (amazingly!) the 5th season of the The Travelling Fan, and for the first time since writing this – there shouldn’t be any major personal changes. (Apart from I’ve just moved house) That means my personal theme for the season was a toughie! In the end I’ve just gone with having a good time and enjoying the football. It’s 2013/14:
- NEW GROUNDS
This is the whole point of the blog eh? A new season means new grounds and with a massive list of places still to see and multiple barrels still to scrape, the choices are massive. With a good mix of league and non-league grounds I want to see this season, here is where (I hope!) to end up:
Brighton – Amex Stadium
Starting the season here with a “glamour” friendly against my Spanish boys Villarreal. Good reviews of the ground’s first two seasons.
Portsmouth – Fratton Park
Portsmouth vs Morecambe is the sort of fixture a few years ago that you might have expected in the FA Cup. Now, they will play each other in the league as Pompey get used to the basement. I’m keen.
Kodak (Harrow) FC – Kodak Sports Ground
Having now moved to the Harrow area, I ran past these sports grounds the other night. Overgrowing weeds and an pitch that just reeks of tinpot is one that I’ll be there for!
Gillingham Town – Harding’s Lane
Having missed Cheddar FC last season (although still at their ground), Gillingham (pronounced with a J) will be moving at the end of the season so a rare trip to the deep southwest is needed. Should be able to stock on some scrumpy at the time too.
Bristol Rovers – Memorial Stadium
Another FL ground that could be on the way out too, especially as Rovers have received planning permission for the new UWE Stadium and Sainsbury’s have also received their’s to build at the Memorial. Morecambe (and hopefully me) go there over Easter 2014.
Obviously, there will be other grounds that I visit this season that I had no intention of visiting at the start of the season. Last season I didn’t plan on spending any time in Derby but there I was rocking it up at Pride Park. Better get those maps out.
- NEW LEAGUES
Having just made the move away from Lambeth to the lovely area of Middlesex, this opens up new leagues right on my doorstep. The Middlesex County League is the main one to have a gander at so expect trips to Kodak (Harrow) FC, British Airways and Indian Gymkhana.
- NEW COUNTRIES
After having an excellent time in Croatia a few weeks ago, foreign football is now right up there. An expected trip to Rome is coming up so I’m keen for some vaso di latta calcio to report on. Then there’s also a hopeful trip with the Scotland Supporters Club again (England next month doesn’t count). With international dates coming up, hopefully a cheeky 2014 friendly somewhere will be on the cards.
- NEW “ROAD TO…”
The “Road to Wembley” series is one I’ve done over the past couple of seasons where I’ve picked a FA Vase tie in the 1st Qualifying Round and followed it all the way through to the Final. This season however, I’ve gone with a cup closer to home to follow all the way through. The London Senior Cup has taken place since 1882 under the London FA and has been won by such teams as Arsenal, Wimbledon and Barnet down the years.
Having seen the draw for the tournament this year, my Road to… will begin at Thamesmead Town vs Greenhouse London later in the year.
- NEW SPORTS
I always do say I’ll be going to more games that involve various other sports, this season however, I will try and get to ice hockey, basketball and other minor sports. I can imagine the readers will flock for that to read about some Level 7 cricket league game. (Well I’m not that desperate, yet)
2013/14 is kicking off, so everyone just get out there and have a good time. Like this gerbil wearing a hat.