So it’s back again and we should all praise the fact that the Football League is all go once more, rejoice in the fact that our team plays in this incredible competition.
Just three months since the end of the 2009/10 campaign, 72 clubs are contesting the rights for promotion, hoping for a decent cup run and looking to avoid a relegation battle. Seventy-two clubs – 72! You’ve got to love the sheer size and quality in depth of the English Football League, as well as the history.
Where else on earth can you follow the fate of so many clubs in one competition. That’s normally 36 matches every weekend and thankfully, due to a lack of TV interference, most of these matches take place at the same time.
Please everybody remember this is when football matches are supposed to kick off. Not 12.30pm on a Saturday because of Sky, not 7.45pm on a Wednesday at the request of the police and not on a Thursday evening because there is a second rate European competition these days.
All football matches should kick off at 3pm on Saturday. It’s how things should be.
Ok, so I am as happy as anyone watching football on TV and I will absorb as much as I can but sometimes the Premier League will only have three or four games on a Saturday afternoon these days, and they rarely all kick off at the same time. One reason: TV.
Forget the Premier League, this is the real deal, proper football, the Football League.
The rules are that you get more and more worked up about the match throughout the week, go through all your matchday rituals on Saturday morning, read the match previews, watch Football Focus, meet your mates wherever you meet your mates and soak up the atmosphere ahead of the big kick-off. Pretty much every weekend .
At half time you take in the other scores from around the country, you eagerly await news of your biggest rivals downfall throughout the afternoon, and as soon as the final whistle goes you are keen to learn the results from around the league to find out how it affects the table.
Today is the first game of the season, the day when every fan should be optimistic for the season ahead. No matter what has happened in the boring close season (who cares about the World Cup, now it’s a distant memory) every fan should have hope in their heart that their team can punch above their weight and achieve great things, perhaps things that we can only dream of.
It’s going to be another memorable season one way or another. And it’s going to be a great season because it always is. It’s the Football League and it’s kicking off now, and (nearly) every weekend until the beginning of May – bring it on!