Story by Seng Ton
Summer – Gap of Football, Gap of Interest?
Me, like many other football fans are just twiddling our thumbs until the start of the new season. And there’s some great news, it isn’t long until the gates of heaven (domestic competitive football) open once again. At the time of writing there are 11 days left. The final day of the Premier League season ended on 13th May 2012 which means we’ll have waited at least three long months for the 18th August 2012 (start of the new English season). We are lucky to have 2 international football tournaments this year to help us ease the usual summer exodus of competitive football, those being the European Championships in Poland and Ukraine and the Olympics football tournament in London. But what have we got to look forward to next summer, when there is no international tournament to take an interest in? The short answer to that is pre-season.
So pre-season, while it is a necessary process for teams to warm up before the season begins but I find it difficult to care as much. But if you are at the game yourself, and you follow a club with fantastic and tremendous away support then you’ll know what I’m talking about. This proceeds nicely onto the next point, as it is now becoming increasingly common to see clubs travel to countries like United States of America and China for their pre-season preparations. And unless you’ve got a well paid job or other means of getting to these countries on your summer break, you’ll feel the same as if the friendly was held in good ol’ England, as these luxurious trips can be very costly when taking accommodation and flights are taken into account. But if you are one of the lucky ones who can afford this, the experience I’m told is an unforgettable one.
If you support a team that has qualified for the preliminary stages of the Champions League / Europa League then competitive football returns a little sooner than the rest. This can also be yet another excuse to get away, and even though the team you play is usually someone you haven’t even heard of, their country may be of some interest to visit. These early competitive matches can be a good influence in getting match fitness up to scratch much quicker than regular friendlies but may also take its toll late on in the season (resulting in fatigue or burnout).
Taking aside your wedding day (for some of you), FA Cup / League Cup / Champions League final or a derby day is there much better in life than supporting your team, and showing your pride on the international scene whilst also enjoying a bit of a knees up at the same time. I mean come on, whoever thought of combining your annual holiday plans and watching your team play is a genius. So essentially, both entities of a modern couple should be well satisfied. Happy days! One of the greatest cons I can think of when persuading the missus to come on a football holiday is; propose (risky choice of word I know) a trip to the destination where your club happens to be playing, but don’t let your other half know about the somewhat sporting side of it all. She should be so happy you’re taking the initiative of booking a trip together, winning some serious romantic points in the process. And hopefully you’ll get your reward of watching a game of football relatively guilt-free and with minimal complaining. However, if you’ve a partner who just craves the beautiful game then kudos, brother, kudos.
I would like to end this supplement of Seng Says by taking the opportunity to wish all of your teams a very successful season, unless you’re one of the unfortunate Birmingham City fans (*Robin may wish to insert a disclaimer here*).
Also, please stay with us while we eagerly wait for the start of the new season, it’s not long folks!