After much delay, and legal wrangling (which I fear is the norm in the BSP) we finally got our hands on this season’s fixtures. A few thoughts;
It’s great and genuinely exciting that we’re playing Grimsby on Boxing Day and New Years Day. The past few years had a habit of throwing up underwhelming festive opponents (we would have played Port Vale away last Boxing Day, had the weather not intervened), so it’s good to see some genuinely mouthwatering games on the agenda for Christmas. The only people not enthused, I imagine, will be the Humberside and Lincolnshire police forces…
Secondly, it’s bad news for the club that two of our other biggest opponents, Luton and Mansfield, are visiting on Tuesday nights. We’d have expected them to bring big crowds on a Saturday, which they won’t do on a Tuesday night. Meanwhile clubs with tiny away followings, like Hayes and Yeading, Bath and Gateshead visit on a Saturday…. The loss of large numbers of travelling fans is one of the things that’s going to hit the club in the pocket the most.
Finally, we play a lot of games early on in the season. By the end of September we’ll have twelve under our belts (compared with nine league games by the end of September last season), meaning we should already have an idea of how the season will progress for us, even at that early stage. A good start is absolutely vital.