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Excitement had been building all week at Toffee HQ ahead of Friday's trip to Bury.
As we arrived at Gigg Lane with a couple of hours to spare, hiking up to the press box with a trunk load of camera equipment proved pretty tiring on a muggy July evening.
But as the summer sun began to settle, the evening's ground proved to be quite a picture.
As promised, evertonTV were in attendance to bring you all the action from the clash in our highlights package, with live match commentary from our very own Darren Griffiths and Everton hero David Unsworth.
> Rochdale v Everton live - ONLY on evertonTV!
Greeted by Bury's very friendly press officer, we asked where to go. Instead of taking us up to our normal camera-friendly position on the television gantry, the elevated cattle-pen proved a distant image across the field as we were instructed to set-up in the press stand.
Unusual as it seemed, and along with the Club's performance analysis team, we set up just in time for kick-off. With a few minutes to go, Darren and Unsy joined us.
Unlike the hustle and bustle of a Premier League ground, the press in attendance was minimal, creating a more-relaxed-than-usual atmosphere, which was well received. Everyone seemed pleased to be soaking up the first glimpse of pre-season action.
For most, it was a great opportunity to check out the Blues' new faces and promising youngsters - who were all given a run-out by David Moyes.
From a media point of view, it was really good to be back too. Yet lots of empty seats around the press stand meant we could make ourselves at home.
Thanks to all who took the time to email into email@example.com during the match - be sure to email in again this weekend during the Rochdale game wherever in the world you may be. As ever Darren will be reading out the best live on air.
But back to Friday. After the first 45 minutes, things started to become a little tricky.
Darren, who had spent the majority of Thursday afternoon brushing up his knowledge of Bury’s players, certainly wasn't expecting what was to follow.
And we, the web team, suffered too as Bury boss Alan Knill elected to throw on triallists who weren't even listed on the team sheet! A true journalist’s nightmare.
Slightly concerned about listing the wrong players on our match stats, we looked to Bury's press officer for guidance, only to be faced with a shoulder-shrug of confusion.
Bury's press officer didn't know them either.
Although we turned up to the game knowing the Shakers could have a large number of new faces involved, nobody was expecting that!
Still, we can look back and laugh now. And all the (accurate!) match statistics can be found in our match centre from the game.
> Bury 2-1 Everton: Match Report
With only a few days to go until we do it all again, who knows what stories we’ll have to tell from Spotland.
This time evertonTV will be bringing you the game LIVE and will be the only broadcaster to do so.
So if you can't make it to the game, don't worry. Just as the Bury game proved to be well worth the listen, Rochdale will definitely be worth the viewing!
If you haven’t already snapped up the chance to see all our exclusive pre-season coverage, subscribe now and view it all in our in-depth archives. For more information on how to join evertonTV click here.
As for Rochdale – let’s just hope it's a win this time! And a teamsheet with no surprises, of course.
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