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As we are now in July it's time to think about football again!
I’ll be honest, I’ve enjoyed the break of not having to order tickets and sort various other things out. Finding things to do has not been a problem either, as later today I’m off to see Foo Fighters and Biffy Clyro while enjoying a relaxing weekend at home.
However, it was on the train journey last night that my attention turned to football. Around 9.40pm to be precise as the train made its way past St. Andrews and left me with the thought ‘I’ll be there in four weeks’.
Which brings me on nicely to pre-season. Over the past few years, I’ve been to quite a few pre-season games, mainly due to boredom and the need for a day out with my friends.
Spending a day at the Football Museum in Preston before the game and meeting Graeme Sharp, Howard Kendall, John Bailey and Gordon West was an enjoyable day, as was the following year when I went to Cambridge and saw Andrew Johnson’s last appearance in a blue shirt, then on to Nottingham Forest where Jose Baxter introduced himself with an absolute screamer of a goal! Rochdale in 2009 was an hilarious day out, although I didn’t manage to see the goals until the following day on Sky Sports News…
However, when it comes to pre-season, I’m not sure anything will beat last year! In consecutive weekends, we took in Preston, Norwich and Wolfsburg.
Preston was enjoyable as it seemed like everybody was at that match and it was nice to just get everybody back in the old routine again. If I thought that day was eventful, it was merely a warm-up for the next two…
For Norwich, we left The Oak at 6am, all forty of us on a coach! The stand-out moment of the game was getting back to my seat for the second half to find that it was 2-2 and not 0-2 to us!
We were staying the Saturday night in Great Yarmouth and the coach journey from Norwich to Yarmouth must only be about 30 minutes, if that. For the entire time, the whole coach was singing “we’re gonna win the league” – looking back, it is one of those moments that just makes me smile! We had a good night in Yarmouth as there were about 300 blues there that night. It’s fair to say, I was quite pleased to see Norwich promoted!
Now if Yarmouth was good, Wolfsburg was the icing on the cake. You know you’re in for a good weekend when, on the plane at JLA, the stewardess apologises because due to storage issues overnight there will be no breakfast on the flight, so to make up, we get free drinks instead!
As Sincerely Kirsty said in her blog earlier this week, we were completely oblivious to the fact that the squad were staying in the same hotel as us. As I’ve said before, every single one of them, management, players, staff and media team were an absolute credit to the club as they could not have been more accommodating towards us fans. We had a couple of amazing nights in Germany and the fact we didn’t have a care in the world about the result only aided the party atmosphere.
As much as I would like to, Bremen is a no go for me this year. I’m consoling myself with the fact that it wouldn’t top Wolfsburg anyway! Looks like it’s Birmingham for me then in four weeks. I’m sure it will fly by…
Anyway, I’m off for an afternoon with Dave Grohl. Still not quite as appealing as an afternoon with Tony Hibbert though!
Up the Toffees!
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