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Festive Football Travels

Radio City's Alan Irwin, 18th December 2009 - 14:50

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Alan Irwin is the Voice of Everton for Liverpool's Radio City 96.7. An experienced radio journalist, Alan commentates on all of the Blues' matches and is well placed to provide insightful blogs on the progress of the team.

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Hi Folks........here we go for latest blog............

I always look forward to the Christmas period and what is normally a pretty hectic schedule, not just for players but for journalists and broadcasters alike, although this year’s festive round of fixtures doesn’t appear to be too demanding for us. Often teams can find themselves playing 3 or 4 games in the space of 7 days. This time around though for the Blues it’s simply Saturday (Boxing Day) and the Monday, before the visit of Carlisle in the FA Cup on January the 2nd.

No New Years Day fixtures this time which is good news for all those that may like to indulge a little the night before! However I do have an axe to grind with the Premier League fixture computer which seems to believe that the North East is virtually on the doorstep of Merseyside. Why are we travelling up there again on Boxing Day? Last year it was Middlesbrough at The Riverside and this time it’s Sunderland. There’s only one North East team in the Premier League now and we’re still paired with them on Boxing Day.....away! Why??!! We were also at Middlesbrough on New Year’s Day in 2008 and at Sunderland on New Year’s eve 2005! 

I always thought the fixture computer was programmed for more local matches during the festive period. It appears not. Our fans are again forced to travel almost 200 miles with severely limited public transport availability. So it’s a relatively early start for all of us then on Boxing Day.

Although the matches aren’t exactly thick and fast over the holiday period it’s still a pretty busy working schedule for all of us involved in the media and broadcasting. Apart from the commentary itself there are the programmes to prepare and pre match press conferences to attend. Generally most clubs will hold press conferences the day before a game so this does make it a little hectic. We’re likely to need to attend Finch Farm on Christmas eve and in between the Sunderland and Burnley games as well as prior to the FA Cup 3rd round tie. Then it’s back to Radio City for editing and pre match preparation...........and with two Premier League clubs on Merseyside this can take its toll on the production and backroom boys! In fact I can hear their groans already, a week before Christmas Day!

So we do need to get out and enjoy ourselves prior to being overworked for a week or so! With that in mind I shall be in attendance at the Radio City Christmas party on Saturday evening in Liverpool. It’s sure to be a good night but if I’m not quite up to scratch on Sunday when we tackle Birmingham at Goodison you’ll have a good idea why! Do forgive me, it’s only once a year (!) and if the Blue boys can deliver the goods for us it’ll make my life a whole lot easier...........nothing worse than a football phone in with a hangover!!

Merry Christmas to you all and here’s to a much improved and injury free 2010 for the Toffees!!

See you all Sunday,

Alan

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