It is finally here.
After 18 months without going to a game – having previously done home and away for 10 years – I am set to return to being in an away end this weekend. And I am absolutely buzzing.
I am looking forward to meeting mates in the pub before heading down to the ground. I am looking forward to nodding to that guy whose name I don’t know but have said “alright” to for near enough a decade.
And I am looking forward to raising a beer and my voice to those no longer with us.
Everything that has happened in the last 18 months does not matter. My clubs lack of transfer activity this summer does not matter. What matters is fans are back in the ground. Doing what we love.
The fans that go week in, week out. Travel the country regardless of day or night. Fly to fair flung corners of Europe. They are the heartbeat of the club. The fans who will still be there Premier League or League Two.
Over the years I have had respect for fans of the likes of Leeds United and Manchester City. These clubs were still selling out home and away when they were in the darkest of places. They stuck with their clubs and now deserve any success they get.
This weekend grounds will be filled with like-minded fans. All on the terraces for the first time in 18 months. All just glad to be back at football.
I have my ticket, the polo is ironed. It will still be shorts. The only question is “is it too early to go for a beer?”
Whatever game you are at – whether it be Premier League on non-league – enjoy your season no matter what happens.
Sing up for your team, drink with your mates.
Remember, the alternative is not going to games. And that is just no fun.