Monday, September 3, 2012

There's something magical about the start of the new football season.

We've all been through it many times before, and some a lot more than others. It still gives me a buzz, even though deep down, I've seen this movie before and I know what lies ahead.

I love watching 'Match of the Day' and 'The Football League Show' on opening day just to see the joy and excitement on the fans faces as they head into their grounds and the sun makes it's rare appearance for the season.

The cynic inside me is saying, you're happy now, but give it a few weeks and you'll be calling for your manager's head and in a relegation dogfight.

The optimist in me though is saying, let them have their moment in the sun, as this is that special time of the season. This time could be the rarest of occasions when it could all be different.

It's the time of the year when every team is level. We're all starting from an equal playing field and even though some teams are more equal than others, we are all united in hope and anticipation in what may lie ahead in the next ten months.

Even some of the most pessimistic fans are full of hope and excitement, often more than realistic expectations.

And if you're really lucky, and your team starts with a high up letter in the alphabet, you could be top of the table or in the promotion positions before the season has even begun! Lucky old Aberdeen.

For many fans, that will be the only time you will see your team up at that end of the table.

Many of us spend the final weeks and months of the season just wanting it to end to put us out of our misery. Then the close season comes and you're bored out of your nut and you're counting down the days until first of all the new fixtures are released and then until the first ball of the new season is kicked in anger.

We've spent the summer scouring the internet forums, twitter and the sports pages to try and glean any indication of possible new signings.

We've checked the various bookies odds at the comparison sites. Can we really be 14/1 to win the League? They're crazy. I'll have £20 on that right away before they see sense and our odds plummet. We always forget that you never see a poor bookie.

That first Saturday of the new season finally comes around and you're all giddy at seeing the new players, catching up with old friends and settling down for another exciting season of fitba'.

Then the first month comes to an end and you're still looking for your first League win, are out of two Cup competitions already and you're thinking of all the ways that twenty quid could have been put to better use.

Yup, that movie's just had it's umpteenth rerun.

But that's the curse of being a fan of a lower league football club. Would we really have it any other way? If yes, then we could all have walked away by now. We're masochists, each and every one of us.

Even fans of Rangers are starting to see it's not so easy down in the lower depths of Scottish football.

What odds would you have got on them being fourth in the Third Division, with two draws, after their first three League matches as their new club?

East Stirling are still pointless. Not exactly a new feeling for their fans in a new campaign.

And for us here at East Fife, well it already looks like we're settling in and taking root in what seems to be our usual position in the Second Division.

Five points adrift of top spot already, and in neither of the promotion, playoff or relegation spots.

Did the summer even happen or have the football seasons become like the weather ones now and we're just combining them into one?

But we still have hope and when you're a fan of a lower league club, sometimes that's all you need.

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