As June turns to July, it’s time for MFW to take a look at our pre-season friendly fixtures.
There’s no Dereham Town, no Lowestoft Town and thankfully no Cambridge United on our schedule this time around. I’m sure Timm Klose would agree with me regarding the latter. A crocked knee acquired on a pitch Farmer Giles could have prepared better than their groundsmen is off this season’s agenda, thank the Lord. (God knows what our Wes will make of it if he signs for them).
So what have we got?
A week-long training camp and a couple of games in the Westphalian region of Germany to begin with. Who knows, we might even bring back a recruit or two for the under-23s from that situation.
Some of our most dedicated followers will thoroughly enjoy their time in Germany. I have never been to Westphalia but I love the German people, and the Rhineland Palatinate (kilometres away, unfortunately) is drop-dead gorgeous.
On our collective return, and to my mind somewhat strangely, we have a behind-closed-doors event at Colney with Brentford as our guests. I can’t go but I don’t care. Brentford are not kickers, so I’m not bothered. They play decent football as we discovered last season.
And there’s an absolutely excellent selection in Luton Town.
I have a certain affection for Kenilworth Road as it is the only Football League ground I have ever played at – way back when they had a plastic pitch.
And do Luton play football in the right way? I’ve seen enough of them on the “Colin Murray Show”, which I will still watch with relish, to know that they do. Both clubs deservedly going up a step – it should be a great fixture and not that far to travel for our “ultras”.
And then we return to the Carra with Atalanta. For a pre-advertised tenner. Atalanta are a side I know nothing about at all.
But I do know that they are Seria A and have qualified for this season’s Champions League. What more can we want? I’ll be there.
As I will for Toulouse, who strangely I have seen play before.
Working in Paris yonks ago I had an unexpectedly early finish with a confirmed hotel for the night and Eurostar booking for the following morning.
I was ensconced near Calais and bemoaning my boredom when the hotelier’s son said he’d take me to see Racing Club Lens against Toulouse along with his girlfriend and one of his mates.
It’s the only French Ligue 1 match I have ever been to and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Great atmosphere, great company. And we all stood. No fuss, no fight.
It was made even better when Lens scored twice in the last ten minutes to win 2-0. Sadly Lens have recently gone backwards.
I had to Google the year – it was 2005. Cheers Henri et Francoise and the other geezer whose name I cannot remember.
So I reckon our friendly fixture card looks very well sorted. All opposition teams are happy to play us as well, so it’s a fine deal for everybody.
Unlike the time the Real Mallorca (a team I saw a lot of in the 2000s) coach broke down all those years ago. We kicked off 45 minutes late and still contrived to lose 1-0!
I must admit I’m looking forward to watching us against Atalanta and Toulouse.
Especially for twenty quid combined!