I hope you have all had a healthy and enjoyable summer.
Football is back, but not as we all knew it.
At the time of writing, it is unclear when fans will be allowed in normal numbers, back into sports stadiums.
Beggars belief that 300 can go into an enclosed arena, mostly mask less and sat next each other to watch a world snooker final yet we cannot have access to outdoor events that pull 1500-2000, least in our case.
So what can we look forward to this year and what have we learned from the retainees and new blood?
Joel Nouble has to be the pick of that new blood but keeping Mo and Craig Tanner, Alex Finney are plusses surely.
Then there’s the Chike little Kandi number.
I was hoping that the centre half loaned to us from Torquay might have stayed and who knows what happened to that sensational Dutch winger!
Chislett’s departure was always going to happen and we wish him well at Wimbledon.
I start each new season full of optimism which is usually the antithesis come October but I’m expecting much better things from the red and blue this term.
Top ten material? Early to say but for those of us who prefer watching Shots away as I do, there are some awesome days out ahead.
Football grounds are like bucket lists for many of us, places still yet to chalk off.
Back when I was taken to away games as a mere youth and before many of the regular lot were even thought of, some of those old grounds like Feethams, Somerton Park, Eastville and Springfield Park are no longer.
Yet I have still missed out on Halifax and Notts County.
And Macclesfield! The Macc is back on after Stevenage got their reprieve and let’s add Kings Lynn and Wealdstone.
Kings Lynn have a bigger ground capacity than us somehow and I have it on good authority that it’s a fantastic trip out.
With our local rivals and Sutton, oh and Maidenhead making up cheaper travel days, there’s a decent mix of trips to look forwards to with Yeovil not far from me and Weymouth literally just up the road.
I’d done Wrexham before, in the eighties, but after last season I’d definitely go again, proper club, decent ground and great people.
Each new year brings new hopes, like, will we draw Torquay in the Vase affair, or, will that be scrapped this season, or, will we ever win at Torquay?
Must of us will not lose too much sleep over Fylde’s relegation, particularly as our three recent visits there were nothing less than horrendous.
My years away from going to games afforded me the embarrassment of heavy away defeats like those or Chester.
So Dagenham & Redbridge away was a bit of a shock to me, personally. Still, there was Tinkler’s header to take home and some nice jars with Preston Shot and Giles and co at the Hole In The Wall.
Nor will we miss Chorley. Good day out that was when I was in a pub with Callum and Will, our players walking to the ground pat the window with their kit bags! And Martin famously managing to fall through a flag in their byre during the first half!
Anyhow, 3rd October is the start date, no idea when the fixtures will be upon us but we all, I am sure, can’t wait to get going having been starved of our drug for so long.
Peace and UP THE SHOTS!