Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The magic of fixture list day

These kids are up for the new third division season - are you?

It's good to be back - what have I missed? Relegation, you say? I dunno, all I see are the same old miserable faces I saw a few months back. Are you sure all that much has changed?

Fixture list day remains, though, a day that can puncture the gloom of most miseryguts. Years back, it was the only reason to buy an evening paper. Now, for the vast majority, it's click-refresh, click-refresh, click-refresh at 10am as the embargo gets lifted. Dimmer souls will never be satisfied, demanding someone cut and past the entire bloody thing onto forum posts instead of simply clicking on a link, but for the rest of us, it's a glimpse into a future that allows us to dream. Yes, it's Charlton's FIRST EVER League One season! (Well, if it's good enough for Sky Sports News and Burnley...)

In our case, it's the a future that allows us to dream of getting our dignity back. Unsurprisingly, we kick off at home on 8 August to Wycombe, a side we played in the Cup as a Premier League side and a team whose League Two trophy is gleaming in their boardroom. Then it's from bulls (Hereford away in the League Cup) to monkey-hangers at Hartlepool on 15 August.

Other highlights...

18 August: Leyton Orient (a)
- a proper midweek London derby! Yes!
29 August: Tranmere (a) - a night on the tiles in Liverpool!
26 September: Exeter (h) - remember when we played them in the Cup in 2003?
3 October: Leeds (a) - strange memories of happier days
31 October: Carlisle (a) - for the hardcore, just as the nights get dark too
21 November: Yeovil (a) - bet this is popular, a first-ever league meeting
1 December: Brighton (a) - inconveniently scheduled for midweek, as is the return fixture
19 December: Millwall (h) - Unlikely to be on that day as aged hardnuts dream of exercising creaking fists
26 December: Swindon (h) - Unlucky Swindon
28 December: Brentford (a) - A festive treat on the terraces
13 March: Millwall (a) - again, unlikely to be on that day and/or time
3 April: to be decided as the Conference fixtures aren't out until 3 July
17 April: Norwich (h) - Will be a big match if we do well
24 April: Exeter (a) - Will be a big match if we do badly
1 May: Leeds (h) - Will be a big match, whatever
8 May: Oldham (a) - Where will be we be by then? Cigars or sobbing in Manchester city centre after?

Full fixture list from the BBC - one element yet to come is the Football League Trophy, to be drawn on 8 or 15 August for the week commencing 31 August. Bet you can't wait.