Date: 11th August 2015
FOOTBALL is back! The source of emptiness in our weekends is now long gone thanks to the standard 90 minutes of roller-coaster emotions spread out over the next 10 months in our stadiums and on our screens, described by Calum McClurkin.
Of course, league football in Scotland started two weekends ago for the top-flight sides, but for supporters of the clubs in the lower leagues, last weekend saw our sides’ league campaigns begin. Now everyone can be happy ― well, depending on how your own side have started.
Nothing beats the sense of anticipation when opening day finally arrives. The excitement level gradually mounting until the first whistle blows to indicate the start of the domestic season. It is only with that sharp sounding shrill that all the season previews and talk end.
It is the sporting equivalent of Christmas. Everyone starts afresh. Clubs who have struggled last season have a chance for redemption. Clubs who were successful last season looking to do like wise again? Clubs who settled for mid-table mediocrity looking for a more eventful season? On opening day, every club starts with a fresh slate. Fans can hope for anything ranging from the domestic quadruple to first-round cup exits and relegation. On the first day anything can happen to your team.
Pre-season optimism can be fulfilled or crushed. Pre-season worries can be true or surprisingly not. Which did your team experience on opening day?
The sort of optimism that Aberdeen fans had being fulfilled early on with an excellent win at Dundee United, the sort of optimism that East Fife fans has before East Stirling gave them a brutal reality check, the doubts expressed about Kilmarnock and Brechin City coming true but the doubts surrounding Albion Rovers and East Stirling becoming completely unfounded.
Of course, it is early days but the importance of getting off to the good start cannot be underestimated. It gives the club a positive vibe and fans of Dundee, Raith Rovers, Dunfermline and Elgin City to screenshot the Scottish League tables to capture the success of day one. For some smaller clubs, it is the little modicums of success that opening day offers and thrives on.
My own experience fell into the cruellest form. Pre-season optimism crushed. I ventured to Coatbridge with an expectant 375 other ‘Honest Men’ only to lose 3-0 to Albion Rovers. Suspensions led me to be cautious about our chances, but we were 1-0 down after just two minutes! A shock defeat against the Wee Rovers who thoroughly deserved their win to accompany their League Two Championship flag day was not the best of starts to the season. I hope your team fared better!
My opening day roller-coaster ride did not even get off the ground last week. But I am not bothered too much because football is back, and I am sure there will be a few twists and turns for everyone this season.
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