Posted by: Bescot Banter


In the latest of his regular Blog's, Hillary Street-Ender takes a look at what pre-season means for supporters, and considers what 2014/15 has in store for Walsall Football Club.
In the latest of his regular Blog's, Hillary Street-Ender takes a look at what pre-season means for supporters, and considers what 2014/15 has in store for Walsall Football Club.

So, we’re nearly there. The new season is almost upon us after a close season that’s seemingly lasted for about a fortnight. Time was when the break between seasons stretched out endlessly once we’d got Cup Final Saturday out of the way and we’d look around for something else to fill our thoughts during our waking hours. These days, even in years where there’s no World Cup or European Championship to help plug the gap, the down time between one season and the next goes by in a flash and thoughts turn to pre-season friendlies and the hope that, just for once, we’ll play someone a bit more interesting than the Villa. We go to the warm-up games and we discuss which trialists we ought to keep and which ones look as though they’d be more at home giving rides to five year olds on Blackpool beach. Is this one over the injury problems that have plagued him at other clubs and does that old fart have one last hurrah in him that we might benefit from? If this one’s really as good as people are saying then how come he’s having a trial with the Saddlers, and why did we let that one go at the end of last season? Did he not get on with the Gaffer or have we released him just as his legs have ‘gone’.

This is the time of year when all things are equal, at least in theory, and all fans have hope in their hearts. Eleven teams will win a divisional trophy or claim a promotion place and a maximum of three will be successful in domestic knockout football, meaning at least seventy eight teams will end the season with nothing to show for their efforts with twelve falling through one trap-door or another. The football fan is a strange animal and despite knowing that, for most of us, the odds are firmly against whichever team we support we cling to the hope that this will be our year, and that at the end of it we’ll have good reason to raid the end-of-season sale in the club shop for stuff to wear in Aya Napa or Weston-Super-Mare or wherever we go on holiday. Logic, of course, plays no part in the run up to a new campaign. If a club had no money last season then it almost certainly doesn’t have any this season either but that promising streak of you-know-what in the reserves could be one to watch and we’re only a couple of players short of being a really good side, the universal kidology that all fans fall back on just as we’re set to go again.

Us Saddlers fans tend to be a pretty stoic bunch because we realise that success is a relative term when it comes to our club. While we’d all like to think we’re in for a League One title and FA Cup double we know that the eventual outcome is likely to fall a little short of that and that the clinching of a play-off place would be a real feather in the cap for the club. A decent run in the Paint Pot wouldn’t go amiss and, who knows, we might just finally get around to making that elusive first Wembley appearance. Whatever the 2014/15 season has in store for our little team in red and white let us hope our fair share of enjoyment comes along the way and that we manage to find the net rather more often that last time out. Old faces have gone, new ones have arrived but the good ship Saddlers will soon set sail on another journey at the end of which we all hope there’ll be some treasure to be had, rather than a spell in the crow’s nest.

By: Hillary Street-Ender.
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