FOOTBALL: I was really pleased to see Northampton Town win their League Two play-off final at Wembley against Exeter City on Monday.
I have kept an eye on the Cobblers’ fortunes for a few seasons now for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, a few seasons ago, we had a lad by the name of Shaun McWilliams on loan to us at The Walks for the best part of a season before being recalled to Northampton.
In the following summer he signed a new contract and has been featuring for them since, playing his part in their charge to the play-offs.
Secondly, a couple of seasons ago Lynn’s youth team were drawn away in the first round of the FA Youth Cup to Northampton where, despite being beaten, those who attended enjoyed a good evening at a well-appointed stadium.
I thought at the time the club had the feel of a well-run business, being run by some very good people. This success is a great recognition of their efforts.
• After being starved of football for several weeks, it’s fair to say that the TV coverage we are receiving at present is more than compensating for what had been missed after the temporary suspension of the season in March.
It is of course a different viewing experience, with no crowds inside the stadiums and a choice of what can be described as, at best ‘canned supporter noise’ or the natural noise from within the stadium to chose from to aid your viewing.
I don’t know about you but the former does nothing for me, so I have just had the natural noise as my soundtrack to the games.
Most of the matches I’ve watched have lacked any kind of intensity and looked more like training games than top-flight encounters.
I expect it is just as difficult for the players to adjust to the lack of atmosphere as well.
I’m sure many thrive on the buzz of the crowd to assist their performance and the surreal atmosphere they find themselves playing in at present isn’t great for adding extra drive to their game.
The main thing, however, is that all home advantage is lost at present in vast stadiums containing just plastic and concrete instead of noisy, cheering supporters.
It is no coincidence that last weekend’s FA Cup
quarter-finals all ended in away wins with no crowds allowed in the stadiums.
I’m sure that if 50,000 Geordies had been packed into St James Park on Sunday, Manchester City would not have enjoyed the comfortable stroll they did on their way to a 2-0 win and a trip to the semis.
So, of course, yes, it is good to have football back on our screens , but it will be even better when supporters are allowed back into the grounds to provide their integral part of the package.
Countdown to big kick-off
FOOTBALL: There is still no firm date as to when our National League adventure will start but I am pleased to report that work behind the scenes continues to move along at an increasing pace.
We are now just a few days away from announcing our ticket and season ticket prices for the new campaign.
After some deliberation, we believe we have catered for everyone within our pricing structure and these will be available to buy shortly.
Some good progress is also being made commercially with some new sponsors on board and some old friends continuing their association with the club.
We have also seen more volunteers coming along to the ground and helping with the initial tidying work we have ongoing at present.
For further information on either sponsorship or helping out at the ground, please call the club, 01553 760060, during office hours.