If, like me, you believe that there is far too much football on T.V nowadays then you'll also lament the fading tradition of a 3pm KO on a Saturday afternoon. Thankfully they remain commonplace at Charlton, but once inside the Premiership bubble your footballing calendar becomes far less predictable.
Now...er...please excuse me for becoming an instant hypocrite!
Thank heavens for televised football matches and 2pm KO's on a Sunday!!!!!
Thank you ITV football (it will be the one and only time I will say that) for choosing to cover Bishop's Stortford v's Northampton Town in the 1st round of the FA Cup, and by doing so, has given me a chance to indulge in a full and hopefully memorable weekend of football, following my two favourite teams.
First up on the Saturday, Charlton entertain Leeds United at the Valley and fresh from a glorious and much-needed away victory last weekend at Birmingham, I'll be hoping for a continuation of our recent good form and a rare home victory to celebrate.
Then, thanks to the good fortune of the game being moved to suit T.V, on Sunday afternoon I'll be off to the ProKit UK Stadium (above pic) to cheer on my local side, Bishop's Stortford, in the cup. I'm a Stortford boy born and bread and first started watching 'The Blues' with my granddad when I was around 8 years old and although I don't get down there as much as I'd like these days due to my commitments as an Addick, I will be a proud fan on the day. There is a very different sort of buzz from following your local non-league team than from following a professional club, as anyone who enjoys the virtues of grass roots football knows.
As far as I can remember, this will be the first time Bishop's Stortford have appeared live on T.V and I'm chuffed to bits for the regular fans and the club, who should benefit greatly from the financial boost.
Bishop's Stortford are currently flying high in the oddly named Skrill South, sitting in 3rd place, 5 points behind leaders Bromley with two games in hand, whereas Northampton Town sit at the very foot of the Football League. This could well be the 'giant killing' ITV will be hoping for for their armchair supporter. Fingers crossed...
Back in the 1982-83 season I watched The Blues go on a wonderful FA Cup run that finally ended with a heartbreaking defeat by Middlesbrough in a 3rd round replay. I've previously wrote about it here. Something similar this season would be lovely, and dare I dream of a 3rd Round tie against Charlton at the Valley? It wouldn't be great for the Addicks, in all honesty, as our form in cup competition, especially against lower league opposition, is truly woeful, but what a day that would be for me!
So, for this forthcoming weekend I will be mostly shouting 'Come on you Addicks' and as sung by the loyal hardcore of Bishop's Stortford fans, 'Allez les Bleus'!