So that's sorted then: Charlton will start and end their season with trips to the seaside. The travelling Addicks will be pleased. Coincidentally (or perhaps not, as the case may be) this will be the 3rd time we've met Bournemouth in our opening day fixture in the last 4 years. The previous two games were at the Valley, whereas this time around we'll tie knots in our handkerchief and head to the balmy hot south coast where the sun shines for a solid 14 hours a day in August. As much as I'd love to dust off my bucket and spade, I may struggle to get to that game as it's 'er Indoors birthday celebrations that night. Apparently I need to give the impression I'm excited. Why grown adults feel the need to celebrate their birthday is beyond me.
By the grace of Him upstairs, the fixtures have fallen very kindly around my family holiday and a few other social dates, which is always a bonus. There's nothing worse than falling out with the missus before a ball's even been kicked!
Assuming I don't make any pre-season friendlies (I typically don't) and Bournemouth, my first game of the new season will be alongside the 5,000 or so hardy souls
stupid loyal enough to commit to Oxford United in the cup on August 7th. For obvious reasons it's not one I'm looking forward to, if I'm honest. Even the novelty of viewing the game from a different stand for a change has worn thin with us likely to be crammed into the Lower West to save on steward bills.
The stand-out league fixtures for me are Watford away on the 14th of Sept with Millwall visiting the Valley a week later. Nottingham Forest at home on Oct 1st looks to be our only evening game for the remainder of this year (cup games aside), which is rather disappointing. I'll look forward to heading west to QPR in late November. On Boxing day we will enjoy the company of our friends from Brighton in SE7 with the unbelievably massive Sheffield Wednesday turning up just 3 days later (heaven only knows how the club will produce a match day programme between those two fixtures). To disrupt any hopes my missus may have of arranging pleasant family get-togethers over the Christmas break, there's the small mater of a trip out to East Anglia on New Years Day to face Ipswich, where, traditionally, we have a good record. The return fixture with Millwall in mid-March next year could potentially come at a very crucial time with an astonishing 8 games in that month alone.
Let's hope that by the time the Addickted head up to Blackpool next May for our final match we're either safe or heading up in another sense! You never know - Come on you Addicks!