So, Thursday afternoon will see me attend my last football match of 2013. Once that is over, i’ll be looking back at the year, looking at the stats, and oddities witnessed, and choosing my Top 5 games been to.
But this blog, isn’t about looking back, it’s about looking forward. So here, are my football wishes for 2014.
Obviously, I want United and Linfield to win as many trophies as possible, and Northern Ireland to make a winning start to their Euro 2016 campaign.
But what else will I wish for in 2014?
Getting way too far ahead of myself, having a pre-season wishlist of Stranraer away. Would also love an away game against Dundela, haven’t been there for a while.
I’d love to visit the recently redeveloped Clandeboye Park for a Linfield game. Hopefully an Irish Cup Quarter-Final, a pre-season friendly, or Ards avoiding relegation and Linfield visiting in 2014-2015.
Bangor, unfortunately, haven’t applied for a Premiership licence. Of the clubs who can get promoted, I hope either Carrick Rangers and Institute go up, preferrably Carrick.
An early match to look forward to in 2014 is Linfield’s trip to Warrenpoint on January 4th. Always love visiting new grounds.
Talking of new(ish) grounds, i’m looking forward to seeing the results of the Windsor Park Redevelopment. I’m hoping this blog will become a photo diary for the Redevelopment process.
Every August I go to Edinburgh, primarily for the festival, but I like to catch a football match when i’m over. The last two years have taken me to Easter Road, so i’m guessing i’m due a trip to Tynecastle.
I get the feeling it’s an absolute cert that it’ll be Hearts v Rangers on the weekend i’m there, meaning trying to get a ticket will be difficult.
Even if the fixture list sends me to Easter Road, i’m hoping to visit Tynecastle to get a look at the plaque, unveiled earlier this year, dedicated to the Hearts players who died in World War I.
When i’m in Edinburgh, i’m hoping that this will be the year I go and see The Spartans, hopefully by then they’ll be in SFL3.
Undecided about this one as yet, but i’m tempted to visit Cardiff in August for the European Super Cup Final, regardless of who is in it, hoping to pick up a ticket when i’m over.
As well as visiting a new ground, it would be my first visit to Cardiff since the Wales v Northern Ireland World Cup Qualifier in 2004. It was such a great trip. Wish I had a camera in order to have taken some photos of it.
While i’m there (the match is on a Friday night) i’m tempted to go to Bristol on the Saturday to do the Street Art Tour, then go and see whichever of City or Rovers is at home that day.
As far as the rest of the 2013-2014 season is concerned, i’m hoping to get over to Old Trafford for another game this season (I’ve already been to the Crystal Palace game in September)
Hoping to go the Olympiakos game in March. Haven’t confirmed anything yet, but hoping I can get sorted to go to this game in the coming weeks.
The first big event for Northern Ireland in 2014 will come off the pitch, with the Euro 2016 draw. I’m actually hoping to go to Euro 2016, regardless if Northern Ireland qualify, basing myself in Paris and hopefully visiting Lens and/or Lille.
Anyway, here’s my hopes for the draw. I’d love us to draw England, but with the game at Wembley to be in March 2015. I’ve already been to New Wembley, but i’d love to go there for a Northern Ireland match.
I’d love us to drawn in the same group as Gibraltar, and to play them at home in the first game of the group.
It would be Gibraltar’s first competitive international, and it would be nice to go to a historic game.
As a bonus, would it be too much to ask for the August international date to be used for a friendly against Scotland at Easter Road?
Heading to London for a short break in February, and hoping to take in a game while i’m there. Of the games taking place that weekend, Leyton Orient v Peterborough on the Saturday looks the most tempting, though Brentford v Crawley Town is my back-up game.
Spurs are at home to Everton on the Sunday and tempted by that. Had a look for tickets online last night and they are 58 quid. Not sure if adding Everton to my UEFA 100 Club is worth that. Think I might stick with Leyton Orient.
When I was looking forward to 2012, I didn’t imagine i’d be watching Northern Ireland playing in Amsterdam.
When I was looking forward to 2013, I didn’t imagine i’d be going to a Scottish Cup Semi-Final.
In life, like in football, you never know what’s going to happen next. Here’s to more football watching in 2014. Hopefully, I might enjoy some of it.