FOOTBALL IN 2019

So, my football watching for 2018, it’s time to look forward to my football watching in 2019.

LINFIELD

For a start, there’s a Cup Final to look for, the NIFL Cup Final in mid February and a title challenge.

Hopefully, we’ll be back in Europe in the Summer (ideally, in the European Cup).

Worse than not being in Europe in 2018 was not being in the Scottish Challenge Cup, especially when Coleraine and Crusaders got decent away days. So, fingers crossed that Linfield will be involved in that in the final quarter of 2019, and get an easy to get to away game.

It’s never too early for a pre-season wishlist. All I want is away games at grounds I’ve never been to or haven’t been to in a while. Ideally – Stranraer, Moyola Park, Abbey Villa, Barn United, East Belfast and Sirocco Works.

MANCHESTER UNITED

I’m going to the home match against Burnley at the end of January, my first time seeing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United in the flesh. I’m planning to go to the Cardiff game in May as well.

With games in Australia booked for pre-season friendlies, it’s unlikely they’ll be going to Dublin unfortunately.

At the moment, if United are in Europe next season, it will be in the UEFA Cup. As much as I enjoyed doing a Thursday-Sunday double header in 2016, it’s not something I’d want to do every year. We’ll wait and see how the fixtures turn out. If they are in the UEFA Cup, I might do a group game.

NORTHERN IRELAND

I’ll definitely be going to all four Euro 2020 home Qualifiers. I’m not going to any of the away games, no matter how tempting Rotterdam in October is. I’ll definitely be giving the home friendly against Luxembourg a miss though, unless I win one in a competition.

Hoping for a random friendly in a random English ground, like Qatar in Crewe in 2015.

LEAGUE OF IRELAND

Booked a few days in Dublin over the 12th July weekend. The football options are St Patrick’s Athletic, Shelbourne and Bray Wanderers if I want to take in a match. Bray is looking like the most appealing option at the moment.

For some reason, there’s a full fixture list on Saturday 8th June. Depending on the kick-off time, Drogheda’s home match is tempting for a day trip, allowing me to finally get around to snapping some Street Art while I’m there.

OTHER FOOTBALL

When I’m over for United v Burnley at the end of January, I’ll have a spare day to myself. If there’s a game in the North or North-West of England that’s easy to get to, I’ll look into it about taking in a game.

I hope to making my annual visit to Edinburgh in August. Naturally, I’ll be hoping to take in a match while I’m there.

That’s my football watching plans for 2019. However, things crop up and plans can change. Watch this space.

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