13 June 2012


As stations go, Brighton is a fine example.  For a city of our size we're blessed with an epic terminus and connections to all corners of the country like Seaford, Wivelsfield and Goring-by-Sea.

You'll be getting very familiar with the great Queens Road canopies next season as we embark on a northern adventure that reads like a passage from the Game of Thrones series.

We are both favoured and tortured by our idyllic setting on the English Channel, but even the most thoughtful of Albion tourists has gawped at the mileage that awaits us next term.

5 days ahead of the annual fixtures epiphany, here's TSLR's predictions for the 3 best and worst sojourns next season.

Bestest ...

OK, so we're due a bit of a spanking in SE7 after a series of  sweet victories against the Addicks, but The Valley remains a mouth-watering prospect for many Albionites. Both the relatively near setting, and Athletics's chummy kind of vibe with us ensures that a big crowd will fill that away end again this year.

Great away days are as much about the quality of the city as they are about the quality of the stadium.  Sheffield Wednesday ticks both boxes as, after a season hiatus, Albion will be able to march back to the proud steel city with all it's quirks and  wonder plus take in one of the finest old grounds in England (and beyond).  TSLR were a little annoyed that cross-city rivals United blew it in the Play-Offs as we haven't played at Bramhall Lane for quite a few years, but Hillsborough still means a good day out and we're well overdue a result there.

You may think this an odd one, but Bolton's Reebok Stadium has us getting a bit hot under the collar.  For one, we've never played there and there aren't many of them left, secondly it's pretty cool design-wise and it'll be fun to finally sit in a ground we've only ever seen on TV.  Thirdly, it's kind of easy to get to.  The ground is in an out of town retail estates and is serviced by a station called Horwich Parkway.  Horwich Parkway is about 25mins from Manchester Piccadilly so a trip to the Cottonpolis is definitely on for this season.

Worstest ...

Now, we're not one of these types who slag off Burnley as it's a decent town with good people, but our trip to Turf Moor last season was really nasty.

Admittedly Albion play with a certain style that may annoy those who remain traditionalist, but the whole 'your team's a disgrace' chorus from the home fans was spat in the sort of rabid fervour more akin to the witch hunts that took place on the hills outside the town in 1612.

Apart from the fantastic Bier Keller pub in the town centre, this is a game to avoid next year.

A trip to Birmingham City lacks any sort of romance for Albion fans. Last seasons drab draw at a ground that is not know for atmosphere makes St. Andrews an undesirable fixture for 12/13. The second city boasts some great pubs, and it's relatively easy to get to, but without a Marcos Painter family member to entice misogynist chants from the travelling stripes, this could well descend into a twilight zone of football entertainment.

Also one to avoid if you can't stand another embarrassing rendition of 'Small Town near Villa' ... God forbid.

This pretty picture belies the drabness of another trip to the Walkers Stadium. Such is our apathy surrounding a trip to this corner of the East Midlands that we're refusing to even justify why it's not worth going there next season. So, Saturday 18th August in Leicester anyone?

That's our top tips, please leave your suggestions in the comments, unless it's Peterborough United, because we've heard it all before.


Anonymous said...

Burnley is good day out if only for drinking in the cricket club before the game. Huddersfield is similar with the Gas Club. The pub in Middlesboro (Doctor Browns?) was a good laugh.

Pleased we don't have to go to West Ham, Portsmouth, Coventry and Reading anyway.

Eight Ace

Anonymous said...

There are better than the Cricket Club and Gas Club in those towns - aren't they just the allocated away pubs?