Well the season starts in July with 3 decent friendlies lined up and the betfred cup. It’s not shaping up to be the July I had planned that’s for sure. I had popped down to Berwick with my dad to have a look at the pre season training. I was carrying a bit of a limp but had been to the doctors and was told all would be fine. Well it’s not turned out that way. I’ve been diagnosed with piriformis syndrome! a condition which is believed to result from compression of the sciatic nerve around the piriformis muscle. And it’s blinking sore! I’ve been hardly able to walk in the past couple of weeks. I even collapsed in the hallway at home at one point as I was getting ready to visit the chiropractor. I’m on a cocktail of drugs too so I’m a bit dopey at times. Regular visits for a sports massage, trips to the Chiropractor and an mri Scan (just been told it’s the 14th of July) are my foreseeable future. So that’s July knackered then. The first week of July I had off for a holiday in Berwick too. I was planning on taking in the Berwick Hibs game and the Berwick Raith Rovers game. It was also the first week of the month so Bear Claw brewery tap day was on the cards too. A couple of visits to Northern Soul Kitchen would also be on the list and Northern edge coffee. But alas none of this transpired. I will still have a Skype interview with the BBC about donating the front of the Berwick Rangers home shirt to Northern Soul Kitchen. Hopefully I won’t make a dogs dinner of it. And on the plus side if we had gone away Ruth’s new car would have been flooded as the water main outside our house burst and flooded the road.
i said I would help out on the door for the hibs game but of course that didn’t happen. I was looking forward to it too. Still beaten 6-0 I didn’t miss. The next game against Raith was an odd one. As it was cancelled!
FURTHER STATEMENT FROM RRFC: Both Berwick Rangers and ourselves wanted the game to go ahead.
On Friday we were contacted by Northumbria Police who told us they had “high level intelligence” that the game was being targeted by right wing extremists out to cause trouble and that there was a safety issue for fans.
They advised that the safest action was to cancel the match.
Reluctantly we have done so - given what the police have told us there was no alternative decision possible. Fans' safety comes first.
The replacement game was away to Alloa, 3-1. St Johnstone up next and I imagine another’s defeat will be on the cards, still it’s all character building and 3 decent teams to play for friendlies.
The Betfred Cup.
Next up is the Betfred cup. I’m still very much in doubt about making any of these. I’ll need to see how my recovery goes. I’ll be gutted to miss these as I really enjoy this cup and taking my dad to them too. The Livingston game in particular I’m looking forward to, it’s where I grew up and went to school and it’s a couple of days before my birthday. Still I’ll need to see how it goes. Hopefully I’ll be fit for the start of the season.
3 good friendlies at Shielfield have been arranged. Who knows what the results will be but it’s 3 tough opponents from the higher levels that have been lined up and I must say I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully the quality of the opposition will attract a decent crowd. The 3 games are in July. Hibs on the 4th, Raith Rovers on the 7th and St Johnstone on the 10th. I’ll be down in Berwick for the first week of July so will catch the first 2 easily. The St Johnstone game will be a midweek travel down from Fife but I’ll come down with my dad for that one. Afternoon off work I think and take him for a curry for his dinner.
Next up the Betfred cup.
the season will then start with the Betfred cup. I enjoy this cup, it’s heavily weighted for the bigger teams and a bit odd in its selection of teams in the North/South split. Hearts are in the North section this year with Edinburgh City and Spartans in the South. It’s also the cup where a draw in the group stage results in the game going to penalties with no extra time and the victor receives a bonus point. I’m hoping we can beat Annan and finish second bottom as a realistic goal. Doing so will net the club an extra £2000 based on last years prize pot. Could we finish third? If we could it’s a good chunk of change. But it’s probably one of the toughest groups for the smaller teams.
In 2017/18 at the conclusion of the group stage, fifth-placed teams received £17,000, fourth-place teams received £19,000 and teams finishing third took home £21,000. The four worst runners-up, who failed to reach the knockout round exited with £25,000 while those knocked out in the last 16 earned £35,000.
I’ll try to get to all the games and take my dad too. The only one that is a likely problem is Annan away on a Tuesday night. That’s probably 2 1/2 to 3 hours away so a bit of a trek midweek but I’ll no doubt go. Airdrie and Hamilton at home shouldn’t be an issue and Livingston away is fine for me too. All the games should be fine for parking too, my dad is 80 and not so good on his pins anymore. Motherwell away last season was dreadful for him. Quite a bit of walking from the parking to the away section and very unsympathetic stewards. Turns out there was loads of parking next to the away end but we were not allowed to use it. Miserable sods. I checked before we traveled too but everything I was told was either not true or they didn’t care for one 80 year old away fan. Still onwards and upwards and hope for a few points and a bit of cash in the bank for the club.