Summer is officially over, and the football is back. And so am I. I will recall some of my summer wanderings in coming editions. Cricket will take a back seat now, although I am a fan; tennis, I’m not a fan, same for athletics and the like, overall let's get back to the real thing I say. It seems more than a bit ridiculous to me, but here we go with the FA Cup of all things, first Saturday in August and only thirteen games from Wembley. A cracking tie to start though, Garforth have had some great times not so long ago, so they will be keen. Best game on in the North East on the day I reckon, so maybe a few extra in. Will the pies last? And how do we look? A few new faces and not many missing from last season, so things are quite hopeful, or so the lad in charge says. We certainly have a very busy August with the Northern League not helping much with a rash of home games in the first few weeks of the season; think the fixture computer needs a reboot, or maybe just a boot.
The talking point of the sporting summer of course has been the progress and success of various female England teams. The cricketers winning the World Cup and the footballers going well in the Euros; at the time of writing, don’t know how Thursday’s semi against the Dutch turned out mind. I am quite a fan of both women's cricket and football, certainly be good to see an RCA female team, I believe there are thoughts along those lines in the hierarchy as well. Which is not to say that everything is as wonderful as some commentators with an agenda like to pretend. But best not to criticise methinks, crack on ladies I say.
The friendly against SAFC Under 23s was a good night wasn’t it? Decent crowd and some good football played, with the SAFC boys looking very good in the first half, although we kept right at it and deserved the second half turn around that saw us win. A great result and good to see Sunderland giving a helping hand to local clubs, might we see some more loans of young lads this season?
So to our local concerns. How will the Northern League pan out do we think? Morpeth and Shildon favourites? Who wants promotion, given there might be more than one or two places available this year? Bishops obviously, but who else? North Shields trying to follow their mates across the river? What do we think in these parts? Tuesday night in Birkenhead anyone? Anyone? Looks like it might be more of a problem down at the bottom of the second division, with two or more being relegated to reduce numbers. Tough on clubs working hard to survive as high as possible. Who knows when it might be you.
On that happy note I'll finish, just keep my view through the fence clear please.