I’ve really enjoyed my first season groundhopping and at no point has a game ever been a box-ticking exercise. I’ve got something from every match that I’ve attended and every one has been a pleasure and never a burden.
This is very important otherwise it becomes about statistics and not enjoyment. It’s better to go to 5 new grounds in a season and enjoy the experiences rather than visit 100 just for the sake of it so you can impress with numbers.
On a personal level, although I’ve been to lots of games during 2017/2018 (well in excess of 100), I’ve added 51 new grounds to my list in 5 countries (Croatia, England, Portugal, Scotland and Wales).
It all began on June 9 2017 at Manchester City’s training ground, for a game involving Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy, and it came to an end this weekend with a visit to Y Traeth to see Porthmadog entertain Holywell Town in the Huws Gray Cymru Alliance.
Although England leads the way with 100 grounds, Wales is in second place with 37 and I’m glad I added Y Traeth to the list as it’s been top of my Welsh list for a while. Now it’s Barmouth & Dyffryn FC but that’s for another day and indeed another season.
For now, I’m looking back and enjoying the memories created this time round. Y Traeth (‘the beach’ in Welsh) is another one of those grounds that provides a great backdrop to a game of football, as you can see from the embedded photographs below.
Working in Welsh football with The New Saints I have got to meet many people during the course of my four seasons with the champions. Going to the game, even as a fan, it was nice to see familiar faces among the match officials, players, supporters and team officials.
It ended all-square on the day, with Porthmadog’s opener cancelled out by Steve Lewis’ second-half goal. It was a first game for Twinkle, my Bedlington Terrier. She enjoyed the sun and I enjoyed the game, along with my wife who was with me as well.
From Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy to Y Traeth, it’s been a great season on the groundhopping trail and I’m looking forward already to see what 2018/2019 has to offer.
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