The National League fixtures will be announced on Friday but, for the first time in 15 seasons, I won’t be looking to see who Cheltenham Town have been paired with on the opening day. Nor will I be working out the logistics of those Christmas fixtures or gearing up for the Bank Holiday blues on the motorway.
I’ve worked with nine managers (not including caretakers), sat alongside countless reporters and interviewed dozens of players. I’ve been fortunate to enjoy two play-off wins in Cardiff and experience defeat at Wembley. In all, it’s been a great honour to cover a team with so many loyal supporters who pay vast sums of money to do what I get paid for.
But in this changing media world, newspapers are reluctant to pay for coverage, particularly when there is so much information and content freely available on the internet. Cheltenham’s slip into non-league proved the final nail … the nationals have little interest in Leagues One and Two let alone the Conference.
On a positive note, I can at least enjoy the occasional trip to Whaddon Road (it will always be Whaddon Road to me) as a fan and maybe have a beer or two … obviously unheard of when us journalists are on duty!
In the meantime … COYR!