Although with my club-head on it’s home advantage all the way, as far as personally is concerned I want TNS’ name out of the bowl second in the Irn-Bru Cup draws. Last season was great on that front, with all three games on the road.
However, this time round it’s been the exact opposite, as three became four following last Tuesday’s semi-final draw in Glasgow. Although my groundhopping gene hasn’t been nurtured, the joy of football-related travelling has been well and truly fed.
Prior to each game there is a draw in Scotland, organised by Irn-Bru and the Scottish football authorities. It is held at a different venue each time, with the SEC Armadillo hosting the action this time round.
It’s now become a familiar routine for me, as the Tuesday following the game I’m on the 07.37 from Wolverhampton, arriving in Glasgow at 11.15 and then heading back home on the 16.00.
I can even tell you that I get on at platform 1 in Staffordshire and platform 2 in Lanarkshire for the return journey. For those who are more familiar with the West Midlands or Strathclyde, those are the traditional historic counties that both cities reside in.
Travelling with Scott Ruscoe, who boarded the train at Warrington – which itself was transferred to Cheshire from historical Lancashire in 1974 border changes – on arrival in Scotland we did an interview in the railway station. The taxi journey to our final destination was just long enough to upload the video.
The two guest celebrities for the draw were both Scotland internationals – Mark Burchill and Julie Fleeting. After the draw itself was conducted I did another interview with Scott, as well as with Andrew Boocock from the competition sponsors, Irn-Bru.
Then it was outside for the photo-shoot with the two aforementioned celebrities joined by the four club representatives and, of course, the Irn-Bru trophy itself. It was another great day and as well as developing existing friendships, new ones were initiated.
Up at 06.00 and getting home at 20.30 means it’s a long day when you look at it on paper but in experience it doesn’t feel like a burden. It’s always a pleasure and I’m already looking forward to the pre-Dumbarton game event that will be organised.
Stewart Bloor – Media & Communications Officer (email@example.com)
Rev’s Ramblings is a weekly blog insight into my work at TNS from a personal perspective.