Under-the-clock Chronicles: Part 1

Since I haven’t posted anything for a while, here is the first of a possibly one-part series, with a few thoughts ahead of the new season.

So for the first time in 16 years we face a season outside the top flight. But, as with the team containing Rob Andrew, Gary Armstrong and Dean Ryan back in 1996, we begin as favourites for promotion.

Frankly, even considering the play-offs, with the money, squad and management the Falcons have, if we don’t go up we will have no excuses.

If rumours of Euan Murray departing, even for a loan spell, turn out to be true, that will not change.

All we have to do is keep our heads, show respect for the opposition and play to our potential. If we do that then I have no doubt that in a year’s time we will be looking forward to returning to Bath, Gloucester and Northampton.

Complacency may be one of our most difficult foes but having our two hardest games (on paper) in the first month – Bristol and Pirates away – should help guard against that.

We will probably struggle in a number of matches this season, we could even lose a few because that is how sport goes. But I for one intend to have a damn good time in the Championship.

We have our first visits to Penzance, Doncaster and Jersey and a first trip to Plymouth since the amateur era.

We will also renew acquaintances with Rotherham, Bedford, Nottingham, Moseley and London Scottish, and regular top flight opponents Leeds and Bristol.

A lot of those sound far more exciting than another afternoon at a half-empty Madejski Stadium.

Just for a season though please!

(Follow The South Stand Choir on Twitter: @SouthStandChoir)

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