Well, for starters there will be no more Auto Windscreen, LDV or Johnstone's Paint or whatever you call it trophy! For many supporters, myself included, it will be sad not to see Blackpool participating in this lower league cup competition. However much you may knock it, Blackpool fans have had some memorable moments in the LDV over the past few seasons. Two magnificent victories at the Millenium stadium in the McMahon era were wonderful days out for the fans. Equally, I'm sure there will be plenty of the tangerine persuasion who will enjoy an evening in rather than braving the winter nights for a trip to Accrington!
Continuing on the cup theme, for the first time in a long, long time we have the luxury of entering this season's FA Cup at the 3rd round stage. Again, I'm sure there will be mixed reactions from some fans regarding our bypass of the first two rounds. Some will see it as a few bob saved and a potential banana skin avoided. Whilst I have no doubt that Larry will be thankful of a couple fewer games to worry about injuries and suspensions cropping up. Then there will be the purists, me included, that will miss the romance of the 1st round. I've always enjoyed watching a non - league team come to Bloomers, with Aldershot and Tamworth recent examples of teams to give Pool a good game.
Being in The Championship means that Larry and the boys have one or two weekends off this season due to various internationals. Of course this does mean more midweek games, with Pool having no fewer than 6 Tuesday night trips to negotiate (and potentially more from possible rearranged games). So perhaps the luxury of a few weekends off isn't quite so appealing when we have to visit QPR on a Tuesday in March!
Furthermore, fixture changes will doubtless be confirmed in the coming weeks as Sky run the rule over just about everything. Expect some Friday and Monday night football for the Seasiders. Also, early kick offs are almost guaranteed for the big derbies.
The Championship stadia will certainly offer the Pool fans luxury compared with some of the ramshackle rubbish we have been accustomed to in League One. St Mary's, Hillsborough, The Walkers, The KC, Molineux and The Ricoh will not only offer comfort and a decent view, but will also provide lots of never been to before grounds. I'd certainly prefer a trip to The Ricoh over the terrace at Saltergate! Mind you we still have the magnificent Layer Road to look forward to!
Its not long to wait now for Championship football to arrive at Bloomfield Road, and I suspect there won't be too many nostalgic fans who shed a tear next season at the prospect of missing out on crucial, money spinning 1st round LDV ties!
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