Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Sunshine in Spain Is a Far Cry from Synners or Whitby

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Sunshine in Spain Is a Far Cry from Synners or Whitby

Article excerpt

Byline: JEFF WINTER

TONIGHT offers a perfect opportunity for Boro fans to see their players in action close to home with the latest friendly fixture at neighbours Hartlepool.

Boro fans are canny with their money when it comes to friendlies so it's doubtful that the crowd will be swelled by as many as the 3,500 plus Sunderland fans who made the short trip to Victoria Park last Wednesday for their game with Colin Cooper's boys.

It's not difficult to understand, unless of course Juninho is rolled out for another return, why our loyal supporters don't flock to the pre-season games.

The evidence of what is on show in these games was highlighted when the first team squad from the Stadium of Light was split over two nights at Carlisle and Pools last week and in the 60th minute, Gus Poyet took his entire team off and replaced it with his Under 21 team.

That sort of thing should be saved for behind-closed-doors games, not for the paying public.

Boro have never had many home friendlies, though to be fair the gate receipts would in all likelihood barely cover the travelling costs of the opposition. We used to play these preseason warm-up games locally against the likes of Synners, Guisborough, Whitby and so forth and that boosted the cof-f fers of our non-league clubs as well as giving Boro fans cheap local games to see any new signings.

Now the vogue is warm weather training and team building along with a few games against teams - with respect - of no better quality than our own non-league neighbours.

I can see the sense of going away and helping bed in new signings into the system but, as we all know, it was virtually last season's players who enjoyed the sunshine in Spain.

That's perhaps not the club's fault and the transfer window, coupled with the ducking and diving as clubs try to get as much as possible for outgoing players, means that rarely can a squad be assembled completely until the season has started. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.