OPINION: A new season is especially exciting for Blackpool fans this time around
The first game of a new season is always an exciting occasion, regardless of what team you support, how pre-season has gone and what summer business your club has done.
But that almost doesn’t do justice to the anticipation surrounding Blackpool for this weekend’s curtain raiser against Bristol Rovers.
There is a buzz around the club that hasn’t been seen since those days and weeks leading up to the start of the Premier League campaign in 2010.
Of course, this isn’t your typical season opener, for Blackpool this is also the start of a new era; the Simon Sadler era.
The lifelong Pool fan will watch on as the club’s owner for the first time on Saturday and, for the first time in decades, supporters can look up to the directors’ box and not feel disdain.
For this is a man who has made Blackpool a ‘normal club’ again in a matter of weeks albeit there is much more work to do.
Fees are being offered for new players, cash is being invested on the pitch and the training ground, the stadium is being maintained and cared for and the club is finally reaching out to the community again.
For a supporter of a rival club that might be reading this, all that might not come as such a big deal. But to Blackpool fans, after enduring three decades of the club being neglected and treated like dirt, it means everything.
Pool now have a priceless chance to continue that momentum with what, on the face of it at least, look quite favourable opening fixtures.
The club’s opening five league games come against sides that finished below them in the third tier last season, three of which had to fight against relegation.
Of course that counts for little, especially when you consider Pool’s results against the Gas last season. But these are new times.