Making a welcome return as the new season is about to get underway, is Brian Parish, one half of the Daggers Diary team. His first assignment – get to Birmingham and home again to see the Super Caley Thistle.
I am never quite sure about what to make of the Pre-season friendly games that take place at this time of year. Criteria that I apply to other teams never apply to my own, and while there are times when I reckon that opposition have played quite well, I am never that optimistic about my own team.
Of course, if you haven’t seen your usual football buddies over the summer, then these types of games are ideal for catching up. There have been many games in July, where a group of us have gone along and had only a passing interest in the game going on on front of us. I know of many that will refuse to attend friendly games and there are times when I can see why.
Today marks the one week to go stage, before the Football League gets going with its first round of games. The daggers are at home today in a fixture against a Tottenham xi, which if the premier league and Greg Dyke gets their way, could become a league fixture in the not too distant future. I have decided though that I am not going to pay to watch a possible Spurs reserve side, and so have taken the decision to travel to the midlands in order to get another ground tick, and to watch my Scottish team, Inverness.
A year ago, I had been to one ground in the midlands, which given my history of watching football, was a massive oversight on my behalf. I had been to Coventry (both at Highfield Road and the Ricoh), but nowhere else. Last October, I finally got to see Wolves at Molyneux, but I am still missing out on Aston Villa, Birmingham, West Bromwich Albion, as well as Walsall. The last of those is particularly annoying as the daggers have played them a few times in recent years, but the arranged date for the game has always clashed with something else.
Luckily I am going to be able to tick Birmingham City off the list today. A return train ticket of £18.50 from London Euston has persuaded me to make the journey, as well as the match ticket being only £7.
Saturday 2nd August 2014, Birmingham City v Inverness Caledonian Thistle, St. Andrews
Looking at Birmingham from outside he club, last season looked to be a right old struggle. Maintaining their status in the Championship division was probably not what most had in minds when the campaign started a year ago. With relegation avoided, it is to be hoped that the club can move further up the table this year, and not give their support quite so many sleepless nights.
For Caley thistle, 2013/14 will go down as the year that they made their first major cup final, and although it ended in defeat on penalties to Aberdeen, there was plent to be pleased about. There have been no major departures over the summer, and while Richie Foran will miss the start of the season, the club have to be looking at trying to finally crack a top four place. Continue reading