Football League Clubs Maintain Pre-Season Friendly Traditions
This week marks the start of pre-season training at clubs across England as the wind up to the first game of the season which is now just one month away.
Whilst in the Premiership this increasingly means far flung tours to regions such as South East Asia or North America chasing the money, the Football League still adheres to more traditional fixtures and preparations
Compared to the increasing farce that is the global Premier League pre-season the build up to the start of the season is centred closer to home and generally more sedate in the Football League.
Fixtures tend to be based in the UK or Europe with the lower stature side hosting the higher stature side giving the smaller team the financial benefit of gate receipts which can often be higher than an average league game (depending on the opposition).
Whilst it is not uncommon for Premier League teams to meet each other in pointless trophies such as the Asia Trophy whilst on pre-season tour, it is rare for a Football League team to arrange a friendly with a rival from the same division.
To highlight a typical Championship side pre-season calendar I have looked at the pre-season campaigns of Watford and Nottingham Forest to give a very brief flavour of what pre-season can entail.
Watford have scheduled what can be described as a traditional and low key pre-season.
Shunning any pretence of glitz or glamour this pre-season sees the Hornets stay in England facing only lower league or non-league teams.
Kicking off their pre-season against non-league opposition, the will gradually work their way up the football pyramid before facing League One side Colchester United.
Forest have a slightly more varied pre-season facing Premier League and European opposition.
They will start their pre-season against what is likely to be a youthful Tottenham Hotspur XI before facing Northampton Town as Sixfields.
The stand out fixture of the campaign is a prestigious home tie against PSV Eindhoven before finishing their preparations against local non-league side Lincoln City.