Date: 20th July 2008 at 12:57pm
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Ah pre season ,a wonderful time of the year for several reasons.

1/ We can sign players….. The introduction of transfer windows limits the ‘will he come or will he go’ speculation to January and the summer.
We can spend many hours debating on whether Steven Gerrard will sign for Wigan and how much Carlo Nash is really worth. This takes up many hours during the summer and keeps me away from the mind numbingly boring summer sports such as Golf and tennis(and also the gardening)

2/You can watch games in sunshine….. Having spent my formative years watching Latics at Pneumonia(Springfield) Park wearing more layers than a sherpa on Everest, to attend a game in shorts and tee shirts and get a tan is a welcome distraction.
However as there are black clouds over Wigan at present and a hell of a lot of rain then maybe its a good idea we play all our friendlies away.

3/ Football Holidays.. being able to say to the misses ,’how do you fancy a few days in Edinburgh in August?’ and ‘ by the way we can watch Latics play Hibs while we are there.’ Even better is when she says yes.

4/ European tours… Latics seem determined to play in Europe even if it is just friendlies and even more determined are the Latics fans to travel to watch them. I will be making my third trip to watch Latics in Holland this year and on the previous two trips there have been around 200 Latics fans who have made the same journey. The craic has been superb.
A mate of mine went to watch Latics play Rosenberg despite having no idea where in Norway Rosenberg actually was. He went on his own via Amsterdam and arrived in Trondheim only to find Rosenberg was some distance away.
For the record he arrived in time for the game to find 8 other Latics fans had made the same journey.

5/ Its only a friendly…..
So it doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, well it does really but not as much as a proper game.
Friendlies tend to be predominantly these days against clubs who we should beat so there is a better than even chance of winning( unless you are Everton of course).This year Hibs, Utrecht and the two German sides will give us a stern test but hey they are only friendlies so it doesnt matter, honest!!!

and finally and most important of all, like the first cuckoo in spring the pre season heralds the impending new season and the end of the close season which seems to get longer every year. We can now look forward to dark winter days,indigestion due to football related stress and letters from the bank manager re overdraft limits being breached due to four tickets for Stamford Bridge away.

Pre season…I love it!!!!!!!!!!!