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Simon Clark
Simon Clark

Simon Clark’s Pick of the Top Away Games to Enjoy This Season

This is purely a personal view and no doubt every reader will disagree with my choice and want to replace at least half of this list! There’s no logic to some of it, and there are no old scores to settle – I’ve chosen these on days I expect (hope?) to enjoy, which is why I’ve left some out on the basis that unless we’re 4-0 up in the first 10 minutes, I probably won’t enjoy them…

Sutton United – the first game back. Yes, I want to win and will be disappointed if we don’t, but it’s lovely to be back (and an easy ground to get to as long as the trains aren’t on strike), although I’m guessing it will be tough to get tickets for this one.

Bradford City – the first UNESCO City of Film and a city of great history, often overlooked by more photogenic neighbours. With an average attendance of almost 19,000 and the last 2 games last season seeing over 20,000, it should be a great atmosphere (albeit they reportedly include all-season ticket holders whether they actually attend or not).

AFC Wimbledon – the first of the fans’ clubs to start from scratch and work their way through to the League. A museum of football in Wimbledon reminds visitors of their past glories as a non-league side before being hijacked and relocated to Milton Keynes. A lovely club that made a fantastic (and spontaneous) gesture to a friend of mine when he completed the 92 just over a year ago.

Stockport – easy on the train, good pubs, a weekend in Manchester and a proper club. Say no more. (although 23rd December might not be the date I’d have chosen for this!)

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Barrow – a blooming long way, so it makes sense to have a weekend in the Lake District. October might not have the best weather, but it’s a wonderful part of the world at any time and there’ll be fewer tourists around.

Harrogate – a week before Christmas might be a wonderful time to visit a picturesque market town. With the Montpellier Quarter and the Crescent Gardens area, there’s plenty to enjoy for a relaxing weekend away.

Tranmere – one of my favourite away days. A proper ground, decent support and great atmosphere. It’ll be tough, but the huge beer tent outside the ground making up a fan zone for followers of both sides is a great place to review the game and hopefully celebrate.

Salford – although they get a lot of bad publicity because of the Manchester United millionaires backing them – and I understand that – the volunteers and workers behind the club seem to be good people who want to support their local football club. Watching the shows about them on TV, it seems as if they feel their club is being taken away from them, and they are happy watching a small club at whatever level.

Forest Green – the last game of the season, hopefully one to enjoy for all the right reasons, and it won’t be a tense affair where we need a result to secure 3rd or 7th (or, dare I even think it, 22nd!)

Almost half a season of away games to enjoy – will that happen? Of course not. I’ll be desperate for 3 points and on the edge of my seat hoping we can hang on, make a comeback or keep control of a game we’re winning. Unless we get a 3-goal lead and control the game, the 90 minutes I can’t control will be the part I HOPE to enjoy rather than expect to.

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out of the 23 teams in our league, i want to make at least 15 of the away games. sutton, bradford, afc wimbledon, mk dons, tranmere and salfrod are all on my list.

i might look into some more the picks that @Simon Clark mentioned.

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@TheCalFoster are any of these in your plans?

I want to make sure I get back on the road, it will be good for me. I think Bradford City is one of the games I want to make for sure. I am less interested in the Stockport County's, Barrow and Harrogate. Yet. some of these may make themselves into my plans. It would be more the likes of AFC Wimbledon and Tranmere Rovers.

Nice write up, @Simon Clark.

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Interesting choice of games out of all the 23 teams. I think some of the local games, such as Mansfield, Doncaster, and Walsall, are ones that I am personally looking forward to. Having gone to Wembley with @liampie, I am very keen to make sure we meet up or travel to those types of games. I am interested in Stockport County because I want to see how Kyle Wootton does.

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Great list, @Simon Clark. I appreciate the thought you've put into making this season a blend of football and adventure. The AFC Wimbledon pick resonates with me - historically rich and a testament to fans' love of football. Can only imagine the buzz of playing there, especially considering their spontaneous act of goodwill last year. Keep these articles coming!

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Agreed about a lot of these.  Sutton's going to be a tough ticket, and it clashes with the Family Day v Yorkshire at Trent Bridge, so I'm assuming I won't be at that one.
Sorry that Salford's on a Friday night, which probably counts that out too.
Bradford and Harrogate are in the diary.  Daughter lives in Leeds, so hope to drag her and her boyfriend along to those, pint by gaslight at Hales in Harrogate is a must.  As is a curry at Prashad's in Bradford.
Bring on the spicy vegan burgers at Forest Green, and hope we're celebrating.
Only local game for me this year will be Colchester - everything else is at least a 5 hour round trip - so will definitely be there, with my partner's son, as his beloved Tractor Boys are away.  New ground for me too.  A bit more luxurious than Layer Road.


 

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40 minutes ago, RetroPie said:

Great list, @Simon Clark. I appreciate the thought you've put into making this season a blend of football and adventure. The AFC Wimbledon pick resonates with me - historically rich and a testament to fans' love of football. Can only imagine the buzz of playing there, especially considering their spontaneous act of goodwill last year. Keep these articles coming!

I've been to Plough Lane, but the two Wimbledon games that stick out are the home game when Steve Cherry save John Fashanu's life, and the trip to Selhurst Park the same year when we completed the weird triple of going there three times in two seasons and losing to three different clubs.

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Really enjoyed your thoughtful choice of matches, notably the mention of the Forest Green game, @Simon Clark. It's true, arriving at the last game of the season with something to play for is both exciting and nerve-racking! But, just as you've said, it'd be great if we could go into it with nothing other than pride to play for, wouldn't it?

Additionally, it's nice to see the thought put into the selection of away games with the consideration of the host city. Using football as an excuse to explore historic cities is such a brilliant idea! I’m particularly intrigued by Bradford City.

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The nearest games for me will be Stockport County and Salford City. I can easily get to them from Manchester. They will be on the list for me to attend due to this reason. Bradford City and Tranmere Rovers are two grounds I want to visit, just to tick them off my list of grounds I have been to. It’s a good insight, much to chew on and consider in terms of other games I might go to. I would enjoy going to more games with @liampie and @CliftonMagpie, even catching up with @Chris, if we bump into each other.

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Excellent article, @Simon Clark! Tranmere does indeed seem like a tantalising away day.

A good old-fashioned ground with a great atmosphere. The beer tent gathering sounds like a perfect place to dissect the game and hopefully toast our boys' triumph! Also, I love how you’ve recognised the efforts of the volunteers and workers at Salford. Despite the negative press, it’s touching to hear about the folks who strengthen the spirit of local football.

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A lot of the away games that I will be attending will be decided very close to when the tickets go on sale, but I do find the list of fixtures interesting and the reasons why. I hope I can make it to games such as Walsall, Tranmere, MK Dons, etc. Bradford City is one of the bigger teams in the league too.

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I am disappointed that the Salford fixture has changed. I can't make that game now, but I think a fair portion of this will be. I can't attend many weekday games, so those are the occasional treat. I'm all about the weekend. Very good read, @Simon Clark.

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