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Coping With Pre-Season Blues

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It's that time of year again.

'Premier League Years' is being aired on Sky Sports, confused men in fading replica shirts are being dragged around shopping centres on Saturday afternoons and the only people gracing the pitches of our major football stadia are ageing rock stars. Welcome to the no man's land that is pre-season.

This is the time, between the end of May and the beginning of August, where self-confessed football fanatics should attempt to regain a grip on normal life and become fully functioning members of society.

But it's not that simple...

This year, being one that ends in an odd number, is the worst for football supporters in Europe. With no World Cup or European Championship (although the often ridiculed Confederations Cup surprised everyone this year) to satisfy competitive football cravings, it's quite remarkable we haven't lost our minds.

So how do you cope?

Do you, like me, try to immerse yourself in alternative major summer sporting events such as Wimbledon, the British Lions tour and the Champions Trophy? Whilst these are all extremely important, entertaining and popular occasions, for some reason that are unexplainable to the true football fanatic, they just don't quite scratch the itch.

With the rise of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, it has become easier to see how other football nuts are trying to come to terms with the malaise of pre-season. Some spend their day tuned in to every single online fans forum, gossip site and media outlet known to man in the hope of picking up some titbit of news about their favourite team.

Even worse are the fans that create Twitter accounts and convince themselves and other gullible supporters that they are 'in the know' about behind-the-scenes events at a particular or several clubs. Conveniently ignoring the fact that the closest to 'in the know' they've ever been regarding a football club is that their great-aunt Doreen once worked as a tea lady at Dorchester Town sometime in the 1940s.

There are others who waste away their lunch hours creating possible new kit designs for next season on their laptops, those who try to fill the void by telling anyone who'll listen that the Faroe Islands Premier League (which runs from March until October) "isn't that bad" whilst glued to a dodgy online stream of HB Torshavn v NSI Runavik and those who book tickets for every mundane pre-season friendly their team will take part in before the big kick-off in a desperate attempt to fill the void.

We would probably be better off if the domestic football season ran for 12 months of the year. Maybe then we wouldn't be reduced to this shivering, fragile wreck of a human being.

Roll on August.