A Journey to the 42

I have made no secret of my love for Scottish football on this blog.

For as long as I can remember, there has been negativity about our game. European exits, star players leaving to smaller teams in England and the product simply not being very good.

This doesn’t reflect my experience of the Scottish game.

I grew up watching a yo-yo team. The Stranraer team that won promotion to the then First Division and subsequently struggled to find a place in the game as they bounced between the Second and Third division.

I was fortunate enough to travel to a lot of games in that period. There were very few grounds that I could have gone to that I chose not to.

Long trips to the central belt, the east coast and on one memorable occasion, Elgin, were the norm every second Saturday.

The week at school was spent looking forward to visiting a new ground and a new place, speculating on the starting eleven, the size of the away support and whether we would stop for bacon rolls.

In spectating terms, even if the product on the pitch was at times dire, those were special days indeed.

I experienced those grounds through a prism of blue and white. I was so caught up in the goings on at Stair Park that I didn’t really open my eyes and notice what was around me.

My friends will attest that I could speak for hours about Stranraer FC.

I have many stories that I could tell – and regularly do.

It strikes me, if a Stranraer fan can spin a yarn about a memorable match at their ground then so can a Hearts, Alloa or Brechin fan.

Each club and footballing town in Scotland is an experience in itself. A story waiting to be told. Whether the riches promised in Glasgow or the newest addition to the league in Edinburgh, each Scottish club is in some way unique.

Over the course of this season, my aim is to attend a league match at every one of the 42 grounds in the Scottish Professional Football League.

I will not be the first person to attempt such a feat but that does not mean it will be an easy task.

Straight away, looking at the fixture calendar I realise there are more grounds than match days. From the start I’m up against it.

Add in postponements, transport mishaps and life and suddenly a difficult challenge becomes significantly more daunting.

This blog will serve as a record of my season. A glimpse in to the game in Scotland as I document my experiences.

Each ground, town and game will receive a blog post. Each post will feature a mixture of observation and opinion.

As I travel, my experiences will be shared on Twitter. Photographs, anecdotes and information.

If you are a fan of Scottish football, this series will offer something for you.

Whether you dip in to read about your club or follow each post religiously, I hope I can match your enthusiasm for the Scottish game.

There may be some hiccups along the way and as with all challenges, this one might prove just too much.

Either way, I look forward to the journey.

Featured Photo by David Wilson / CC BY

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