Mike Bacon: My seven sporting wishes for 2021 - from ITFC to Park Runs!
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Sport has been badly affected by the Covid pandemic in 2020.
And although there have been far more important things to think about this year aside from sport, there is little doubt many of us have missed our sporting 'fixes'.
So, what will 2021 bring? Here are my seven Christmas sporting wishes....
1. KVY! A big return at Ipswich Town.
Ipswich Town have been hit badly by injuries this year, especially since the start of the new season. For me the one player the Blues have missed more than anyone is Kane Vincent-Young.
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His all-action thundering runs have been sadly missed, his energy and enthusiasm is always so refreshing. I know there are many issues fans would like to see overcome at Portman Road and let's be honest the tide just has to turn - doesn't it? It feels that the return of KVY would lift all our spirits and perhaps help turn that tide.
My No.1 Christmas wish would be his return to the Town side - and for Portman Road to become a 'Happy Place' for us all once more.
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2. Ipswich Witches fixture list!
The sun on your back, the bikes at the tapes, pint of pop and chilli dog in hand, t-shirts and shorts, it's the middle of July and 24 degrees at Foxhall Stadium on a Thursday night. What could be better?
If ever I was desperate to see the new 2021 speedway season fixture list, it's right now. The Witches are back in the big time in the Premiership and 2019 was a fabulous year. Such a shame the 2020 season never took place.
With 3x former world champ Jason Crump set to lead the Witches again in 2021 however, let's see that fixture list before Christmas! An early present for Witches fans.
3. The sound of leather on willow.
Now, I'm not a big cricket fan, but there really is nothing more quintessential English than cucumber sandwiches, players in their whites and sitting in a deckchair watching a village cricket match.
Like many summer sports, cricket was almost totally decimated this summer. A big Christmas wish for a full and fun local cricket season in 2021 is a must.
4. A return to non-league normality.
Non-league football has at least got underway in some shape or form since September. But it's been a stop-start campaign and a very frustrating and expensive one for many clubs.
The game relies a great deal on additional income, especially from club house sales. A big Christmas wish for a return to lively banter in club houses after matches and for leagues this season to reach their full conclusion.
5. All those Park Runs - please come back!
Park Runs around the world are starting to rev up again but oh how many thousands of people will look forward to their more regular return.
One of the big sporting success stories of the last decade, Park Runs have grabbed so many people's attentions and given them a chance for a bit of fitness and fun. A Christmas wish for their full return.
6. Rock on rugby!
Rugby, again especially at local levels, has been severely hit this year. But there are green shoots of recovery and tentative efforts to arrange friendly fixtures in the new year are already being taken.
There will be changes to the game at the moment for the time being. But a Christmas wish to see the sports' return in 2021 is one very important Christmas wish.
7 Fans at the Races
Horse racing has actually had fans back but, like football, in nowhere near the numbers.
A day at the races can be for everyone and Newmarket is often referred to as the HQ for British Horseracing - and is home to the largest cluster of training yards in the country.
But you can't beat 20,000 folk cheering the horses over the line!