Amy Downes: ‘I wouldn’t be at all sad if they scrap the season... it gives Town another chance to get it right’
- Credit: Archant
In her latest Your Posts piece, Ipswich Town fan and writer Amy Downes wonders whether the coronavirus-enforced suspension of the season could actually be a good thing for the Blues...
I’ve spent the last few days crossing off all my activities on the calendar, a sad kind of symbolism of the times we’re living in.
Two of those events involved my beloved Ipswich Town: the one and only trip I had planned to Portman Road this season and the final away game of the season at Doncaster this weekend.
Despite the frustrating form the Tractor Boys find themselves in – we’ve lost four out of the last five games – I’m truly disappointed to be losing my favourite days out.
Although, frankly, I’d take any activity away from the house and the kids at the moment, even watching Norwich!
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I miss the pre-match pints of Aspalls, followed by three too many Jagerbombs. I miss the long queues for the women’s toilets and the lukewarm meat and potato pies at the grounds.
I even miss playing Lambert bingo when he comes out with one of his favourite lines during the post-match press conference: ‘We dominated that game and deserved to win’ and ‘expectations are so high this year’.
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Above all else, football days are a chance for me to spend time with good friends who I have known for many years and spent many a Saturday afternoon with moaning about the number of shots on goal we managed to miss.
Worst of all, I’ve had to cancel my hen do, which was to be spent watching Ipswich play Rochdale at home from a box in the Cobbold Stand (for the first time ever) last weekend. Followed by dinner and drinks at Isaacs.
The Ipswich Marina is one of my favourite places to be!
I know we’re all having to cancel plans we were looking forward to, and I also appreciate that things could be far worse if I or anyone close to me were ill.
But I still feel real sadness at the fact this pandemic has stolen a day that I had planned for such a long time, perhaps even before my partner had even proposed to me!
Worse than that, it has taken away the familiarity of having football to keep me company on a Saturday, I am really missing being part of the ITFC community.
Whether I’m at an away game or following online – it’s the thing that keeps me busy on a weekend and I feel somewhat empty without it.
However, there’s also an element of relief!
For too long now, a great afternoon spent with fellow Town fans has been spoiled by having to go to the football and watch the actual game.
All too often we have been left confused by the line-up, frustrated by the tactics, annoyed at the players who are not putting in a shift and absolutely gutted by the final results (the last minute defeat at Blackpool being the most heart wrenching I’ve seen).
There’s currently a lot of speculation around what the EFL will decide to do with the rest of the season. Will they recommence the games again once the lockdown is lifted? Will they play behind closed doors? Or will they cancel the league altogether?
I, for one, wouldn’t be at all sad if they decided to scrap it completely and start again in August – although I acknowledge that would, of course, be unfair on the teams who are doing well, like Coventry who sit top of the league despite not having a ground of their own.
An extended stay in League One
This time last year, when we faced relegation to League One for the first time in my lifetime, I was certain we would go straight back up. When we were sitting pretty at the top of the league with an unbeaten run that stretched into October, I thought this year-long League One tour was quite fun.
I was well aware how challenging this division can be – even writing about it in the Kings of Anglia – I was just confident we were capable, with a team of many Championship stalwarts and exciting new youngsters, of walking straight back into the second tier.
But, yes, from a purely Town-focused point of view, I would have no objection at all if the powers that be decided we should just abandon this season and start all over again.
Would we learn from our mistakes? Probably not. But what an excellent chance to try giving Ipswich Town fans a 12 months they can enjoy, for once.
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