Ian Hart: Did they have to inflict Confederations Cup on us?

Mason Crane on his England debut. Picture by Dave Vokes
Mason Crane on his England debut. Picture by Dave Vokes

Local football widows, I will say it quietly, but the Albion return to pre-season training next week, and the ‘summer break’ is over.

But for armchair fans has there really been a summer break?

Granted the great World Cup under-20 win by England was extremely watchable and whilst the under-21s ultimately lost on penalties (again) to Germany, there was also real room for optimism and encouragement with the latest crop of the nations top players over both squads. Let’s just hope all the players develop to their full potential, stay injury free and get the opportunity to play domestic football at Premiership level.

But was it really necessary for ITV to ‘inflict’ live coverage of the Confederations Cup on to their TV schedules?

Granted you can, to a degree, hide them away on the secondary free to air ITV channels, but last night (Wednesday), soap fans saw both Emmerdale and Corrie postponed to accommodate a live semi-final on ITV 1.

Never mind soap fans, I’m a football fan and I thought it unnecessary.

Are ITV that jaundiced/ desperate about their own lack of live domestic coverage, aside from the England team, that they have to inflict needless live coverage of a tournament no one actually cares about? A classic case of overkill, but thankfully doesn’t quite dampen my excitement and anticipation for the new season.

Apart from that, there were unfortunate events off the field this week, obviously the situation is ongoing and going through the various legal processes, what I can and will state is that I’ve been fortunate to call Paul Rogers a friend for over a decade, regardless of what has or hasn’t happened, that will not change.

On the field, and specifically the transfer market and on-going speculation surrounding possible acquisitions for the Albion, its very much a case of ‘In Chris we trust’.

It is going to be a waiting game with a degree of patience exercised, it’s part and parcel of football that the Albion will miss out on some targets, but we still are an attractive proposition for all of the players on the radar.

Ultimately, players coming will know they will get the opportunity for regular top-flight football, something that not every club in our league can offer, despite what ever wages are being bandied around. Chris Hughton won’t be forced into any ‘panic buys’, unlike previous Albion managers, by the time the Athletico Madrid friendly arrives I think the squad will virtually be in place and the Albion can embark on potentially the most exciting season to date in the club’s history.

Sunday, June 25, 2017 is now not only etched in Worthing sporting history but I’m sure a day Mason Crane will remember for the rest of his life.

His maiden international wicket, the legendary AB de Villiers, prompted a reaction and celebration from Mason that encapsulated why we love sport.

Despite aforementioned early set backs in his career, his hard work and dedication and the support of his parents, family and friends have got him to the level he is now.

Whoever said ‘nice guys don’t succeed’ was clearly wrong.

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