Such an early start! Win­ter break next?

SUN­SHINE GAMES WILL AID ENG­LAND PROGRESS

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - Gra­ham West­ley

In my mem­ory, Satur­day Au­gust 3 was never a date as­so­ci­ated with the be­gin­ning of the Football League sea­son. It was al­ways a pre-sea­son friendly date, two or three weeks be­fore the big kick off.

can’t re­ally work out why things have started so early.

Sure, there is a World Cup next sum­mer. But that doesn’t re­ally af­fect too many Football League play­ers.

Sure, Tues­day night crowds are lower than Satur­day crowds; but will Au­gust Satur­days re­ally pro­duce big­ger in­comes for clubs than Tues­day nights? We will find out I guess.

And sure, Football League clubs will be able to gen­er­ate cash flow a lit­tle sooner this way.

I get all of those rea­sons. But I can­not help feel­ing that the move is a ten­ta­tive step to­wards a mid-sea­son break. Re­cent win­ters have em­pha­sised the dif­fi­cul­ties of a cold snap. Al­though pre­dict­ing a likely cold snap is not the sim­plest task.

My view has long been that our national team would ben­e­fit from more sum­mer­time football.

The South Amer­i­can and Span­ish teams seem to ben­e­fit at in­ter­na­tional level from the fa­mil­iar­ity they have with play­ing a pa­tient, pos­ses­sion game with in­ter­mit­tent ex­plo­sion which suits the World Cup cli­matic con­di­tions.

By giv­ing our play­ers a taste of that cli­mate in com­pet­i­tive games, we are mov­ing the game to­wards a place where we will need to adapt the way we do things. That can only help the national team in the end.

Kevin Cole­man

FUN IN THE SUN: Steve­nage’s Dar­ius Charles puts Boro 1-0 up against Old­ham, who later hit back to win 4-3PICTURE:

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