With the automatic qualification of three of the four home international teams and the prospect of the Republic of Ireland joining them via the play-off a fascinating summer of European Championship is on the agenda in 2016.
Congratulations to both Wales and Northern Ireland for joining 100% record England in next summers finals in France. The Irish especially who became the first team to qualify automatically for any finals having initially been seeded 5th in the original group draw. Sceptics might say that the qualification is not just down to results but also the expanding of the competition as such.
A far cry from England’s qualification to the finals in Italy in 1980, when it was just 8 Teams and two groups of 4, but nearly 40 years later, TV and sponsorship is the clearly the key.
With 24 teams, and 6 groups and every game live on free to air TV, the advertising revenue is going to be huge.
Again the detractors might also argue that the expanded competition has in some ways devalued the competition, the group stages, ie 36 matches will actually only eliminate 8 of the 24 teams with the remaining 16 going on to the knock out stages. Then again perhaps the critics have forgotten about how expanded tournaments of the past have enabled England qualification.
If you going to spare a thought for anyone it has to be the Scots, who a few months ago were hopeful of the possibility of a British clean sweep in France, only to fall away in the last few group games.
Having as a youngster lived through the torture of the summers of 74 and 78 lives millions of other English football fans, you certainly wouldn’t want to be a Scottish supporter next summer. Never mind they could put on ‘Ally’s Tartan Army’ on the record player and get all nostalgic.
Despite the FA Cup exit still plenty to be positive about from Saturday’s game, none more than the amazing attendance of 757.
Both bars doing a roaring trade, filled with, aside from a healthy contingent from Essex, a number of local football fans returning to Woodside Road for the first time in years?
What did they find?
Well speaking to a number of fans who gave the Rebels a go on Saturday, a club re-born with state of the art facilities on the pitch and a to totally re-vamped bar off of it.
I do sincerely hope that with the Albion at Leeds this weekend that a number of the 600 or so locals who turned out on Saturday give the Rebels another try as they return to League action against South Park, 3pm kick off.
Another aspect of the club’s rejuvenation is the ever expanding Development wing who are running their first football camp in the upcoming half term. The camp runs from Mon 26-Wed 28th October and has an age range from 8-14years, the timings are 9.30-3.30 each day and the coatings are £15 each day or £40 for all three.
For further details please contact Worthing’s Football Development officer, Zaki Rahman at zakirahman@worthingfc.
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