18 July 2008

Beats playing Mansfield, this

I'm catching a ferry in a couple of hours. In the company of three friends (and probably another few dozen or more guys with the same idea) we are headed for Belgium, where tomorrow Hull City play a pre-season friendly in Ostend.

It's great. We're in Europe! Well, kind of. The game kicks off at 2pm tomorrow, mainland time, and that gives us a comfortable hour and a half to get back to Zeebrugge for the return boat. Initially it kicked off at 3, which left many Tigers fans disappointed as the return trip from Ostend to Zeebrugge would have been a little tight. The club listened, suggested the alteration, and Ostend took it.

So, a few ales on the ferry, a few more in Ostend, a match, a short trip back to port, and a few more ales on the ferry again. Back in my own house by Sunday morning.

Last time we played abroad was a pre-season tour of Bulgaria 18 years ago, when we were in the second tier and looking primarily downwards. It wasn't quite what our chairman of 1982 to 1989, Don Robinson, had in mind when he declared his ambition to make Hull City "the first side to play on the moon" but it was progress.

But this is different. This is just the beginning. One day Clive Tyldesley will be wittering on incessantly about Hull City's own "balmy night in Barcelona" or "incredible night in Istanbul". You just wait.

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