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New season; hopes fresh as new boots; wild boozy talk of promotion on the terraces.
Hushed whisperings of extravagant signings; rumours of wunderkinds
Unearthed in the reserves… just waiting to push
For a first team place; passed down the line like Chinese whispers.
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The air is crisp and full-brimmed with the aroma of new programme.
The foil glitters in the corner of the preciously-clutched ticket
Better than the golden one that got you into a chocolate factory.
The first throaty growls of an out-of-practice chant rise up from the back of the cheap seats.
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July sunshine rests its phoenix-wings lightly, on the long rows
Of mainly upturned seats; the players emerge…
Make little sprints; take speculative aims at goal that float…
Harmless as a balloon, over the bar
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To be returned by a ball boy-
Thrown back like a bowler, overarm and with a hint of spin.
They’re all out now: to fanfares and ticker-tape…
The ref puts his whistle to his pursed lips…