Thursday, 10 September 2015

Choose your away games carefully

It may have escaped the notice of some AFCB fans that Norwich City was voted by away fans as the second worst away day experience last season in the Championship. I found that really surprising considering that Carrow Road is a great stadium and that Norwich have some very entertaining players. Voting also took account of security, food/drink, transport links, atmosphere and views. Sadly, I was away last season when the Cherries got a draw at Norwich and I was hoping to go this season, but I can't say the price filled me with much enthusiasm - £45 for an adult seat.

Like many I have to select games carefully, especially as I have two children as well who like to come to games and the thought of £90 to see the Cherries play away at a recently promoted side seemed a bit steep to me (I look forward to what Man City and Arsenal want to charge visiting fans - the £20 is plenty campaign will hopefully be heard on 3 and 4 October). So when I checked Stoke City's prices and saw that for all three of us I was looking at £55, it was a no brainer really.

By the way AFCB only came 12th in that survey last year, so before berating Norwich too much there are things that the Cherries can also do better at the Vitality stadium for away fans.

So we'd better look at what might be annoying for AFCB fans visiting Carrow Road this weekend? For a start I think Norwich are always going to find it hard being so far away from most grounds and a long trip does not get any fan too excited - public transport links are also not the most modern I've been told. But when you arrive at Norwich I'd suggest that you take a look around the city and see what it has to offer or better still look up if there is anything that is of interest if you are going to get there in good time. Drinking holes are usually high on the list and I can't say that Norwich are short on that requirement. I do find that much of my match day experience is better if you have a good vantage point and space around your seat, especially if other fans stand. Shoved away in a corner of the ground and far away from the action is not much fun.

At the end of the day though, you want to be there for your team. Away fans have to put up with a lot in the course of a season and I praise all those who make every away trip. One regular reader has agreed to send in a write up of his family's away day experience at Norwich City so I hope he can give a further insight into whether there is more to it than the price of ticket that makes or breaks his family's away trip to Carrow Road.

If you went to Carrow Road last season and can give a view on what it was like, add a comment below. I have also written a piece for the Norwich City matchday programme after AFC Bournemouth's first four games in the Premier League so try and get a copy if you are going to the game this weekend.

Congratulations to Yann Kermorgant on his contract extension keeping him at AFCB until mid-2017. Also best of luck to Elliott Ward who goes out on loan to Huddersfield for a month and to Harry Cornick extending his stay at Yeovil by another month.

I should also have another blog article coming out on Shoot today or tomorrow so look out for it.

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