Trying new things this new year: attending a football match for the first time

The annual cycle has begun: a few weeks into the new year, we all make those resolutions that we swear will be “life changing” and so goals ranging from weight loss to waste reduction beat their full. After the past two years have ended in a series of troubles for many of us, my hope of trying as many new things as possible in 2022 started with the UK’s most popular sport: football .

Deciding to support my local team, I attended the Bromley Vs. Solihull Moors Match which takes place on Saturday 8th January. My first impression hit as soon as I sat down anticipating the game: fans of all ages were truly passionate, cheering on each player as they were introduced to the pitch. I was impressed by their dedication and spirit even before the action started! The first half saw a lead for Bromley, who scored 2 goals including one thanks to 2 minutes of extra time. Even towards the end of the match, when the rain fell on the stadium and the visiting team scored in the 71st minute, the home fans did not give up hope, chanting the names of their players in the final minutes until at the end of the match: resulting in a win for Bromley FC

After experiencing the fast-paced match, I became interested in regular visitors to football matches and the impact of sport on them. I asked another attendee and supporter of Bromley Football Club their position on the subject: they described their first introduction to football as “My older brother and dad used to take me to local games like Bromley Town when I was young – there was always a separation between the teams in our house which made it fun to see which was the best!”. They also pointed out that it is a combination of “a fast and unpredictable event you can get excited about every week” and ‘the friends I’ve made through football – since the stadiums are so big these days there are lots of opportunities to meet new people’ who brought them to the games. When asked why they think football has remained the UK’s favorite sport for so long, the fan replied: ‘probably be part of a club! It’s quite common for parents to pass down their favorite team to kids, which I think has made it particularly popular in recent years.

After adding that they intend to continue attending matches in the future: ‘although it gets more expensive, the action and my enjoyment is enough to keep me coming back to watch the games’, I agreed that the atmosphere and the competitive nature between the two teams kept me going from start to finish. I would encourage anyone considering attending to give it a try – even a newbie to the sport like me felt a sudden thrill every time a goal was scored and was overcome with curiosity when the whistle sounded quickly – who knows? This may be a resolution that will last all year!

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