As this evening sees a full schedule of Football League fixtures played up and down the country, Huddersfield Town fans may be forgiven for feeling a twinge of sadness.
Certainly not in so much as what the new-found riches and benefits Premier League football has brought to the club, but more the basic longing and innate desire for a midweek encounter.
With last Tuesday’s Carabao Cup exit away to Crystal Palace, it means David Wagner’s men are not set to play a game under floodlights until their trip to Arsenal at the Emirates on Wednesday, November 29.
This is the first of three midweek league games scheduled for the entire Premier League campaign and not including the festive tradition of a Boxing Day bout (this year at home to Stoke City).
And even though it doesn’t take into consideration any potential FA Cup replays or fixture changes the competition could bring when Town enter at the Third Round stage, it will still be an insignificant amount compared to last season.
Town’s remarkable promotion from the SkyBet Championship last term saw a remarkable 54 games in all competitions played, including 14 played on either a Tuesday or Wednesday evening.
The zip of the ball, the smell of the damp evening pitch and the romanticism of the hardened few watching their team under the allure of the floodlights is hard to shake off for anyone after being inherent for so long.
And who could ever forget the long-lasting memories of Michael Hefele’s ‘backside’ goal at Aston Villa; the mauling of Brighton & Hove Albion or Tommy Smith’s last-gasp winner at Rotherham United?
That’s not even before reflecting on the ultimate prize of sealing a Wembley trip for the Play-Off final in the cauldron of noise that was Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium.
Of course, footballing pragmatists would cite less midweek fixtures result in an overall better quality of game due to the increased time between encounters seeing more scope for tactical development, less player fatigue and a lower risk of injury.
But for supporters, football is not about logic but is a game about raw irrational emotions, passions and new-found experiences.
For instance, how many Town fans will have complained about the arduous trek (and expense) to Plymouth Argyle for a Tuesday night Division Two clash back in 1993 but perversely now wear the experience like a badge of honour?
Of course, with no Huddersfield Town fan contemplating relegation, there are only two solutions to this new-found dilemma – the club qualify for Europe next season or fans look to support a surrogate local lower league team.
POLL: Does anyone ACTUALLY miss mid-week fixtures for Huddersfield Town?
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