The season is all but over, bar the little matter of the Play-Offs, and it’s sign-off week for me from Town Talk.
To encapsulate my mood, I’m going to go all literary.
Hope springs eternal in the human breast;
Man never is, but always to be blessed:
The soul, uneasy and confined from home,
Rests and expatiates in a life to come.
Alexander Pope, An Essay of Man
This is undoubtedly me this week - hopeful but with no expectation; feeling blessed after the season Huddersfield Town have had; definitely an uneasy soul and, living as I do in the South, very much “confined from home”.
But the punch line comes at the end – I’m pontificating on “a life to come” and wondering whether this is to be in the Premier League or the Championship. You’d have thought Alexander Pope was a Town supporter….except he died in 1744!
It has been a strange end to the season, almost anti-climactic. We’ve known for weeks that, barring a complete meltdown, the Play-Offs were going to be Town’s destiny.
David Wagner said himself in his post-Cardiff City interview that it’s been hard even for him to keep fully focused. It shows the margins between success and failure in professional sport are slim; if you’re just a few percent below your best, you’ll get turned over more often than not.
And so, despite failing in our bid to catch Newcastle United and Brighton for an automatic promotion place, despite failing to finish third which would have been fitting, despite failing to even finish fourth and have the undoubted advantage of playing the home leg second in the semi-final, despite going into the play-offs with the first choice goalkeeper suspended and the team showing little sign of form….despite all this, Alexander Pope was right, hope does spring eternal in the human breast.
Simon Thackray is Huddersfield born and bred but has been exiled to the south of England since 1975.
A solicitor by profession, now CEO of Law South Group Ltd, Simon's first game was back on August 22 1964 against Bolton Wanderers as a 10-year-old in a game which finished 1-1.