Well, it’s not just a blog about visiting football grounds, there are lots of those about. And I’m sure there are lots of blogs and various other accounts about visiting Scottish football grounds in particular.
Although I will be visiting all 42 Scottish grounds – initially, at least, as in due course I hope to include the Highland League also – this isn’t just about the football grounds.
Because I’ve realised that I can bring some things unique to this, things that virtually no-one else writing about Scottish football can bring to the subject. And those things are a total and almost embarrassing ignorance of Scottish football as well as an extremely rudimentary grasp of the geography of Scotland too. But hopefully I can also bring an outsider’s insight and objectivity, because I also come to this with very few preconceptions and prejudices.
I’ve now lived in Scotland for a total period of 21 days – by choice, I hasten to add – and I’m excited about discovering my adopted country, its culture and sport. I know I’ve got a lot to learn. Yes, I know about Celtic and Rangers – doesn’t everyone? – and that there are two clubs in both Edinburgh and Dundee, and also little snippets of fact (or misremembered hearsay) such as that Aberdeen had a brief period challenging the Old Firm in the 80s and also had the UK’s first all-seater stadium (didn’t they?). But that really is about it. Ask me what division most of the teams play in, or where I’ll find teams like St Johnstone, Queen of the South or East Fife and I’ll be floundering.
So this isn’t just an account of visiting Scottish football grounds – it’ll hopefully be about discovering them and the towns they’re in, and all the various histories, rivalries and idiosyncrasies of each club too – as well, as, hopefully, discovering some differences between the games and the cultures of supporters on both sides of the border. Oh, and I’ll inevitably improve my knowledge of Scottish geography, too.
I’m excited about it – I hope I can do justice to the subject, and to make it easy on myself I’ll start with my local team.