From Boothferry to Wembley – and back via Fleetwood

Over the last ten years or so us City fans have experienced some incredible times.

From promotions to Cup finals, Premier League football to a European tour – it’s fair to say City fans of this era have been fairly lucky; especially when you consider the old days of Division Three football at Boothferry Park.

Such success in recent times has been unprecedented for fans who have followed the team for decades through the divisions. The terraces were often uncovered, there were no seats and the ‘Hull City Psycho’s’ were in full swing… quite literally.

These were tough times in the club’s history but times that supporters enjoyed nonetheless. It was the only thing they knew. They followed the club through thick and thin, home and away in a time when football was unrecognisable to what it is today.

Those recent times I’ve touched upon, as a younger City supporter, are the only times I know. Of course I hear stories about Billy Whitehurst and co laying the foundations for exponential growth at our football club but as all football fans know, dwelling on the past in this business is a dangerous thing.

We’ve seen City players in recent years that have arguably been the most talented to pull on a black and amber shirt. The likes of Harry Maguire, Geovanni, Tom Huddlestone (my personal favourite) and Andrea Rannochia are a calibre of player we would never have imagined we would be able to attract.

While we didn’t exactly tear the Premier League up or ‘do a Leicester’ there were some memorable moments in there. Whether a Phil Brown sing-song or beating Liverpool at home twice resonates stronger with you, we all have a special memory to take away with us from the greatest days of Hull City AFC. Days we are so fortunate to have witnessed.

The precedent of success that has been set in this period has made the bitter pill of this season harder to swallow. A relegation from the top flight always suggests there is a tough season to follow however no one, not even the most negative Hull City Fans Forum member on Facebook, would’ve expected what we have seen this season.

There are off-the-field circumstances that should obviously be taken in to account but heading into the season there was no way I thought that squad was one that would be fighting to prevent back-to-back relegations. But then again I wasn’t naive enough to think promotion was anything more than an ambition, one that many City fans can’t appear to accept.

They see Championship survival as mediocrity for this club and whilst it’s not what I like to see and we all hate to admit it, for this club it’s not a bad season based on all our exploits since 1904. The current regime and team are paying the price for overachievement from their predecessors, heights that are impossible to reach at this moment in time for the next few years.

Those next few years should be ones of consolidation (which is tough in the revolving door of modern football) but what we can’t afford to keep doing is dwelling on the past and dwelling on the successful times of this club. I’m pretty sick of my Twitter timeline full of  ‘Throwback Thursday’s’ of Diame’s goal at Wembley and the like.

If we continue to daydream and kid ourselves we have a divine right to be ‘bigger and better’ then that dream will have a rude awakening in a few years when we could well have slipped into the lower reaches of the football league.

@HenryWAClark

www.youngsportsjourno.wordpress.com

 

 

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