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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Preston Pre-Matching Blogging from Loftus Road

Nice, innovative idea from Preston!

Preston Official Site - Pre Match Blogging

1351: Right, off in search of food - and hopefully some early team news.

1349: I always like to rate the ground I visit based on the quality of their musical output, and while I'm not eagerly excitied by The Hooisers, I was heartened by the retro Manic Street Preachers and Lightning Seeds classics that appeared at the start of the playlist.

1347: The North End players have just arrived, with some taking a chance to check out the pitch facilities. Chris Neal and Stephen Elliott seem to be the most interested in the surface itself, with Ross Wallace and Jon Parkin having a good read of the programme while Simon Whaley and Darren Carter chat away on their mobiles. With The Hoosiers blaring out of the PA system at full blast, I can't imagine they're finding it that easy to hold a conversation.

1344: Having just come back from a mini tour of the South Africa Road Stand's facilities, I'm pleased to say that our hosts have done a very good job of modernising the interior of their ageing showpiece stand. The press box seems to have been given a striking re-fit in keeping with the all-black theme that seems to run through many of the rooms in the area, with executive lounges that look very 'Footballers Wives'. There's even a boutique downstairs, selling R's related merchandise to any WAGs or celebs that turn up last minute without the required blue and white hooped gear.

1340: I've just heard that the brand new Westfield Shopping Centre - which is literally round the corner - is the biggest in Europe (London trying to steal our thunder yet again having seen the success of the Trafford Centre?). Having earlier taken a mere 45 minutes to complete the entire circuit (on two main floors with a sort of mezzanine level above) and visit every shop I took an interest in, I am prepared to dispute the accuracy of that particular accolade.

1338: Good afternoon and welcome to all the minute-by-minute action from a mild but breezy Loftus Road. This is a game being described by the man from BBC London as "the battle of the acronyms", which I liked, but he then mentioned that Preston don't travel well, which I didn't like. Let's hope we don't live up to the billing. Well, except the acronym bit. Preston Official Site Minute-by-Minute Pre-Match

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