Looking forward to a new season
I got my first Match of the Day rota for season 2009/10 this week and I can almost taste the start of the season.
Of course, for some of my fellow commentators the season has already started. I thoroughly enjoyed Rhyl v Partizan Belgrade on S4C on Tuesday night, even with every word in Welsh.
The Champions League qualifiers are financially some of the biggest games going. I was told that when Anorthosis Famagusta played in the Champions League group stages last season, they made more money than every other Cypriot club put together.
Whether the Cypriot league will be distorted to its detriment remains to be seen.
After Rhyl lost 4-0 at home to Partizan, it's not something which the rest of the League of Wales are likely to have to worry about.
Some of my fellow commentators are still wondering what the season ahead has in store for them. I know many of the staff at Setanta very well indeed, and some of them are close friends. I hope that they will be in work when the first ball is kicked.
My first Premier League game of the season will be at Chelsea, who take on Hull. It will be very interesting to see what the pundits make of Hull's prospects this season.
I organise the Match of the Day sweep and just about everyone who entered, including me, predicted that they would go down. We were all wrong, but only just. After surviving by the skin of their teeth, but struggling so badly in the second half of the season, do they stand more chance of surviving than the three teams who came up?
I started and finished the last Premier League season at the KC stadium; an opening day win over Fulham and the last day defeat by a virtual Manchester United youth team. In August, the Tigers looked bold and confident; in May they were exhausted and ground down by a run of just one win in 22 games.
That they survived was down to Newcastle's lame surrender at Aston Villa. It was almost too much for Hull chairman Paul Duffen who had tears in his eyes as I spoke to him after the game.
The day after Chelsea play Hull, I go to White Hart Lane for Spurs' game against Liverpool; and in the first midweek I am off to the first ever Premier League fixture at Turf Moor; Burnley against Manchester United.
That should be a fantastic occasion. I met Burnley manager Owen Coyle a couple of years ago when they played Arsenal in the FA Cup. As part of my preparation for commentating on the game, I went to watch Burnley play Queens Park Rangers about three weeks earlier.
Over tea and biscuits, Coyle talked in detail about his squad and the difference between managing in England and Scotland, where he had enjoyed success with St Johnstone. I wish him well, but United for the first home game - good luck!
Wolves' game at Man City will give me a chance to catch up with Mick McCarthy, who was a co-commentator with me at Euro 2004 and the World Cup of 2006.
I remember years ago Mick gave me an important lesson in interview technique. I was a young reporter on Capital Radio in London, he was the manager of Millwall. I went down to their training ground and started my interview with some rambling question or other. When I eventually finished Mick said, "The answer to the first bit was yes, to the second bit was no, and I've forgotten the rest."
So, in the interests of keeping things concise - bye for now, and happy new season - almost!