It makes sense to say that the 2016 football season starts in 2016, and what with today being January 1st 2016 and all, that seems like as good a place as any to start. Except it already started, weeks and weeks ago – we’re in full swing of it, in fact.

I looked back already, so now would be a good time to start looking forward. Academy pre-season 101s have already taken place, Senior Football 101s are NOW – January 10th beginning, finishing in time for a big-ass Super Bowl party; my second favourite Spartan party of the year. It would be my absolute favourite but I could only get half a days’ holiday off afterwards this year – soldier on, brothers, soldier on!

It’s January 1st and I’m not actually hungover for a change. Personally I’ve just got back from holibobs in India so actually my biggest challenge for today, realistically this whole week, is the laundry.

I know what my big challenges for this year will be. I want to make the Essex Spartans the most well-known and widest-respected club in the south. I want to get through a whole game of live coverage without spelling a name wrong or putting out the score wrong by a digit. I’d like to do some research into WHY the Browns suck so, so badly and finally understand that particular on-field, unrelenting Armageddon.

Oh, and the laundry.

They’re not resolutions, I don’t do those. I don’t know about you but I’ve been ‘resoluting’ for 15 years – stop biting my nails, try harder at school, drink less (that’s really more of a five-year plan, that one) and it’s always out the window by February. I still have to have acrylic nails even today.

For me, it’s the Spartans who turn idle resolutions into goals – and I’m not just saying that because this blog shows up on their website. Nothing is too much like hard work for them and I start every year that way – I’m sure our coaches do, and our players as well.

It seems like every season we start by saying that we’re a young team, full of learners – this year, of course, no exception once again. So I don’t know what’s going to happen. Another mid-table clincher at the last or a jaw-dropping smash all the way to the bitter end; Watson and Benton’s black and gold armies marching off to the championship.

I’ll have some of that, for sure.

So there it is – you might be promising yourself that this year you’re going to lose that stone (I am) or drink less (oh yeah, me too) or master that long catch that will finally win us the division.

Whatever it is, we’re with you – and resolute.

Happy New Year!