When Sven-Göran Eriksson last year was made a director at Notts County, then in the 4th tier of English football, it created a lot of headlines both in England and Sweden. He left the club before last season ended but he apparantly still has a good reputation among County fans. My seat neighbour at Meadow Lane today was at least full of praise for him. After several seasons in League 2 Notts County were promoted, as champions, at the end of last season. With Huddersfield being a club with a great away following my choice wasn't too difficult this opening Saturday. Two years ago I was at City Ground, the home of Nottingham Forest, and on my way to that stadium I walked past Meadow Lane so I had no problems finding the ground. Of all the professional clubs in England Meadow Lane and City Ground are actually the two ground closest to each other. The most interesting thing about Notts County is of course the fact they are the oldest professional club in the world. They were founded in 1862 meaning in two years time they will celebrate 150 years as a club. According to my seat neighbour Notts County hope to lure Italian giants Juventus to Meadow Lane to celebrate the anniversary. Italian football club actually derived its famous black-and-white striped kits from Notts County. Meadow Lane was completely rebuilt in the early 90s and has a capacity of 20 300. At the moment the capacity is capped at 13 250 though. Health and Safety......
With four separate stands it certainly feels like a proper ground. Huddersfield were given the entire Sirrel Stand for this game and the 3 200 away supporters created a suberb atmosphere throughout the game, scoring early goals and leading 2-0 at half-time obviously helps. The Kop were at full voice when the game started but for obvious reasons the home fans weren't in the best of moods as the home team went 2-0 down. In the end Huddersfield won by 3-0 and as someone in the stand said "This was a reality check for us". Champions of League 2 is one thing but against a good League 1 side like Huddersfield Notts County couldn't really compete. I am sure they will improve though and when I said goodbye to me seat neighbour he was still optimistic about this season. I believe him, he had after all seen football at Meadow Lane for 54 years!
Fans eager to enter the ground
Rear of the Sirrel Stand (note City Ground in the background)
View of play