SeasideEssexXile previews Pride Park ahead of the game tomorrow – the best ground guide around.
Pride Park – Derby County
Footballs version of the hokey cokey finally gets its airing on Wednesday night.
It’s off, it’s on, it’s off again, it’s been moved forward and now that it’s almost here it’s about to play an important part in this busy schedule of games which will go a long way in determining our fate.
72 hrs after Manchester United left the ground a decent set of fans will arrive hoping for a repeat the joyous evening scenes of last season where, in a dramatic game, the Prest*n plant scored the winning penalty and inflicted a cup defeat on the then Premiership rams.
How to get there
M55, M6 South to J16. Take the first exit off the roundabout and join the A500. Follow the signs to the A50, then when on the A50 head towards Uttoxeter. The A50 heads to Derby where you join the A38 which is the Derby ring road. The ground is signposted from the 38.
For the sat nav fans – DE24 8XL
For the Virgin lovers amongst us
The ground is about a 10- 15 minute walk from Derby railway station. Leave the station, turn right and at the bottom of the road turn right again and the ground is then visible.
Pride Park is an impressive looking stadium, despite the blandness of the retail park location. With a capacity of 33,500 this ground was built with the Premiership in mind.
The view was good, and despite being 12 years old not a fading seat was in sight. Oddly enough one corner is filled completely with executive boxes.
We`ll be sat at one end of the ground in the Cawarden (South) Stand. Room for 3,000, I’d expect around 700 to make the trek. Last season Pride Park saw our infamous chant – ‘They’re here, they’re there, they’re every f****ng where, empty seats empty seats.’
Where to drink
As with all new grounds pubs in the immediate area are limited.
Last season we took in the Harvester pub about a 5 minute walk from the ground. I think they charged £5 for parking but we redeemed this cost off some trough inside. A mix of home and away fans all friendly enough, and the pub had programmes on sale inside too. Something despite suggesting it to our club they still haven’t picked up on, (even passing trade may buy them). Away haunts are located around the station. Opposite is the Merry Widows, turn right out of the station and make your way down to The Brunswick or Alexandra Hotel. Beer is on sale inside the ground.
Plod & Stewards
Friendly enough on our last visit, I’d be surprised if it is anything different this time round.
Fear Factor Rating – 3
Our excellent away form continued on Saturday with a point taken from Portman Road. The reverse of this fixture saw one of the most exciting games of our season so far, and despite Cloughie Jnr taking the reins Derby are still sitting at the wrong end of the table. Not quite a must win game for us, a point here will do us no harm in our fight to prove the doubters wrong and will assist us in our battle to win some of the beeb riches on offer next season for the Championship clubs.