EFL CUP FINAL

As all the members are aware we have reached the EFL cu final with the game to be played at Wembley on 26th February with a 16-30 kick off time

Applications for tickets are open and will close at 08-00 on Thursday, anyone with 8 credits for the home cup games will get priority, then it goes down to 7, 6 etc. So unfortunately if you opted out of the cup scheme you will not get a final ticket.

All of our members are either on the train or driving, with some staying over on Saturday and Sunday evening, others, such as those who are travelling to St Etienne in the week leading up to the final are only staying over on the Sunday evening.

If you want details of the hotel they are using then we can let you have this on Friday evening at the meeting, or give me a ring

We are trying to get member who want to sit together seats in the same area, and will apply for them together where we can, the trouble is, we can only apply for 6 in one application, so if there are more than 6 we need to divide that up so at least you will be sat next to someone from the branch

Keep you posted on the ballot results I think it will be to early to have them all for the meeting on Friday but see how United get on with the ballot

MONDAY 6TH FEBRUARY – MUNICH REMEMBERED

On the 6th as everyone in the branch is probably aware, the branch lay a wreath at Old Trafford every year in memory of those who died on that tragic day in 1958.

We intend to meet at 12-00 at The Red Café and have some lunch, we have 2 for 1 vouchers for a main meal so it does not work out to expensive to eat there, so if anyone wants to join us, can you please let me know by Friday 27th January and I will make the reservation

BRANCH MEETING 3RD FEBRUARY

We have decided to hold the next branch meeting on Friday 3rd February at The Hare & Hounds in Simmondley, post code SK13 6LS for those who do not know where it is.

As everyone knows the 6th February, which is Monday is the date of the Munich Air Disaster and as usual we will be laying a wreath at OT from the branch, should anyone wish to attend then we will be meeting at around 12-00 in The Red Café, we have vouchers that are basically 2 for 1 main meals so need numbers by Friday please

The meeting will start at 8pm and Tracey will put on some food for us

Hope you can make it for the meeting it would be good to have a reasonable turn out

STOKE CITY AND THE WEEK AHEAD

We had 2 buses go to Stoke on Saturday, great stop at The Blu Mugge in Leek, thanks to Harry for opening for us and serving some great food.

The game was a day when we again missed chances to beat a team that should not have got a point from this game, think what things would have looked like if we had won.

This week 2 cup games, the first against Hull on Thursday evening, having watched them play Arsenal on Sunday this will not be a push over, and the 2 goal lead should see us through from the first leg.

Sunday see us entertain Wigan in the FA Cup, a return to Warren Joyce to Old Trafford, this won’t be an easy game either, they will be up for it for sure

A week on Wednesday see us play Hull in the premiership at Old Trafford, so 3 games against them in less than 3 weeks, we need the 3 points to keep in touch with the teams above us

HULL – AWAY LC SEMI FINAL

Just to let you know, by popular consent, we will be travelling there and back in the day, so no overnight stay.

We plan to run 2 buses, the first leaving Chapel at 13-20 calling at Simmondley 13-40 & Charlesworth 13-45

The second bus will depart Marple at 13-30 and Stockport at 13-45

XMAS AND NEW YEAR

I hope you all have had a restful Xmas, certainly Boxing Day was a great day, no long commute to an away venue and we are lucky to be at home on New Years Eve against Boro.

New Years Eve, lets try to get away from the ground as quickly as possible, Bob & Stuart have also plans I am sure to go out or spend it with family, so the earlier we are the earlier they can start celebrating as well.

For Boro we have 2 buses, one Whaley (12-10), New Mills (12-20) and Compstall, bus stop by Etherow Park (12-30), the other bus will do Simmondley (12-10) and Marple (12-30).

Into the New Year, we play Reading in the FA Cup on Saturday 7th Jan, kick off 12-30, so only 1 bus, starting at 09-30 from Whaley, New Mills 09-40, Marple 09-50 and Compstall 10-00.

Quickly followed by Hull City in the League Cup semi final first leg, to be played on Tuesday 10th January at 20-00, again 1 bus 17-00 from Whaley, 17-10 from New Mills, 17-20 from Marple, so far only 11 on the bus.

Next Up is Liverpool, Sunday 15th January 16-00 kick off, bus will be 13-00 from Whaley, other pick up’s to be advised

Have a great New Year starting with 3 points against Boro

EUROPA LEAGUE – SAINT-ETIENNE

We have been drawn against Saint-Etienne in the round of 32 knock out, games to be played on the 16th February (home) 20-05 kick off and Wednesday 22nd February (away) 18-00 kick off

Flights and accommodation, transfers from Lyon airport to hotel and return has been booked, cost £250/head.

Full itinerary later, but direct flights out and return

GREAT PAST 11 DAYS

We have had a good 11 days, starting with the trip to Odessa for the Zorya game, not all the hype it was made up to be, some trouble with the small group of united fans escorted by the police to the game, but we made our own way, hotel sorted us out taxi’s to the ground, or at least it dropped us off and we walked across the park, it wasn’t bad at all, no worse than walking across Stanley park 15 years ago, and that is open.

5 of us had category 1 seats and we were sat amongst the Ukrainian fans, not all Zorya fans, but partisan locals, the ones who spoke English were friendly enough and wanted to know what we felt about the premier league this season, any way we ran out deserving 2-0 winners that saw us take the runners up place in the group. The lads had a grueling journey home, initially out flight from Odessa to /kiev was 3 hours late, Lise and I missed our connections and ended up flyingvia Frankfurt to Madrid, so 3 hours late getting into Madrid.

So progressing to the next round, a trip to Saint-Etienne with the 2nd leg being away on Wednesday evening 22nd February.

Following the Zorya game, we played hosts to Spurs and beat them 1-0 and we should have tied it up earlier with the chances we had, heart in mouth job again towards the end, thinking it could be Arsenal over again.

Wednesday night , flight from Madrid at 16-40, booked before we knew about the train strike and all the problems on the roads, we got stuck in traffic and missed about all of the first half, luckily in for Pogba’s goal. ran out 2-1 winners, with that man Zlatan scoring the winner late on. Getting back ot heathrow was a lot easier, less than an hour, hotel for 00-00 and then up again at 03-30 for shower, and to make the 06-20 flight back to Madrid.

Friday soon came round, 13-30 flight back to Manchester via Heathrow, flight late, but only by 15 minutes, so on time for BA on the shuttle lately, bus left 11-45 on Saturday for West Brom, stopped a a great place called Desi Junction, High Street, West Bromwich, reasonable prices and indian food to die for, and very cheap.

taxi shuttle service to the ground, only a pound a head, got to the ground in good time, however still needed to meet one of the lads before kick off, comfortable 2-0 win, controlled the game from start to finish, and at the final whistle we were in a very good mood, 9 points from 3 games, keeps us in touch with the top 5 and now only 3 points behind city although have a game in hand, but playing Arsenal today could see them not get anything and then game on.

2 games over Xmas at home, Sunderland and Boro so lets hope we can keep the ball rolling. A tricky away game at West Ham on 2nd January then 4 home games in premiership, FA Cup and League Cup, just need a couple of the others to slip up and we press on, end of January and the league could look a lot different.

bit of travelling to do before then, Madrid this afternoon, home Friday 23rd subject to what happens with airline strikes and work to rule, then back to Madrid on 27th for the 4 days up to 30th December and the completion if my assignment in Madrid, been the 28 months by then, not bad for a 3 month project. Be good to get to see the house for a while, with a view to having a couple of moths doing as little as possible and re-charging the batteries.

Merry Xmas to all our members and friends, see you all Boxing Day, then again New Years Eve and for those of us lucky enough to have West Ham away tickets, a full day out on the 2nd January in London.

All the Best – Keith