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Opinion: Torquay's festive game at home to Gateshead is latest example of football putting fans last

By David_Byrom | Posted: July 05, 2017

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Torquay United will host Gateshead on December 23

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Sometimes, long trips cannot be helped – Torquay United's festive games against Eastleigh are an example of this.

The Hampshire club are the closest side to Devon and, whilst it's a pain for the Gulls to have to travel that far on Boxing Day, at least they have got the closest side to them geographically.

Unfortunately, though, their fixture immediately preceding the Boxing Day clash is an example of common sense completely failing the National League.

Gateshead face a 6hr 14min car journey down south – a round trip of more than 750 miles – just two days before Christmas.

It's a ridiculous situation for the The Heed fans to find themselves in. The festive period is a time where there is always a lot of football on but, traditionally, these are local games that are easy to get to.

One look at Exeter City's fixtures, for example, show how festive football should be done – games against Yeovil Town, Forest Green Rovers and Newport County are all relatively local matches.

A game against Barnet presents a fairly long trip for the Londoners – as does Torquay's trip to Boreham Wood – but North London to Devon is significantly different to Gateshead to Plainmoor.

It's the sort of fixture that leaves you scratching your head. It's another example of football putting fans last – a time of year when people want to be with their family and already spending a lot of money will see some hardy supporters forced to travel over 750 miles for a football game.

Then again, it's not something that should really be surprising from a league that will often move their last game of the season to an evening kick-off, forcing some fans to make alternative arrangements due to not being able to make the last train home.

Fingers crossed Gulls supporters can help spread a little festive cheer to their visitors from the north on December 23.

Read more: Torquay United fixtures 2017/18 - start at home to Tranmere, Boxing Day at Eastleigh

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