If we thought Allan Todd had looked after us at Musselburgh then we seemed to be reaching a point where clubs couldn’t do enough to help.
I was already excited having seen pictures of New Victoria Park on the internet and when we arrived to find Gordon Stanners, match secretary, alongside the club president Stan Adams, in a black cab outside the ground, that quickly turned to guilt. Our daft trip had resulted in people taking us far too seriously and paying taxis in order to help us? It came as a mighty relief when we discovered it was their own.
I’d been happy enough with seeing the ground from the outside. They moved here in 1994 but it hasn’t aged a bit. Set off the main road you have to enter the stadium up a set of stairs, which we all know bags bonus points for me. It makes it look incredibly grand and impressed us immediately.
Gordon and Stan gave us a mini tour of the ground, including the home dressing room which even had a pitch marked out on the floor. I’m not quite sure what purpose this served but I loved it and we were allowed to walk out of the tunnel as Stan switched the ground’s PA on and announced us onto the pitch.
It’s a lovely setting for a ground as well, surrounded by lush greenery. A cinder track borders most of the pitch with one side housing a very respectable sized stand. It was nice to see Mr Lang Syne use the royalties from his new year song to erect an advertising board here too.
Gordon had us posing for photographs holding the Newtongrange Star scarves aloft and couldn’t have been more accommodating. Musselburgh had been brilliant and whilst we didn’t leave Newtongrange with a mug, we didn’t feel any less welcome.
In terms of my usual stance of why it’s like to visit as a tourist, I’d still recommend it. Most of the ground is visible from the gates outside, and it feels like a proper stadium. It would probably be difficult to walk around it as there’s only really access from the front gates, but you’ll be more than satisfied with that. A big thumbs up from me.