I'll get them in now, my 2011 highlights...
I think it is fair to say 2011 has settled in now; it feels
comfortable as our home for the next 12 months.
So we may as well look ahead to what is going to catch the
eye before we get the baubles out again.
Obviously winning the Ashes series in Australia will
be a big highlight, even a year down the line, but here’s what else comes to
* Snooker World Championships: Will Ding Junhui finally
deliver on the grandest table of them all? He is the master now, of course. Then
there is the return of John Higgins following his tough 2010, and the fact the
players are still adjusting to their new tour. It will be a wide open one.
Town: The rise has been
incredible so far – started by those FA Vase exploits three seasons ago. Now
they are bidding for a place in the Conference’s second tier. They sound as determined
as ever down Crown Meadow way – and that has worked for them so far.
* Formula One – the battle of the Loti: In the green corner, Hingham’s Team Lotus.
Started from scratch by Tony Fernandes and Mike Gascoyne, desperate to battle
for points this season, and two excellent drivers on board in Heikki Kovalainen
and Jarno Trulli.
And the black corner, Lotus Renault. Hethel’s Group Lotus-sponsored
Renault team. Previous world champions with Fernando Alonso, and crash-gate villains
with Nelson Pique Junior. Anything lower than fifth in the constructors’
championship will be deemed a failure in 2011.
Whatever the two teams are called once they actually take to
the grid, the rivalry won’t go anywhere. It will be a clear case of pick your
* Everything Olympic: Next year is London Olympics year.
Meaning 2011 is ‘one year to go until Olympics year’. Qualifying, form and
fitness – no British competitor will want to lose out in the battle
to make our big one.
* The Tour de France: OK, so that big, dark drug cloud never
lifts from Le Tour. Alberto Contador could be banned, all that jazz. But the
event is one I’ve loved taking in since I was a kid. So it doesn’t really matter
which year it is, it’ll always be a highlight for me. Allé Andy Schleck!
* And of course, Norwich
City: Could we really be watching Premier League football at Carrow Road this
time next year? Absolutely. Moreover, you would expect the club to give everything
they have got to try and make it happen this season.
The momentum and the manager at City really have got what it
takes. These are special times to be a Norwich
fan – anything is possible.
...So there you have it.
And if the F1 season is a damp squib, Le Tour won after the prologue and England lose out at the group stages of the rugby, there will be nothing to see here...
posted on 18 January 2011 17:53 byMichael Bailey - Sportsdesk