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Published on August 19th, 2013 | by Ian Cheeseman

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Getting Giddy For The Opening Game

The only word I can think of is…. Giddy!

I’ve been racking my brains to think of the right word for how I’m feeling ahead of kickoff against Newcastle. I realise that as a football journalist there should be a more sophisticated word, but then again I’m a lifelong blue, so what other word fits?

Tonight will be my 1,808th City game attended, that only includes competitive first team matches, I could also add hundreds of friendlies, reserve and youth team games.

Watching the Blues, first as a fan, and during the last 12 years as BBC Radio Manchester’s City correspondent and commentator has been a lifelong obsession.

The opening day of a new season is always exciting, but this one more than most. What type of manager is Manuel Pellegrini? I’ve read Wikipedia, I know the statistics, and Micah Richards told me he liked his man management style, but tonight we start to learn about his team selection, his tactics, his substitutions and it’s likely I’ll talk to him for the first time after the game.

There are four potential debuts tonight, again I’ve read all about the new signings, watched YouTube, seen bits on TV in preseason, but tonight I’ll see them in the flesh, in the Premier League.

As if that’s not enough, there’s the promise of a new look on the concourses, Jamie Oliver catering, and who knows what other surprises await.

There’s also the second part of what a match day in 2013 means to me, presenting a 4 hour radio programme on BBC Radio Manchester, alongside former City player Nigel Gleghorn, and commentating (my favourite part of the job) on the game.

Before kickoff you’ll finally hear Terry Phelan taking about City’s fullback battle plus Trevor Sinclair, Darren Huckerby, Micah Richards and Les Chapman previewing the season, interviews I did at Chappy’s tribute game a couple of weekends ago, when I also got to reprise my on field stadium announcing (I did that job at Maine Road for a couple of years).

Is it any surprise that the only word I could think of was “giddy”!

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Check back after the game for Ian Cheeseman’s reaction to the match.

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