The humdrum of the summer months without proper football have finally been broken with the reappearance of Fantasy Premier League. It's a game I've played for quite a few years now, and my league has gradually built up to over 1,000 teams. As usual it's open to one and all to join, and I hope to get some sponsorship this season too.
Whether there is sponsorship or not there will be prizes for the first three teams, but it's not always easy tracing the winners. It would be great if any of those taking part made themselves known to me through the forum on the league, the comments on my blog, or through twitter. I was unable to contact last season's winners, and the trophies went unclaimed.
I've been playing one form or other of fantasy football now for 20 years I think. I started playing around the time the Premier League started, and it was a very different competition in those days.
I was in a league with seven friends, and we had an auction a week before the season started. When all the squads were bought at the auction the details were posted to the company running the competition, and we got our confirmations back through the post. We had to pay to play, and pay to make substitutions and transfers too.
There were mini auctions during the season, and it was all a lot more complicated than it is today. The best thing about it was that once you bought a player at the auction he was yours, and nobody else in your league could have him unless you decided to offload him. It made for some great brinksmanship at the auctions, and I'm proud to say I won our league in five of the six years which it ran.
I learned some valuable lessons too, and some of them are still helpful today. It's always a great idea to find players who are listed out of position, and can score extra points as a result. If a player is listed as a defender and plays as a midfielder for his club he is probably going to score a lot more points and cost less too.
The same goes for players who are listed as midfielders and play as strikers for their clubs. I learned that lesson a long time ago when Dwight Yorke single-handedly cost me the title in the one year I didn't win it.
Things have moved on since then, and the game has literally exploded in the last few seasons with over two million teams entered last season. That figure will probably increase this season, and it's not a bad idea to enter a team long before the deadline day.
For all those interested in joining my league the competition can be found here, and the code to join my league is 17031-6252. Once you have set up a team you can join the league. If there are any problems feel free to contact me, and I'll be happy to help.
That's it for today.
See you tomorrow.