If you're anything like me, you'll be counting down the days until Friday night football returns to our TV screens, restoring the equilibrium to our lives and shoving cricket back to the suburban backyards where it belongs. If this sounds like you, I suggest you get to the Raiders v Newcastle Knights trial match on 18 February 2017.
I am not a diehard Raiders fan but I am embracing them more and more as my time in Canberra grows (and as a Maroons fan, I've always had a soft spot for them). I know that they are a pretty special young team and that it's been a pleasure to watch them develop over the past couple of years. Even Ricky Stuart is starting to grow on me.
I know that pubs and clubs around Canberra and the region turned green in that magical lead up to last year's final series. I know that my mates and I have embraced the Viking Clap. I know that there were plenty of us out drinking green beers and cocktails on that Saturday night in September where the boys were valiant in their preliminary final loss to the Melbourne Storm. All this suggests a promising season ahead.
I also know the Raiders started at Seiffert Oval in Queanbeyan back in 1982. I don't know much about their history but I tell you what, I'm looking forward to some locals telling me all about it at the game. And if you needed any more reason to go, think about those Bruce Stadium games in Winterů
Gates open at 3 pm, with the Under 16s and Under 19s games on before the Raiders and Knights kick off at 6.30 pm. Tickets are available at several Canberra and Queanbeyan outlets or at the gate. Children's tickets start at $7.50.