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Ticket News


19 September 2014

Ticket News


19 September 2014

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Derby days or just regional rivalry?

While it might not have the importance of their last meeting, which ultimately had a sizeable say in the destination of last season’s Conference title, there’s no getting away from buzz surrounding the occasion of a Cambridge v Luton game.

Over 2,000 Town fans will make the short trip up the A505 to witness what some sections of the media class a local derby.

Saturday’s game will be the first of many regional ‘derbies’ that the Hatters will become accustomed to this season. Stevenage, Northampton – to some extent Oxford and Southend – and Wycombe are the stand-out fixtures interwoven in between jaunts to Hartlepool and Exeter (18th October and 1st November, respectively, by the way).

For John Still – who has seen many a London derby in his time following the fortunes of his beloved West Ham United – the ‘derby’ feel isn’t quite the same.

"I understand the rivalry [with Cambridge],” he said on Thursday. "I understand there are things like former players and former managers. It's like local derbies: years ago if you played for Arsenal you'd live near Arsenal, or if you played for Tottenham you'd live near Tottenham.

"Now players live all over the world and don't play for where they come from.

"I think local rivalries are massive for supporters, but players can't have that same feeling, but I understand the reasons why for supporters."

In the home team’s dugout is a familiar face. Richard Money, the U’s boss and former Town player and manager, who believes the ‘derby’ edge will make an impact at the Abbey Stadium on Saturday.

"There will be no hiding place at the weekend,” he said. “I think players will find that little bit extra in both teams.

"When I was Luton manager, Cambridge coming to us was always a big game.

“Now I'm here, and the fact I was Luton manager makes it a big game and adds extra spice to the whole thing.”

So, local derby…? Regional rivalry maybe, but it depends on your definition of derby.

“Do I want to beat Cambridge?” exclaimed the Town boss when asked the question. “Of course I do. But do I want to beat Cambridge more than any other team? I don’t think so.”

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