The Starter's Guide For New Fulham Fans

Paul Gilham

Since the change in ownership, I have seen many fans of the Jacksonville Jaguars become interested in Fulham Football Club, because both clubs now share an owner. When I became a fan, it took me awhile to get up to speed on the team, so I thought a starter's guide about Fulham could be a help to these fans, so they could learn more about the club and enjoy it.

CRAVEN COTTAGE -

Our journey should start here as this is the home of Fulham. The club started playing at Craven Cottage in 1896, and it currently holds 25,700, and when the Riverside Stand is re-developed, the capacity will reach 30,000 people. The Cottage is located in Southwest London and is right next to the River Thames.

FULHAM FOOTBALL CLUB AND THE ACADEMY TEAMS -

The first team plays in the Barclays Premier League along with two cup competitions which I will discuss in a little bit. There are also two Academy teams that you could hear a great deal about, and they are the under 18's and the under 21's. The Under 18's have actually won the Barclay's Under-18 Premier League Tournament the last two seasons. You could hear a decent amount about the Academy Teams to go along with the first team.

Barclays Premier League -

This is the top division in England, and Fulham compete against nineteen other clubs. The season begins on August 17th against Sunderland away, and ends May 11th at home against Crystal Palace. There are a total of 38 matches that Fulham will play in the top Division of English Football.

Fulham finished 12th in the league last year with a total of 43 points. Each victory you get three points, and for a draw you get one point. The season prior Fulham ended in ninth in the league.

Now, the last three clubs in the Barclays Premier League each season get relegated. That means that clubs 18-20 go down to the next lower division which is called the Championship. Three clubs come up from the Championship to make up for the three that went down.

To get promoted from the Championship to the Barclays Premier League, the top two clubs automatically come up, and the next four go through play-offs to decide the final team to come up to the top league. You will hear the term relegation a good amount as it is something to always keep in the back of your mind. However, Fulham have been in the Barclays Premier League since the 2001- 2002 season.

There have been a few scares over the years, and the one that sticks out for me was the 2007-2008 season known as The Great Escape. Fulham had to win on the last day of the season on the road at Portsmouth to stay up, and they did succeed.

Fulham have a reputation as a mid-table club, and that means they are basically right in the middle of the league, but there have been a few seasons recently that saw Fulham go as high as seventh one season. The season will have many twists and turns, but I have a feeling you are going to enjoy the ride with Fulham in the Barclays Premier League.

CAPITOL ONE CUP -

This cup competition starts in August, and goes through the beginning of the year. This competition involves the teams in the different divisions of English Football and is a knockout competition. This is an interesting competition, and once you lose you are out. Hopefully Fulham will have a decent run this season in this competition.

FA CUP -

This is the oldest cup competition in the world, and still a prestigious one to win. Fulham should be involved sometime in the beginning of next year, and is once again a knockout competition. The Semi Finals and Final are held at Wembley Stadium.

RIVALRIES -

You will hear the term Derby and probably wonder what it means. The term basically means a rivalry match between two clubs close together in distance, and often it is in the same city. Fulham will have several London Derbies because there are several clubs in the Barclays Premier League that are in London.

The biggest rival in the league has to be Chelsea as they are very close to Fulham in distance, and actually in Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Chelsea are a much larger club than Fulham, and are usually in the title race.

The biggest rival period is Queens Park Rangers, but Fulham will not play them in the league this season as they were relegated. However, there is a chance you could see them in a Cup Competition.

WEBSITE AND APP -

I have already been asked often where to get information on Fulham, and the best place to start would be the official website for Fulham. This is a great place to go to get information on the team, and also to watch videos on Fulham. I would highly recommend you going there. Also, if you have a smart phone, please do download the Fulham app to your iPhone or android.

There are many wonderful fan websites for you to check out. Please do visit Hammyend.com, Viva El Fulham, Cottagers Confidential, Fulham USA, and Fulham's Finest.

The best place to get the latest articles on the club is on NewsNow. I go to this website often every day for the latest information on Fulham Football club.

WHERE TO WATCH AND LISTEN -

This season, all Barclays Premier League matches will be shown in the U.S. on NBC, their different networks, and online. In England, the matches will be shown on Sky Sports, and BT starting this season. However, not all of the Fulham matches are televised in England which is a shame.

If you are looking for videos on Fulham, you can check out the FulhamFC.com website, and they also have a channel with most of those videos on youtube.com. You can also watch videos of Fulham on the app from the club.

To listen to the matches, you can go to the official Fulham website to hear a radio broadcast, but you can now actually listen to these matches on the Fulham app as well.

Well, there is your guide to get you started with Fulham Football Club. I hope it is helpful to you in learning more about, and enjoying the club that plays at Craven Cottage.

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