Stands: With Reading FC’s Medejski Stadium as their home ground, the Exiles will never be short of space for big games with a capacity of 24,000. Nice, comfortable and modern both inside and out, the watching public will enjoy their experience in a stadium which is moulded on the ever-more traditional ‘bowl’ shape of football grounds these days. A four-star hotel is part of the venue too if you fancy getting seriously stuck into the Guinness.
Setting: The large adjacent car park, with 2,000 spaces, is a necessity with an out-of-town setting. But if you are coming from the motorway, it could not be easier to find for opposition fans being situated just one mile from junction 11 of the M4.
Food & Drink: The benefits of economies of scale are obvious here. A very wide choice of food and drink both from outlets outside the ground and restaurants and bars inside the ground. Really nice bar near main reception with good atmosphere, Sky Sports on TV and food too.
Getting there: Could be a difficult trip for those who leave it late as the parking spaces are in high demand and queues are part of the experience as kick-off draws near. For the well-organised, shuttle buses travel to and from the ground on match days from the town centre.
Archetypal local: A tough one this. London Irish have, at times struggled to find their identity since moving away from their London roots in Sunbury, Middlesex. A section of old supporters still make the trip and they join a mixed crowd of both sexes. Irish have done well to attract both corporate visitors and youngsters with competitive ticket prices.
Atmosphere: If Irish could box their home St Patrick’s Day crowd and atmosphere and replicate it for every home game, they would have a seriously healthy following. With drums banging, a loud PA and some vociferous fans in traditional Irish garb, this is a fun place to be. As with all large football stadia, however, small crowds and cold days can make for a sterile atmosphere.
Local expectations: This is the definition of a club re-building, It's very hard for supporters to know what to expect this season with virtually a whole new squad and coaching staff. It will take time for them to bed in and develop thier own identity so a place in the top six is probably asking too much this season. If they can finish strong, show signs of promise and a definable style of play and score some tries, fans will be hoping for a place in the top eight with one eye on next season.
Banter: Always fairly lively where’s there’s Guinness involved. Locals have to be sharp-witted as opposing fans like to call them the “Not Nots” in recent years. As in, they are not from London and are not Irish!
Chants: “Come on your Irrrrrrrrrrish!”
BUY LONDON IRISH TICKETS for home games via the club site.