Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.
I want to talk about supporting Coventry City, the team I've supported since I was a young boy at school. Coventry City are a team from the West Midlands near Birmingham, where I grew up. And just to give a bit of background on the club, it was founded back in 1883, and we were founder members of the Premier League. But in 2001, after 34 consecutive years in the top division, we were finally relegated. And since that year, we've been in the Championship or the second tier of the English Football Leagues.
Our only real honour was winning the FA Cup back in 1987. People often ask me why I support Coventry City. Well, in my school, everyone either supported Aston Villa, the local team, or Liverpool, the team that won everything at the time. I didn't really want to support the same as everybody else – I wanted to choose a different team. So after a school trip to Coventry one day, I thought, well, I'll support Coventry City, then. It was the FA Cup win that cemented my support for them. I remember listening to the radio commentary, listening to them beat, I think, Sheffield Wednesday in the semi-final and that was it. I was a City fan then.
Erm … people ask why I don't support one of the big teams. Well, in England, people either support a team that always wins, and we call them 'glory hunters', or a team near from where they were born. And there is a lot of joy in not supporting one of the big teams, especially when we get to play the big teams. I'll always remember beating Manchester United one cold Boxing Day, when we scored two goals in the last minute to beat them 3–2. And even last season we went to Old Trafford and beat Manchester United 2–0. Also, playing in the Championship is surprisingly a better league, I think, than playing in the Premier League. Every team can beat each other, it's much more exciting, every team has got a chance of getting promoted, or there is always the threat of relegation. Every season, there's new teams to visit and it's much more interesting than the Premier League, which is pretty much the same every year.
Supporting a team's like being part of a family: you can't just choose to leave the family if there's some disappointments. And being part of that family means that you share the same dreams and the same desires, and the same disappointments. This season I think we've got a good chance of promotion – we've got a good manager, Chris Coleman, who used to be in charge of Fulham. And we've got an outside chance, I think, of making the playoffs. Last season we were very nearly relegated, but this season I think we'll have a much better season.