The little things mean so much. Supporting a recently relegated team sometimes has its minor consolations, which are often exaggerated by the faithful: new towns; new grounds; new pubs; maybe winning a few games; being a big fish in a smaller pool. Relegation to the Conference brings more still: generally friendly, unsegregated grounds; better chance of being on the telly due to the Conference’s deal with Sky; having a drink within sight of the pitch.

But then you find strange ruptures in the things you’d taken for grated. I’d imagine many of Sheffield Wednesday’s younger fans are feeling sorry for themselves as they see FA Cup round one on their fixture lists for the first time since their late-70s sojourn in the old Division 3. Their bye to the third round will have seemed a birthright.

In exactly the same way, I am scanning Exeter’s fixture list and I see the dread words Fourth Qualifying Round. It’s not seeing the Champions League on telly which hurts me, that’s never been part of our world (one day, mind, one day’). It’s the fact that we might not even get into the FA Cup proper this year. It’s confusing and a bit frightening. It’s like catching an unwelcome glimpse of yourself in a mirror and not recognising yourself at first’ ” is that really me?’

TMFD