The line-up for next season is now complete

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And so the line-up for next year’s Championship is now complete.

Off go Hull to the promised land of the Premier League, amid reports possible new owners may well be close to a takeover.

Up come Barnsley, who rose from 
League 1 basement boys to secure promotion.

We already knew Albion would be heading to Burton rather than heading for West Bromwich Albion, Wigan rather than West Ham.

Despite the disappointment of missing out on promotion, as a friend pointed out, fans and the media alike will be able to get their teeth stuck into three tasty former Premier League sides.

Now that Rafael Benitez is set to stay at Newcastle, the prospect of a trip to St James’ Park is surely one supporters will saviour.

Aston Villa have fallen on lean times but, as those of you who may remember the trip to Villa Park in the FA Cup, it’s a stadium that can deliver an incredible atmosphere courtesy of the Holte End. Plus, as a former student in the second city, I can also recommend the curries!

Norwich are also on the way down and anyone who braved the rain for the previous 3-3 draw will have been entertained.

On that day, Gary Hooper denied the Seagulls all three points.

On the rise are Burton, who gave Albion a warm welcome in the Capital One Cup, and Wigan, who powered their way through League 1. In Barnsley, Brighton face another club, like Sheffield Wednesday, where they have struggled.

Everyone knows how the previous trip to Hillsborough ended, a 2-0 defeat in the first leg of this season’s play-off semi-final.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the trip to Oakwell replaces the final-day trip to Middlesbrough.

That Riverside trip has been made twice in the past two successive season, with both lunchtime kick-offs.

Last year’s one provided Albion fans with so much promise but unfortunately things didn’t quite go to plan.

Albion’s goalless draw with Barnsley a few years back was one of the dullest I can remember; in fact there isn’t too much I can recommend about that place.

Facilities are basic to say the least as the seats are so close they deliver skin peel on your knees.

The challenge to jump up into the top flight gets more and more difficult with the money involved but each year you have to savour both opponents and opportunities provided.

Fans won’t have long to wait with next season’s fixtures set to be unveiled later this month.

Of course, countless games will change due to TV coverage, among other things, but at least supporters can begin to plan.

It’s a long season in the Championship so there are plenty of chances to pick a weekend or even a night away.

Some may be more enticing than others but wherever fans go, whether in be in August, December or March, the dream of pastures new will be with them every step of the way, with hope of reaching the Premier League the season following.

Follow all the action, home or away, on BBC Sussex Sport or Twitter: @BBCSussexSport or @johnnycburger

To read more by Johnny Cantor, visit www.johnnycantor.com

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