ED Chamberlin cannot wait for his “dream” first date presenting Saints on Sky Sports.
The Southampton fan has seen his wish come true with his team back in the Premier League at the same time as
he is the face of Sky’s coverage of the division.
That will mean a first ever opportunity to present a game featuring Saints when they get the prime slot on Sunday August 19, with a 4pm kick-off at champions Manchester City.
Chamberlin, though, insists he will remain neutral.
“I’ve never presented a Southampton game before,” he said.
“I’m not worried about it in the slightest though because you have to be professional, but my first Super Sunday of the season to have this game is a dream for me.
“When I looked at the fixtures the first thing I looked at was when my first game at St Mary’s would be and it’s turned out to be another Super Sunday against Manchester United on September 2.
"Despite all that, it won’t be difficult at all to stay neutral – of course I would be disappointed if we got beat by seven at City but it’s work for me so it won’t be a problem.”
Chamberlin’s rise to the very top of the sports presenting world has had its highs and lows, most notably when he was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2009 and had to take a period off work.
Now, though, he is riding high at the very pinnacle of his profession and is delighted to see Saints doing the same.
“I’ve ridden the ride,” he laughed.
“I’ve lived down here all my life and been through all the ups and downs.
“Three years ago Saints and myself were in a similar situation – I was in Southampton hospital recovering from cancer and the club was going bust in front of my eyes.
“I’m back in business and doing my job and I’m so glad Saints are back in business and doing so well too.
“If I’m being truthful, I pinch myself most days when I do my job as the face of the Premier League on Sky.
“When you come back from an illness and then when you throw what has happened with Southampton in the mix as well, it is magical.”
Chamberlin is also bullish about Saints’ Premier League survival prospects.
“Absolutely they can survive,” he reckoned.
“Southampton have got to take inspiration from Norwich and Swansea last season.
“It’s such a well run club and Nigel Adkins has got them so united.
“That togetherness is amazing.
“Jay Rodriguez is an excellent signing and, from what I hear, there might be three or four more.
“So they are in really good shape and I think they will be OK.”