The Ball is Round
Bury the bad news

Bury the bad news

The end of a football season is a day of mixed emotions.  For some fans there will be the euphoria of promotion, the nervousness of not wanting to be totally embarrassed playing at a higher level next season, whilst for others there is the dread of relegation, the gnarling feeling that your team is too good to go down and that immediate promotion is so much of a certainty they may as well not…

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Football for the jilted generation

Football for the jilted generation - Braintree Town cling on to the dream of a place in the Football League

I’m heading towards Braintree on the A120 when I decide to engage my teenage daughters in polite conversation.  Of course, being plugged into the Apple grid they huff and puff as they have to take out their earphones.  “You know what Braintree is famous for?” I ask them.  Within seconds they have Googled the answer and Littlest Fuller tells me to “Smack my bitch up, you Firestarter”.  Yep, I…

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Playing away in Dreamland

Playing away in Dreamland - @lewesCFC take a point from megabucks Margate FC

13804963363_e4a9f3df14_b“Well I’ve been working hard to reach me sales target
To earn a few quid for an away trip down to Margate
I’m gonna blow my commission tomorrow on all me football family
We catch the train at eight so don’t be late, were off to see the sea”

We are the luckiest fans alive today. Who else wouldn’t want to be spending a day at the sunny British seaside today. It is fair to say that prior to the release…

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Honigkuchenpferd and all that business

Honigkuchenpferd and all that business - who needs the Bundesliga when you can have football in Grantham?

Grantham Town v Frickley Atheltic…this wasn’t in the original plan.  If I could have followed that dream then I would have been recovering from Energie Cottbus v Dynamo Dresden, nursing a hangover and preparing for Hallescher versus Hansa Rostock along with Danny Last, Kenny Legg and The Real Stoffers.  Unfortunately work has got in the way recently and so I was swapping a “lively” atmosphere in…

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South Shields FC

Next in our Gone and Nearly Forgotten series of former Football League side - South Shields FC

imagesContinuing our look at ex-Football League sides that simply faded into obscurity, we head up to the North East, home of David Milliband, the birthplace of Ridley Scott,  the legendary night club Glitterball and the mosque where the great Mohammed Ali had his wedding blessed.  Today, it is best known for being at the end of the Metro line, where many a pissed-up person has woken after a night out…

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The tournament that freedom forgot

The tournament that freedom forgot…East Germany hosted a Euro Championship Warm up in 1988. Remember it? No? Nor did the watching world

Back in the late 1980’s Europe’s political landscape was changing.  The Eastern Bloc was crumbling. Football was one language whereby different political ideals could be set aside for 90 minutes.  That was unless you lived in the divided Germany at the time.  It is hard to imagine today when we look at Germany that it was still a country partitioned by a wall into the haves and the have-nots. No…

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Lennon’s European dream – haven’t we heard it all before?

Lennon’s European dream – haven’t we heard it all before?

Celtic’s emphatic 5-1 victory at Partick Thistle on Wednesday night ensured an equally impressive 45th Scottish league title with seven games to spare.

Unrivalled in the league since Rangers’ dramatic decline three years ago, the green half of Glasgow has dominated the Scottish top flight and there seems little sign of that ending.

Yet not all is rosy north of the border. Neil Lennon’s job…

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Into the Lions Den

Into the Lions Den - experiencing the frenetic atmosphere of football in Singapore

photo 2 (3)Every year Dave Hartrick and I have the same conversation around Christmas time. “Stu – you going to stop travelling next year?” He would ask me and I would always reply with honesty, “that’s the plan…”. And then every year my travel boundaries are pushed wider, not always through choice…well, OK perhaps with a slight nudge in the work sense.

Copenhagen, Stockholm, Munich, Zürich, Paris. That’s…

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Dons down Caley to win their first silverware this century

Dons down Caley to win their first silverware this century - Daggers Diary team see history made at Celtic Park as Aberdeen win League Cup

Six weeks ago, The Daggers Diary team were fortunate enough to attend the semi final between Inverness and Hearts, while on a weekend trip to Edinburgh. As one of the more attention grabbing games that they had attended in a long while drew to a conclusion, they were offered tickets to the final if Inverness (down to nine players at this point) held on and won the tie.  Of course it was a…

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New kids on the Rock

New kids on the Rock - After being accepted by the UEFA family, what are the prospects for the game in Gibraltar

Three weeks ago the European footballing world officially welcomed its 54th member when Gibraltar were included in the draw for the 2016 European Championship qualifying.  Their journey for acceptance on the world footballing stage has been a tortuous one, filled with inconsistencies and back-stabbing that has dogged the governing bodies for years.  Despite not being “at war” or even…

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