Soccer Magazine

Another Chapter Ends

By Stuartnoel @theballisround

Despite the start of the Champions League preliminary round qualifiers, and the Europa League first round games this week I still class the season as ending on the 30 June.  This date is actually the one where all professional football contracts run to, a date set in place by those bastions of respectability FIFA.  So my season ended at midnight last night.

A record breaking season in more ways than one.  The most games I had ever seen in 365 days and consequently the most goals.  I saw football in nine different countries, 56 new grounds and drank around 200 pints of varying ales in the process.  So here are some highlights from the season:-

Total goals seen – Technically 264 but we actually missed 13 of them for various reasons.  The worst offence was at Neath v Hereford United back in July for a pre-season friendly when we had to leave to be picked up by CMF on the 75 minute mark with the score poised at Neath 1 Hereford United 2 and promptly missed five goals in those last fifteen minutes.  We averaged 2.64 goals per game which isn’t a bad return.

Another chapter ends

Cynical Dave celebrates with Wheeler

Best game – For thrills and spills Tooting & Mitcham’s 3-2 over Harrow Borough took some beating.  Best for atmosphere had to be Malmö’s 2-0 win over Helsingborgs that essentially won them the Allsvenskan back in September (Click here to watch the video).  For the drama then David Wheeler’s winner for Lewes in their game versus league leaders Braintree Town back in March will always be up there in my mind as one never to forget.

Best beer - I am biased here on this one, being lucky enough to drink Harvey’s beer every other week at Lewes so I am plumping for a fantastic pint of Chocoholic made by Manchester brewer J W Lees when I went to see Hyde v Stalybridge Celtic in the Thameside derby as part of our Northern Road Trip.

Another chapter ends

Sudbury in the sun

New grounds – A total of 56 new ones for us last season which isn’t a bad shout.  We saw games at grounds that were as basic as you can be in the early stages of the FA Cup, such as Lincoln Moorlands Railways ground but we never thought we would be counting a roped off pitch in our number.  But the Danish Cup 1st round tie between Kastrup BK and Greve was played on one such pitch, complete with a Carlsberg beer tent on the touchline of course.  Our favourite new ground?  Tough one but Sudbury on a sunny day in April will take some beating, as too did BK Avarta’s in Copenhagen.  The worst?  Well, that would be unfair on anyone although I fail to see how any spectators can enjoy watch a game at AFC Hornchurch’s stadium.

Best away trip – So many to chose from.  Obviously living in Copenhagen most of the week I am excluding games out here so I think there can be few better trips than the Antwerp away weekend in April.  The football was decidely average but the whole weekend was fantastic. It also saw the first, only and possible last every edition of The Ball is Round radio, recorded on Eurostar by Danny Last, Andy Hudson and myself.  That is until we settle the various slander cases.

If you really want to see the games we went to then our Facebook gallery has a shot from every game (bar 2) from the season.

I hate being without football.  Good job my first game of the season comes in less than 48 hours at Malmö as they take on Norköpping on Sunday..I hate the close season!


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