Somerset Live ‘Fan’s View’

On Monday, I took part in Somerset Live’s new ‘Fan’s View’ feature, which gives Yeovil Town supporters the chance to voice their opinions.

I was interviewed before the crucial fixture against Crewe Alexandra, which the Glovers impressively won 3 – 0. You can see the video online by following the link in the tweet below.

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Under 12s helped by Burgess need sponsors

(Originally published in The News, available to read online here)

will-chittyAN UNDER-12s football team which was treated to a surprise training session by a Pompey player has revealed it is struggling to find a shirt sponsor.

Skilful Soccer Youth received worldwide media attention after Portsmouth FC’s Christian Burgess turned up to a training session last month.

The defender was contacted by coach Will Chitty after tweeting that he was at a loose end because Pompey’s League Two fixture away to Crawley had been…

Read more at: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/news/under-12s-football-team-treated-to-training-session-with-pompey-player-burgess-need-sponsors-1-7822953

Lee Bradbury learning through adversity with Havant & Waterlooville

Tears on the terrace. Fans on the floor. Heads in hands. That was the reaction to Havant & Waterlooville being relegated from the National League South. They had just drawn 1 – 1 with Weston-Super-Mare, but it wasn’t enough to save them.

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Havant & Waterlooville fans react to their team being relegated

Relegation always hurts, but being sent down on goal difference must have made it extra painful for the Hampshire club and its fans.

Just eight months later, things are different, as the Hawks are flying high in the Isthmian League. They’ve lost on just four occasions so far, as they aim to get back to the level where they feel they belong.

However, despite the mood around Westleigh Park being a far more positive one these days, manager Lee Bradbury still doesn’t hide the heartbreak that he felt on that fateful day in April.

“It was awful,” Bradbury says. “We found ourselves in a position that, myself included up until about five games to go, didn’t think we’d ever be in. Continue reading

‘Tales from the Training Ground’ – an interview with Pompey kitman Kev McCormack

The Northern Blues, a Portsmouth FC supporters club for fans living in the Midlands and Northern England, recently sent me to Fratton Park to chat with larger than life kitman Kev McCormack.

In this episode, we talk about which football club Kev used to support when he was younger, as well as memorable characters such as Brian Clough and Ian Holloway.

The series can only be seen on The Northern Blues’ official website, where you can find all previous episodes. Click here to watch the latest installment.

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Pompey Make Strong Start to New Season

(Published in The Galleon, available to read online here)

Portsmouth have made a strong start to their new campaign, as they try to gain promotion from League Two at the fourth time of asking.

Last season, Paul Cook’s leadership led the Blues to 6th in the League Two table; it was the first time they had finished in the top 10 of any league since 2008, and also the closest they had come to getting out of the Football League’s basement division.

Unfortunately, despite the strong season, a devastating injury-time goal from Peter Hartley in the Play-Off Semi-Final second leg meant that Plymouth Argyle would be heading to Wembley instead of Pompey. The Pilgrims eventually lost in the final, as AFC Wimbledon were promoted to League One.

This time around, Portsmouth fans are hoping that their team can go one better than last year, and bookies made Paul Cook’s men firm favourites to finish in one of the division’s three automatic promotion places. Continue reading

Yeovil Town 4 – 3 Portsmouth (EFL Trophy)

(Published in The Galleon, available to read online here)

A weakened Portsmouth side were beaten in the controversial EFL Trophy by Yeovil Town in a seven-goal thriller. A Michael Smith hat-trick wasn’t enough for the away side, as goals from Bevis Mugabi, Izale McLeod and two strikes from Tom Eaves ensured victory for the Glovers.

A boycott due to the inclusion of Premier League B Teams in this year’s competition led to an attendance of just 1,534. This made for a quiet atmosphere inside Huish Park, although the travelling Blues supporters cheered their team on until the end.

It was the home team who made the better start, with McLeod finding himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Liam O’Brien. However, the former Pompey striker’s shot hit the post and the ball was cleared to safety. Continue reading

Yeovil Town Ladies Hoping For More Family Fortune

(Published on Yeovil Town Ladies FC’s official website)

Yeovil Town Ladies will head to Everton looking to extend their unbeaten league run to ten games this Sunday. They have every chance of doing that as long as they produce the same level of performance that they did against Watford last week.

In their second game played at Sherborne during their mini-return to The Jones Stadium, the Glovers secured an emphatic victory over the Hornets. Yeovil were dominant right from the start but were made to work hard by Watford, with the home side perhaps feeling unlucky to be going in at half time only 2 – 0 up.

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The Jones Stadium

However, there were no complaints after the referee’s final whistle as the game ended 5 – 0 to Yeovil. One of the most impressive things about their performance was that they never took their foot off the gas, playing with a high amount of intensity and attacking intent even after the result become virtually guaranteed. Continue reading

Best of the Football League: an interview with ‘Journey to the 72’ author Shaun Best

journey to the 72

In recent years, ‘groundhopping’ has become more than just a hobby, it’s become a competition. Soccer fans from up and down the country who support clubs from up and down the football pyramid have dedicated themselves to visiting as many stadiums as possible.

Shaun Best is one of the few hoppers who is able to say he has visited every single ground in the Football League, and he’s written a book about his adventure called ‘Journey to the 72’ to prove it. From Accrington Stanley to York City, every league club was visited over the 2014/15 season, which is an even more impressive feat when you consider Shaun’s previous lack of groundhopping experience.

“I was the laziest football fan ever, had only visited London once and had never really been out of my comfort zone.” Shaun explained. “Friends floated the idea of groundhopping, I did some reading up on it and decided to go for it. I haven’t looked back. It’s been one of the best experiences of my life and I wholeheartedly encourage anyone on the fence to go and visit a new ground or two.” Continue reading