Newport and the search for renaissance

WALES were one of the darlings of Euro 2016, and rightly so, for their performances put more celebrated nations to shame. But whether the success of Chris Coleman’s team marked the start of something significant and sustainable remains to be seen – at the moment, they are in a three-way battle in their 2018 World Cup qualifying group with the Republic of Ireland and Serbia. At club level, it is unlikely to make much of a difference. The Welsh Premier League, for example, has seen attendances decline by 3% in 2016-17. The New Saints, who have enjoyed significant publicity owing … Continue reading Newport and the search for renaissance

Southend – sea, sand and success

SOUTHEND used to be all about the “lights”, jellied eels, the nightlife, “kiss me quick” hats and a paddle in the freezing cold sea. From a football perspective, Southend played on Friday nights and they had one Billy Best in their line-up. The Kursaal, an amusement park, once played host to legendary rock bands like Queen, Deep Purple, Mott the Hoople and Black Sabbath. Roots Hall is one of those old fashioned football grounds that used to proliferate the third and fourth divisions of the old Football League structure. Big floodlights that can be used as pointers to the ground’s … Continue reading Southend – sea, sand and success

A far cry from concrete cows

IF there’s a better football ground in League One than the MK Stadium, then I haven’t seen it. Some say it lacks atmosphere, but that’s nothing to do with the design, for it’s as good as any modern stadium and certainly comfortable. Padded seats, decent access, facilities nearby and a reasonable pricing policy – MK Dons have a good home. And contrary to some reports, and the belief that you need a car if you live in MK, it is not difficult to find – number one or six bus from the MK Central (£2.30 return if you have a … Continue reading A far cry from concrete cows