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

On the back of Bale

LET’S GET ONE thing straight. This is not the first time Wales have qualified for the latter stages of a major tournament since 1958. This is, however, the first time Wales have made it through to a “finals” since the World Cup in Sweden. Everyone seems to have forgotten 1976, when Wales reached the last eight of the European Championship, losing out to a fine Yugoslavia team. Of course, it suits the media to make grand statements about Wales’ feat – 57 years is a much better headline than 39, and further underlines the achievement of Chris Coleman and his … Continue reading On the back of Bale