Monthly Archives: August 2013

“I just wanna write and play football…”

It’s a typically mild Sydney winter’s day. The sun is beating down. After 12 regular season games of 11 a–side football today is the Semi-Final. Second versus third to decide which team goes to the ‘Grand Final’ – a concept and format so alien to me five years ago but of one that I am now the biggest fan. The game is locked at nil-nil (or “nil-all” in the Australian language). My team are buoyant after dominating the game, playing impressive flowing football but to be denied several times by an acrobat of a keeper. Our last regular season game against this team finished with a 1-0 loss as they scored with the last kick of the game. It was heartbreak as we had outplayed them in a dirty contest. The first half of ‘Golden Goal’ extra-time is almost up and we break away yet again down the left wing. Our left midfielder gets to the by-line and crosses to the far post. The ball bounces awkwardly across the six-yard box and steaming in like a runaway train is our right midfielder, a stocky engine that somehow jumps like a ballerina. Time slows to a crawl as his right foot rises the highest it ever has to push the ball into the roof of the net. Cue pandemonium. We scream, punch the air and my fellow centre-back and I sprint downfield to hug, wrestle and jump all over him. His face is one of absolute shock and happiness rolled into one. Forget Mandela, this is our hero.

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The Forgotten Ireland: A Profile of Northern Irish Football

Northern Ireland has long been viewed as the less fashionable of the Irish nations, and when it comes to football the external view is no different. From their origins as a united Ireland team to two very separate football entities, politics and unrest have littered their history and inevitably their football.

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Zimbabwean Football: Clinging to Mugabe’s hollow promises

Last week the infamous Robert Mugabe claimed a landslide ‘victory’ in the Zimbabwe presidential elections to tighten his leadership grip. Since 1980 he has reigned as the Prime Minister then President over a regime of alleged corruption and violence. The economic situation has deteriated in tandem with his land-grab policy over the last decade and there have been almost non-existent funds for sport; along with education and culture, sport formed one government ministry. In March this year Mugabe handed out the domestic league’s trophy and took a very sudden and suspicious interest in football promising when he won the election money would be made available.

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