Skip to main content

Happy New Year! (1st January, 2018)

It's been quite the year.

This blog started in a dorm room, as a result of an impulsive decision. On the 16th of February, 2016, I clicked the publish button.

Everyone makes impulsive decisions - but I may be the only one who doesn't regret it.

Since then, this blog has featured the likes of the The Hinchas y Jugadores project, which (tried) to bring fans, writers, footballers and coaches together. And it blew up - I ended up interviewing ex-Barcelona players, a footballer with three consecutive league titles, the assistant technical director of Rayo Vallecano, an Ipswich legend, and the nephew of Juan Sabas.

Not to mention the fact that fans of Segunda B clubs came on board - yes, Burgos and Real Jaén have fans, and Ponferradina had more than one! Someone actually wrote over 2,500 words about the Barcelona Femení team. UCAM Murcia, a team that were in the sixth tier a decade ago, had a fan too. And if that surprises you, how about the fact that a Norwegian supports Gimnàstic de Tarragona. Or that Real Madrid's reach is so great that they have fans in Kurdistan.

And all that pales in comparison to the coincidence that my Alavés fan interview was with the cousin of ex-Alavés defender Santiago Martínez.

More importantly, this blog has always tried to delve into the depths of the historical archive, and do things that no one is doing. No one plots player's careers on Google Maps. And no one talks about university clubs. So this blog did it - twice, and counting. Not to mention that this blog went to Westfields, and at WHSmith picked up every Madrid travel guide and searched for Vallecas - finding no mention of Vallecas - just to prove the point that Vallecas is under-the-radar.

Because why not.

But this blog has always been about fans. So to all those who contributed to the Hinchas y Jugadores project, or the live projects such as the Rayo aficionado or Las Perspectivas....thank you. This blog doesn't survive without you - and it helps assuage the effects of the impulsive decision I made.

Finally, given that this is the new year, I've attached below a compilation of some pieces that I think went under-the-radar - yes, even on this under-the-radar blog.

This is blog post number 345 on day number 320.

Over and out.

Links:

And some under-the-radar pieces

Javi and Emilio Guerra - twins divided by opportunity
From Catalonia to Heybridge - the story of an eighth division club
Francisco Pérez Pérez - the actual oldest player to have played in Spain 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Non-league Incider: Cray Valley Paper Mills 4-4 Punjab United Gravesend

Last game: 9th August: St Helens Town 3-0 Atherton Laburnum Rovers After ripping up my groundhopping calendar, mostly because I was determined to avoid overnight travel, and partly due to other commitments, there was a period of time where non-league football took a backseat. But that period did not last long. Because of course it didn't. Secretly, I'd loved travelling over ten hours back-and-forth to watch some 10th division football. And this was 9th division football in London. When I had gone to East Dulwich exactly a week back , I had commented on how the amount of graffiti struck me as I watched from on board a southeastern train. I was going the exact same way, but much further this time - then I had stopped at Denmark Hill, now I would have to go six stations further. The graffiti I had thought was so emblematic of south London quickly disappeared, as did the tall buildings desperately cluttered together. We, and by we I mean me, were going to the suburb

The story of a Dutch duo transferring to relegated Rayo - Dave van den Bergh and Robert Gehring (17th November, 2017)

Transfers are always fun. While digging around former Rayo players, I found that someone had transferred from Rayo Vallecano to Rayo Majadahonda - the other Rayo. What I uncovered was a fascinating story - the story of two Dutch friends who came together and left in very different ways... Robert Gehring started his youth career in AFC, and finished it at Ajax; he made his debut in the first team in the second match for the 1995 UEFA Super Cup against Real Zaragoza - a competition Ajax subsequently won - but largely spent his time in the reserves. In the 1996-97 season, he got seriously injured, which stagnated his development. Robert Gehring, celebrating the Super Cup victory In 1997 his friend and teammate Dave van den Bergh made the switch to Spanish side Rayo Vallecano. Dave recommended Gehring to the club, and Gehring was invited to a trail - despite the fact that his ACL injury had ruled him out for a year. In the trial, Gehring made such an impression that he was off

Fuenlabrada - the mighty challengers: Part 2; aka Juan Quero - the roller-coaster (15th October, 2017)

In just a few months, Fuenlabrada have competed for promotion to the Segunda, signed a center-back from a La Liga side, and will now be playing Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey. This is part 2 of a series about Fuenlabrada, the mighty challengers to Real Madrid, who they play in the cup on the 26th of October. You can read part 1 here . He was short. Very short. At 5'3", the left winger sometimes played in an over-sized shirt. The ball never left his feet. His feet were tiny but they had magic. A dizzying array of body feints, close control, direction changes and sheer speed, often resembling a roller-coaster, left opposition defenders outwitted. And yes - s ometimes, he frustrated. Sometimes, he was irregular. But when he turned up, the world was at his feet. If Juan Quero plays against Real Madrid he'll be playing against the club that let him go. The club that didn't think he had it in him to become a La Liga player. The club that was wrong. Very,