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Sunday 27th September 12.00

4 Liga Bucuresti

A.S.F. FRATIA BUCURESTI 3 (Grigore 81 85 Hoganu 90p)

A.S. TERMO 6 (Oprea 21 Balan 32 Barbu 39 Tache 55 61 79)

Att 29

Entry FREE

No Programme

It’s not the best start to your footballing day when you ask your taxi driver for “Stadionul Fratia-Vulcan” and despite asking another driver, he has no idea where the place is! With local non-league expert Andrei unavailable we’d taken the Bucharest metro south to Aparatorii Patriei (Defenders of the Motherland!) station and found what we really wanted was the Vulcan factory in Berceni but what threw our driver was that it has been closed for many years! Continue reading

Meatballs or Kebabs?


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Saturday 26th September 2015 ko 17.00

4 Liga Bucuresti

CS ELECTRICA 5 (Dumimica 24 64 Gata 53 86 90)

VK SOCCER 0 M. Constantin sent off (2nd booking) 75

Att 37

We travelled by metro south to Piata Sudului and from there should have caught a bus to the Stadionul Rocar. The trouble was that in the mad rush the day before to get to Buftea we’d neglected to buy passes for Bucharest’s bus, trolley, and tram network. The irony of that omission was yet to be revealed to us though… Continue reading

The Mother Of Invention


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Saturday 26th September 2015 ko 12.00

4 Liga Ilfov

ATHLETICO FLOREASCA 4 (Dorlan 20 Trendo 25 Nicolau 57 Brinza 59)

ACS CORBEANA 2 (Timesol 28 Serban 90)

Att 16

Entry FREE

No Programme

Bottle “Ursus” Beer 5 Lei (c 84p)

“O wonder!
How many godly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t.”

William Shakespeare “The Tempest” Act V Scene I

It’s simple enough to get to Stadiunul Athletico Floreasca, just take the Bucharest metro north on the M2 line to Aurel Vlaicu station, a day’s pass on the underground costs 8 lei, about £1.34. From there you cross the road and head south passing the Floreasca Park retail development a modernist vision of concrete, glass and steel before going to through the double gates into the altogether more humble surroundings of the football ground. Continue reading

Play From Your… Heart


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Friday 25th September 2015 ko 17.55

International Club Veterans Friendly

ATHLETICO FLOREASCA 8 (Florea 4 66 70 Parashiv 8 20 38 52 Di Salvatore 30)


Att 16 at Centrul Tehnic al Federatiei Romane de Fotbal, Buftea, Romania

Entry FREE

No Programme

 “Yes! Yes! Play from your ******* heart!… I am available for children’s parties, by the way.”

 Bill Hicks “Relentless” 1992

My contact in Romania Andrei had alerted me to this highly unusual ground to visit, to the north west of the capital. He’s involved at Bucharest-based Floreasca, and was kind enough to organise travelling companion Sim and I a lift out to Buftea with the visiting team, it would save a lot of time, effort and worry in new country, and all of that looked in jeopardy when our flight was delayed, sat on Luton Airport’s runaway. Continue reading

Winning At Life


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Wednesday 23rd September 2015 ko 19.30

Anglian Combination Division One

BECCLES TOWN 2 (Joe Clarke 60 62)

BUNGAY TOWN 1 (Whiteman 7)

Att c200

Entry & Programme £2

If you’re on Twitter and like football then I suspect you follow Shaun Cole and Bungay Town. Yes, even you at the back, the Manchester United fan that’s never actually been to Old Trafford, because Shaun sells his club like no other. They are the team that once offered everyone 5p to attend a game then the next year offered free mushrooms to patrons. Because just because your club exists 12 promotions from the Premier League doesn’t mean you can’t tell the world that you’re alive and kicking, and it does give you the freedom to do it with wit and charm. Continue reading

Real Ales, Real Owls, Real Football


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Saturday 19th September 2015 ko 16.30

North Berkshire League Division One/ James Rennie Memorial Trophy



Att 204

Entry & Programme £4

Badge £3

“They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
    Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
    They danced by the light of the moon,
          The moon,
          The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.”

Except from “The Owl and the Pussycat” by Edward Lear

For someone who had only ever seen one game previously at Mill Lane, I seem to have visited this place a lot! The most abiding memory is the the series of meetings I attended in 2010 to get the North Berkshire Hop up and running. I met a third of the clubs across three meetings, and one of those was here. I remember one comment especially,  Continue reading

Aim For The Plane


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Saturday 19th September 2015 ko 13.30

North Berkshire League Division 3

GROVE RANGERS 4 (Pickering 2 Vaux 18 Cramp 21 22)

BENSON LIONS 1 (Radcliffe 88)

Att 154

Entry & Programme £4

Badge £3

The first clubs on my wish list for this hop were Grove and the Lions. They’d kept us royally entertained at the Defence Academy last time round, so it seemed entirely logical that we’d simply reverse the fixture this time. What I entirely forgot about was the full sized model of the De Havilland Venom nearby, marking the site of RAF Grove which closed in 1974, but also I felt also marking the visitors’ links to the RAF. Continue reading

Can I Call You?


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Saturday 19th September 2015 ko 10.30

North Berkshire League Division Two

HANNEY UNITED 4 (Bishop 16p 41 Woodside 75 Woodside 88)

MARCHAM 2 (Larman 7 Dobbs 24)

Att 171

Entry & Programme £4

Badge £3

You have to be an enthusiast to organise a groundhop. I mean you wouldn’t subject themselves to the kind of day I had unless you enjoy it. Its not often that you find yourself at Radio Oxford at 7.40 in the morning to publicise the hop one last time, then get a lift to the other side of town to collect the last of our 3 minibuses before pick-ups at Steventon and Didcot Parkway station. Continue reading

All Aboard


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Friday 18th September 2015 ko 19.45

North Berkshire League Division One


ABINGDON TOWN 1 (Pitson 59)

Att 125

Entry & Programme £4

There are so many tales I could tell of the North Berkshire League. The most important one for me personally is that they invited me on to their/our management committee a few weeks ago. It’s a massive honour, and validation for what Media Officer Phil Annets, GroundhopUK’s Chris Berezai and I have done together for the last 4 years’ worth of hops. What it did do too was imply more pressure on this year’s event, and true to form we ended up having to work far harder for our success than in previous years. Continue reading

For Old Times’ Sake


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Saturday 12th September 2015 ko 14.30

Welsh Cup 2nd Qualifying Round

PENRHIWCEIBER CONSTITUTIONAL ATHLETIC 2 (J Evans 18 S Thomas 64) Bennett missed penalty 34

LLANDRINDOD WELLS 4 (A Jones 44 Layton 38 B Jones 54)

Att 23

Entry FREE

Programme £1

You climb to get to Penrhiwceiber, up past Pontypridd then up again through Abercynon. Not for nothing is a nearby village called Mountain Ash! It’s just about superfluous to say that the South Wales Valleys villages were built on coal, with just about every settlement having its pit. Except here the pit was called Penrikyber, a piece of Anglicization which at least give the outsider an idea of how to pronounce the place! Continue reading


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