East Heading West

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Saturday 21st July 2018 ko 15.00

Pre-season Friendly

GORLESTON 3 (Gilfedder 13 45 Ramm 21)

LOWESTOFT TOWN 4 (Brown 9 12 Overy 46 Folkes 54)

Att 193

Entry £3

No Programme

My regular reader my have spotted a running theme of me gradually ticking off the grounds of the Eastern Counties League. Part of the reason is prioritising those Leagues not being visited by an organised hop, and another is regular trips with Wavendon- based Chris. His location near Milton Keynes makes heading east sensible, but there is the vexed question of what to do about the grounds he’s done that I haven’t. One was Gorleston, and with him being unavailable I simply picked the furthest one east! Continue reading

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Re-Visitor

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Monday 16th July 2018 ko 19.15

Surrey FA Meadowbank Launch Event/ Pre-season Friendly

CHELSEA U18 4 (Ballo 23 38 Wiggett 49 Clark 84)

OXFORD UNITED U18 0

Att 600

Entry FREE (by advance ticket)

Programme FREE

Teamsheet FREE

If the visit to Bath City’s Twerton Park was visiting one of the grounds you simply have to see before you die, then back in the day Dorking FC’s Meadowbank Ground was another on that list. Dorking were already struggling following relegation from the Isthmian League and when I visited in 2013 it was to be the club’s last season here. When the ground’s owners, Mole Valley District Council closed Meadowbank down on health and safety grounds, their exile at local rivals Dorking Wanderers’ Westhumble home was to be the death knell for the club. Continue reading

One To Do

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Saturday 14th July 2018 ko 15.00

Pre-Season Friendly

BATH CITY 2 (Rigg 45 89)

BRISTOL CITY U23 1 (T Richards 68) M Richards missed penalty 85

Att 187

Entry £8

Programme 50p

Between booking a wedding venue and meeting friends for a meal what should an engaged couple do? The answer in Robyn and I’s case was to visit one of the great British football grounds.  Continue reading

A Tale Of 2 Aylesburys

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Tuesday 10th July 2018 ko 19.45

Pre-season Friendly

AYLESBURY FC 3 (Ware  26 Coyle 75 Touceda 87)

OXFORD UNITED U18 0

Att c50

Entry £5

If you’re in Aylesbury and you’re a football fan then I think you feel drawn to Buckingham Road. Aylesbury United played here from the mid- ’80’s until a rent dispute saw them depart to a nomadic life, they’re currently sharing Chesham United. But 12 years later the ground is more-or-less in situ, albeit in a state where it awaits demolition, the club having ruled out even moving back, and the developers seemingly just waiting for the mod.  Continue reading

Returns Policy

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Wednesday 4th July 2018 ko 19.30

Pre-Season Friendly

HADLEY 0

REDBRIDGE 3 (61 77 84)

Att c35 at Barnet Lane 3G

After my frankly life-changing tour of Sweden in June, save for the odd World Cup game on television I’d taken a break from all things football. I’ll admit it was unusual for me, I remember one close season lasting less than 24 hours! But I looked up the Football Traveller’s friendlies list and soon spotted a ground you can’t do during the regular season. A bonus was that it involved driving past the site of one of my favourite grounds of the past. Continue reading

About Time

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Sunday 10th June 2018 ko 16.00

Dam Division 2 Södra Götaland

TRELLEBORGS F.F. ( Salmi 6 Nilsson 16 Williamsdottir 45 81 Le Grand 53 Svensson 67)

JAMSTORPS A.I.F. 0

Att 60 at Vångavallen

Entry FREE

The Swedish Hop’s £230 cost included two nights bed and breakfast in Trelleborg, coach travel including to and from Kastrup Airport, tolls on the Øresund Bridge, and all entry fees and programmes for the games.

In some ways this felt like the logical conclusion of so many factors. We asked people want they wanted, and some asked for a big ground so Trelleborg’s biggest ground was the obvious place to head. I wasn’t necessarily convinced, we’d included Allsvenskan and Superettan games before to little effect on numbers attending but plenty on the cost of the hop itself. But there was plenty of reasons to attend a game here, but the one that eventually drove us here was simple, organiser Kim Hedwall really really wanted to go!! Continue reading

The Invisible Bridge

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Sunday 10th June 2018 ko 11.00

Division 6A Sydvästra Skåne

BUNKEFLO F.F. 3 (Sörensson 50 K Olsson 61 Magnusson 79)

FC BELLEVUE 0

Att 65

Entry & Programme 30 sek

The Swedish Hop’s £230 cost included two nights bed and breakfast in Trelleborg, coach travel including to and from Kastrup Airport, tolls on the Øresund Bridge, and all entry fees and programmes for the games.

After 9 days in Sweden it felt like Robyn and I were packing a small part of our lives away as we bundled our clothes into our suitcases on Sunday morning. The sadness was obvious and after a week and a day of being engaged it was high time for us both to see our families and for me to organise an engagement ring for Robyn! I lugged the suitcases down to the lobby and for the last time attacked the crispy bacon and meatballs. Continue reading

More Than Just Football

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Saturday 9th June 2018 ko 16.00

Division 5 Sydöstra Skåne

ANDERSLÖVS BoIK 3 (Jonsson 6og Wikström 71 86)

SKEGRIE 2 (Melander 12 Larsson 51)

Att 114

Entry & Programme 40 sek

The Swedish Hop’s £230 cost included two nights bed and breakfast in Trelleborg, coach travel including to and from Kastrup Airport, tolls on the Øresund Bridge, and all entry fees and programmes for the games.

If we thought that Klågerup had been amazing, then I sat on the coach heading towards our final destination of the day wondering how on earth Anderslöv could possibly live up to what had happened before? The coach pulled into a car park behind a local school and driver Jörgen laughed. I leaned forward and laughed too… Continue reading

I Didn’t Predict A Riot

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Saturday 9th June 2018 ko 13.00

Division 6B Sydvästra Skåne

KLÅGERUPS G.I.F. 1 (Vågehed 48)

HALLANDS NATIONS FF 2 (Scholander 26 Brown 84p)

Att 34

Entry & Programme 40 sek

The Swedish Hop’s £230 cost included two nights bed and breakfast in Trelleborg, coach travel including to and from Kastrup Airport, tolls on the Øresund Bridge, and all entry fees and programmes for the games.

At breakfast at the Swedish hop’s base on Trelleborg’s waterfront there were a few hangovers in evidence, but ever the one to look on the bright side of things, it did mean more meatballs and crispy bacon for me! Even hop organiser Kim Hedwall allowed himself a knowing smile, he knew he’d got a another superb day lined up, but the Saturday had proved to be the most difficult of the three to put together.  Continue reading

A Lovely Town For a Murder

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Friday 8th June 2018 ko 19.00

Division 5 Sydöstra Skåne

YSTADS I.F. F.F 0

LIGA 06 I.F 3 (Andersson 27 A Svensson 64 H Nilsson 71)

Att 140

Entry 50sek

The Swedish Hop’s £230 cost included two nights bed and breakfast in Trelleborg, coach travel including to and from Kastrup Airport, tolls on the Øresund Bridge, and all entry fees and programmes for the games.

Last year’s Swedish Hop produced some amazing memories, not least the drinks reception at the Mayor of Trelleborg’s home. There was one massive disappointment, and that was that only 12 people booked, down from our usual 20 or so. I decided to take a little advice.

The usual chestnut came out, to feature top flight games more. That’s easily done on the eastern European hops, where entry costs tend to be nominal to western wallets, and the general costs far lower than in Scandanavia. Additionally, we’d included Allsvenskan and Superettan games on previous hops to little increase in numbers. But I didn’t want to dismiss the big ground idea out of hand, in the end I saw it as time to get creative, and simultaneously, so did organiser Kim Hedwall! What we ended up doing was supplementing our normal unknown gems with one massive ground.  Continue reading