Monday, 30 May 2016

Bratislavan floodlight porn

Slovan Bratslavan are doing OK on football terms but support wise they are really struggling, the ground is looking a bit run down and the capitol still waits for a new national stadium.

The Bratislava public may not want to watch football in great number but the main stadium in the city - Stadion Pasienky is well worth a visit by any British football ground enthusiast - the stadium is a typical East European bowl - Soviet/communist style with the usual athletics track, very similar to the Dynamo Berlin ground in Berlin, but what stands out at this East Bratislava ground is the floodlights - they are just amazing and in the UK would probably end up being listed!

No need for a game to be on to have a close look at the ground as every Sunday a car boot sale is held by the stands. For only 80p you can both pick up a bargain and have a good look round the stadium.

The whole complex also includes training grounds for some of the younger Slovan sides and the complex also has a second local club playing on the east side of the complex, NMSK 1922 and that is well worth a visit to see that fans may have deserted the top clubs but some of the smaller clubs still have good support plus a keen team of volunteers.

Doing the Lokomotiva!

Sunday 29 May 2015, Lokomotiva DNV 3 FC Slovan Ivanka pri Dunaji 2 - Slovak Division 3 (Brataslva Region)  Sportovy Areal

A division lower but over double the supporters and that is even with distraction of Slovakia v Germany on the TV.

The way the village seemed to get behind the club may indicate that even if the Bratislava public may have fallen out of love with football, in the surrounding villages the game still alive and kicking. But with a  mini Ice Hockey rink behind one goal and an Ice Hockey training facility at the other end it becomes obvious that Ice Hockey is still the number one sport in Slovakia,

Under £2 to get to the village by train from Bratislava (12 minutes) and then a nice 10 minute walk through the fields it seemed a pleasant enough way to get to football but then to arrive and find that admission was under £1 including a programme and to see next to the entrance a beer and sausage stall I knew I had chosen the right location for a Sunday afternoon match.

The game was decent enough and the ground had plenty of character plus good beer in the clubhouse, Slovakian football has plenty offer the British groundhoppers.

Too early in the morning for football?

Sunday 29 May 2016, Slovan Bratislava II 1 Partizan Bardejov 4 - DOXXBet League (Slovakian Division 2), Stadion Rapid Ruzinov

Sunday morning anywhere in the world may seem too early for football but maybe after a late Saturday night in Bratislava it seemed too early for many as a crowd of about 90 turned up to see the Slovan Reserve team play in the equivalent of our Championship. Not a fan of Premier Reserve teams entering our league system, I am sure they will get bigger crowds than 90 but it was also the way that Partizan won easy which further convinces me that B/Reserve/U21 teams should stay in their own specific leagues.

The plus point about the visit was the stadium, Slovan have taken half of the Rapd Ruzinov ground for their academy use, the Slovan part of the complex included a quality pitch, good main stand, sunny terrace plus a nice little bar for half time.

The Bratislava public may have fallen out of love with football (ice hockey is king in Slovakia) but it is a good (and cheap) place for English groundhoppers to visit.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Up for the cup - is their village empty?

Tuesday 24 May 2016, AFC Hoxne 2 Henley Athletic 0 - Suffolk Junior Cup Final, Portamn Road

Great crowd at Portman Road tonight, no attendance given but would not be surprised if more than Premier Cup Final

In the swim

Sunday 22 May 2016, European Aquatics Championship - Queen Elizabeth Aquatics Centre, London

Last day of the championship and what an afternoon of success for GB, a Bronze medal then 2 Silvers and then a Golden finish - With both the Mens and Womens 4 x 100m Medley teams winning Gold!

Plus I managed to visit another of the iconic 2012 Olympic venues. Hockey next!

Sunday, 15 May 2016


Saturday 15 May 2016, AFC Wimbledon 1 Accrington Stanley 0 - Division Two, Play-off, semi-final 1st Leg, Kingsmeadow

I knew it was a non-league ground, was slightly bore by this holier than now image of AFC Wimbledon and also the constant abuse aimed at MK Dons by many in football - but I had not been to Kingsmeadow so the play-off game seemed a good good opportunity.

Tickets were going to be difficult to get and so I decided on match day hospitality - 3 tickets for myself, my fellow hopper, Colin and my wife - bad news, sold out!

Then started my change of opinion of AFC Wimbledon - a quick email to the club got a quick reply and the offer of extra seats in hospitality, this was followed by further emails from the club- all informative and helpful.

Then we arrived, found the bar, our table and the real Wimbledon kicked in - no dress code, everyone friendly, great service, good food, and packed but still a personal; service all at a good price.

Best bits? Ex-players including Dave Beasant chatting and willing to be photographed with everyone then an hour before kick off the Wombles manager came in, read out the team and gave a quick preview of the game - not sure any other club in the league would get this to happen.

We left, found our seat and a packed stadium - Accrington were better technically and had the best chance of a game with few chances, then the 'beast' came on as a sub- chaos in the Accrington defence and Wimbledon get a late winner.

So now I hope they get to Wembley - and win - they really are a fans club and one that is proud of their heritage but do not want to forget those who have got them where they are. I still think it is time the rest of football gave the MK Dons a chance, but it will be interesting nest season as both 'Dons' clubs may find themselves in the same division.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Norfolk nights

Tuesday 10 May 2016, Mulbarton Wanderers 0 Harleston Town 3 - Anglian Combination, Premier Division - Mulberry Park

My first visit to the Anglian Combination and I chose a good ground to start with, a club that has the potential to improve its ground further - it has the lights, the space and even a tea bar!

The game itself did not go their way and the game was ruined by a far too lenient ref. Harleston deserved the win, and managed to score a penalty plus two superb individual goals. i am sure this will be the first of many Anglian Combination grounds.