Thursday, October 28, 2004

News broke on the BBC yesterday of the signing of Brazilian legend Socrates to play for Northern Counties Eastern League side Garforth Town, along with the potential for Careca to join shortly, and Zico to pop his boots back on for next season. Garforth already boast the silky skills of ex-England, Manchester United, and Grindavik star Lee Sharpe.

However, this story isn't as strange as it first apppears (apart from the bit about Lee Sharpe). You see, Garforth are owned by a chap called Simon Clifford and Clifford also owns a string of coaching schools practising the art of Futebal de Salao. FDS is a five-a-side game originating in Brazil and played with a smaller, heavier ball. It's said to be one of the main reasons Brazilian players have been some of the most skilful in the world, as FDS promotes close-control, and general fancy-dannery. Clifford brought the game over to Britain and developed a coaching framework for the game. The FDS schools are sponsored by Lego who have given Clifford a seven figure budget (its entire sponsorship budget for the UK and Ireland) and their logo also appears on Garforth's shirts.

Clifford has plans for Garforth which will see all first-team players having served their apprenticeships playing FDS and these skills will help Garforth rise to the Premiership by 2025. I kid you not.

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Friday, October 22, 2004

Things are looking bleak for Denis Smith's Wrexham. Two stories from the BBC today highlight the turmoil that the Welsh club is facing. Firstly comes the report that the Inland Revenue has sought a winding-up order on the Red Dragons. This was followed shortly afterwards with the news that the managing director, John Eames, has resigned. Wrexham are the latest in a long line of football clubs which are being screwed by a property developer. Unfortunately, in Wrexham's case, it looks like this could be fatal. For more background information on the Wrexham situation check out Dismal Jimmy.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2004

A follow up to the earlier story about Wayne Rooney's driving conviction. A couple of days after the original hearing, the BBC posted news that the conviction had been quashed. Apparently, Master Rooney's lawyers had faxed an adjournment request to the court but it got misplaced and the case went ahead in his absence. After the error was pointed out and Rooney's documents were produced, the prosecution agreed to take no further action and the case was dropped. What the case has revealed, however, is that there would appear to be some truth in the widely-held belief that modern footballers are capable of nothing further than 1) buying bling; 2) snorting coke; and 3) smiling for Hello, with the revelation that players' documents are often kept by their agents, presumably because they can't be trusted to look after their own driving licences!


Monday, October 11, 2004

News reaches me from the colonies that our rebellious descendants are spreading their love of playing sports adorned with all manner of protective clothing into the wonderful world of football. Or "soccer" as they insist on calling it. USA Today reports that a New York youth league has introduced a rule requiring all players 14 and under to wear headgear to prevent "concussive injuries". Presumably, they're still using the old-style leather footballs capable of soaking up 10 gallons of water, or their addiction to pads will soon see them taking to the field in a suit of armour.


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