Day: September 7, 2011

A Welsh Premier League Odyssey: Part Two

Just a couple of weeks ago, Neil Mace was a Welsh Premier League virgin. Last weekend, he continued his discovery of the Welsh national league with a trip to Port Talbot. There’s no escaping the fact that Port Talbot is an industrial town, the approach to the town is laden with cooling towers, steelworks and blast furnaces. It feels like a community built around industry, but rather than ignominiously rejecting this inherent part of the community, Port Talbot have chosen to embrace it. This is reflected in the nickname of the local football team, ‘The Steelmen’. The journey to the GenQuip stadium was made all the more difficult as locals were completely unaware of it being called the GenQuip stadium. Located in between rows of terraced houses, it’s not the easiest place to find.However, using my ingenuity and Google maps, I managed to find the stadium more affectionately known as Victoria Road. The stadium is open ended; at one end you have yet more rows of terraced housing, at the other, a view of the hills surrounding Port Talbot. With rain looking likely, I was quite happy to see that there were two sheltered stands running along opposite lengths of the pitch. From the club house in the corner of the stadium, you can see the chimneys of industry billowing smoke, which acts as a reminder of the industrial...

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Why Chorley Supporters Will Be Home Alone On Saturday

We have noted on here before that non-league football can be a hand to mouth existence for many clubs, all of which makes the recent behaviour of Northern Premier League club Chorley FC in relation to the ticketing and policing arrangements for their match against FC United of Manchester on Saturday even more perplexing than they might otherwise be. Chorley are due to be playing FC United in the league on Saturday, but there will be only one set of supporters present for the match, following the decision of the FC United board not to take up their allocation of just five hundred and thirty tickets for the match – a decision which, it should be added, has been almost unanimously approved by the supporters of the club itself. The root to this story, somewhat ironically, is to be found in a match played at Chorley earlier this year against Chester FC in Division One North of the Northern Premier League. With both teams near the top of the table, a large crowd turned out at Chorley’s Victory Park, but inadequate arrangements on the day meant that there was considerable disturbance both inside and outside the ground. Anecdotal evidence at the time suggested that a sizeable proportion of the trouble on the day was caused by supporters of other clubs that had decided to “adopt” Chorley for the day,...

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