July 27, 2005

The Worst Team in Britain?: East Stirlingshire gear up for another season. A great article from the Guardian on football at the lower levels. Not the first writer to acknowledge the masochistic streak in football players and fans. Yes, they do have fans.

posted by owlhouse to soccer at 09:06 PM - 5 comments

Beat me to it! (except I was going to post something snarky about Celtic at the same time, hehee). I read the article at the Guardian and thought this is good, and nearly double posted it here. I'm a bit of a Solihull Borough fan (as well as the Villa of course) and they managed to finish bottom last season. I can totally sympathise with East Stirlingshire's plight - Solihull get about the same number of fans as them. And they tend to be just as sarcastic. I've been to home games where the away support has outnumbered the home fans too.

posted by BigCalm at 03:21 AM on July 28, 2005

I used to go to Canberra Cosmos games in the old Australian national league. I used to sit with a bunch of colleagues who spent the entire game complaining about how bad the team was, and how hopeless the idea of the club based in Canberra was. Our favourite player, Marco Perinovic, was clearly one of the worst strikers ever to get to that 'level'. We loved him for just trying desperately to overcome his obvious and manifest limitations. At the end of 90 minutes of pure sarcasm, we always agreed to meet each other at the same place for the next game.

posted by owlhouse at 03:21 PM on July 28, 2005

Why is the idea of a football club in Canberra hopeless? It's not a tiny little village after all? Funny though, the team name and your comment had me thinking, Well, the NJ Cosmos of the old NASL were hardly the worst club any season and they sure turned out the crowds but they couldn't stay in business either.

posted by billsaysthis at 03:46 PM on July 28, 2005

It probably isn't a hopeless idea in theory - we were just a bunch of cynics. Canberra has about 300,000 people in a market competing with professional Rugby league and Union, and AFL promotions. The Cosmos were the evolutionary endpoint of the ACT Soccer Federation's efforts to get represented in the national league. There were several previous incarnations. Resources had to come from the local clubs, which meant less money for junior soccer and a whole heap of local jealousies and rivalries coming to the fore in the administration of same. Sponsorship was minimal. Crowds averaged over 1,500, the stadium was world class but it just never proved economically viable to keep entering a 'franchise' (for that is what they now are) in the national competition. I never thought I'd ever be writing something like this - I even miss the buggers, even though I'm now living 1,000 km away in anotehr state!

posted by owlhouse at 05:23 PM on July 28, 2005

At least you're living in Australia, mate. Something I've been itching to do since visiting in 2000 (but before the Olympics, mind you, not during).

posted by billsaysthis at 03:33 PM on July 29, 2005

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