Blast from the past: Noob’s 2018 interview with World Tottenham Hotspur’s Will Rivard

As we await the beginning of the Isle of Sodor FA Cup and Premier League, Noob once again invites us all to revisit the halcyon days of this site.   Back before the IoS had decided to formally organize their footy.  Back when Noob learned and wrote of soccer simultaneously by producing ’10 to Tracks’, covering the game the world over.  Review(oob)ed sandwiches for no damn reason.

And Noob actually got a legit soccer person to agree to an interview!   (Will Rivard now writes for Football and the City as well as managing his own World Tottenham Hotspur content.  Also, his answers are all italicized, independent of text color.)    *magic time travel dust to last year*

_______________

TottenhamHotspurworld.com founder and writer Will Rivard was kind enough to “join” Noob, in a manner of speaking, for an interview.

Tenured Noobites know I spurn the Spurs, named as they are for historical traitor Henry Percy.   But Noob respects fellow writers and Will’s excellent.    More, this is the sort of site to which fans should graduate as they learn more.  I wanted to share something like this before I take a scale back, take a hiatus of sorts from project SoccerNoob.

(Why some text of Will’s is red and why some is not will be made clear at post’s end.)

————

Hello? Who’s calling pleeease?

This is Will Rivard, Spurs supporter and creator of Tottenham Hotspur World website/blog.

I can’t believe you showed! I would’ve assumed you did your research, saw how my “D2 Coaches Interviews” from last year went, how these sorts of things get handled here.

Yeah, about those. Are those real, did you actually talk to anyone?

Ummm…er….Hey now, who’s conducting this interview, you or me, Mr. Rivard?

I just thought, well –

Moving on! You’ve offered to take part in this interview. In the context of knowing Noob is anti-Spurs, why?

Personally, I really like your sense of humor and site, so it was a no-brainer… besides what better way to change your mind than answering your questions (The More You Know…)

What a coincidence. Most describe this site as a “no-brainer”. So you hope to convert Noob to being a Spurs fan?

Slowly but surely… I’ll settle for Noob not being anti-Spurs for now, but before you know it… You too will be a  One Hotspur Member  (but who knows?

How long have you been running your site-blog?

I have been running my site since January of 2018.

Is this the first incarnation of your Tottenham site?

I have changed the appearance of my site a few times since its inception but have kept the format relatively similar throughout

What blogging platform or content management tool do you use?

I use BlueHost as far as the web hosting aspect of the site. The blogging platform I currently use is WordPress. I have been very satisfied with both.

Your site looks better than mine. I shake my fist at you.

I’ll see your shaking fist and take a bow for that humble praise… Seriously though it took much trial and error to get it to look the way it is, and honestly there are some days that I want to change the appearance completely. (That’s probably the perfectionist in me.)

Do you do a podcast or use other media platforms for THW?

I don’t personally have a podcast that I produce, but I have been fortunate enough to appear on several podcasts including: Bros Talking Soccer, LADS (Loud Americans Discussing Soccer), Two Foot Talk, and Top Class Finish.

I heard your interview on Bros Talking Soccer. I, too, appeared on BTS. Perhaps I should’ve come to you for coaching on how to be a proper guest.

Yeah, I caught that episode. I’m….not sure you could afford my rates.

Diplomatically-played, Will. What podcasts or other soccer media things do you enjoy?

I can honestly say that all the podcasts I’ve appeared on I really enjoy to listen to and try to catch them every week. Though you are still hung up on the whole Henry Percy thing, I do find your blog both entertaining and refreshing, a nice break from all the transfer gossip etc. in the English papers.  Two additional pods I really enjoy (both are Tottenham podcasts based in London) are (1)The Fighting Cock and (2) The Extra Inch.

Whoa there, cowboy! Those last two don’t sound like soccer. Noob doesn’t run blue. Ever think of doing your own podcast?

At some point I would love to start my own podcast, but I don’t have any plans in place at this time.

How often do you post, in and out of season?

I post on average 2-3 times per week in and out of season. During the summer it might be more focused on transfers, spotlighting young players, and covering Spurs players participating in competitions with their national teams.

Do you have a theme song on the site, something groovy for folk to listen to while perusing THW?

I do not, but that’s a good idea, maybe if things really take off we go “Mo Money Mo Problems” by Notorious B.I.G.

Had Noob been a baseball player, my walk-up music would’ve been Frank Sinatra’s “Summer Wind”.    Let’s give the readers a choice in background music.

I think that would’ve been vetoed in stadiums, unless someone understood you were making a joke about striking out.

Jokes are so much funnier when they get explained. Thanks for that.

Asshat.

Oh ho, you did check out some the D2 Coaches Interviews! Again, well-played. So, what is your background in soccer in general?

I’ve been playing the beautiful game since I was six years old. At my highest point I was the backup goalkeeper and Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama. Unfortunately I only made one appearance for the first team in my lone season there. Funny story about that game: I actually dislocated my pinky finger in warmups but since I hadn’t played all year, I decided I wouldn’t tell the coach and play anyways. (It didn’t matter as we won rather easily — 3-0.  I don’t think I had to make but a couple of stops)

After graduating from Auburn University, I actually coached one year of High School Soccer at Opelika High School (Opelika, AL). We only won five games, but apparently that was four more than they won the season before. I enjoy watching Tottenham, Celtic, and the U.S. Men’s National Team play. I’ve actually seen the USMNT play three times in person and got to watch Spurs play Manchester City in Nashville, TN a few years ago. (Actually got to meet the entire Spurs team the day before at training, pretty cool stuff.)

How did you come to be a Tottenham Hotspur fan?

I grew up playing soccer (among other sports) but only became a Spurs fan about 4 years ago. I love the attacking style of play Tottenham employ. In   ​ ​this video,​​ every Spurs player touches the ball in the lead up to the goal.

I also like how they seem to be one big band of brothers, ​Dele Alli and Eric Dier ​​in particular are hilarious when they get together.

And if the way ​Heung-Min Son​​ plays the game doesn’t give you joy then you might not be human.

The way that Tottenham have built the current team (promoting from the youth ranks, wise financial decisions, not spending ridiculous amounts of money like the Manchester clubs and Chelsea) is really refreshing, I feel like they don’t just buy players, but develop them as well. For instance, Harry Kane was actually let go by arch rivals Arsenal before he was 10 years old, and then came over to Spurs, and I bet they regret that every-time he bangs in a goal against them.

Why is the club named for an historical traitor?

So, from the research I’ve done (which isn’t much, mind you) what I can concur is that it has more to do with the speed of attack that Henry Percy’s forces attacked with as well as his willingness to bravely rush into the thickest part of battle, with spurs on. It didn’t hurt that he had his family owned a significant amount of land in Tottenham as well. Fun fact though, Sol Campbell is often referred to as a traitor by Spurs supporters. Prior to Campbell’s contract expiring Campbell promised Spurs supporters he would stay. Instead of staying Sol instead joined Spurs arch-enemy Arsenal (he could’ve avoided the situation entirely by either signing a new deal or going to Barcelona or Inter Milan)

That’s a sad story. Am I supposed to be moved to pity for Sir Topham Hatt Hotpur, traitor to multiple kings, nefarious ne’er-do-well and all around cretinous yahoo?

What’s with Sir Topham Hatt instead of “Tottenham”?

Image result for very cross Sir Topham Hatt

 

 

Noob will not type He Who’s Name Shall Not Be Typed!

 

But it appears in type earlier in this interview…

Quiet, heathen! I mean, um, moving on – What all teams and other facets of the Tottenham organization/culture/life do you cover on your site?

So just like the name of the site Tottenham Hotspur World, I aim to cover the entire World of Spurs. The Tottenham teams I cover on my site include the Mens: U18, U23. UEFA Youth League, and of course the First Team, I also cover the Spurs Ladies (who are currently at the top of the table in the FA Women’s Championship). In addition to all the teams I have started interviewing Spurs supporters from all over the World for my ​Spurs Supporters Spotlight​ series. Finally, for the new Spurs (or soccer/football) fans I’ve been working on a​ Premier League Terminology ​Series. The series is in alphabetical order, beginning with terms starting with the letter “A” and it will conclude with “Z.” I’ve been able to incorporate several of the excellent videos courtesy of The Soccer Tavern in those articles.

What is your favorite thing about Spurs culture, supporters?

Tough question, so difficult to only pick one. I will say, one thing I really love is that when I am watching Spurs play an away match on TV and hear the supporters chanting..it just gives me chills. The supporters really are some of the best in the world, I’ve had so many conversations with fellow Spurs fans on Twitter from all over the world, and we may all come from different places/walks of

life/beliefs, etc. but if we ever have any differences we can put them all aside for Tottenham. A good example is Moussa Sissoko, for the first season or so he has been with Tottenham he was underwhelming to say the least, and the supporters were all over him (sad to say but I was guilty of giving the Frenchman a tough time too). However, over the past few games he looks like a new man and has been one of our more reliable players, so much so that the fans were chanting his name after we defeated London rivals Crystal Palace recently…what a difference a few good performances makes.

Where does Tottenham fall in overall level of Premier League, general success, compared to other teams?

Spurs are definitely a successful club, one of the “Top 6” (along with Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United). While much of the talk around Spurs at the moment centers around needing to win something, Spurs have historically been a rather successful club, and you can find a list of their accomplishments​ here  .

Remaining based in their current home, would Spurs win both the MLS Supporters Shield and MLS Cup running away? Would they lose a match?

Very creative question…the MLS is growing as a league and becoming more competitive every year. However, I think if Spurs were playing solely in the MLS (and didn’t have to worry about the Champions League, FA Cup, etc.) they would likely win both the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup (though I could probably say the same for the other “Top 6” Premier League Clubs. It’s hard to go undefeated in any league so I’ll defer to Noobstradamus on that one.

Who should I know from Spurs?

From the current team I would say Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and Christian Eriksen are three of the most recognizable Tottenham players. Kane is obviously one of the best strikers on the planet, and Christian Eriksen is the Spurs player who can unlock even the most difficult of opposition. Dele Alli is full of flicks and tricks (he never passes up a chance to nutmeg someone, whether it’s during a match or even in practice against his own teammates) and the runs he makes off the ball are not only underrated, but help free up his teammates.

There are several Spurs players throughout history that definitely should be mentioned. Jimmy Greaves leads not only Tottenham in goals scored (266), but is also the highest goal scorer in the top flight in England (357), he played at Spurs from 1961-1970. Before Jurgen Klinsmann was the coach of Germany and later the USMNT, he was a cult hero at Tottenham. Though he only spent one season at Spurs (1994-1995) he was loved by supporters selling over 150,000 shirts and scoring 30 goals that year.

What is COY?

I think you mean COYS? COYS means Come On You Spurs and basically is our rallying cry.

Mine is “I am Noob!” IMN! Hmm, not the same. Is there other jargon Noob or actual potential Spurs fans should know?

There are several things, but most importantly WE DON’T WEAR RED (the color of arch rivals Arsenal) and you can’t root for the other London clubs, they are our sworn enemies. As far as other things to know about Spurs, ​this article from​​ Cartilage Free Captain  gives a good rundown over everything.

OK, let’s talk about our relationship.

Our WHAT?

I’ll rephrase. Don’t want to make my first-ever interviewee uncomfortable. Would you argue with me about Spurs on a podcast, yours or mine?

I would gladly argue, discuss, “banter” Spurs or anything else on either your pod or mine. In fact,

I have a question for you, Noob. Can we be best friends?

Why, Will! What an unexpected questions. I’m beyond flattered and –

The Management here. For newer readers, I frequently have to cut Noob off on his posts, clarify things, keep general order. Will Rivard did not ask Noob about being best friends. 

The Management will now return you to the interview, with the expectation that the next question is included as happened in the actual interview. Thank you for your time and attention. 

- – The Management.

You know, The Management. Words can hurt.

Noob!

Sigh Fine.

Can we be best friends, Will Rivard?

Hmmm…You are going to have start to come around on Tottenham and get over the whole traitor thing first.

Once again, diplomatically and well-played, sir.

Will, thank you for agreeing to do the interview (especially knowing it would get all Noob’ed up). Good fortune to you with Tottenham Hotspur World. And you’re welcome for differentiating between answers you actually gave from those I conjured up with red, your favorite color.

run away I am Nooooooooob!

Blast from the past: ‘We Are the World” reimagining to fundraise for NASL

SoccerNoob.com is now your exclusive home for Isle of Sodor Premier League.   Second annual 2019 FA Cup coverage starts soon, too.

Image result for noobstradamusUntil then, let’s relive the site’s halcyon days!   Noob’s former format covered soccer leagues around the world with the ’10 to Tracks’.   Sandwiches were review(oob)’ed!   Noobstadamus gave you looks inside his crazy visions leading to his incredible football prognostications.

And I interviewed second division coaches from around America.  Particularly the NASL as it started what seems to be its final demise.   Not that we didn’t try to save that league!   Here, Noob brought together a cavalcade of former and still-stars of music, coaches and others interviewed, to tell the NASL’s tale in song.       *magic time travel dust*…


Lionel Richie:   There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When D-2 must come together as one.
Paul Simon:   A tier-two league is dying
And it’s time to lend a hand to NASL
Paul, Kenny Rogers:   A soccer gift for all

Noob:  Noob can’t go on pretending day by day
That somehow, some way it’s gonna get saved
Tina Turner:   We’re all a part of D-2’s big family
Billy Joel:  And the truth, you know,
Noob, Tina, Billy:   Is this is all we neeeeeeeed

Choir:   We are D-2.  We are the coaches
We are the fans, the concerned parties
So let’s keep singing
Diana Ross:   It’s a choice we’re making
It’s not just USL

Image result for Margo K brodieDiana Ross and NASL federal case judge Margo K. Brodie:   It takes both leagues to make a better day
Just wait and seeeeeee!

 

Image result for Marco velez soccer coachPuerto Rico FC head coach Marco VelezThought Noob was my tio, but now I call him Noober
And our lives together are stronger and free
Willie Nelson:   As we have shown you, by calling him “asshat”
Willie and Marco Velez:   We’re strong.  And nothing can defeat us now!
(background: Cyndi Lauper – “but Miami FCeeeeeeee!)

Image result for Colin Miller soccer coachEdmonton FC head coach Colin Miller:   Called him the C-word – in Scottish Gaelic
But he mailed me booze, 30 years old
Turns out Noob’s no dick!

(background: Noob:“Could we find a way to rephrase that please?)

Image result for rocco commissoNew York Cosmos owner Rocco Commisso:  D-2 status be damned
Noob agrees with me
It’s true we should just care
About qualiteeee!

Image result for Dominic KinnearL.A. Galaxy asst. coach Dominic Kinnear:   When you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all
Huey Lewis:   But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall
Cyndi Lauper:   Well, well, well!  Let’s realize that a change can only come
Huey, Cyndi, Kim Carnes, and OKC Energy ‘Grid’ fan club prez Joseph Pugh:   When we stand together as one!
Image result for crazy cowboy(Joseph Pugh cont.:  “WOOO!!  Do it, Nooner!)

Image result for robert palmer jacksonville armada

Choir:   They went dark-arts, went Santeria
Burned rabbit bones and burned Pele’s jock
To save our leaaaaague!
Incoming USL club owner Bobby Jones:  Noob hates my teams’ name – boring Austin FC.
Jacksonville Armada owner Robert Palmer:  At least he didn’t think you were a reincarnated pop-rock arteeeeest.

(key change!)

Choir:  We are the fans, the concerned parties
So let’s keep singing
It’s a choice we’re making
It’s not just USL.
It takes both leagues to make a better day
Just wait and seeeeeee!

[To relive the interviews referenced in this musical masterpiece, visit the Interview D-Tuesday link under Categories]

 

Isle of Sodor Premier League – final matchday results (38) – the champs get formally crowned, last minute Relegation mayhem

Fin.    Europe’s newest Premier League has completed its inaugural season.  Isle of Sodor aren’t in FIFA.   No clubs here qualify for anything internationally.   No giant piles of money are awarded.  Blessedly, it’s just been high-scoring, fun footy.

Image result for train trophyKeep watching this space in the coming weeks.   While Noob’s site audience has been limited in reach, the Sudric FA seems content with growing their international exposure at whatever pace comes naturally.   So I have been given the option to continue exclusive coverage, which would continue with the summer’s second annual IoS FA Cup.  Or Noob may just continue living here, but work on unrelated novel and screenwriting projects already underway.  Time will tell.

Here are the Matchday 38 results.  And here’s your weekly smexy Table link.

Sunday, 5/26 – 1:00 PM UTC
#1   Dryaw                         4    vs.   5    #11  Marron
#14  Castle Rolf              5    vs.   3     #6   Crovan’s Gate
#12  Lakeside                  6    vs.   8    #18  Ulfstead
#19  Tidmouth City      9    vs.   1     #8   Wellsworth
#20  Arlesburgh Utd.   2    vs.   8    #7   East Coast Diesel

Sun., 5/25 – 4:00 PM UTC
#13  Vicarstown              3    vs.   3    #15  Brendam Harbor
#5   Junction & Sheds   1    vs.   0    #16  Ffarquhar
T9   Suddery                     3    vs.   2    #17  Brendam Utd.
#4   Kirk Ronan              4    vs.   5     #3   Knapford Town
T9   Glennock                  5    vs.   5     #2   Peel Godred

Matchday 38 in Highlights

* Relegation madness til the bitter end! Ulfstead won the shootiest shootout of the day, 6-8 at Lakeside. Coupled with Brendam United's 2-3 loss at Suddery, this means U.F.C. climb over B-Utd, sending the latter into 18th and down into next season's Championship.

* With their sixth straight win, Marron secure the last top-half finish, clawing their way over Glennock.

* The season finishes with ties at both 2nd and 4th place. (no goal differential or other tiebreakers in Sudric soccer)

* One more special highlight for champions Dryaw F.C. at the bottom of this final 2018-19 IoS PL post

Feature Match recapUlfstead win match, earn Relegation reprieve

Image result for Norramby crestGotta call this one like it was.   Ulfstead‘s 6-8 win over Lakeside looked closer than it really was.   Lakeside had a three-match win streak on their side, but Ulfstead had motivation — trying to make the Premier League for 2019-20.

Image result for Lakeside FC crestThey also had revenge on their minds, having lost at home by an embarrassing 0-8 margin in the season’s first matchup with “The Quarrysiders“.  This one was 0-4 at the half, and went to 1-7 by 70′.  Lakeside‘s reserves got some goals against Ulfstead‘s bench late, made the margin respectable.

Coming into this final Matchday, U.F.C. trailed Brendam United by a point for 17th place.  Bottom three of the PL‘s 20 get Relegated to the Championship, so one might’ve thought they’d be tight at the outset.   But no, everyone was loose.   And Noob means everyone.    Seven starters scored for Ulfstead!

Ulfstead played one of the early matches, so their survival would depend on the late SudderyBrendam Utd. match result.   Lakeside A.F.C. officials were wonderful sports, extending an invite for everyone to stay and listen to that match’s radio broadcast over the grounds sound system.  Players and fans from both clubs intermingled throughout the stands .   The concessions folks stayed late.  Lakeside folks congratulated U.F.C. on getting above the cutline as Suddery won the dramatic 3-2 barnburner.

Image result for Isle of Sodor flag

THAT is the heart of football on Sodor.  Noob can think of no finer note on which to end… except one.   🙂

Image result for Dryaw FCCongratulations one last time to 2018-19 IoS PL champions Dryaw F.C.!   Don’t ask Noob from how it was acquired, but in return for getting to be Sodor FA’s exclusive coverage home, I gifted them what they used for the classiest championship trophy ever.

Image result for BET Soul Train Award trophy

 

You’re darn tootin’ (pun intended) that’s a BET Soul Train Awards trophy.

 

Thanks for reading, Noobites.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 38 preview – the end of 2018-19; though a champion is crowned, so much at stake

Matchday 38.   The bittersweet end to the Isle  of Sodor’s first-ever Premier League season.  The country’s FA-era seems to have gotten off to a bright start.

Image result for train trophy Noob hopes you’ve enjoyed the exclusive coverage found here.  Nothing is finalized, but I hope to continue the coverage into the summer’s FA Cup and then beyond into 2019-20 PL season number two.   (After all, I did up and move here permanently this spring!)

Oh!  And next week we visit the IoS Champions League.   It’s nearly time for their Promotion Playoffs!

Here’s the weekend’s full slate.  Teams bolded in blue are still in contention for a top-10 finish.  Those in red are still trying to avoid the last Relegation slot (18th).   Those in purple are still vying for a final top-four position.  (Not that it qualifies them for anything, but it has a certain cachet.)

Sun., 5/25 – 1:00 PM UTC
#1   Dryaw                        vs.     #11  Marron
#14  Castle Rolf              vs.     #6   Crovan’s Gate
#12  Lakeside                  vs.     #18  Ulfstead 
#19  Tidmouth City      vs.     #8   Wellsworth
#20  Arlesburgh Utd.   vs.     #7   East Coast Diesel

Sun., 5/25 – 4:00 PM, UTC
#13  Vicarstown              vs.    #15  Brendam Harbor
#5   Junction & Sheds   vs.   #16  Ffarquhar
T9   Suddery                     vs.   #17  Brendam Utd.
#4   Kirk Ronan              vs.     #3  Knapford Town
T9  Glennock                   vs.     #2   Peel Godred

Feature Match:   #12 Lakeside vs. #18 Ulfstead

Image result for Lakeside FC crest

Hello from Lakeside, Sodor!   Was it tempting for Noob to remain in village Dryaw after they clinched the Title last week?  Of course.   But with the trophy decided, it was time to visit, introduce Noobites to a location new to us.

Lakeside A.F.C. could still finish in a tie for 9th or 10th place.  #18 Ulfstead visits, a point out of Relegation safety.  More on the match in a bit.

Image result for Sodor mapLakeside is the biggest village in its area in NE-central Sodor.   That’s not saying a ton, population-wise.   Still, the club there have been slated for Premier League inclusion since the FA first started planning.   Most picked them to finish around 16th.

They’ve been able to surpass expectations by not having any other PL competition anywhere close by.  The nearby villages of Rheneas and Skarloey have their own Championship-level clubs, but the best around there play for “L.A.F.C.” now.

Image result for blue drawbridge

Village Lakeside has a beautiful blue drawbridge, or bascule bridge at the lake port.  The local train line loops the lake and is quite scenic from the high-ledge side.  But the bit of local tourism is not the central to the economy there, nor is the lake fishing.

Lakeside’s primary trade comes from its shale quarry.  Near to Lakeside proper is Lakeside Junction, a place where several narrow rails come together for shipping it out.   Enough residential and business building has developed there that it’s almost its own small village.  All but the youngest locals still call the area by its original name though —  the odd “Quarry Siding”.  And so this is where L.A.F.C. gets it’s unique nickname – the Quarrysiders.

Image result for quarrymenAnd how have they fared of late?   Four wins straight!  They’ve finally found their offensive stride in recent matches after a long, slowish start.  In fact, two matches ago they walloped Ulfstead on the road 0-8.  The last team to defeat them were newly-crowned PL champions Dryaw FC.

Image result for Norramby crestLakeside trail the teams ahead of them by two and three points.  Ulfstead only trail the team ahead of them – Brendam United – by one.   This is the more important position.  They have to make up that point to avoid a bottom-three finish and getting Relegated to the Championship for next season.

U.F.C. got a nifty win over then-#6 East Coast Diesel 5-2 on Wednesday.  That broke a three-loss skid and proved they could still find the back of the net.    That had been all but an impossible challenge of late.

Noob’s call:     Lakeside may be the more talented team and have a bit more momentum on their side.   But Wednesday, Ulfstead proved they’re serious about trying to stay up.   Beating a rugged, aggressive, defensive side in E.C.D. is no small feat for any group.   Ulfstead will earn a point, creating a possible Relegation Playoff scenario with Brendam Utd.   3-3 today.

Isle of Sodor Premier – early evening Matchday 37 results are in … and a champion is crowned!

updated 11:50 PM ET, 5/23

The celebration is on at Dryaw FC!     With just Matchday 38 to play (Sun., 5/26), they now lead Peel Godred FC by four.    Here’s a smexy link to the updated table.

Image result for Dryaw FC Dryaw may not have gotten the full three points, but coupled with PGFC‘s loss, it was enough!   The Isle of Sodor has its first ever champion of their new FA era.   Noob’s not crying.  You’re crying.

Dryaw‘s match-tying E.T. goal deprived Ffarquhar of a season-defining win.  Still, the point earned was just enough was to stake FFC a four-point lead over #18 Ulfstead.   The last Relegation slot in the table is now a battle just between Ulfstead and #17 Brendam United, who lead them by two.

**The weekend’s “Feature Match” recap is now below the results.**

Here are all the results from Wednesday’s historic day:

Wednesday, 5/22 – 6:00 PM UTC

#1     Dryaw                          3    vs.    3    #17  Ffarquhar
#6     Junction & Sheds   4    vs.    2    #15  Brendam Harbor
#20  Arlesburgh Utd.      2    vs.    4   #12  Lakeside
#4    Kirk Ronan                4    vs.    2     T9  Glennock
#13  Vicarstown                 4    vs.    3     #2   Peel Godred

Wed., 5/22 – 8:00 PM (UTC) 
#19  Tidmouth City          2    vs.     1     #14  Castle Rolf
#17  Brendam Utd.            4    vs.    2      #3   Knapford Town
#5   Crovan’s Gate             4    vs.    8    #11  Marron
#18  Ulfstead                        5    vs.    2     #7  E.C.D.
T9   Suddery                         6    vs.    6     #8  Wellsworth

Feature Match in Review:      Marron stays red hot with SIXTH straight win!

Image result for MFC crestA double brace (six goals) by Marron striker Finlay Creamer led his club to a resounding 4-8 win at then-#5 Crovan’s Gate Wednesday night.  The win is Marron‘s straight!   They remain in 11th, but are now in position to possibly overtake 10th place on the final Matchday for a top-half finish.   CGFC drops to 6th.

The Scottish national and scoring wizard danced through Crovan Gate‘s defense early and often, beginning in the 9’.   Creamer had two goals and the team four before CGFC finally broke through for one, just before the half.

Image result for CGFC crestCrovan’s Gate improved after the break.   In the first half, they simply couldn’t maintain enough possession to employ their trademark whiplash-quick changes of offensive formation.  For the second 45, Marron relaxed just a little and the hosts were able to put some things together, pulling as close as 3-5.

But Creamer & Co. were able to push through three more in the last several minutes.  CGFC had to bring everyone forward late, which allowed the rout.

Image result for amateur soccer scorerCreamer was in a class of his own, scoring in open space from distance with a rocket leg as well from up close.  He even notched an assist on a well-lofted corner kick.   Marron already knows they need to lock him up.  Home calls, and Scottish League Two club Albion Rovers (Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire) have expressed interest in acquiring him.  (Hey, when you second-to-last in Scotland’s semi-professional fourth tier of football, you look anywhere.)

The 28 year-old’s masterful performance puts him at 51 goals on the season.    (A lot by any stretch, but remember that Sudric football doesn’t focus much in defense.  At all.)

"It was something special. I took the ball and then I tried to move forward. In the box it was hard for the defense, since no one likes to touch each other," Creamer told Noob after the match, in what I can only describe as an awkward turn of phrase on his part.

Image result for Dryaw FCNext up for for Marron is their final match of the season – at #1 Dryaw FC.   It’s hard to say how Dryaw will come out, given that they’ve now wrapped up the league title, leaving this one a coronation match of sorts.  Marron trail Glennock and Suddery by just a point as they aim for a top-half league finish.

Gate travels to #14 Castle Rolf for their last outing on Sunday.  They could retake 5th place from East Coast Diesel, cannot finish lower than 6th where they stand now.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – the marathon becomes a sprint at the end with midweek Matchweek 37

It’s the penultimate Matchday of the inaugural IoS PL season.  For extra challenge here at the end, the FA scheduled the last three matchdays over eight days.    (Matchday 38 is slated for Sunday, 5/26, for all 20 clubs.)

Everyone’s in action!  That said, there aren’t any super-compelling matches, not on paper.  #1 Dryaw should handle Relegation possibility #16 Ffarquhar at home.   The #2 and #3 clubs have road matches, but against bottom half teams.

Here’s the full slate, as well as smexy link to the table:

Wed., 5/22 – 6:00 PM – (UTC)
#1   Dryaw                          vs.     #16  Ffarquhar
#6   Junction & Sheds    vs.    #15  Brendam Harbor
#20  Arlesburgh Utd.     vs.     #12  Lakeside
#4   Kirk Ronan                vs.      T9  Glennock
#13  Vicarstown               vs.       #2   Peel Godred

8:00 PM – (UTC)
#19  Tidmouth City    vs.    #14  Castle Rolf
#17  Brendam Utd.      vs.     #3  Knapford Town
#5   Crovan’s Gate       vs.    #11  Marron
#18  Ulfstead                 vs.     #7   East Coast Diesel
T9   Suddery                   vs.     #8   Wellsworth

Feature Match preview:        #5 Crovan’s Gate vs. #11 Marron

Image result for CGFC crestSo absent an obvious mega-match to highlight today, hello from Crovan’s Gate!  Despite having lost two in a row and three of four, a top-four finish in still within reach.   That doesn’t mean anything in this PL like in England and other big European domestic leagues, but it still has a certain cache.   Marron can still finish in the table’s top half and will not be lying down either.

Image result for sir topham hatt gifLet’s get to know the team and village!   Even if the club has tried to attach itself to dreaded Tottenham Sir Toppem Hatt Hotspur by using their Latin motto slogan.  Longtime Noobites know Noob loathes TH, named for Harry “Hotspur” Percy, an historic traitor of England.  Noob carries no water for such, nor their sycophantic copycats.

Crovan’s Gate’s not one of the biggest villages, but an important one in the east-southeast region of Sodor.   It’s a hub for transportation repairs.  (Yes, the real Isle has a superb public train system.  No, the engines aren’t creepy-faced or capable of speech.)   It’s also where a lot of timber starts making its way around Sodor, cut from the big forest just north.

Image result for Godred CrovanHistory buffs:     It’s possible or even probable that this town is named after some Crovan that was part of the line of the ruling family on the Isle of Man some, oh, 900 years ago.   Given that IoM is west of Sodor, it is unlikely a member of the actual ruling family fled directly here after the coup that unseated them.  It’s a last name that’s found some here and elsewhere on the Isle, but no Crovan’s have ruled Sodor at any point in history.

At 5th in the League, CGFC aren’t in contention for the title.   But this is hardly a shabby position for a team that ten months ago wasn’t even going to be in the Premier.   They were slated for the second-tier Championship, thought to be a team that could perhaps vie for that title, earn Promotion into the PL for 2019-20.

But the FA switched things up and decided that more than mere village or town size would be factored in determining which clubs started in which league.  Last summer’s FA Cup results, it was announced, would be weighted heavily.  Crovan’s Gate benefited perhaps more than anyone, as they made the Semifinals, losing to eventual champion Brendam Harbor 0-2..

Image result for grumpy passengersAnd they have not disappointed.   How have “The Grumpy Passengers” (yes, a nod to the children’s TV show based on and in Sodor) found success?   They’ve had a bigger player base to draw from than would’ve been thought, for one thing.   Crovan’s Gate is only of average size for a village, but they have no competition for players for many miles.   They draw from smaller villages and hamlets scattered most every direction.

Like most clubs on Sodor, they don’t play aggressive defense.  But they’ve separated themselves offensively.  They’ll press six or seven forward like most clubs often enough, but they switch strategies, formations at the drop of a hat.   They’ll suddenly drop eight back and wait for counters, then push everyone up again in a blink.   4-4-2, 4-3-3, 4-2-4 — teams never know what’s coming from one possession to the next.

Noob’s call:    Getting to know Crovan’s Gate today has been fun.  Hope you’ve had a fun read.   But Marron have quietly won FIVE in a row.   No one’s scoring on them (by Sudric standards).   A month ago, there was a chasm in the table between 10th and 11th.  Not now.   Marron are a’comin’.  Marron   1-3.

Isle of Sodor Premier League – matchday 36 (5/18-19) In Review – tie for 1st is broken, derbies decided

In the wake of winning the most important match of the season, the scene at the local Joseph Tidy’s in village Dryaw was perhaps the most raucous anyone could remember, ’twas said.

Image result for Doug BarrA dramatic win for their beloved home team.  Noob drinking partner, actor/ producer/ vintner Doug Barr of 1980’s TV series “The Fall Guy” leading the patrons in celebratory song, buying shots of Vicarstown raspberry vermouth. Image result for Hollywood and Vine Cellars Everyone excited as he shook hands with Dryaw FC‘s club president over the league’s first-ever stadium naming sponsorship deal, naming the local stadium after his Los Angeles area “Hollywood and Vine Cellars” business starting next season.  Nary a dry eye was to be found.   I was blessed just to be there.

Full weekend results:

Sat., 5/18
#10  Suddery                2    vs.     1     #5   Crovan’s Gate
#19  Tidmouth City   4    vs.    4   #20  Arlesburgh Utd.
#18  Ulfstead                0    vs.    8    #13  Lakeside
#1   Dryaw                     4    vs.    2      #3   Knapford Town
#16  Ffarquhar            4    vs.    1       #7   Wellsworth

Sun., 5/19
#11  Marron                       4    vs.    3     #9   Glennock
#15  Brendam Harbor   6    vs.    2    #17  Brendam Utd.
#8   E.C.D.                           4    vs.    3    #12  Vicarstown
#14  Castle Rolf                6    vs.    2    #2   Peel Godred
#6   Junction & Sheds    4    vs.    3    #4   Kirk Ronan

Here’s a smexy link to the updated Table.

In Review highlights

* With a 4-2 win – and coupled with Peel Godred's loss – Dryaw FC reclaim the #1 spot, leading by three points with just two Matchdays remaining.

* In the Brendam Derby II, Brendam Harbor wins 6-2, avenging their 0-7 loss to B-Utd. in the season's first edition.

* In the Walney Channel Derby II, East Coast Diesel wins a tense, sensational affair 4-3 over Vicarstown. Their match earlier this season ended in a 6-6 draw.

* Ffarquhar's win Saturday guarantees they can do no worse than tie for 18th, the last spot in the Relegation Zone. (Should there be a tie, a relegation playoff match will happen in Suddery.)

Feature Match in Review:      Dryaw FC  back alone in 1st

The fairy tale season for Dryaw is alive and well after a shiny 4-2 win over #3 Knapford Town!

Image result for Dryaw FCAs merely a larger village team, Dryaw were picked to finish well in the table’s bottom half.   Yet with two matches to play, they now lead Peel Godred (matchday 36 upset victims) by three in the table.  More, KTFC – while still 3rd – trail the leaders by five.   This inaugural IoS PL season is now a two-horse race.

Image result for Knapford Town FC Knapford Town took advantage early (8′) for an 0-1 lead thanks to sloppy defensive play from Dryaw.  A lazy pass from the center back was picked off midfield, flicked to an open man just outside the box and absolutely rocketed home.  Dryaw‘s backstop had no shot at that top corner score!

Play ping ponged all over the pitch for nearly the rest of the first half, Knapford Town creating several more chances to just two for Dryaw.  The halftime momentum looked to be all KTFC‘s when Dryaw‘s hero stemmed the tide!   Picking on a shorter defender, Christopher Wilbertson took what was a mediocre lofted ball in the box and smashed home a header at 44′.  Halftime: 1-1

All the second half, Dryaw pushed harder than ever, but could only trade single goals with the more offensively-balanced visitors.  But just as it appeared things would go beyond 90′, disaster struck for the guests.   Even with two defenders hard on Wilbertson, a third allowed himself to be lulled toward the star striker as he broke just a bit free.   The pass went to the quickly-covered POTY candidate, who then himself had only to make a simple push pass to an open winger for a wide open gimme.   3-2 (89′!)

Dryaw would add one more on a corner set piece at 93′ to make the final 4-2.  (Noob predicted a 4-3 Dryaw result — not bad!)

Image result for BHFC crestCongrats are due today to Brendam Harbor on being their city’s unofficial champs with their Brendam derby win today over United. Image result for east coast diesel crest E.C.D.’s win over Vicarstown had to feel good in the Walney Channel derby, even if not quite big enough by margin to overcome the 0-7 butt-kicking they’d taken earlier this season.

Check in every day for IoS FA news!  And remember, Matchday 37 is -Wednesday, 5/22!

Isle of Sodor Premier League results – matchday 36 (Sat., 5/18) – Q&D version

Hello from my iPhone hotspot connection in my car!   Noob’s been celebrating at local famed pub Joseph Tidy’s in the wake of Dryaw FC’s monumental win over #3 Knapford Town.

Dryaw moves alone into 1st place, for the moment.   Peel Godred has their chance to pull even again tomorrow (Sunday) as they face #14 Castle Rolf on the road.

Feature Match review tomorrow.  See yesterday’s post for the Sunday full sched.  Yeehaw.

Isle of Sodor Premier League matchday 36 (5/18-19) – The most important IoS PL match ever, and a two-derby Sunday

Image result for shakes withdrawal funnySuffering English Premier League withdrawal?   With just three Matchdays remaining, Sodor’s got your fix.   Oh and how.

Saturday:   Co-#1 Dryaw FC host #3 Knapford Town, who trail by just two in the table.

Sunday:   -Two- intracity derbies!  One has very direct effect on the battle to stay above the Relegation line.  Plus, co-#1 Peel Godred go on the road.   Not the toughest opponent, but away matches are always possible missteps waiting to happen.

Full weekend lineup:

Sat., 5/18
#10  Suddery                 vs.    #5   Crovan’s Gate
#19  Tidmouth City    vs.    #20  Arlesburgh Utd.
#18  Ulfstead                 vs.    #13  Lakeside
#1   Dryaw                      vs.     #3   Knapford Town
#16  Ffarquhar             vs.    #7   Wellsworth

Sun., 5/19
#11  Marron                       vs.     #9   Glennock
#15  Brendam Harbor    vs.    #17 Brendam Utd.
#8   E.C.D.                           vs.    #12 Vicarstown
#14  Castle Rolf                vs.    #2   Peel Godred
#6   Junction & Sheds    vs.    #4   Kirk Ronan

First, the Derbies.  Cool for the rivalries.  Better for the hats.

Image result for derby hats funnyThe Walney Channel Derby second edition will be a clash of styles.  The waterside, blue collar brutes of E.C.D. and more suburbanite Vicarstown FC drew 6-6 in their first edition.  Refs have cracked down on East Coast Diesel after that upped their extremely physical defensive ways.  Vicarstown are 3-1 over their last four, are favored.

Image result for derby hats funnyThe Brendam Derby II has more on the line.  Harbor appear safe from Relegation.   B-Utd., however, only lead Ulfstead by a point in the table.  For them, the Drop Zone looms.  The Harbormen won 7-0 the first time around.  This result will come down to how badly United don’t want to end up in the 2019-20 Championship.

Weekend Feature Match:  #1  Dryaw vs. #3 Knapford Town

Welcome back to absolutely electric village Dryaw – home and vacation spot for authors and thinkers for time immemorial.  Noob’s been largely holed up at local Tidy Joseph’s with his usual teetotalling usual suspects – American author Daniel Heck and actor/producer/vintner Doug Barr of 1980’s “The Fall Guy” TV fame.  Image result for Daniel J Heck

Image result for Doug BarrDoug brought a dozen bottles of his Hollywood and Vine Cellar’s “2480” Cab Magnum.   We’ve been free about buying drinks for folks who recognize Doug, but been wholly stingy about the Cab Sav.   It’s a 2014 vintage, and the brightest red I can ever say I’ve loved.   And as I type this up at a corner table, a buzzed Doug Barr just announced that if Dryaw win Saturday, he’s going to bid on the naming rights for  Dryaw’s football grounds!Hollywood and Vine 2014

Anyway!  When these two faced off Matchday 2 this season, few if any would’ve guessed how important that result would be.

Image result for Knapford Town FCSure, folks knew KTFC could be a title contender.   Knapford’s one of the “main towns” on the Isle.   Even with two teams there, bigger population to draw from for players.   They’ve been one of the historically better teams over the pre-FA decades.

Image result for Dryaw FCDryaw is one of the larger villages, but not classified even as a “Town” here.  They’re in a soccer-dense area – near bigger Towns, and villages, many with their own clubs.    Assumed to be a bottom half-table club, they’re somehow vying for the first ever PL League Trophy.   Star striker Christopher Wilbertson has carried them beyond expectations and into the spotlight.

That Matchday 2 face-off went the way of home team Knapford Town, 5-4.   Now the contenders see if they can duplicate on the road all these months later.

Image result for booby trap funnyKnapford Town are 3-1 in their last four outings.  It started with a big 2-3 win over Peel Godred that now stands even bigger.   A one-goal home win over also-ran Castle Rolf didn’t exactly impress, was seen as a trap game handled.

Then #4 Kirk Ronan came calling and walloped them 4-10.  That looked like a season-ended.   But life is all about second chances!  Last week, they smashed #7 Wellsworth 11-4 at home.   The win close-lose big aura was gone.   They finally learned to keep a foot on someone’s throat.

Dryaw  — how have they held on to a share of the top spot?   The Wilbertson injury three weeks seemed to have derailed them.   They haven’t faced a top-half table team in a month, yet have only gone 1-1-2 over that stretch.

For all the praises Wilbertson has earned – and he’s certainly out front for POTY honors – this team has actually thrived on ball control and defense all season.  Sudric soccer historically is all about defense that’s not too physical.  Higher scores.   Yet Dryaw win consistently without ever putting up the occasional gaudy goal-scoring numbers others teams do OR slide-tackling all over the place.  For their back end tactics, be sure Ian Poingdestre will be a Manager of the Year frontrunner.

Image result for football club amateur manager

 

Ian’s just excited to have lived long enough to finally see FA football happen on Sodor

 

Noob’s Call:

The momentum seems to favor Knapford Town.  That 11-spot they put up last week was amazing.  They pressed more than ever in the midfield.  Noob’s anticipates they’ll push even harder against a more even-keeled Dryaw squad.

Dryaw will finally be in top form again, Wilbertson appearing 100% healthy again.  And they’re at home.  Wilbertson has a history of late-match heroics and thinks he will get another late goal to save a point.    Noob’s head says 3-3 for your final.   

…But I’m going with my HEART!  Hollywood and Vine Cellars Stadium MUST happen.   Dryaw MUST continue their fairy tale run atop the table!  Doug Barr and I WILL buy adjacent cottages on the village outskirts and be BEST friends.    Dryaw 4-3! 

Isle of Sodor Premier League – IN REVIEW – matchday 35 (5/11-12): Down to three in title hunt, more Relegation do-si-do

Image result for English Premier League trophyThe Isle of Sodor FA congratulate their English Premier League cousins on a stellar finish to a captivating season!   Manchester City ran the table after 1/29.  One-loss Liverpool finished as the runners-up with most points in EPL history.  Gofightwin.   Now, IoS PL have their own high drama to complete!

Tied-for-1st Peel Godred and Dryaw had home matches against Relegation candidate clubs they were expected to win.  The weekend’s Feature Match was #3 Knapford Town hosting the tougher #7 outfit.  Could KTFC keep  presumed pace two points back of  the co-leaders?

Here are the updated table and weekend results:

Sat., 5/11
T1   Dryaw                         2   vs.   0       #19  Tidmouth City
#11  Marron                      2   vs.   0      #20  Arlesburgh Utd.
#3   Knapford Town     11   vs.   5        #7  Wellsworth
T1   Peel Godred              7   vs.   3       T17  Ulfstead
#9   Glennock                  4   vs.   4      #14  Castle Rolf

Sun., 5/12
#12  Vicarstown              8   vs.   5      #16  Brendam Utd.
#15  Brendam Harbor   7   vs.   0     #8    East Coast Diesel
#10  Suddery                   12   vs.   4     #6    J&S
#13  Lakeside                  12   vs.   3      #5   Crovan’s Gate
T17  Ffarquhar                 3   vs.   1       #4   Kirk Ronan

Review Highlights

* Top three remain the same. #3 Knapford Town puts on an offensive clinic in beating #7 Wellsworth.

* We bid farewell to #4 Kirk Ronan as a title contender. Another loss has left them eight points behind the league leaders with just three Matchdays remaining.

* It was Ffarquhar that beat KRFC. The win vaults them out of their former tie on the Relegation line with weekend losers Ulfstead and ahead of losers Brendam United as well.

Feature Match in Review

Image result for Knapford Town FCLet’s hear it for the grounds crew at Knapford Town, credit them with this W!   Their pitch was not soggy as some others.   Last Wednesday, a storm swept over the entire Isle, leaving pitches waterlogged.  Noob predicted a 2-2 draw in the Matchday Preview post largely based on that.

But the aeration program KTFC‘s pitch caretakers put in place has been second to none!   Couple that with the fact that the underlying ground isn’t as clayey as many parts of Sodor and the pitch and conditions weren’t terribly sodden, if hardly dry.

PictureWellsworth practiced on the field, but didn’t fully process just how OK the pitch was going to be by kickoff.   They were in their poor-weather cleats.  KTFC – in their standard gear – ran absolute circles around them, figuratively and sometimes literally, scoring from all over their offensive third.  When halftime and a chance for the visitors to change into proper footwear arrived, they were already down 7-0.

Three Matchdays to go!     The FA have made a slight adjustment to the remaining sched:

Matchday 36      Sat./Sun.      5/18-19
Matchday 37      Wed.               5/22
Matchday 38*    Sun.               5/26

* previously, the matches were to be Sat./Sun. this weekend

Fin.