Saturday, June 16, 2012

Team photo from after the tournament

Photo of Crusaders after the tournament.

Getting the medals

Crusaders line up for their medals after the tournament.

Match action against Feltwell

This game ended in a 2-2 draw and was quite entertaining. Sean is the player nearest the camera.

Match action from Crusaders V Littleport

The game ended in a 0-0 draw. Here's Sean in the middle of two Littleport players

Team get ready for kick off

Here's Sean in at the start of the first game he played in. The opposition was Littleport Rangers.

More from Crusaders

Well,I've been busy watching the Euros over the last week. A tournament that really I should be at, but obviously didn't make it to. Apart from that last week Sean's team played in the tournament at Littleport Fun Day. Some photos from that follow now.

They actually have a game away to Soham at the moment, but I couldn't make it as I have to go to work this afternoon.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Valencia CF badge

I have often wondered why the bat appears on the top of the Valencia badge and after we added the badge to the collection I thought that I had better find out.

The badge is based on the coat of Arms of Valencia:

The coat of arms of the city is in fact the coat of arms of James I of Aragon who conquered the Balearics and Valencia in the first part of the thirteenth century. But why did he have a bat in his coat of arms? Nobody really knows why, it could be that bats were and are simply common in the area, and this sounds like the most likely explanation. Less likely theories include that a bat landed on his flag when he was entering Valencia to take it back from the Moors in 1238 and he added it to his coat of arms then.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Club focus - Alania Vladikavkaz

Alania Vladikavkaz are the heirs to Spartak Vladikavkaz from the North Ossetia region of Russia. The original team were founded in 1921. Up until the 1990s they had only spent the 1970 season in the top level of the Soviet league. At the time when the Soviet Union collapsed Alania were the only team who weren't from Moscow in the top division of the Soviet league.

In 1995 they had their most successful season when they won the Russian league, when they beat Spartak Moscow in a play-off game in St.Petersburg. Justice was probably done, as in most other leagues the title would have already been awarded to them. In 1996 they finished 2nd, but after talismanic manager Valeri Gazzaev moved on Alania failed to live up to the high expectations that they had set themselves. They did manage to stay in the top division though until 2005 when they were relegated.

Relegation was the least of their problems though, and the following year they were relegated again for legal irregularities. It was at this time that they reverted to the Spartak Vladikavkaz time after being known as Alania for a few years. They managed to get promotion at the first attempt from Division 2 South and changed their name back to Alania. In 2009 Alania finished 3rd in Division 1, which was outside the promotion zone, but due to the bankruptcy of FK Moscow they managed to gain promotion. However they only managed a year in the top flight and were then relegated again. They did manage to represent Russia in the UEFA Cup again last season after reaching the final of the Russian FA Cup.

They'll be hoping for some Gazzaev magic as they now have Valeri's son Vladimir at the helm and Valeri is back at the helm after a spell coaching Dynamo Kyiv.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Why do the paragraph breaks no longer appear on the posts? How annoying!

2011 - 2012 Stadiums

1 The Unwin Ground,Ely -( 21 games): 2 London Road, Peterborough (5 games): 3 The Abbey Stadium, Cambridge (4 games):4 Munford Road, Thetford (4 games): 5 The Emirates Stadium, London (2games): 6 Bloomfields, Needham Market (1 game): 7 GER Stadium, March (1 game): 8 Villa Park, Birmingham (1 game): 9 Wellesley Recreation Ground, Great Yarmouth (1 game): 10 Broadhall Lane, Stevenage (1 game).

End of season top 10

1 Ely City p 23 W15 D5 L3 F54 A36 Pts50 2 Thetford Town P4 W4 D0 L0 F20 A1 pts12 3 Peterborough United P5 W2 D1 L2 F4 A6 Pts7 4 Needham Market P2 W1 D1 L0 F5 A4 Pts4 5 CRC P2 W1 D1 L0 F4 A3 Pts4 6 PSG P1 W1 D0 L0 F3 A0 Pts3 7 Stevenage P1 W1 D0 L0 F3 A0 Pts3 8 Portsmouth P1 W1 D0 L0 F3 A0 Pts3 9 Stanway Rovers P1 W1 D0 L0 F4 A2 Pts 3 10 Foxton P1 W1 D0 L0 F2 A0 Pts 3

End of season review

Well, I've finally found some time to write about this and have realised that there is no chance of getting one more game in. On the local non-league front it was a season that exceeded expectations. Ely City, who over the few years that I have followed them have always been in the lower half of the table finished a very credible second, especially as at Christmas we were still thinking that it was great that they had got enough points to stay up. Added to getting the Eastern Counties League runner's up shield they also picked up the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup. In fact some of the best performances came in cup games for the Robins. In the Cambs Invitation Cup a last minute winner by Austin Diaper in the semis against Royston was only beaten by Adam Murray who scored the winner in the last minute of the Final against Soham. Earlier in the season there were another couple of great games in cups, most notably a very respectable 1-1 draw in the FA Cup against Needham Market, which despite the fact that they lost the Replay 4-3 at the Unwin was probably the catalyst for the fine league run that they then went on. Another cup performance to remember was a fine 4-2 win in extra time away to March Town United in the League Cup where Taz Chisongo started to earn his super sub reputation. In the league itself there wasn't a game that really stood out, but the overall performances and never say die attitude was always impressive. The wheels did come off in the end though. The biggest blow being the ridiculous sendings off of Lee Pacey and Richard Chadwick in the away victory at Great Yarmouth in mid March, which was made even harder to swallow, as it came after a rare home defeat to Champions elect Wroxham. Ely were still in with a chance of winning the title though and we went to CRC a few days later to support them against Wroxham, and CRC obliged by beating them 1-0 on a beautiful day at the Abbey. Ely didn't win the title though, but second on the budget the club has was really impressive. Thetford also had a great season and won promotion to the Premier Division, and were only beaten to first place on the last day of the season when Godmanchester managed to put more goals in than Thetford who we saw beat Long Melford 3-1. Earlier in the season we had seen them beat Long Melford 2-0 in the Vase. The next trip we had there was a fantastic 5-0 victory over Halstead and then a 10-0 victory over Cornard, the highest win I have ever seen and possibly will ever seen. We didn't really go and see Cambridge United, apart from a 1-0 win early in the season against Telford, as it costs the same to go there as Championship Peterborough, who had mixed results in the games we saw, but they stayed up comfortably, which was what they were aiming for. The least said about Villa the better, but at least McLeish has gone and Lambert might make it more worth the effort. The only time we made it up was to see a 2-1 defeat at the hands of West Bromwich Albion. I only managed to get to 10 stadiums this year, which is a lower than average amount. New stadiums were the Emirates where I saw Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, New York Red Bulls and Boca Juniors in action; Broadhall Lane, home of Stevenage where we went on the last day of the season to see Stevenage claim a play off place after beating Bury; and also trips to Needham Market and March to see Ely in action away.