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October 29, 2017

2017-18 FA Cup 1st Round – map with attendances & Fixture List./+ the FA Cup 1st Round first-timers (Hereford FC, Shaw Lane Association FC, Truro City FC).

Filed under: >2017-18 FA Cup — admin @ 1:12 pm

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2017-18 FA Cup 1st Round – map with attendances & Fixture List




By Bill Turianski on 29 October 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-The competition…FA Cup .
-First Round: fixtures/teams…2017-18 FA Cup 1st Round (en.wikipedia.org).
-Summary – FA Cup [2017-18 1st Round] (soccerway.com/national/england/fa-cup).
-Preview, from FA Cup Factfile… FA Cup 2017-18 1st Round Preview (facupfactfile.wordpress.com).
-BBC’s page on the FA Cup…FA Cup (bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup).

-From The Guardian/football, FA Cup first round dreamers: from a former Wembley winner to a lifelong fan (interviews by Ben Fisher at theguardian.com/football).

    The 3 clubs making an FA Cup 1st Round debut in 2017-18
    (Hereford, Shaw Lane Association, Truro City)
    Hereford FC.

Hereford, Herefordshire (population: around 86,00). Established 22 December 2014, as the Phoenix-club of Hereford United (1925-2014). Nicknames are the Bulls; the Whites. Colous: White with Black-and-Red trim and Black pants; their shield-shaped badge features a Hereford bull with red bridle, with the words ‘Forever United”. Hereford FC are a 7th-level club in the National League South [as of 2017-18]. Hereford have now won back-to-back promotions…in 2015-16, the brand-new Hereford FC were placed by the FA in the 9th level, and then won promotion from the Midland Football League Premier Division. In 2016-17, Hereford FC joined the 8th level, and then won promotion from the Southern League South and West.

Hereford FC, like the original Hereford United, play at Edgar Street (capacity 4,913; opened in the late 19th century). Hereford FC’s manager is Peter Beadle (age 45, born in Lambeth, South London). Peter Beadle was a FW who played for most notably for Gillingham, Bristol Rovers, and Bristol City (1989-2005). Beadle has been with Hereford FC since the re-start, and now has run 2 successful promotion campaigns. Local enthusiasm for the club since the rebirth remains, although crowds have diminished a bit since 2015-16 (down 13%, from 2.8 K to 2.4 K). Still, drawing well over two thousand per game, in the 7th division, is a massive achievement. Hereford currently [29 Oct. 2017] sit 5th in the Southern Premier League. And now Hereford FC have advanced to the FA Cup 1st Round Proper in just their second FA Cup campaign.

Here’s a flashback of the greatest moment in football history from the town of Hereford…
Hereford United ‘s giant-killing FA Cup-upset of 1972 [Hereford 2-1 Newcastle (aet)]- arguably the greatest cup-upset of all time. Here is a link to an illustrated article I made in 2016, which features the Hereford United victory over Newcastle United in a replay match of the 1971-72 FA Cup 3rd Round…2015-16 FA Cup, Fifth Round Proper: location-map, with current average attendances & fixtures list (16 clubs)/ + illustrated article: the greatest FA Cup upset ever: 5 February 1972 FA Cup 3rd Round replay, Hereford Utd 2-1 Newcastle Utd (aet).

To get to the FA Cup 1st Round, Hereford beat 9th-level-side Godalming Town 8-0 in the 1st QR (in front of 1,737 at Edgar Street). Then Hereford beat 8th-level-side Kempston Rovers 0-4 in the 2nd QR. Then Hereford beat 8th-level-side AFC Hornchurch 2-0 in the 3rd QR (in front of 2,440 at Edgar Street). Then Hereford beat 5th-division-side Eastleigh 1-2 in the 4th QR {see photos and captions, further below; also see a short video of the goals, below}. An impressive 650 or so Hereford fans made the 119-mile trip down the road to Eastleigh in Hampshire, to cheer the Bulls on to victory. For Hereford FC, it was a nice cup-upset, seeing as how their win over Eastleigh was a victory over a team 2 levels and 32 leagues places higher.

For the 2017-18 FA Cup 1st round, Hereford have drawn a home match versus AFC Telford United, on Saturday the 4th of November. Telford, in Shropshire, is just 54 miles (87 km) N of Hereford, so there will be a considerable amount of away fans for the match. {Update: SOLD OUT! FA Cup Game Complete Sell Out (herefordfc.co.uk).} AFC Telford United, like Hereford FC, are a Phoenix-club (of Telford United, who folded in 2004), and are a 6th-level side who draw 1.1 K; Telford currently are in 11th place in the Conference North. So, only one level, and 16 league places, separate the two sides, meaning this is a very winnable match for Hereford.

-Video, Hard Cam Goals: Eastleigh FC 1-2 Hereford FC (FA Cup 4Q Round) (1:23 video uploaded by Hereford FC at youtube.com).

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Photo and Image credits above – Medieval bridge over River Wye, photo from royalforestofdean.info/herefordshire. Aerial shot of Edgar Street, from dailyecho.co.uk. Edgar Street, photo by Hereford FC from herefordfc.co.uk/about-us-hereford-fc. Photos from qualifying win over Eastleigh, photos by Hereford FC at herefordfc.co.uk/gallery-bulls-progress-to-fa-cup-1st-round. Players celebrate with traveling fans at Eastleigh, screenshot of photo from twitter.com/HerefordFC.

    Shaw Lane Association FC.

Barnsley, South Yorkshire (population: 91,000). Est. 1991; re-formed in 2012. Nickname: the Ducks. Colours: Royal-Blue with Black trim and Red socks; their circular badge features a Red-Orange rampant griffin backed by a Royal-Blue-and-White wave-pattern; the water references their former name of Shaw Lane Aquaforce FC. (Aquaforce Plumbing Solutions is a Barnsley-based plumbing company that sponsors the club, and whose managing director, Craig Wood, is club-owner.) Shaw Lane Association are a 7th-level club in the Northern Premier League Premier Division [as of 2017-18]. Shaw Lane Association play at Sheerien Park in the Athersley North estate of Barnsley, in South Yorkshire, which has a capacity of 2,000 (350 seated). (Shaw Lane Association have a ground-share there, with 9th-level club Athersley Recreation FC.) Shaw Lane Aquaforce FC was formed in 2012, via the merger of two clubs…Barugh FC (1991), a junior club, and Aquaforce Barnsley FC (2007), who were originally a Sunday morning pub team.

(In case you’re wondering, Shaw Lane Association are now located in the northern part of Barnsley in Athersley North, while 2nd-division-side Barnsley FC are located in the eastern part of town in Oakwell. The two clubs are about 2 miles, or 3.5 km, apart. Shaw Lane AFC were previously [pre-2017-18] located on the south-west side of town, in the Shaw Lane Sports Complex.)

In February 2014, manager Craig Elliott joined the then-9th-level Shaw Lane Aquaforce, leaving Ossett Town, who were (at that point) two divisions higher than Shaw Lane. Since then, Craig Elliott has led Shaw Lane to 2 promotions in 3 seasons.

In the summer of 2016, as per FA regulations, the club dropped the ‘Aquaforce’ sponsor-name, to become Shaw Lane Association FC. Shaw Lane then won promotion to the 7th tier in 2016-17, winning the Northern Premier League Division 1 South by 6 points, and racking up an astounding plus-68 goal difference. That meant that Shaw Lane Association have now won 5 promotions in 7 years. And the club is yet again in the thick of another promotion-campaign…Shaw Lane currently [29 Oct. 2017] sit 2nd in the 7th-division Northern Premier League (with a couple games in hand). As of late October 2017, Shaw Lane were drawing 203 per game (up +10% from last season). And now Shaw Lane Association have advanced to the FA Cup 1st Round Proper, for the first time, in just their 3rd FA Cup campaign.

To get to the FA Cup 1st Round, Shaw Lane beat 8th-level-side Radcliffe Borough 3-1 in the 1st QR (in front of 187 at Sheerien Park). Then Shaw Lane beat 6th-level-side Blythe Spartans in the 2nd QR. Then Shaw Lane beat 7th-level-side Lancaster City 2-1 in the 3rd QR (in front of 304 at Sheerien Park). Then Shaw Lane beat 5th-division-side Barrow AFC 2-1 in the 4th QR (in front of 864 at Sheerien Park) {see photos and captions below; also see a brilliant 12-second clip of the rather nicely-played winning goal, scored by former-Altrincham-cup-hero Damian Reeves, below}. For Shaw Lane, that win over Barrow was a definite cup-upset over a team 2 levels and 29 league places higher. And that crowd of 864 there in Barnsley was 4-times-larger than the 203-per-game that Shaw Lane had been averaging, in their league games, this season. The win also got the Barrow manager sacked.

For the 2017-18 FA Cup 1st round, Shaw Lane Association have drawn a home match versus 4th-division-side Mansfield Town, on Saturday the 4th of November (at 12:30 Greenwich Time/8:30 am EST). Shaw Lane’s home ground, tiny Sheerien Park, will certainly be the full-capacity two thousand (or so) for the match, especially seeing as how the two teams are located, by road, only about 40 miles (64 km) apart. The Shaw Lane v Mansfield match has been selected to be televised {see this from the Yorkshire Post, Shaw Lane cash in on televised FA Cup tie with Stags}.

-Damian Reeves makes it 2-1 for Shaw Lane AFC against Barrow (0:12 video uploaded by Thomas Feaheny at youtube.com).

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Photo and Image credits above – Sheerien Park, photo by Yorkshiregroundhopper at commons.wikimedia.org. Spencer Hays of Shaw Lane (#8) scores goal in 1st half, photo by Arthur Haigh/White Rose Photos via nwemail.co.uk/sport. Screenshot of Damian Reeves scoring winner, image from video uploaded by Barrow AFC at youtube.com. Goal celebration, photo unattributed at thebootifulgame.uk. Screenshot of squad celebrating, image from video uploaded by Barrow AFC at youtube.com.

    Truro City FC.

Truro, Cornwall (population: 18,700). Established 1889. Nickname: the White Tigers. Colours: White with Black trim; their Black-and-Red circular badge features the flag of Cornwall with a leaping black-&-white tiger. Truro City are a 6th-level club in the National League South [as of 2017-18]. Truro City play at Treyew Road, which has a capacity of 3,200 (1,675 seated). Truro City are the highest-placed team from Cornwall, which is an isolated peninsula at the far south-western tip of England. Truro is the county town and only city in Cornwall. Truro is the southern-&-western-most city in England. Truro is 55 miles (89 km), by road, SW of Plymouth; and Truro is a staggering 284 miles (457 km), by road, SW of London.

Truro City are the only Cornish team to ever make it into the 6th tier. As of 27 Oct. 2017, Truro City are currently averaging 467 per game (up 16% from last season), and Truro sit 6th in the National League South.

Truro City is managed by Lee Hodges (age 44, born in Epping, Essex). Lee Hodges was a MF who played most notably for Barnet, Reading, Plymouth Argyle, and Torquay (1992-2013); Lee Hodges was a starter on two promotion-winning Plymouth Argyle squads [that won the 4th division title in 2001-02, and that won the 3rd division title in 2003-04]. Lee Hodges finished his playing career as player-manager of Truro City in 2010-13. (This is Hodges’ second spell as Truro’s manager. He had not been offered a new contract when Truro suffered their financial crisis in 2013. Hodges returned to a more financially stable Truro City in the summer of 2015.)

Truro City are the first Cornish team to qualify for the FA Cup 1st Round in 48 years (previously, Falmouth Town in 1969). Falmouth Town AFC, who are currently a 10th-level club, made it to the FA Cup 1st round three times (1962, ’67, ’69). No other Cornish clubs besides Falmouth Town and Truro City have ever made it to the FA Cup 1st round.

To get to the FA Cup 1st Round, Truro City beat 9th-division-side AFC Portchester 2-1 in the 2nd QR (in front of 302 at Treyew Road). Then Truro City beat 8th-level-side AFC Sudbury 4-1 in the 3rd QR (in front of 359 at Treyew Road). Then Truro City beat fellow-6th-level-side Hampton & Richmond Borough 0-2 in the 4th QR…MF Noah Keats scored twice, while goalkeeper Tom McHale saved a penalty {see photos and captions below}.

For the 2017-18 FA Cup 1st round, on the Sunday [5 Nov.], Truro City will travel to South-East London to play 3rd-tier-side Charlton Athletic. The distance, by road, from Truro in Cornwall to Charlton in SE London is about 293 miles (471 km). No word on away ticket sales yet {TCFC official site, here}, but the White Tigers faithful will probably snap up the whole allotment of the reasonably-priced tickets (£10 adults), and take a small fleet of buses there to Charlton.

truro-city_treyew-road_cornwall_2017-18_fa-cup_1st-round_noah-keats_k_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Truro Cathedral, photo by Simon Lewis at en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Truro_(England). Truro Cathedral with Cornish hills in background, photo by Ian Woolcock/Shutterstock via bradtguides.com jpg. Treyew Road, 1st and 2nd photos by WB Tukker at extremefootballtourism.blogspot.com. Three shots from qualifying match, photos by Truro City Football Club at trurocityfc.net/photos/hampton-richmond-borough-0-truro-city-2. Truro City players mugging in front of camera, screenshot from video at cornwalllive.com/sport/football/football-news/truro-city-through-fa-cup.

-From Olly’s Football Thoughts blog, Truro City on the brink of Cornish history in the FA Cup (by Ollyallen1998 at ollysfootballthoughts.wordpress.com).
___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
-Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Blank relief map of Greater Manchester, by Nilfanion (using Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater Manchester UK relief location map.jpg.
-Attendances from us.soccerway.com (3rd/4th/5th/6th levels) & nonleaguematters.co.uk (7th/8th levels).
-2017-18 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.com).

October 17, 2017

2017-18 Bundesliga (Germany/1st division) location-map, with: 16/17 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed./+ the 2 promoted clubs (VfB Stuttgart and Hannover 96).

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Germany — admin @ 5:28 pm

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2017-18 Bundesliga (Germany/1st division) location-map, with: 16/17 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed



By Bill Turianski on 17 October 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.
Links…
-Teams, etc…2017-18 Bundesliga (en.wikipedia.org).
-English-speaking Bundesliga coverage…bundesligafanatic.com.
-Official site of the Bundesliga in English (offizielle webseite der Bundesliga)…bundesliga.com/en/.
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…Bundesliga 2017/18 – Summary (us.soccerway.com/national/germany/bundesliga).

-From Associated Press via Daily Herlad.com, BUNDESLIGA 2017-18: Guide to the 2 promoted teams (by Ciaran Fahey on 14 Aug.2017).

A brief re-cap of the 2016-17 Bundesliga…
16/17 Bundesliga champions
Bayern Munich [German: Bayern München]. The Bavarian giants have now won 5 straight Bundesliga titles. Bayern Munich have won the most German titles (27, their first German won in 1932), and the most Bundesliga titles (26, their first Bundesliga title won back in the 6th season of the competition, in 1969).
Teams that qualified for Europe
17/18 Champions League Group Stage: Bayern Munich, Lawn Ball Sport Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund.
17/18 CL GS play-off round: Hoffenheim.
17/18 Europa League Group Stage: FC Köln, Hertha Berlin.
EL GS 3rd qualifying round: SC Freiburg.

Teams that were relegated out of Bundesliga, into the 2nd division (2. Bundesliga), in May 2017…
Ingolstadt (17th place) and Darmstadt (last place) were both relegated to the 2nd division, while 16th place finishers Werder Bremen survived by winning the Relegation play-offs by a 2-0 aggregate score over Eintracht Braunschweig (who were the 3rd-place-finishers in 2. Bundesliga).

Teams that were promoted in May 2017
VfB Stuttgart and Hannover 96. Both clubs, who were relegated in 2015-16, bounce straight back to the Bundesliga. I am pretty sure this is the first time this has happened in Germany (ie, all teams relegated one season then going on to win promotion straight back up, the following season). I checked every Bundesliga season for this, and it looks like this is the first time it’s happened, but I honestly could only find one reference to this online, which only mentions this (and doesn’t necessarily confirm it as an unprecented thing), at the following link: {Guardian/football/The Knowledge from 13 Sept.2017, question #3: Bouncebackabilty [scroll down one-third-of-the-way, in the article there] (by John Ashdown at theguardian.com/football).

VfB Stuttgart.
Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg [in south-western Germany].
Stuttgart is located, by road, 128 miles (206 km) S of Frankfurt; and Stuttgart is located, by road, 145 miles (233 km) NE of Munich. The closest large city to Stuttgart is in France: as the crow flies, Stuttgart is only about 50 miles (80 km) from the French border and Stuttgart is 92 miles (148 km), by road, from Strasbourg, France.
Rivals: Stuttgart are sort of bereft of a rival, currently…Stuttgart’s biggest local rival, Stuttgart Kickers, have not been in the 1st division since 1992, so that rivalry has faded, while their rivalry with Karlsruher SC (about 47 miles away) has increased in importance in the last couple decades (Stuttgat v Karlsruher is called the Baden-Württemberg-Derby). But the just-relegated-to-3rd-division Karlsruher are now 2 divisions lower than Stuttgart. The nearest current Bundesliga team to Stuttgart is Hoffenheim (the two clubs are located about 57 miles apart), but, owing to Hoffenheim’s meteoric rise out of the lower leagues into the 1st division a decade ago, Stuttgart and Hoffenheim have never developed a real rivalry.

Stuttgart returns straight back to the Bundesliga after winning the 2016-17 2. Bundesliga title, two points above the 2nd place finishers [Hannover], and 3 points above 3rd place. Stuttgart’s 2016-17 average attendance was 50,573 (at 83.6 percent-capacity); Stuttgart had the best attendance in the 2nd division, and the 5th-best attendance in all of Germany in 2016-17 {source: european-football-statistics.co.uk/[attendance]}. Currently, now back in the 1st division, Stuttgart’s crowds are the 4th-largest in the Bundesliga, averaging 51.8 K (at 90-%-capacity) [as of 17 Oct. 2017] {source: us.soccerway.com/[Bundesliga}.

Colours: White jerseys with Red trim and sometimes also Black trim, and White pants (usually); their badge features black deer antlers on a yellow field, and the deer antlers have been part of the Stuttgart crest since 1912, when Verein für Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart was formed via a merger of two predecessor clubs: Stuttgarter FV and Kronen-Club Cannstatt {1912 VfB Stuttgart crest}. Deer antlers are part of the coat of arms of Württemberg {see this article from espnfc.com/9th paragraph there}. (By the way, deer antlers are also featured on the Porsche logo.)

Seasons in 1st division: counting 2017-18, VfB Stuttgart have played 52 seasons in the Bundesliga [2017-18 is the 55th season of Bundesliga (est. 1963-64)].
Stuttgart’s major titles:
5 German titles (last in 2007).
3 DFB-Pokal titles (last in 1997).
Manager: Hannes Wolf (age 36), born in Bochum, North Rhine-Westphalia.
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Photo and Images credits above – 17/18 Stuttgart jersey, photo unattributed at footballshirtculture.com. Mercedes-Benz Arena, photo from File:Mercedes-Benz-Arena Stuttgart.JPG by MSeses at commons.wikimedia.com. Tifo, photo from File:Cannstatter Kurve 2013.JPG by RudolfSimon at commons.wikimedia.org.

Hannover 96.
Hanover, Lower Saxony [in north-central Germany].
Hanover is located, by road, 99 miles (159 km) S of Hamburg; and Hanover is located, by road, 131 miles (212 km) NE of Dortmund.
Rivals: Hannover 96′s biggest rival is fellow Lower Saxon side Eintracht Braunschweig, and the cities of Hanover and Braunschweig are only about 41 miles apart. Last season, Hannover beat out Braunschweig by one point for automatic promotion.

Hannover 96 returns straight back to the Bundesliga after finishing in 2nd place in the second tier, two points behind Stuttgart, while finishing one point ahead of their big rivals Eintracht Braunschweig, and 7 points ahead of 4th place [FC Union Berlin]. Hannover’s 2016-17 average attendance was 36,647 (at 74.4 percent-capacity); Hannover had the second-best attendance in the 2nd division, and the 12th-best attendance in all of Germany in 2016-17. Currently, now back in the Bundesliga, Hannover has the 10th-largest crowds, averaging 47.1 K (at 96-%-capacity) [as of 17 Oct. 2017].

Colours: Red jersey, usually with Black pants, and a Green-and-Black badge. Hannover have always had a green-and-black badge {see this, Hannover 96 badges through the years}, but they played in blue jerseys for their first 18 years. Hannover’s red jerseys date back to 1913, when a merger with another local club – Ballverein [BV] 1898 Hannovera – led to the club adopting BV’s red jerseys, while retaining their green-and-black badge.

Seasons in 1st division: counting 2017-18, Hannover 96 have played 29 seasons in the Bundesliga.
Hannover’s major titles:
2 German titles (last in 1954).
1 DFB-Pokal title (last in 1992).
Manager: André Breitenreiter (age 44), born in the Langenhagen district of Hanover, Lower Saxony.
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Photo and Images credits above – 17/18 Hannover 96 jersey, unattributed at footyheadlines.com HDI-Arena, photo unattributed at skyscrapercity.com/showthread[HD-Arena/Hannover 96]. Tifo, photo unattributed at pinterest.com.

Note: I will soon post a map-and-chart of the German second division, 2. Bundesliga, in mid-December 2017.
___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of Germany by NordNordWest, File:Germany location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
-Attendances from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-2016-17 stadium capacities (for league matches) from Fußball-Bundesliga 2017/18 (de.wikipedia.org).
-List of German football champions (en.wikipedia.org).
-Seasons-in-1st-division data from Fußball-Bundesliga/Vereine der Bundesligasaison 2017/18 (de.wikipedia.org).

October 5, 2017

2017-18 Ligue 1 (France/1st division) location-map, with: 16/17 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed./+ the 3 promoted clubs (Strasbourg, Amiens, Troyes).

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,France — admin @ 12:12 pm

france_2017-18_ligue-1_map_w-16-17-attendance_seasons-in-1st-div_titles-listed_post_c_.gif
2017-18 Ligue 1 (France/1st division) location-map, with: 16/17 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed



By Bill Turianski on 5 October 2017; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Links…
-Teams, etc…2017-18 Ligue 1 (en.wikipedia.org).
-Fixtures, results, table, stats…Summary – Ligue 1 (us.soccerway.com).
-Ligue 1 official site (in English)…ligue1.com.

A brief re-cap of the 2016-17 Ligue 1…
16/17 Ligue1 champions…Monaco. AS Monaco, the club from the Principality of Monaco (population: 37,000), were French champions for the 9th time. Monaco beat out Paris Saint-Germain for the title, and that meant for the first time in 5 years, someone other than PSG were the French champions.

Teams that qualified for Europe
17/18 Champions League Group Stage: Monaco, PSG.
17/18 CL GS third qualifying round: Nice.
17/18 Europa League Group Stage: Lyon.
17/18 EL GS 3rd qualifying round: Marseille, Bordeaux.

Teams that were relegated to the 2nd division (Ligue 2)…Bastia, Nancy, Lorient.
Teams that were promoted from the 2nd division to the Premier League…. Strasbourg, Amiens, Troyes.

    Promoted to Ligue 1 for 2017-18: Strasbourg, Amiens, Troyes.

The final match-day of the 2016-17 Ligue 2 saw 6 teams with a shot at winning promotion. Strasbourg, Amiens, and Troyes won promotion that day, while Lens, Brest, and Nîmes just missed out. Strasbourg returns to the French 1st division for the first time since 2007-08 (9 seasons ago). Amiens makes their first-division debut in 2017-18. The third promotion place was decided on the new Relegation Play-off, which saw 18th-place-Ligue-1-finishers Lorient face 3rd-place-Ligue-2-finishers Troyes. Troyes won 2-1 aggregate. So Troyes, a classic yo-yo club, bounce straight back to Ligue 1.
Below are profiles of the 3 promoted clubs: Strasbourg, Amiens, and Troyes…

    • Strasbourg

Racing Club de Strasbourg Alsace. (Est. 1906, as Fußball Club Neudorf. “When Alsace was returned to France in 1919, the club changed its name from “1. FC Neudorf” to the current “Racing club de Strasbourg” in imitation of Pierre de Coubertin’s Racing Club de France, a clear gesture of francophilia.”…{excerpt from RC Strasbourg Alsace (en.wikipedia.org)}. (The Alsace part of their name was added in 2012.)
City-population of Strasbourg: around 276,000/ 7-largest city in France {see this} {2012 census}; metro-area population: around 773,000/ 9th-largest urban area in France {see this} {2013 estimate}. Strasbourg is, by road, 3 km (1.5 miles) from the German border, and Strasbourg is, by road, 150 km (93 mi) W of Stuttagrt, Germany. Strasbourg is, by road, 492 km (306 mi) E of Paris.

Colours: Blue-with-White. Nickname: Le Racing.

Major titles:
1 French title (1979).
3 Coupe de France titles (1951, 1966, 2001).
Seasons in the 1st division: counting 2017-18, Strasbourg have spent 57 seasons in the French 1st division. Strasbourg were previously in Ligue 1 for a one season spell in 2007-08. Then, after going into financial liquidation, the club was relegated to the fourth tier of French football following the 2010–11 Championnat National season, and then demoted another step to the regional fifth tier. Strasbourg have won 4 promotions in 6 years since then. The club is something of an under-achiever. This can be seen in the fact that despite being from the 7th-largest city in France, and despite having won one French title (in 1979) and 3 Coupe de France titles (last in 2001), and despite having played in 71 percent of all French top-flight seasons (57 out of 80 Ligue 1 seasons),…“the club has never really managed to establish itself as one of France’s leading clubs, experiencing relegation at least once a decade since the early 1950s.”…{excerpt from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RC_Strasbourg_Alsace}.

Manager of RC Strasbourg: Thierry Laurey (age 55), born in Troyes, France. A few years ago, Thierry Laury led Corsican minnows Gazélec Ajaccio to back-to-back promotions – from the amateur 3rd division to Ligue 1. Gazélec became one of the smallest-ever clubs to play in the French top flight. In Ligue 1 in 2015-16, tiny Gazélec Ajaccio finished in 19th place (4 points from safety) in their first-ever season in the French top flight, then were relegated back to the second division. Laurey parted ways with Gazélec upon the cub’s relegation back to the 2nd tier. Then he joined the just-promoted RC Strasbourg that same summer of 2016, and led that 2nd-tier side to its second-straight promotion, as Strasbourg won the 16/17 Ligue 2. Strasbourg ended up finishing the 2016-17 Ligue 2 season with a ten-match undefeated run, winning their last 3, and edging Amiens by a point. (Both Strasbourg and Amiens have now both won back-to-back promotions.)

Upon taking over at Strasbourg, Thierry Laurey had brought over one of his forwards at Gazélec, the Morocco international Khalid Boutaïb, and Boutaïb was the second-highest scorer in Ligue 2 last season (with 20 goals; only Troyes’ FW Adama Niane scored more in Ligue 2 last season). (Boutaïb has since moved on to Turkish Süper Lig club Yeni Malatyaspor.) Another stand-out player for Strasbourg in their promotion-campaign was MF/winger Dmitri Liénard, who had the second-best assists tally in Ligue 2 in 16/17, with 11 assists (as well as 4 goals). Liénard returns to anchor the Strasbourg offense in 17/18. Dmitri Liénard, who was born 95 miles down the road in Belfort, is a 29-year-old who had never played above the 3rd tier before last season. (See photo of both, below.)

So now RC Strasbourg, after liquidation and a punitive re-formation, have seen stints in the 5th tier (in 2011-12), and in the 4th tier (in 2012-13), and in the 3rd tier (from 2013 to 2016), and in the 2nd tier (2016-17), and re-joins the French first division after a 9-year absence. In the interim the re-formed club added the Alsace appelation to their official name (in 2012).

The city of Strasbourg is the 7th-largest in France (276 K city-population/773 K metro-population). When previously in the 1st division, and since 2003, RC Strasbourg had drawn between 14-and-19-K. Two seasons ago in the amateur 3rd division, RC Strasbourg drew an impressive 12.8 K. Last season [2016-17], Strasbourg drew 17.0 K in Ligue 2 (second-best crowds-size, behind only RC Lens). Currently [October 2017], Strasbourg are drawing a very solid 24.1 K (7th-best in Ligue 1), at their 29-K-capacity Stade de la Meinau. But Strasbourg are stuck in the relegation zone, in 19th place, with one win and 2 draws after 8 matches.

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Photo and Image credits above – 16/17 RC Strasbourg jersey, photo unattributed at twitter.com/uniform_11. Aeial shot of Strasbourg, photo from en.strasbourg.eu/gallery . Aerial shot of Strasbourg’s Stade de la Meinau, photo by Hervé Colson via skyscrapercity.com/[thread: Strasbourg]. Interior shot of stadium [full house], photo from rcstrasbourgalsace.fr. Shot of stands supporter-groups of RC Strasbourg, photo from rcstrasbourgalsace.fr. Thierry Laurey, photo by A.Réau/L’Equipe at equipe.fr. Leinard and Boutaib, photo by Jean-Marc Loos/MaxPPP at france3-regions.francetvinfo.fr/grand-est. Shot of Strasbourg players celebrating after winning promotion [19 May 2017], photo by Partick Herzog/AFP via rtl.fr/sport/football/rc-strasbourg-le-retour-express-d-un-illustre-club-vers-la-ligue-1.

    • Amiens SC

Amiens Sporting Club. (Est. 1901.)
City-population of Amiens: around 132,000/ which makes Amiens around the ~28th-largest city in France {see this} {2012 census}; metro-area population: [no metro-populations measured/too small a city]. Amiens is the capital of the Somme department in Hauts-de-France. Amiens is by road, 159 km (97 miles) N of Paris. Amiens is, by road, 141 km (88 mi) SW of Lille.
Colours: White-with-Black trim. Nickname: Les Licornes (The Unicorns).
Major titles: (none).
Seasons in the 1st division: 2017-18 will be Amiens’ first season in the French 1st division. Amiens were in the amateur French 3rd division two years ago, and now Amiens have won back-to-back promotions. Amiens, whose nickname is Les Licornes (The Unicorns), play in an unusual stadium, the small, 12-K-capacity Stade de la Licorne, which features an outside wall/roof comprised of 4 walls of half-arced metal/glass/plexiglass. To gain promotion to the 1st division, Amiens won their last 6 matches last season. Amiens secured promotion to Ligue 1 on the final day of the 2016-17 Ligue 2 season, when 6 clubs had a shot at promotion. Playing away to Reims, Amiens clinched promotion with the last kick of the season. The goal was scored from a corner kick, with 2 Amiens players volleying – a kick-pass-volley across the mouth of the goal and then a carefully-placed header by DF Oualid El Hajjam to set up Emmanuel Bourgard, who collected the ball outside the right corner of the box (see photo below), and fired in the winner. With that goal, Amiens leap-frogged 4 teams to finish in 2nd place & automatic promotion. That’s how tight the French second division was last season. Here is an article on that, with video of the thrilling promotion-winning goal for Amiens {Watch: Amiens clinches promotion to Ligue 1 on last kick of the season (si.com/planet-futbol)}.

Manager of Amiens: Christophe Pélissier (age 54), born in Revel, SW France. Christophe Pélissier had gotten tiny Luzenac promoted from the 3rd division to Ligue 2 in 2013-14, but Luzenac was denied entry into the second tier because of an inadequate stadium. (Luzenac, a tiny club from the Pyrenees located very close to the Spanish and Andorran borders, are from a town [Luzenac] that has less than one thousand inhabitants.) Luzenac would have been the smallest-ever club to play in the French second division. So Christophe Pélissier moved on, and in the summer of 2015 he signed as manager of northern-France-based Amiens SC.

Going back 20 seasons, since 1997-98, Amiens have went down to the 3rd tier and back up to the 2nd tier 3 times, with 13 seasons since then in the 2nd division, and 7 seasons in the 3rd division. When Christophe Pélissier took over the reins at Amiens in the summer of 2015, the club had been about to start its fourth straight season in the 3rd division (Championnat National).

Christophe Pélissier has now led Amiens to consecutive promotions. Amiens were drawing in the 4-5-K-range in the Championnat National [3rd division] in the mid-2010s, but had actually drawn almost twice that when they were in the second division in 2011-12, when they drew 9.5 K but finished dead last and went straight back down to the amateur third division. When Christophe Pélissier took over at Amiens in 2015-16, Amiens drew 5.2 K and finished third, behind Strasbourg and Orléans. The following season [2016-17] Amiens finished in 2nd place behind Strasbourg, and they increased their crowds to 7.9 K.

This season in Ligue 1, after 3 home matches, Amiens are playing to 80-percent-capacity and drawing 9.8 K, which is only slightly more than what they were drawing 6 years ago, in 2011-12, when they were in the 2nd division. So their fairy-tale rise up the ladder has not really produced much more of a fanbase since then (only +0.3 K more attendance). And 8 games into the season, the Unicorns are having a tough time of it in the top flight, just a point above the relegation zone, with 2 wins and 5 losses in their first 7 matches. Plus there was the barrier collapse that injured over 20 visiting Lille fans on Sept. 30 (see following links) {Stand collapses as Lille fans celebrate their goal against Amiens. Match abandoned [30 Sept.2017]. (twitter.com/90thMin).} {Stadium barrier collapses injuring 20 fans in Ligue 1 clash between Amiens and Lille (telegraph.co.uk/football).}

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Photo and Image credits above – Amiens 17/18 jersey, photo unattributed at sportetstyle.fr. Amiens, shot from canal with cathedral in background, photo from somme-tourisme.com. 1st aerial shot of Stade de la Licorne, photo unattributed at stadiumdb.com. 2nd aerial shot of Stade de la Licorne, photo unattributed at 1001salles.com.
Photo and screenshot of Amiens’ promotion winning-goal & celebration, from beinsports.com/ph/ligue-1/video/strasbourg-and-amiens-win-promotion. Christophe Pélissier (Amiens manager) celebrates promotion at Reims, photo by Presse Sports via lequipe.fr/football.

    • Troyes AC

Espérance Sportive Troyes Aube Champagne [aka Troyes, aka ESTAC]. (Est. 1986.)
City-population of Troyes: around 60,000/ which means that, at the last census [2012], Troyes just missed out on being on the list of 75-largest cities in France {see this}.
Troyes is the capital of the department of Aube in north-central France, and is located on the Seine river, in the Champagne region. Troyes is, by road, 178 km (110 mi) SE of Paris.
Colours: Blue-with-White trim. Nickname: (none).
Major titles: (none).
Seasons in the 1st division: Counting 2017-18, Troyes has played 9 seasons of French 1st division, and were previously in Ligue 1 for a one-season spell in 2015-16. A previous club from Troyes (AS Troyes Savinienne) played 8 seasons of French top-flight football, mainly in the 1950s.
Manager of Troyes: Jean-Louis Garcia (age 55), born in Ollioules (near Toulon, in SE France).

Troyes is a small city of around 60,000 {2012 figure}, and is located in the Champagne region of northern France. Troyes is situated on the Seine, about 150 km (or 93 mi) ENE and upriver from Paris (as the crow flies). The town of Troyes has existed since the Roman era, and the old town boasts many extant half-timbered houses from the 16th Century (see photo of a nice cobble-stoned street in the old town in Troyes, below). The Troyes pro football club wears royal-blue, and bears the official and profoundly unwieldy name of Espérance Sportive Troyes Aube Champagne (ESTAC). But no English-speaking fans or media outlets that I have ever come across calls the club “Ess-tock”. And I really wonder whether any French football fans call them anything other than “Twah”. But the club sure expects people to call them ESTAC (“Ess-tock”), because their crest has that acronym spelled-out in large letters, and the club’s official website’s address is estac.fr.

The football club of Troyes had went under twice in the 20th Century. The first incarnation – named AS Troyes Savinienne – existed from 1900 to 1967, and played 8 seasons in the first division, mostly in the 1950s, and once made it to the final of the Coupe de France (in 1956, losing to Sedan-Ardennes). Then the second incarnation of Troyes were formed in 1970 (3 years after the first version were wound up), but Troyes Mark-2 – named Troyes Aube Football (TAF) – didn’t last the decade and went bankrupt in 1979. Then Troyes had no club to speak of for 7 years, until this present-day/third incarnation was established, in 1986. It then took Troyes/ESTAC 13 years to make it from the amateur divisions into the top flight – their first season in French football was in 1986-87, and then they won promotion to Ligue 1 for the first time in May 1999. Since 2003, Troyes have went down to the second tier and back up to Ligue Un 4 times – a true yo-yo club. (Troyes AC have been in the French 1st division for a 4-season spell from 1999-2003; then a 2 season spell from 2005-07; then a one-season spell in 2011-12, then a one-season spell in 20115-16, and now they are back in Ligue 1 for 2017-18.)

Troyes play in the 21.6-K-capacity Stade de l’Aube, which has been around for over 90 years, but, as you can see below, is pretty up-to-date. Troyes can draw around 11-to-14 K in the top flight, and around 7-to-10 K in the second tier. Last season, Troyes drew 7.2 K last season in Ligue 2. Troyes were powered by Ligue 2 leading scorer Adama Niane (see photo below). Niane is a 24-year-old Bamako, Mali-born Mali international. Adama Niane scored a league-best 23 goals in the 2016-17 Ligue 2, as Troyes finished in the 3rd, and then went on to win the last promotion spot via the new Relegation Play-off (see photo below). Adama Niane returns for Troyes in 2017-18. Another stand-out player in Troyes’ successful promotion campaign of 16/17 was 33-year-old MF Stéphane Darbion, who had 10 assists (as well as 5 goals), plus Darbion scored the promotion-clinching goal [in the 91st minute of the 1st leg of the Relegation Play-off v Lorient]. Darbion also returns for 2017-18. Currently (5 October 2015), after 4 home matches in the 2017-18 Ligue 1 season, Troyes are drawing a mediocre 10.9 K, but they are playing quite well – they just beat Saint-Étienne 2-1. After 8 matches, Troyes sit 11th, on 3 wins, 2 draws, and 3 losses.

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Photo and Image credits above – 17/18 Troyes jersey, photo unattributed at 4.bp.blogspot.com. Old village street in Troyes, photo by openroads.com, at flickr.com. Aerial shot of stadium and surrounding countryside outside of Troyes, photo unattributed at info-stades.fr [thread: Troyes, Stade de l'Aube]. Exterior of stadium at night, photo by Troyes aka ESTAC at estac.fr/Stade-de-l-Aube-theatre-d-une-passion. Interor of stadium, photo from [the now-defunct site] france-stades.com via thefootballstadiums.com. Jean-Louis Garcia, screenshot from sports.orange.fr/videos. Adama Niane, photo unattributed at mercato365.com. Stephane Darbion, photo unattributed at footmercato.net
___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of France, by Eric Gaba (aka Sting)/Otourly/NordNordWest, at File:France adm-2 location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org).
-Attendances, from E-F-S site, european-football-statistics.co.uk/attn.htm.
-2016-17 stadium capacities (for league matches), from Ligue 1/Stadia and locations (en.wikipedia.org).
-Coupe de France titles, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coupe_de_France#Performance_by_club.
-French 1st division titles, from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligue_1#Performance_by_club.
-reddit.com/r/soccer/comments/72jfyk/current_situation_of_all_teams_relegated_from_the-top-5-European-leagues.
-Seasons in French 1st division…
sources:
1. I mainly referred to Official Ligue 1 site’s fantastic list {ligue1.com/ligue1/[Total Seasons]}. The only discrepency I could find on this list is that they combined both Troyes clubs’ 1st division spells (9 seasons in French 1st division for present-day Troyes club + 8 seasons in 1st division for original Troyes top-flight club, Union Sportive Troyenne [who played 8 seasons in the 1950s and early 1960s, but were dissolved in 1967].) The two entities are considered different clubs.
2. As of 4 Oct. 2017, the list on wikipedia’s Ligue 1 page is completely wrong {en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ligue_1#Members_for_2017-18}…it was updated incorrectly and you can see that easily enough when you see there that they put Dijon’s seasons-in-1st-division (as of start of 17/18 season) as “1″, when it is quite obvious that should say “2″. And most other team’s seasons-in-1st-division numbers are also off by minus-1.
3. This other one at wikipedia is also riddled with inconsistencies {en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ligue_1_clubs}; they probably used that bogus list above as source.
4. RSSSF list, but updated only to 2012-13 {France – Final Placings/Chronological Development [1932/33-2012/13]}. Lyon’s seasons-in-1st-division number is off by one, but that’s the only (and very rare) error I could find. You just have to add by 5, or less-per-club, depending on the club, to arrive at 2017-18 seasons-in-1st-division numbers. In other words, too much trouble.

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