billsportsmaps.com

February 1, 2016

2016 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition; featuring 2015 Copa Libertadores champions River Plate.

Filed under: Copa Libertadores — admin @ 10:19 pm

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2016 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition





Links…
-Video-with-goals of the 2nd leg, 2015 Copa Libertadores Finals…River Plate 3×0 Tigres – Copa Libertadores 2015 – Final (1:36 video uploaded by FootballMania at youtube.com).
-Fixtures…COPA LIBERTADORES [2016/1st Stage].
-Fixtures…COPA LIBERTADORES [2016/2nd Stage/aka Group Stage] (soccerway.com).
-Competition…Copa Libertadores
-Teams…2016 Copa Libertadores/Teams (en.wikipedia.org).

    2016 Copa Libertadores, map of the 38 clubs in the competition; featuring 2015 Copa Libertadores champions River Plate

By Bill Turianski on 1 February 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
Map…
The map shows the locations of the 38 clubs who have qualified for the 2016 Copa Libertadores. In the profile boxes flanking the map are the clubs, sorted by home-country. The profile boxes show: the club’s name, plus…
1). Their city-location,
2). Their stadia and capacities,
3). Their means of qualifying,
4). Their pro national titles,
5). Their total Copa Libertadores appearances (with their last appearance noted),
6). Their Copa Libertadores titles (with their last title noted).
7). Club crests and current home kits are also included in the profile boxes.

Format of the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores (it is very similar to the format of the UEFA Champions League)…
2016 will be the 57th edition of the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores de América, known in the English-speaking football world as the Copa Libertadores. The competition begins in early February, when the preliminaries [official name: the "First Stage"] whittle down the 12 lowest-seeded teams into 6. {Here are the First Stage match-ups (en.wikipedia.org).}

Those 6 teams which win their Preliminaries/First Stage ties advance to the Group Stage [official name: the "Second Stage"]. Just like the UEFA Champions League Group Stage, the Copa Libertadores “Second Stage” has 32 teams seeded into 8 groups of 4. {Here are the Second Stage groups (en.wikipedia.org).}

The Group Stage/Second Stage begins in mid-February and is a 6-game round-robin format, which runs through to late April. The top 2 in each group (16 teams total) advance to the Knockout Rounds [official name: the "Final Stages"]. The Knockout Rounds/Final Stages begin in early May, and are also seeded, and all are two-legged ties with away-goals rule. The Finals, unlike the UEFA Champions League Final, is also a two-legged match-up, but with no away-goals rule.

River Plate are Cup Holders…
Reigning Copa Libertadores champions are the Argentinian giants River Plate, of Buenos Aires, who, on 5 August 2015, won their third Copa Libertadores title (and their first Copa Libertadores title in 18 years), by beating Tigres de la UANL (of Monterrey, Mexico), by the score of 3-0 aggregate. Note: There is an illustration further below on the 2016 Copa Libertadores 2nd-Leg of the Finals (River Plate 3-0 UANL de Tigres, at Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires, before a full-capacity crowd of 71,000 on 5 Aug.2015).

Qualification…
As to who qualifies for the Copa Libertadores each season (from the 10 South American countries within CONMEBOL), the simple explanations are…
A). The Copa Libertadores winner, aka the Cup Holder [again, currently, River Plate of Buenos Aires], automatically qualifies for the Copa Libertadores the following season.
B). Brazil and Argentina get 5 Copa Libertadores spots each season, while the other 8 South American countries in CONMEBOL get 3 Copa Libertadores spots each.
C). The higher-seeded Copa Libertadores spots are generally awarded thus…a spot or 2 spots goes to the title-winner or title-winners from the previous season…from each of the 10 countries.
D). Plus, usually, a Copa Libertadores spot goes to the country’s second-place-finisher the previous season (and spots go to the 3rd-and-4th-place finishers from the previous season in Brazil).
E). Finally, the third-or-final Copa Libertadores spot in each country usually goes to the national Cup winner there in each country.
F). Argentina has the most complicated qualifying format, featuring one Copa Libetadores spot going to the winner of a post-season-mini-league tournament for 3rd-through-6th-place-league-finishers (that mini-tournament is called the Liguilla Pre-Libertadores). And Argentina, alone of the 10 South American countries in CONMEBOL, rewards their best-finisher-in-the-Copa-Sudamericana with a Copa Libertadores spot the following season (this is brilliant, and it helps keep the Copa Sudamericana relevant in Argentina). [The Copa Sudamericana is South America's less-prestigious/also-rans-competition, it being analogous to UEFA's Europa League.]
G). The Copa Sudamericana winner automatically qualifies for the Copa Libertadores the next season. (Copa Sudamericana.) When that club has not qualified via other means, one of the spots for that club’s country gets bumped over to the Copa Sudamerica winner (usually that spot is the the 3rd-spot/best-non-champions-not-yet-qualified).
Since 2011, none of Mexico’s 3 Copa Libertadores spots go to the league champions, and are awarded in a bat-shit-crazy way…
H). Since 2011, Mexico bizarrely places their champions (from the previous Clausura & Apertura seasons) into the way-less prestigious CONCACAF Champions League, and Mexico places the next-best finishers in the way-more prestigious Copa Libertadores. {See this, Liga MX/CONCACAF Champions League qualification/Copa Libertadores qualification.} I am pretty sure they (the Mexican football authorities) do this so that they have a better chance of having a Mexican team win that tin-pot tournament (which USA-&-Canada-based teams from MLS never win/14 years running), and thus have a Mexican team qualify for another tin-pot tournament, the FIFA Club World Cup. You see, if a Mexican team ever wins a Copa Libertadores title, that club – because it is not part of CONMEBOL – would not be allowed to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup (a tournament which is vastly ignored by European football fans). Mexican football authorities would rather their best clubs qualify for the FIFA Club World Cup – which a Mexican team has never actually won. It is beyond me why anyone, given the option, would want their best teams to play in the lame CONCACAF Champions League, as opposed to the mighty Copa Libertadores. I mean come on – try to find a top-shelf-caliber player who would rather play in the CONCACAF Champions League as opposed to the CONMEBOL Copa Libertadores. You will not find one, because the CONCACAF Champions League is bush-league. It would be like trying to find someone who would rather play in the Canadian Football League instead of the NFL. Actually what the Mexican football authorities have done by sending non-champions to fill their Copa Libertadores spots is this…they have tweaked it so that their best teams go play in a tin-pot-tournament (CONCACAF Champions League) in order to then have their best teams then get a better chance of qualifying foranother tin-pot-tournament (the FIFA Club World Cup). Hey Mexico, why are you so driven to win a FIFA Club World Cup title? Because it ain’t much of a title. Elite European football clubs give a rat’s ass about that stupid tournament, and so do most fans of European club football. You (Mexico) should be trying to get your best clubs on track to finally win your first-ever Copa Libertadores title. Because Mexican clubs are getting closer to winning a first Copa Libertadores title, but meanwhile, by not sending their top three clubs, the Mexican football authorities are undermining their competitiveness in the competition. Mexican clubs have made it to the Copa Libertadores Finals three times…in 2001, with Cruz Azul losing to Boca Juniors 1-1 aggregate on penalties; in 2010, with Guadalajara losing to Internacional 5-3 aggregate; and last year in 2015, with Tigres de UANL losing to River Plate 3-0 aggregate. It stands to reason that the top Mexican teams would have fared better than the also-rans. Sheesh. Talk about misplaced priorities. Mexican pro futbol is cheapening their brand by sending their also-rans to the Copa Libertadores. Because the Copa Libertadores is, hands down, not only the pinnacle of professional football competitions in South America, it is the greatest football competition in all of the Western Hemisphere.

    2015 Copa Libertadores champions: CA River Plate.

river-plate_2015-copa-libertadores_champions_alario_sanchez_funez-mori_gallardo_d_.gif
Photo credits above – Lucas Alario celebrates his goal, photo by Amilcar Orfali/STR at gettyimages.com. Carlos Sanchez penalty kick goal, photo by Gabriel Rossi/STF at gettyimages.com. Funes Mori celebrating goal, photo by AFP/Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football. River Plate coach Marcelo Gallardo celebrates with players, photo by Gabriel Rossi/STF at gettyimages.de. Screenshot of video, River Plate Champions of the Copa Libertadores 2015 River plate vs Tigres 3-0 (05/08/2015) (uploaded by ChrisRon 7 at youtube.com). Photo of River players celebrating with trophy, photo by Reuters via telesurtv.net.
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Thanks to all at the following links…
2016 Copa Libertadores/Teams (en.wikipedia.org).
-Copa Libertadores (1960-2015) Club Histories…Copa Libertadores 1960-2015 Club Histories (rsssf.com).

January 25, 2016

2015-16 FA Cup, Fourth Round Proper: location-map, with current average attendances & fixtures list (32 clubs).

Filed under: 2015-16 FA Cup — admin @ 8:35 pm

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2015-16 FA Cup, Fourth Round Proper: location-map, with current average attendances & fixtures list (32 clubs)



    2015-16 FA Cup, Fourth Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances (32 clubs)

By Bill Turianski on 25 January 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

Links…
FA Cup 2015/16 4th Round Preview (facupfactfile.wordpress.com).
The competition…2015-16 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
4th Round fixtures… 2015-16 FA CUP 4TH ROUND (soccerway.com).
BBC’s FA Cup page…FA Cup (bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup).

Here is a chart I put together which shows the 5 biggest Cup-upset-wins and the 6 biggest Cup-upset-draws in the 3rd Round (note: it is old content, which I originally posted on 8 January). So, after the ten 3rd Round re-plays, the two biggest Cup-upset-wins in the 3rd Round were by a couple of League Two teams: Oxford United over Swansea City (a difference of 54 league places & 3 league divisions), and Portsmouth over Ipswich Town (a difference of 46 league places and 2 league divisions)…
[click on the following], billsportsmaps.com/2015-16_fa-cup_3rd-round_upset-wins_upset-draws_jan2016.

Update on 30 Jan.: biggest (and only) Cup-upset win in the 4th Round (so far): third division side Shrewsbury Town 3-2 over second division side Sheffield Wednesday (a difference of 39 league places and 1 league division) {see this, Shrewsbury’s Jack Grimmer records last-gasp win over Sheffield Wednesday (Press Association article via theguardian.com/football).
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Thanks to all at the links below…
-Contributors at 2015-16 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg.
-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.
-Blank relief map of West Midlands, by Nilfanion, at File:West Midlands UK relief location map.jpg

-Current average attendance figures from Worldfootball.net.
-Stadium capacities, from List of football stadiums in England [listed by capacity] (en.wikipedia.org).

January 14, 2016

Hungary national team – starting line-up (Best XI) from match which clinched their qualification for the 2016 Euros in France. (Hungary starting squad from 15 November 2015, Hungary 2-1 Norway/3-1 aggregate to Hungary in 2016 UEFA Euros qualifiers play-offs).

Filed under: Hungary — admin @ 9:56 pm

Links…
-Squad chart.
-Article on Hungary qualifying…Gambles pay off as Hungary get to France and Storck proves his worth (by Jonathan Wilson in Budapest for theguardian.com/football).
-Team (page incl. current squad)…Hungary national football team (en.wikipedia.org).
-Team, with schedule, etc…HUNGARY (soccerway.com).
-Country…Hungary (en.wikipedia.org).
-The UEFA Euros tournament in France in June 2016… UEFA Euro 2016 (en.wikipedia.org).



    Hungary national team – starting line-up (Best XI) from match which clinched their qualification for the 2016 Euros in France.
    (Hungary starting squad from 15 November 2015, Hungary 2-1 Norway/3-1 aggregate to Hungary in 2016 UEFA Euros qualifiers play-offs)

By Bill Turianski on 1 January 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

Demographics of Hungary…
Size of Hungary:
20,779 km-squared (or 8,022 square miles). Hungary is about the size-by-area as Portugal, or about the size of the state of Maine in the USA. This makes Hungary the 109th-largest country by area, placing it between South Korea and Portugal.

Population of Hungary…
Hungary has a population of around 9.8 million {2014 estimate}. Hungary is the 88th-most-populous country, placing it between (the west African nation of) Benin and Sweden, in population size.
{Sources: Hungary;
List of countries and dependencies by population (en.wikipedia.org).}

Capital & largest city…
Budapest, city population: about 1.7 million. Greater Budapest metro-area population: about 3.3 million {2015 figures}.

Gross Domestic Product of Hungary…
Hungary has the 49th-highest GDP in the world, at $25,019 (Int$) per capita. (Gross Domestic Product as measured by purchasing power parity [PPP] per capita, via IMF numbers.)
{Source: List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita (en.wikipedia.org).}

Hungary national team coach: Bernd Storck…
Bernd Storck. The 53-year-old Bernd Storck was born in Herne in the Rhine-Ruhr, in [West] Germany. He played for nearby clubs Bochum and Borussia Dortmund as a defender (from 1981-89/170 league app/8 goals). Upon retiring as a player in 1989, Storck got his coaching credentials and then, in the 1996 to 2007 time frame, was an assistant at 3 top-flight German clubs (Hertha Berlin, Wolfsburg, Dortmund), as well as at the largest Serbian club, FK Partizan. Storck then got his first shot as a manager, in Kazakhstan in 2008, with the now-defunct club Alma-Ata. At the same time, Storck worked as the coach of the Kazakhstan U-21 team. When Alma-Ata merged with another club to form FC Almaty in December 2008, Storck landed on his feet and joined the Kazakhstan national team set-up full-time, as the coach. In 2010, Storck was signed to a new 1-year contract. Storck was able to improve the quality of the Kazakh squad, but following a bottom-of-the-group finish in the 2012 UEFA Euros qualifying, the Kazakhstan FA sacked Storck in October 2010, but kept him on as the U-19 coach (?). Storck then moved on to Greece, as the U-21 team coach for the Greek giants Olympiacos (from 2012-14). Then Storck took up the position of U-20 team coach of Hungary, and led them to a round-of-16 appearance in the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup. In July 2015, Bernd Storck was assistant coach to Pál Dárdai when Dárdai resigned as Hungary coach (to devote his full-time attention to managing his old club, Hertha Berlin – and the currently-4th-place Hertha are one of the surprises this season [2015-16] in the Bundesliga).

In July 2015, Bernd Storck was appointed temporary coach of the Hungary national team…
So the Hungarian football authorities gave the reins to Bernd Storck, as temporary coach. 3 months later, Hungary backed their way into the 2016 UEFA Euros qualifying play-offs as 3rd-place finishers in a weak group (Group F: Northern Ireland, Romania, Hungary, Finland, Faroe Islands, Greece). It was then that Storck took drastic action, and on the eve of their upcoming play-offs match-up with Norway, Storck fired most of Dárdai’s Hungarian-speaking staff, and brought in, as his number two, the former Dortmund midfielder Andreas Möller. The gamble paid off. A few weeks later, Hungary beat the Norwegians in Oslo, 0-1 with the sole goal by 21-year-old László Kleinheisler, who was making his debut for Hungary that day. (See fuzzy screenshot image below, which shows Kleinheisler at the top-right of the penalty box about to wheel around and fire a shot into the net.) Storck had given an international debut, in a very crucial match, to the mercurial Kleinheisler (who is highly rated but plays on the Videton reserve side, because of a contract dispute/ update: László Kleinheisler was transferred from Videoton to Werder Bremen on 20 Jan. 2016, for an undisclosed fee). That was another calculated gamble that paid off, and now Hungary were in the driver’s seat.

On 15 Nov. 2015, Hungary clinched 2016 Euros qualification with a 2-1 victory over Norway (3-1 aggregate to Hungary)…
Video (2:07): Hungary 2-1 Norway on 15 Sept. 2015 (livetv.sx).
3 days later, the second leg, in Budapest, was played before a capacity crowd of 22,189 at the Groupama Arena. The first goal was scored by Tamás Priskin, in the 14th minute. Priskin got possession of a long pass from Tamás Kádár, cut towards the goal and curled a 19-yard screamer into the far right corner of the net (see a photo of Priskin scoring further below/ see the video linked to above). (After the game, the former-Ipswich Town/former-Watford & current-Slovan Bratislava FW Priskin called the goal the best of his career.) As the match progressed into the latter-part of the second half, Norway began mounting more serious threats, with former Hertha Berlin & Crystal Palace GK Gabor Kiraly making a great save from a close-range shot by Norway LW Marcus Pedersen. Then Hungary all but sealed it in the 82nd minute, thanks to an own-goal by Norway FW Markus Henriksen. But 5 minutes later Henriksen made up for that, by scoring a goal in the 87th minute to make it 2-1. Still, Norway needed 2 more goals to secure the aggregate, and the one goal was all that Norway could muster. So Hungary went through that day in Budapest, and now Hungary have qualified for the UEFA Euros for the first time since they finished in 4th in the 1972 Euros. And Hungary have qualified for a major tournament for the first time in 30 years (previous: 1986 FIFA World Cup). And Hungary accomplished this qualification for the 2016 Euros without a single starter on the squad who’s playing his pro ball in one of the Big 5 Western European leagues (ie, none in Germany, or in Spain, or in England, or in Italy, or in France).

In November 2015, Hungary beat Norway in the 2016 UEFA Euros qualifiers play-offs, by a 3-1 aggregate score…
hungary_2016-uefa_euros-q-playoffs_nemzeti-tizenegy_l-kleinheisler_t-priskin_b-storck_e_.gif
Photo credits above – Magyar fans celebrate with Hungary players after a win, early in the 2016 UEFA Euros qualifying campaign (photo un-captioned/circa 2014), photo by AFP/Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football. Screenshot of video of Norway 0-1 Hungary, UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifier at Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo, Hungary on 12 Nov. 2015 with international debutante the 21-year-old László Kleinheisler about to score the winner, image via video uploaded by Soccer Eleven at youtube.com. László Kleinheisler celebrating his goal v Norway, screenshot of video unattributed at skysports.com. Kleinheisler celebrating the crucial goal with temporary-coach of Hungary Bernd Storck, photo by AP via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football. Tamas Priskin scoring, photo by Laszlo Balogh/Reuters via theguardian.com/football. The Hungary squad tosses coach Bernd Storck into the air, celebrating their win which sends them to the 2016 Euros, photo by AFP via haveeru.com.mv. Illustration of Hungary coat-of-arms (badge on home jersey), by Kanchelskis at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hungary_home_kit_2008.svg. Proud Hungary fans showing their colours following the big win, photo by UEFA via vavel.com.

Please note: by clicking on the illustration below, you can place it in an enlargeable separate page…

    Hungary national team – starting line-up (Best XI) from match which clinched their qualification for the 2016 Euros in France.
    (Hungary starting squad from 15 November 2015, Hungary 2-1 Norway/3-1 aggregate to Hungary in 2016 UEFA Euros qualifiers play-offs).

hungary_squad_which-qualified-for-2016-euros_bernd-storck_u_.gif
Hungary national team – starting line-up (Best XI) from match which clinched their qualification for the 2016 Euros in France. (Hungary starting squad from 15 November 2015, Hungary 2-1 Norwayn
Photo and Image credits above -
Bernd Storck, with Hungary players celebrating their qualification for 2016 UEFA Euros, photo by DPA via tz.de/sport/fussball. Blank map of EU with Hungary, by NuclearVacuum at File:EU-Hungary.svg. Blank map of Hungary by NordNordWest at en.wikipedia.org, File:Hungary location map.svg.
Illustration of Hungary coat-of-arms (badge on home jersey), by Kanchelskis at commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hungary_home_kit_2008.svg. Hungary 2014-15 home jersey, photo by amazon.com/Hungary-Home-Jersey.
Squad…
Goalkeeper… Gábor Király, GK (Haladás), photo by Unger Tamás/vaol.hu at nemzetisport.hu.
Defenders…Attila Fiola, CB/RB/DMF (Puskás Akadémia), photo by Takács József via Puskás Akadémia puskasakademia.hu. Richárd Guzmics, CB (Wisła Kraków), photo unattributed at nb1.hu/hirek. Ádám Lang, CB (Videoton) photo by Videoton FC at vidi.hu/lang-adam. Tamás Kádár,CB/LB (Lech Poznań), photo by Jakub Kaczmarczyk/PAP via polskieradio.pl.
Central Holding Midfielder…Ádám Nagy, DMF/CMF/RMF (Ferencváros), photo by Földi Imre via nemzetisport.hu/magyar_valogatott.
Midfielders…Balázs Dzsudzsák, RW/LW (Bursaspor), photo unattributed at konspor.com. Ákos Elek, CMF (Diósgyőr), photo unattributed at amigeleken.hu/hirek/elek-akos-interju-az-origo-n. László Kleinheisler, CMF (Videoton), photo by Videoton FC at vidi.hu. Gergő Lovrencsics (Lech Poznań), photo by Piotr Lesinowski via a href=”http://www.poznan.sport.pl/sport-poznan/1,124479,19191112,baraze-euro-2016-gergo-lovrencsics-bedzie-bronia-wegrow-w-starciu.html”>poznan.sport.pl.
Forward…Tamás Priskin, CF/LW (Slovan Bratislava), photo by sportolunk.sk via nb1.hu/hirek/priskin-tamas-nem-orultem-fogadtatasnak-de.
Other player-options… Ádám Pintér, CB/DMF (Ferencváros), photo by Földi D. Attila at nemzetisport.hu Dániel Böde CF/AMF (Ferencváros), photo by Andalou Agency at gettyimages.com. Zoltán Gera, MF/AMF (Ferencváros), photo by Sasgabor.hu Photography via tempofradi.hu. Krisztián Németh CF/W (Sporting Kansas City), photo by T. Rob Brown at kansascity.com/sports/mls/sporting-kc.

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Thanks to all at the following links -
Hungary national football team (en.wikipedia.org).

Special thanks to the very excellent site called transfermkt.com – for their unerring ability to describe most any footballers’ position(s). Transfermkt.com.

January 1, 2016

2015-16 FA Cup, Third Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances (64 clubs)./+ Update, with chart showing the 5 cup-upset wins and the 6 cup-upset-draws.

Filed under: 2015-16 FA Cup — admin @ 9:27 pm

2015-16_fa-cup_3rd-round_location-map_crowd-sizes_post_c_.gif
2015-16 FA Cup, Third Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances (64 clubs)



    2015-16 FA Cup, Third Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances (64 clubs)

By Bill Turianski on 1 January 2016; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

Links…
2015/16 FA Cup 2nd Round Review (facupfactfile.wordpress.com).
FA Cup 3rd Round Preview (facupfactfile.wordpress.com).
The competition…2015-16 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
3rd Round fixtures… 2015-16 FA CUP 3RD ROUND (soccerway.com).
BBC’s FA Cup page…FA Cup (bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup).


Update (chart below posted on 9 Jan.2015 at 6:30 pm GT/1:30 pm ET, after all the early Saturday fixtures were finished/updated again after Sunday results)…

    2015-16 FA Cup 3rd Round, the 5 cup-upset-wins and the 6 cup-upset-draws…

2015-16_fa-cup_3rd-round_upset-wins_upset-draws_jan2016_n_.gif
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Thanks to all at the links below…
-Contributors at 2015-16 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
-Blank map of UK historic counties, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:United Kingdom police areas map.svg.
-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.
-Blank relief map of West Midlands, by Nilfanion, at File:West Midlands UK relief location map.jpg

-Current average attendance figures from Soccerway.com.
-Stadium capacities, from List of football stadiums in England [listed by capacity] (en.wikipedia.org).

December 18, 2015

Football Clubs of London (all Greater London-based association football clubs in the top 5 divisions of football in England – 16 clubs): location-map with current domestic leagues home average attendances.

london_football-clubs2015-16_5-premier-league-clubs_9-football-league-clubs_2-conference-national-league-clubs_16-london-clubs-in-the-top5-div_map_post_db_.gif
Football Clubs of London (all Greater London-based association football clubs in the top 5 divisions of football in England – 16 clubs): location-map with current average attendances




Links…
-London (en.wikipedia.org).
-Football clubs of London (top 8 divisions)…Football in London (en.wikipedia.org).
-A recent article on football in London, from the Two Unfortunates site…Football Cities: London (on 9 Nov.2015, by Rob Langham at thetwounfortunates.com).
-London Photos Archive (londontopia.net).
london-at-night_aerial-shot_thames_tower-bridge_west-london-view_d_.gif
Photo credit above – unattributed at londontopia.net.

    Map of the Football Clubs of London
    (all Greater London-based association football clubs in the top 5 divisions of football in England – 16 clubs)

By Bill Turianski on 18 December 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.

Update: Welling United were relegated out of the 5th division in May 2016. Sutton United, of south-west London, were promoted to the 5th division in May 2016. If you are curious to see where Sutton Utd are located, click on the following, 2016–17 [Non-League] National League (aka the Conference) [5th division England], map w/ 15/16-crowds-&-finish./+ features on the 4 promoted clubs (Solihull Moors, North Ferriby United, Sutton United, Maidstone United).

Three clubs who will be moving to new grounds in the very-near or somewhat-near future (West Ham Utd, Brentford, AFC Wimbledon)…
On the map, I have included the details of the West Ham United stadium move. {See this, Boleyn becomes bygone: West Ham’s Upton Park upheaval a sign of the times (by Daniel Taylor, on 28 Nov.2015, at theguardian.com/football/blog).} The map has also been be updated with respect to Brentford’s new ground, now that it is 100% certain that Brentford will begin construction on their proposed new stadium, approximately 1.5 km E of Griffin Park. {See this, Go-ahead for Brentford FC stadium and 650 homes (on 14 Dec.2015, at constructionenquirer.com)./ Also see this, Brentford take significant step towards Lionel Road stadium as Hounslow Council activate CPO (getwestlondon.co.uk by Tom Moore from 2 Aug. 2016).} Similarly, the map has been updated now that fan-owned AFC Wimbledon has won council approval for their new ground and their return, east, near-to Wimbledon, in Merton. {See this, Go-ahead for new stadium – AFC Wimbledon is ‘delighted’ that Merton Council has approved the club’s plans to build a new stadium in the borough (on 12 Dec.2015, at thedonstrust.org).} AFC Wimbledon had recently secured a cash-raise-sale of their Kingsmeadow ground in south-west London, in order to fund their planned new stadium in Merton. {See this, AFC Wimbledon close on new stadium near Plough Lane after Chelsea sale (by David Conn, on 17 Nov.2015, at theguardian.com/football).}

Map of London-based football clubs (top 5 divisions/16 clubs)…
The map shows the locations of the football grounds of the 16 clubs. The grounds’ names are listed next to small crests of the clubs. To best view an enlarged map-section, I recommend clicking on the white-shaded City of London (right in the center of the map)…that should give you an enlarged map-section which includes all 16 clubs. I have included a few extra details for the Greater London map – the aforementioned City of London’s small confines are noted, as are the locations of the following: Regent’s Park; Hyde Park, Parliament [Westminster]; Trafalgar Square (in Westminster), Wembley Stadium (in north-west London); the Royal Observatory, Greenwich [home of 0 degrees longitude (the Prime Meridian), and Greenwich Mean Time]; and the Dartford Crossing. (The Dartford Crossing is a vital and heavily-traveled dual-tunnel/bridge crossing located on the River Thames just east of Greater London, which connects Dartford, Kent to Thurrock, Essex, and is the only fixed-road crossing of the Thames east of Greater London; the busiest estuarial crossing in the UK, it services around 130,000 vehicles daily). The four largest municipalities adjacent to Greater London are also noted (the Medway Towns [incl. Gillingham] in Kent, Southend-on-Sea in Essex, Slough in Berkshire, and Watford in Hertfordshire). Some other municipalities adjacent to Greater London are also listed, mainly to point out the closest-to-Greater-London clubs (Watford in Herts, home of Watford FC/1st Div/Premier League club; Borehamwood in Herts, home of Boreham Wood FC/5th Div club; and Dartford in Kent, home of Dartford FC/5th Div club). Though not officially located in Greater London, these 3 clubs could be considered de-facto Greater London clubs, owing to proximity and road-and-rail-connections to central London.

My first map of London teams was posted 6 years ago…
The first time I covered this topic – in mid-December of 2009 – it was a quick decision, a very-hastily-made map, and a swift posting {here, Football Clubs of Greater London, 2009-10 season [top 5 divisions/15 clubs]}. Then, through the past 6 years, that Dec. 2009 map-&-post of the Football Clubs of London has become my most-viewed map. (That is because lots of football fans from all over the world Google-search with queries such as “football teams in london [Image search]“, or “london football clubs [Image search]“.)

So I figured it was high time I re-visited this topic. Hayes & Yeading FC are no longer on the map (they are a 6th Division club now), while two South London clubs – Bromley FC and Welling United FC – have progressed to the 5th Division and are now featured on the new map here. This time, in addition to listing each of the featured clubs’ total-seasons-in-1st-division and major-titles-(w/-last-title-listed), the map page now includes a photo of each club’s stadium. Some of the stadium-photos I selected are aerial shots of the stadiums, some of the photos are exterior shots, and some are interior and interior-game-action shots…basically I just selected the coolest-looking photo I could find for each club’s ground. The stadium-photos at the foot of the map page are arranged left-to-right/top-to-bottom by average home league attendance figures [current attendance figures to 13 Dec.2015/sources linked to at the foot of this post]. Date of the stadium’s opening & stadium capacity is listed in the caption-box above each club’s stadium-photo. The chart at the right-hand side of the map page is also ranked from highest-drawing-London-club-in-top-5-divisions (Arsenal) to lowest-drawing-London-club-in-top-5-divisions (Welling Utd).

Oh, and in case you are wondering, there is one Greater-London-based club, in the current-6th Div/National League South, that has a decent shot at gaining promotion to the 5th Level, and that is Sutton United, who are located in South London and currently [18 Dec.2015] are in the play-off places in fourth.
___
Thanks to all at the following links below…
Photo credits on the map page -
-Arsenal (Emirates Stadium), exterior entrance with cannons in foreground, photo by Ronnie Macdonald at File:Emirates Stadium -canons.jpg.
-Chelsea (Stamford Bridge), aerial photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
-Tottenham (White Hart Lane), exterior roof-top view of stadium, photo unattributed at tottenhamhotspur.wikia.com/wiki/White_Hart_Lane.
-West Ham Utd (Boleyn Ground aka Upton Park), aerial photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
-Crystal Palace (Selhurst Park), photo of exterior of Holmesdale Road Stand, by Rosella Scalia at thecroydoncitizen.com [article: The road to Selhurst Park, by Rosella Scalia].
-Fulham (Craven Cottage), photo of the actual Craven cottage there at the ground, unattributed at premierleague.com/fulham.
-Charlton Athletic (The Valley), aerial photo by Mark Fosh at File:Charlton Athletic football ground.jpg.
-Queens Park Rangers (Loftus Road), interior of the ground during a match (action shot), photo by Lee Abbamonte at leeabbamonte.com/sports-weekend-in-london.
-Brentford (Griffen Park), aerial photo by David Levene at theguardian.com/travel/interactive/2013/mar/15/brentford-football-club-pub-each-corner-interactive.
-Millwall (The New Den), street-level exterior photo of the New Den, photo by fussballinlondon.de [Millwall/The Den].
-Leyton Orient (Brisbane Road), aerial photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
-AFC Wimbledon (Kingsmeadow aka Cherry Red Records Stadium), photo unattributed at getwestlondon.co.uk/afc-wimbledon-2014-15 .
-Barnet (The Hive), photo taken from the Jubilee line by Paul50, uploaded by Dave H at onlybarnet.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5329&start=570 [thread: The Hive ground].
-Dagenham & Redbridge (Victoria Road aka Chigwell Construction Stadium), photo by Rambler1977 via stadiumdb.com/stadiums/eng/victoria_road.
-Bromley (Hayes Lane), photo from stadien-in-baden-wuerttemberg.de/England.
-Welling Utd (Park View Road), photo by the Onion Bag.blogspot.com [Saturday 26th February - Conference South Welling United 1 v Weston-Super-Mare 0.] (onion-bag.blogspot.com).

Also, Thank You, to…
-All who contributed to…Football in London (en.wikipedia.org).
-Nilfanion…Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg.
-Soccerway.com: attendances on map page are from from soccerway.com.
-Non-League clubs’ attendances from NonLeagueMatters.co.uk.
-Lanterne Rouge at the Two Unfortunates, for the great article on football in London circa 2015 and for re-tweeting recent tweets from @billsportsmaps.
-Àxel Aguilar, @aguilaraxel, for several re-tweets and for solid advice this year – he told me i needed a better banner at twitter :l (he was right).
-Martín Donato, @martindonato, for several re-tweets and recommends, etc.

Happy Holidays & best wishes for 2016, to all who visit here.

December 7, 2015

Republic of Ireland national team – starting line-up (Best XI) from match which clinched their qualification for the 2016 Euros in France. (Republic of Ireland starting squad from 16 November 2015, Ireland 2-0 Bosnia/3-1 aggregate to Ireland in 2016 UEFA Euros qualifiers play-offs.) [11 starters + 8 other players/ 19 Ireland players profiled.]

Filed under: Ireland — admin @ 6:42 pm

By Bill Turianski on 7 December 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
Links…
-Squad chart.
-Article on Ireland clinching…Martin O’Neill praises his Republic of Ireland heroes and Roy Keane (by Daniel Taylor at the Aviva Stadium on 16 Nov. 2015 at theguardian.com/football).
-Thread on Reddit.com/r/soccer the day Ireland clinched…Ireland are through to the European Championships! [thread with 1,024 comments] (reddit.com/r/soccer).
-Team (current squad)…Republic of Ireland national football team/current squad (en.wikipedia.org).
-Team, with schedule, etc…REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (soccerway.com).
-Country…Republic of Ireland.
-Provinces of Ireland…Provinces of Ireland (en.wikipedia.org).

Demographics of the Republic of Ireland
Size of the Republic of Ireland…
70,273 km-squared (or 27,133 square miles). The Republic of Ireland is slightly smaller than the African nation of Sierra Leone and is slightly larger than the Eurasian nation of Georgia, and the Republic of Ireland is slightly larger than the state of West Virginia in the USA. The Republic of Ireland is the 118th-largest country by area.
{Sources: Republic of Ireland;
List of countries and dependencies by area;
List of U.S. states and territories by area.(en.wikipedia.org)}

Population of the Republic of Ireland…
The Republic of Ireland has a population of around 4.6 million {2014 estimate}. The Republic of Ireland is the 122nd-most-populous country, placing them between New Zealand and DR Congo in population size.
{Sources: Republic of Ireland;
List of countries and dependencies by population (en.wikipedia.org).}

Capital & largest city…
Dublin, city population: about 527,000. Greater Dublin metro-area population.: about 1.8 million {2014 estimates}.

Gross Domestic Product of the Republic of Ireland…
The Republic of Ireland’s economy might have hit a severe slump following the 2008 Global economic crisis, but the nation still has the the 12th-highest GDP in the world, at $51,284 (Int$) per capita. (Gross Domestic Product as measured by purchasing power parity [PPP] per capita, via IMF numbers.)
{Source: List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita (en.wikipedia.org).}

Coach of Ireland team:
Martin O’Neill….
Martin O’Neill [age 63] is Northern Ireland-born (in County Londonderry). He made his name as a MF for Nottingham Forest during that club’s legendary run under Brian Clough and Peter Taylor in the late-1970s/early-1980s time period. O’Neill played 10 seasons for Forest (1971-81), with 285 league appearances and 45 goals. He helped them win promotion to the First Division in 1977, then helped Forest become the last English team to win the 1st-divison-championship-after-being-promoted (1977-78 First Division title). Then O’Neill contributed to Nottingham Forest’s 2 straight European titles (in 1979 & 1980). Following stints at Norwich City, Manchester City, and Notts County, O’Neill retired as a player in 1985. O’Neill also amassed 64 caps and 8 goals for the Northern Ireland national team (1981-85).

O’Neill’s management career began in Non-League football, and in 1992 he got Wycombe Wanderers promoted into the Football League for the first time…
Martin O’Neill began his managerial career in Non-League football in 1987 with Northern League side Grantham Town. 3 years later, in February 1990, he got his shot with an up-and-coming Conference club – the Wycombe Wanderers of southern Buckinghamshire. Wycombe were then a somewhat-large-for-non-league club with potential, including a soon-to-be-opened new 10-K-capacity ground (Adams Park in High Wycombe), but Wycombe had never been able to gain election to the Football League before automatic promotion/relegation was instituted between the 4th and 5th levels in 1986-87. And in due time (3 years), O’Neill delivered on that and got Wycombe promoted to the Football League in May 1993 by winning the 1992-93 Conference National. Then one year later, O’Neill delivered again and got Wycombe a second-straight promotion as the Wanderers won the 1993-94 Fourth Division play-offs (4-2 over Preston in front of 40 K at the old Wembley). Martin O’Neill had moved a Non-League club up into the Third Division, in 2 years flat.

O’Neiil gets Leicester City into the Premier League (in 2000), then has a good spell as Celtic manager, before tribulations at both Aston Villa and Sunderland…
So of course O’Neill got the chance to manage bigger clubs, starting with a brief stop at Norwich City (1995). Then O’Neill moved a couple counties over, to Leicester, where he guided the Foxes to promotion to the Premier League in May 2000. Next stop for O’Neill was north to Glasgow Celtic, where, from 2000-to-’05 he managed the Scottish giants to 3 titles and a UEFA Cup final (losing in 2003 to Porto 3-2, in Seville). And speaking of the UEFA Cup, O’Neill’s next managerial stint – at Aston Villa (2006-10) – became unstuck soon after he fielded essentially reserve sides for Villa’s lame and morale-sapping foray in the 2008-09 UEFA Cup. In other words, O’Neill opted to field a sub-standard lineup and treat the competition with cynical disdain. To say that that decision backfired would be an understatement. In fact, it could be said that (the currently-basement-dwelling) Aston Villa still hasn’t recovered from the negativity of O’Neill’s nihilistic UEFA Cup game plan. O’Neill’s plan was this: let’s not even try to win this tinpot tournament, because we got bigger fish to fry. Then they folded over. Here is an excerpt from Martin O’Neill’s wikipedia page,…” After 25 games of the 2008–09 season the club were third in the table on 51 points, 2 points above Chelsea on level games and 7 points above Arsenal in 5th place and on course for a place in the Champions League for the first time since 1983. O’Neill then decided to prioritise Champions League qualification above all else, fielding a virtual reserve side for a UEFA Cup game against CSKA Moscow which was subsequently lost. Following this, Villa failed to win any of the next 10 league games and improving form for Arsenal & Chelsea meant that Villa failed to reach the top 4.”…{excerpt from Martin O’Neill (en.wikipedia.org).

Under O’Neill, Aston Villa had three straight 6th-place-finishes (2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10). Villa were stuck in the pathological-Thursday-night UEFA-Cup/Europa-League-purgatory. That, coupled with seeing insufficient funds available to improve his squad, contributed to O’Neill’s decision to resign as Aston Villa manager in August 2010. Martin O’Neill’s next club was chronic-dysfunction-magnet Sunderland AFC, of whom O’Neill took the reins of in December 2011. (Sunderland and Celtic are the 2 clubs that O’Neill supported in his boyhood.) O’Neill could do little to change the culture of underachievement there on the Wear, and 27 months on, in March 2013, O’Neill was sacked by the Sunderland board, as the team lay mired in a relegation fight. Sunderland finished 3 points above the drop in 17th that season [2012-13], and have been teetering on the brink of relegation virtually ever since then. O’Neill would not coach or manage for one-and-a-half years after that sacking.

November 2013: Martin O’Neill is hired as the Republic of Ireland national team coach…
17 months later, in November 2013, Martin O’Neill was hired as the Republic of Ireland national team coach. O’Neill brought in Roy Keane as assistant coach, in a sort of Good-Cop (O’Neill)/Bad-Cop (Keane) dynamic. Well, it worked, and although it took a nail-biting play-offs victory over Bosnia to clinch it, in the end, no one can deny that Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane got the perennial-nearly-men the Ireland national football team into a major competition – this from probably the toughest group in the qualifiers (Group D: Germany, Poland, Ireland, Scotland, Georgia, Gibralter). In the qualifiers, Ireland took 4 of a possible 6 points off of Germany (aka the World Champions), despite having only 37% possession when drawing with Germany away, and then having only 33% possession in beating Germany at home in Dublin (see 3 photos below). But Poland held off Ireland to claim the second automatic qualifying spot in the group. So it was off to the dreaded play-offs for Ireland. (Article continues below the illustration.)

    Below, the 2016 Euros qualifying campaign of the Republic of Ireland

(Please note: you can click on the illustration below to place it on an easier-to-read page.)
republic-of-ireland_squad_which-qualified-for-2016-uefa-euros_john-oshea_shane-long_robbie-brady_jon-walters_martin-oneill_roy-keane_n_.gif
Photo credits above – John O’Shea scoring on a header, late (94′) v Germany, photo by Keith McManus/BPI via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football. Shane Long scoring winner v Germany, photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images via belfasttelegraph.co.uk/sport/football. Shane long runs to fans to celebrate his winning goal v Germany, photo by Getty Images via thenewdaily.com.au/sport. Robbie Brady scoring in the fog in Bosnia, photo by Reuters via irishmirror.ie/sport/soccer. Edin Džeko after scoring for Bosnia to equaliize v Ireland, photo by Getty Images via uefa.com/uefaeuro/qualifiers. Screenshots of interior-view of Aviva Stadium on 16 Nov.2015 from video at youtube.com. Schematic illustration of Ireland squad lineup, by soccerway.com. Jonathan Walters scoring from the penalty spot (24′), photo by AFP/Getty Images via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football. Jon Walters scoring second goal off free kick by Robbie Brady, screenshot of video at youtube.com. Jon Walters celebrating with fans alongside giant green-&-white-checkered flag, photo by Peter Morrison/Associated Press via bleacherreport.com. Martin O’Neill & Roy Keane after win, photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile/Corbis via theguardian.co.uk.

So it was off to the dreaded play-offs for Ireland…
In the play-offs, Ireland drew Bosnia, and then eked out a 1-1 result in the first leg, in the dense fog in Zenica, Bosnia on 13 Nov. 2015, with DF Robbie Brady scoring late, followed a couple minutes later by an equalizer from Bosnia FW Edin Dzeko (see photos above). In the second leg, before a full-house/50-K-crowd in Dublin, Ireland clinched qualification with a 2-0 victory over Bosnia, thanks to a brace from RW/FW Jonathan Walters. Walters’ first goal was in the 24th minute from the penalty spot. His second goal was in the 70th minute off of a free kick by Robbie Brady – which Walters trapped, parried, and slotted in on the near post (see fuzzy screenshot above). The staunch Ireland defense held for the remaining 20-odd minutes, and Ireland had clinched. As noted in the following article by Daniel Taylor at Guardian/football, Martin O’Neill afterward praised assistant coach Roy Keane for his influence in the dressing-room. Said Martin O’Neill: “I’ve had to make many big decisions. The biggest was bringing in Roy Keane and he has been absolutely phenomenal. I couldn’t be more delighted with him. He’s an iconic figure. He sometimes polarises opinion but not in the dressing room.”…{quote from Martin O’Neill praises his Republic of Ireland heroes and Roy Keane (by Daniel Taylor on 16 Nov.2015 at theguardian.com/football).

The Republic of Ireland will join 3 of the 4 British home countries in the 2016 UEFA Euros in France next summer…
Ireland now joins England, Northern Ireland, and Wales in qualifying for the 2016 Euros. Ireland have now qualified for 2 straight Euros tournaments (this is their 3rd Euros qualification overall). Northern Ireland have qualified for the Euros for the first-time-ever, and have made it to a major tournament for the first time in 30 years (previous, FIFA WC 1982 & 1986). Meaning, in France next summer, there will be full representation for ALL of Ireland – in a major tournament – for the first time ever. And how fitting that a man (O’Neill), born in the United Kingdom, got the Republic of Ireland into the Euros, just as his fellow countrymen from his birthplace up north, in Northern Ireland, had done the same.




(Please note: you can click on the illustration below to place it on an easier-to-read page.)

    Ireland national team – starting line-up from match which clinched their qualification for the 2016 Euros in France.
    (Republic of Ireland starting squad from 16 November 2015, Ireland 2-0 Bosnia/3-1 aggregate to Ireland in 2016 UEFA Euros qualifiers play-offs).

republic-of-ireland_squad_which-qualified-for-2016-uefa-euros_martin-oneill_t_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Ireland 2015 kits illustration from Republic of Ireland national football team en.wikipedia.org. Photo of Martin O’Neill jumping for joy as Ireland scores a late goal for a draw in Germany, photo unattributed at rte.ie. Map of Ireland within the EU, by NuclearVacuum at File:EU-Ireland.svg.
Blank map of administrative divisions in the Republic of Ireland, by lasunncty at File:Republic of Ireland counties and cities.svg (commons.wikimedia.org). Blank map of Ireland, by NordNordWest at File:Ireland location map.svg (en.wikipedia.org). Circa 2014-15 Ireland jersey badge, photo uploaded by Otaku [unattributed] at forums.bigsoccer.com/threads/ [thread: appreciating-the-worlds-finest-in-football-kits]. 2015 Ireland jersey, photo from worldsoccershop.com.
Squad…
Goalkeeper… Darren Randolph, GK (West Ham Utd), photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Defenders…Séamus Coleman, RB/RMF (Everton), photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Richard Keogh, CB (Derby County), photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images at cache1.asset-cache.net. Ciaran Clark, CB/DMF (Aston Villa), photo by Craig Brough/Reuters via thescore.com. Robbie Brady, LB/LMF/CMF (Norwich City), photo by Christopher Lee via gettyimages.com.
Holding Midfielders…Glenn Whelan, CMF/DMF (Stoke City), photo by Paul Thomas at gettyimages.com. James McCarthy, CMF/DMF/AMF (Everton), photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Attacking Midfielders…Jonathan Walters, RW/CF (Stoke City), photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images via gettyimages.com. Wes Hoolahan, AMF/LW (Norwich City), photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Jeff Hendrick, CMF/DMF/AMF (Derby County), photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Striker…Daryl Murphy, CF/W (Ipswich Town), photo by Stuart Watson at eadt.co.uk/sport/gallery.
Other player-options…Shane Long, CF/W (Southampton), photo by David Cannon/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. John O’Shea, CB/WB (Sunderland), photo by Getty Images (mis-attributed) at chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football. Robbie Keane, CF/LW (LA Galaxy), photo unattributed at empireofthekop.com. James McClean, LW/FW/RW (West Bromwich Albion), photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images via gettyimages.ca. Shay Given, GK (Stokr City), photo by Christof Koepsel at gettyimages.com. Aiden McGeady, RW/AMF/LW (Everton), photo by Gareth Jones via liverpoolecho.co.uk. Marc Wilson, CB/LB/DMF (Stoke City), photo by Getty Images via irishpost.co.uk. Stephen Ward, MF (Burnley), photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.

___
Thanks to all at the following links -
-Republic of Ireland national team (en.wikipedia.org).
-REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (soccerway.com).
-Special thanks to the very excellent site called transfermkt.com – for their unerring ability to describe most any footballers position(s). Transfermkt.com.

November 30, 2015

2015-16 FA Cup, Second Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances./ Plus: a short article and an illustration about the biggest 1st-round-upset (Bristol Rovers 0-1 Chesham United).

Filed under: 2015-16 FA Cup — admin @ 2:34 pm

2015-16_fa-cup_2nd-round_location-map_crowd-sizes_post_b_.gif
2015-16 FA Cup, Second Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances




By Bill Turianski on 30 November 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.
Links…
2015/16 FA Cup 1st Round Review (facupfactfile.wordpress.com).
Brief article on 1st Round upsets…FA Cup first-round round-up: Chesham’s Ryan Blake stuns Bristol Rovers (Press Association article at theguardian.com/football).
The competition…2015-16 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
2nd Round fixtures…2015-16 FA CUP 2ND ROUND (soccerway.com).
BBC’s FA Cup page…FA Cup (bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup).

    The Biggest Upset in the 2015/-6 FA Cup 1st Round: Bristol Rovers 0-1 Chesham Utd
    (Chesham were placed 75 league places & 3 divisions below Bristol Rovers)…

Chesham (pronounced “Chess-um”) is a town of around 21,000 located just north-west of Greater London, in the low-rolling-hills of southern Buckinghamshire. Chesham is 40 km (or 25 mi) by road from central London. In the last half-century or so Chesham has increasingly become a commuter-town, and in fact Chesham is the last stop on the Metropolitan line of the London tube {see it on a map at en.wikipedia, here}. Chesham United are a 7th-Level/Southern Premier side. Established in 1917, Chesham wear claret-and-sky-blue and feature a crest with a rook and a green-&-white chessboard (a reference to the first syllable in their name). Their nickname is the Generals. The reason for that is in the club’s founding…as this excerpt from the club’s website says, …”[Chesham United] was formed in 1917 following the merger of Chesham Town FC (who were founder members of the Southern League in 1894 when still known as just Chesham FC) and Chesham Generals (who took their name from the General Baptist Church in Chesham Broadway) {excerpt from History – A Brief Overview of Chesham United at cheshamunited.co.uk}. Chesham United are managed by Andy Leese, who has been at the helm since the summer of 2007 {from the Chesham Utd website, Andy Leese profile, here}.

Chesham United currently average 276 per game (and were the sixth-lowest-drawing of the 80 clubs to have qualified for the 2015-16 FA Cup 1st Round). The last time Chesham qualified for the FA Cup 1st Round was in 1994-95, and their best Cup run was in 1979-80, when they went to the 3rd Round. This season, in the 1st round, Chesham drew a tough away match versus 4th-division (League 2) side Bristol Rovers. At kickoff, Chesham Utd were placed 75 league places and 3 leagues below Bristol Rovers (Chesham sat 17th in the Southern Prem/ they currently sit 19th, 4 points above the relegation-zone.)

5,181 were in attendance there (on Sunday the 8th of November 2015), at the Rovers’ Memorial Stadium in Horfield, on the northern edge of the city of Bristol. That gate included a solid and more-than-twice-their-home-crowd-size 573-strong traveling support for Chesham United (see some of the traveling fans in photo below). Meanwhile, many if not most of the Bristol Rovers supporters there at the Memorial Stadium that day were happy to see the return of one of their favorites, the ex-Bristol Rovers Striker Barry Hayles, who, at 43 years old, is now a player/coach of Chesham United. (Barry Hayles had netted 32 goals in 64 League matches [excellent 50% strike-rate there] for Bristol Rovers in the 1997-to-1999 time-frame. Then Hayles moved on up 2 divisions to Fulham, where he helped them get promoted to the Premier League in 2001; then Hayles scored 13 Premier League goals for the Cottagers in three seasons, before moving on again, back to the 2nd division, playing for Sheffield Utd, Millwall, Plymouth Argyle, and Leicester City, among others.)

So, the old FA Cup magic was certainly in the air (but not, alas, for the Gas faithful), when Barry Hayles came on as a 72nd-minute substitute to a warm ovation. And 5 minutes later, fed by a Hayles pass down the left-midfield-flank, Chesham FW Ryan Blake dribbled forward about 20 yards and then unleashed a low and powerful 25-yard strike that beat the Rovers goalkeeper, to put Chesham on the scoreboard {that goal can be seen at 0:55 of the video at the first link in the next paragraph). Then the Chesham defense held the lead for 20 minutes, and at around 90+7, the ref blew the whistle and Chesham United had just stolen an improbable road victory. Improbable, for sure, when you look at the vast gulf that separates the pro 4th division from the amateur 7th level. And also improbable when you look at the shots-&-corner-kicks totals: Bristol Rovers had 25 shots (and 17 corner kicks) versus Chesham Utd, who had just 6 shots (and 4 corner kicks). A special mention must go out to Chesham captain Toby Little, who, in the first half, on a Rovers’ corner kick, saved a goal at the line by heading away a definitely-going-in-shot (seen at 0:30 in the video linked to below). And a special mention also goes to Chesham ‘keeper Shane Gore, who made some crucial saves down the stretch, as Chesham held on. Now Chesham United have drawn an even larger club away in the 2nd Round…versus Bradford City, who are a 3rd-division side who regularly draw above 18 K for their League 1 matches. Chesham will travel up to West Yorkshire to play Bradford at Valley Parade on Sunday the 6th of December 2015 (at 2 pm Greenwich Time/9 am Eastern Time).

{Youtube.com video of Ryan Blake’s goal (seen at 0:55 in the video)Bristol Rovers 0-1 Chesham United – Emirates FA Cup 2015/16 | Goal & Highlights (1:42 video uploaded by FATV at youtube.com).}
{Article on Bristol Rovers 0-1 Chesham Utd, at BBC’s FA CCup page, here.}

Below, the biggest upset in the 2015-16 FA Cup 1st Round…Bristol Rovers 0-1 Chesham Utd (75 places and 3 leagues separated the clubs…)
chesham-utd_fa-cup_1st-round_8-nov-2015_chesham-75-places-below_-bristol-rovers_0-1_chesham-utd_barry-hayles_ryan-blake_m_.gif
Photo and Image credits above –
Main Stand at Chesham Utd’s The Meadow, photo by agroundhoppersdiary.blogspot.com at agroundhoppersdiary.blogspot.com/2012/04/chesham-united-meadow-park. Kits illustration from Chesham United F.C. (en.wikipedia.org). Chesham Utd traveling fans, photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Chesham Utd’s Brad Wadkins is fouled by Bristol Rovers’ Tom Lockyer, leading to a missed penalty (28th minute), photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Photo of Barry Hayles scoring for Bristol Rovers circa 1997, unattributed at bristolpost.co.uk. Photo of the 43-year-old Barry Hayles entering the game, photo by Trevor Hyde at cheshamunited.co.uk/news/the-fa-cup-in-pictures;-chesham-win-away-at-bristol-rovers. Photo of Ryan Blake after scoring, photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Photo of the Chesham squad celebrating with traveling Chesham fans after the big upset victory, photo by Trevor Hyde at cheshamunited.co.uk/news/the-fa-cup-in-pictures;-chesham-win-away-at-bristol-rovers.

___
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Contributors at 2015-16 FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
-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.

-Current average attendance figures from Soccerway.com.
-Current average attendance for lower Non-League clubs (7th and 8th Levels), at non-league-matters.co.uk.

-Thanks to Chesham United official site for club history and Cup-run information, cheshamunited.co.uk.

November 18, 2015

NFL, 1988 season: map with helmets./+ an illustration for Super Bowl XXIII [23] champions the San Francisco 49ers./+ top-3-leaders in 1988 Offensive stats (QB Rating, Rushing Yds, Receiving Yds)/+ a brief history of the oldest team in the NFL – the Cardinals (who moved to Phoenix, AZ in 1988).

Filed under: NFL>1988 helmet map,NFL/ Gridiron Football — admin @ 8:00 pm

nfl_1988season_helmets_map_post_d_.gif
NFL, 1988 season: map with helmets


    NFL, 1988…

By Bill Turianski on 18 November 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

The 1988 NFL season & Super Bowl XXIII (23)…
-NFL 1988 standings, etc, here, 1988 NFL_season/Final standings (en.wikipedia.org).
The NFL was coming off a 1987 season which saw a 24-day player-strike that shortened the season by one game [to 15 games]. Reigning champions in 1988 were Washington.

The biggest change in the NFL in 1988 was, of course, the franchise shift that saw the NFL’s oldest team – the Cardinals – move from St. Louis, Missouri to Greater Phoenix, Arizona {see the short article at the foot of this post}. The Cardinals remained in the [NFC] East Division (finishing 7-9). (The Cardinals became part of the re-vamped NFC West in 2002.)

The playoff races in the NFL in 1988 were very tight in several divisions, with a 3-way/10-6 tie for first place in the NFC West going to the San Francisco 49ers, via the tiebreakers; and with a 2-way/10-6 tie for first place in the NFC East going to the Philadelphia Eagles, also via the tiebreakers. (The New Orleans Saints and the New York Giants both went 10-6, yet failed to make it to the postseason.) And in the AFC West, the Seattle Seahawks won their last 2 games to eke out a divisional title (by going 9-7). To round out the playoff teams, in the AFC, along with Seattle, it was Buffalo, Cincinnati, Cleveland (wild-card), and Houston (wild-card). In the NFC, along with San Francisco and Philly, it was Chicago, Minnesota (wild-card), and the LA Rams (wild-card).

Cincinnati and Buffalo shared the best record in the AFC at 12-4, and the two would meet in the AFC Championship game, with QB (and 1988 NFL MVP) Boomer Esiason leading the Bengals over Jim Kelly’s Bills, 21-10. In the NFC, the Bears had the best record at 12-4, with their divisional rival the Minnesota Vikings posting the second-best record in the conference as an 11-5 wild-card team. In the NFC Championship game, the Bears fell 28-3 to the 49ers. San Francisco (who went 10-6) were led on offense by then-10-year-veteran Joe Montana (QB, and 2000 HoF inductee), third-year WR Jerry Rice (a 2010 HoF inductee), and then-6-year-veteran and 1988 Offensive Player of the Year-winner Roger Craig (RB). And the 49ers featured an effective-yet-actually-only-8th-best defense, spearheaded by DE/LB Charles Haley (in his third year then, and a 2015 HoF inductee) and DB Ronnie Lott (a then-8th-year-veteran, and a 2000 HoF inductee).

Head coach Bill Walsh’s San Francisco 49ers might only have had the 8th-best Defense in 1988, and the Niners might have only had the 7th-best Offense in ’88, but their championship caliber was quite evident when they coasted through the playoffs (beating the Vikes 34-9, and then the Bears 28-3). So in Super Bowl XXIII (23), in Miami, on January 22, 1989, San Francisco faced Cincinnati, in a re-match of Super Bowl XVI, which had been played seven years earlier in 1982. Once again, San Francisco beat the Bengals, this time by the score of 20-16. Here is an excerpt from Super Bowl XXIII (en.wikipedia.org)…”The game is best remembered for the 49ers’ fourth-quarter game-winning drive. Down 16–13, San Francisco got the ball on their own eight-yard line with 3:10 on the clock and marched 92 yards down the field in under three minutes. They then scored the winning touchdown on a Joe Montana pass to John Taylor with just 34 seconds left in the game.”

Super Bowl XXIII (23): San Francisco 49ers 20, Cincinnati Bengals 16…
http://billsportsmaps.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/san-francisco-49ers_super-bowl-xxiii_jerry-rice_roger-craig_joe-montana_john-taylor_bill-walsh_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Jerry Rice, one-handed-grab from 1st quarter, photo by Lennox McLendon/AP via timelines.latimes.com/nfl-super-bowl-timeline-history. Roger Craig with 40-yard gain to start 4th quarter, photo by Getty Images via wcpo.com/sports/sports-photo-gallery/a-look-back-at-the-bengals-last-super-bowl-25-years-later. Montana in the pocket, set to throw in the 4th quarter on the 92-yard game-winning drive, photo by Richard Mackson/SI via siphotos.tumblr.com. John Taylor catching the winning pass with 34 seconds left, photo unattributed at mirror.co.uk. Bill Walsh being carried off the field by players, photo by AP via 49erscast.blogspot.com/2012/07/Bill Walsh: Noviembre 30, 1931 – Julio 30, 2007. Joe Montana, photo by Focus On Sports/Getty Images via gettyimages.com.

This was the 49ers’ 3rd Super Bowl title
This was the 49ers’ 3rd Super Bowl title. Bill Walsh retired after the win, and the pioneering offensive strategist (the father of the West Coast Offense) was inducted into the Pro Football HoF in 1993. Under new head coach George Seifert, the Niners would repeat as champions the following season [1989]. The 49ers currently [2015] have won 5 Super Bowl titles, which is second only to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 6 Super Bowl titles, and puts them tied with the Dallas Cowboys for the second-most Super Bowl titles {see this, List of Super Bowl champions/Super Bowl appearances by team (en.wikipedia.org).

1988 NFL Offensive Leaders (Regular season, top 3 of: QB Rating, Rushing-Yards, Receiving-Yards)…
[Note: you can click on image below to see it in a separate page.]
nfl_1988-season_passing-rushing-receiving-leaders_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
QBs:
Boomer Esiason (Cincinnati), photo unattributed at djgourdoux.files.wordpress.com; Dave Krieg (Seattle), photo unattributed at cbstampa.files.wordpress.com; Wade Wilson (Minnesota), photo by USA Today via spokeo.com.
RBs:
Eric Dickerson (Indianapolis), photo by USA Today via spokeo.com; Herschel Walker (Dallas), photo unattributed at rodswp.files.wordpress.com; Roger Craig (San Francisco), photo by George Rose/Getty Image via bleacherreport.com.
WRs:
Henry Ellard, photo by USA Today via spokeo.com. Jerry Rice, photo unattributed at rankopedia.com; Eddie Brown (Cincinnati), photo by USA Today via spokeo.com.

A brief history of the oldest team in the NFL – the Cardinals, who moved to Arizona in 1988…
The Cardinals (est. 1918 as the Racine Cardinals [of Racine Street in Chicago]), were a founding member of the NFL [APFA] in 1920, when they were located on the South Side of Chicago. A year later, in 1921, Chicago had another pro football team, with the arrival of the Decatur Staleys/Chicago Staleys/Chicago Bears’ franchise (who played on the North Side of Chicago at Wrigley Field). This permanently hobbled the Cardinals. The presence of the Bears in the Windy City ensured that the under-capitalized and poorer-half-of-Chicago-based Cardinals were always playing second fiddle, with a fraction of the media attention and eventually a fraction of the fan support that the Bears enjoyed. It sure didn’t help that the Staleys [Bears], upon arrival in Chicago, were winners…the Chicago Staleys were voted the 1921 APFA title-winners [the title was disputed by the Buffalo All-Americans, who were tied with the Chicago Staleys in the 1921 APFA final standings, and should have been voted co-champions/ see this, 1921 NFL Championship controversy (en.wikipedia.org)].

Meanwhile, the Cardinals were a competitive team in the 1920s, but were a basement-dweller all through the 1930s, and in fact through most of their 40 years in Chicago. In the pre-Super Bowl era of the NFL (1920-65), the Cardinals were the second worst of any team [formed before 1960], with one disputed title (in 1925/ title disputed by the Pottsville Maroons), and one outright title (in 1947, over the Philadelphia Eagles). Back in the first 46 years of the NFL, only the then-title-less Pittsburgh Pirates/Steelers were a worse NFL team than the Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals.

By the 1950s, it was inevitable that the Chicago Cardinals would have to move the franchise to survive, and after “trying out” Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota as a potential franchise-site in 1959 (when they played their last two home games in Bloomington, MN [at the future home of the Minnesota Vikings and the MLB's Twins]), the Cardinals franchise moved to St. Louis in 1960. The NFL was actually very satisfied with this franchise-shift, and only too happy to see the Cardinals leave Chicago, because it helped block the brand-new rival-league the AFL (of 1960-69) from trying to place a team in St. Louis.

Right upon moving to St. Louis, the Cardinals debuted their stunning white-with-large-frowning-Cardinal-head helmet {see illustrations below; also see this, 1960 St. Louis Cardinals [helmets & uniforms] (gridiron-uniforms.com)}. In their 28 years in St. Louis, the St. Louis football Cardinals played at the same venues as the St. Louis baseball Cardinals – first in Sportsman’s Park, then, from 1966 to 1987 at the multi-purpose concrete doughnut that was Busch Memorial Stadium (II). Under the 15-year-long leadership of QB Jim Hart, and later in the mid-1970s, led by the innovative offensive tactician and head coach Don Coryell, the St. Louis football Cardinals were often a very competitive team, with three 9-win seasons in the mid-1960s, and three 10-or-11-win-seasons in the mid-1970s. But they either folded in the playoffs, or just came short of qualifying for the playoffs. The St. Louis football Cardinals were hampered by playing in very tough divisions (stuck with the NY Giants and Cleveland and Philadelphia in the 1960s, and stuck with Dallas and Washington in the 1970s). The Cardinals failed to make the playoffs despite posting a winning percentage above .600 on six different occasions (in 1963, in 1964, in 1966, in 1968, in 1970, and in 1976). The Cards did make the playoffs in 1974 and ’75, losing in the first round both times.

The Cardinals’ stadium situation deteriorated as the 1980s wore on, and when it became obvious that there was no solution in sight and that the city of St. Louis was refusing to build or co-fund a stadium for the football team, the owners – the Bidwill family – decided it was time to move on again. In Chicago, the Cardinals were ignored because of the Bears; in St. Louis, despite a solid-and-fervent-fanbase, they wore out their welcome. Attendance was dwindling, but that was perhaps thanks to the team perpetually coming up short, and because of the rightfully-enduring popularity of the baseball Cardinals. But it also was because of the fact that the essentially-absentee-owner Bill Bidwill did various things which resulted in alienating much of the fanbase. The team was continually at the bottom of the payroll scale in the league, and the Bidwill family acted like aloof lords who refused to deign the fan-base-rabble with so much as an acknowledgement-of-their-existence. That would not change in the early days of the franchise’s tenure in Phoenix, where Bidwill price-gouged NFL-starved Arizonans, with league-high ticket prices. In 1988 and into the early 1990s, the Phoenix Cardinals under the Bidwill family were charging the highest average-ticket price in the NFL, for an inferior product, in a bad venue. (It was supposed to be a temporary situation at Sun Devil Stadium for the Cardinals, but the Savings and Loan Crisis of the late 1980s derailed any progress on a new venue, and the team was stuck playing in that decrepit stadium for 18 years.)

[Below, old-content-disclaimer: the images below first appeared here, NFL, NFC West: map, with brief team and league history, and titles list.]
Arizona Cardinals Helmet History -
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Arizona Cardinals Helmet History
Image credits above – gridiron-uniforms.com/cardinals.

chicago-cardinals_st-louis-cardinals_arizona-cardinals_helmets-logos_sgment_.gif
Above: Helmet illustrations and shoulder patch illustration from: gridiron-uniforms.com/

The Cardinals in the state of Arizona have actually never played in the city of Phoenix – for their first 18 seasons (1988 to 2005), the Phoenix Cardinals played in nearby Tempe, AZ at Arizona State’s Sun Devil Stadium. (Tempe, AZ is adjacent to, and is just east of, Phoenix.) The Cardinals changed their name to the Arizona Cardinals in 1994. Then in 2006, they moved to another suburb [9 miles NW of downtown Phoenix] – Glendale, AZ, and into the futuristic movable-roofed University of Phoenix Stadium (cap. 68,000-to-78,000), which was site of Super Bowl XLIX (49) in Feb. 2015. The best season the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals have had was in 2008, when, led by an aging-but-still-effective QB Kurt Warmer and by WR Larry Fitzgerald, the 9-7 Cards caught fire in the playoffs and secured the franchises’ first trip to the Super Bowl. But in Super Bowl XLIII (43) on Feb.1 2009, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL, the Cardinals came just short of glory, in a thrilling 27-23 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

___
Thanks to Wapcaplet & Angr, for the blank map of USA, at File:Map of USA without state names.svg (commons.wikimedia.org).
Thanks to the now-defunct misterhabs.com/Helmets, aka Helmets, Helmets, Helmets site. At that site I got most of the helmet illustrations on the 1988 map; some helmet illustrations I found at each team’s page at en.wikipedia.org… ‘National Football League‘.
Thanks to MG’s Helmets, for the helmet illustrations of the 2 Super Bowl teams (Cincinnati & San Francisco).
Thanks to Pro-football-reference.com, at 1988 NFL Leaders and Leaderboards.
Thanks to Gridiron Uniform Database, for allowing billsportsmaps.com use of their NFL uniforms illustrations.
Thanks to the contributors at 1988 NFL season (en.wikipedia.org).

November 10, 2015

Wales national team – starting line-up (Best XI) from match which clinched their qualification for the 2016 Euros in France. (Wales starting squad from 10 October 2015, Bosnia 2-0 Wales [match-day which saw Wales automatically qualify for the 2016 UEFA Euros tournament].) 17 players + coach are profiled.

Filed under: Wales — admin @ 2:12 pm

Links…
-Squad chart.
-Article on Wales clinching… Joy in Bosnia defeat as Wales make history to qualify for Euro 2016 (by Stuart James at guardian.com on 10 Oct. 2015).
-Team (current squad info)…Wales national football team/Current squad (en.wikipedia.org).
-Team, with schedule, etc…WALES (soccerway.com).
-Country…Wales (en.wikipedia.org).
-The UEFA Euros tournament in France in June 2016…UEFA Euro 2016 (en.wikipedia.org).

    Wales national team: starting line-up (Best XI), from match which clinched their qualification
    (Chart of Wales starting squad from 10 October 2015, Bosnia 2-0 Wales: 17 players + coach are profiled.)
    [The Group B match-day which saw Wales automatically qualify for the 2016 UEFA Euros tournament in France].

By Bill Turianski on 10 November 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

Demographics of Wales
Size of Wales:
20,779 km-squared (or 8,022 square miles). Wales is about 86% of the size-by-area as the island of Cyprus (which would include the de-facto-state of Northern Cyprus), or about 92% of the size of the state of New Jersey in the USA. This is [about the equivalent of] the ~165th-largest country by area, placing them between Cyprus and Brunei (that is, if Wales were an independent nation, as opposed to what they are [a constituent state of the United Kingdom]).
{Sources: Wales;
List of countries and dependencies by area;
List of U.S. states and territories by area (en.wikipedia.org).}

Population of Wales:
Wales has a population of around 3.0 million {2011 census}. Wales is [about the equivalent of] the ~141st-most-populous country, placing them between Armenia and Lithuania (that is, if Wales were an independent nation, as opposed to what they are [a constituent state of the United Kingdom]).
{Sources: Wales;
List of countries and dependencies by population (en.wikipedia.org).}

Capital & largest city:
Cardiff, city population: about 346,000. Greater Cardiff metro-area population.: about 1.0 million {2011 census figures}.

Wales were in a qualifying group (Group B) with Belgium, Bosnia, Israel, Cyprus, and Andorra…
On 12 June 2015, in matchday 6 (of 10), before a full-capacity crowd of 33,000 at Cardiff City Stadium, Wales stunned the heavy favorites Belgium with a 1-0 win {see first photo in the illustration below}. That upset win came from an unusual goal scored by their talisman, Christian Bale, in the 25th minute, from a Wales corner-kick. The bizarre play saw no less than 4 consecutive headers (3 by Belgian players/ the last header an error by Belgian MF Radja Nainggolan as he tried to head the goal back to the Belgian goalkeeper). The finish was a skillful swiveled volley after a chest-trap, from short range, by Bale. The ball never touched the ground after the corner-kick and those 4 headers…until Bale intercepted that errant fourth header, and deftly slotted the ball, on the volley, straight through Belgian ‘keeper Thibault Courtois’ legs. Here is that ultimately crucial goal for Wales, via a 36-second youtube video, Wales v Belgium bale winning goal 12/6/15 (uploaded by gavin drobach at youtube.com).

The upset win that day in Cardiff was then sealed by the solid Wales defense (led by captain Ashley Williams), which held the potent Belgian offense scoreless – this despite the fact that Belgium had 61% of the possession that game. {See this article for a report on that match, Wales go clear as Bale strike defeats Belgium (uefa.com).} That result in June put the no-longer-hapless Wales in the driver’s seat for the second automatic clinching spot, which they sealed 4 months later (see next paragraph).

Fast-forward to 10th October 2015, before Group-matchday 9 (of 10), when Wales were scheduled to play Bosnia away (in Zenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina). At that point, Wales were 5 points ahead of Israel and 6 points ahead of Bosnia for the coveted second-spot. But 2 hours later, after a tough 2-0 defeat at the hands of a capable Bosnian side, the Welsh squad stood dejected on the pitch, with their heads down. Then suddenly, a huge cheer erupted from a corner of the Bilino Polje Stadium there in Zenica…because the 600-strong traveling Wales fans, to their joy, had just learned (via their hand-held devices) that another result had gone their way (Israel 1-2 Cyprus), and Wales had just mathematically clinched second place. So Wales were in, and the squad reacted accordingly {see second photo below}. For the first time in 58 years, Wales had qualified for a major tournament. So Wales will be joining England, and another home country – Northern Ireland – in France next June. And, as Gareth Bale says in the following article, this is just the beginning for Wales on the international stage.

From the Guardian, from 14 October 2015, by Stuart James, Gareth Bale: Wales qualification is ‘surreal, special – an incredible feeling’

Below: two photos from Wales’ successful 2016 Euros qualifying campaign…
wales_1-0_belgium_12-june-2015_2016-uefa-euros-q_christian-bale_b.gif
Photo credits above – photo of Bale celebrating v Belgium by Reuters via dailymail.co.uk/sport/football. Photo of Wales squad in Bosnia after learning they had clinched the 2016 Euros, tossing coach Chris Coleman in the air in celebration, photo by Reuters via mirror.co.uk/sport/football.




Wales’ coach & captain…
Coach of Wales…
Chris Coleman. Chris Coleman (footballer). Age 45. Born 10 June 1970, in Swansea, Wales.
CV: – As a player (DF) (1986-2002): Manchester City, Swansea City, Crystal Palace, Blackburn Rovers, Fulham. Retired as player in 2002.
-As manager/coach: Fulham (2003-07), Real Sociedad (2007-08), Coventry City (2008-10), Larissa [Greece] (2011-12).
-Hired as coach of Wales in January 2012. -2015: Secured qualification to a major tournament for Wales for the first time in 58 years. (Wales secured Q to the 2016 Euros on 10 Oct. 2015.)

Squad captain…
Ashley Williams. Ashley Williams (footballer).
Ashley Williams is a 31-year-old Central Defender who plays his club football for Welsh side Swansea City of the Premier League. (Williams also captains the Swansea squad.) While born in the West Midlands in Wolverhampton, Williams qualified to play for Wales via his maternal grandmother. As of 10 November 2015, he has 55 caps for Wales (and 1 goal).

(Please note: you can click on the illustration below to place it in an easier-to-read and enlargeable separate page.)

Below – Wales national team – starting line-up (Best XI) from match which clinched their qualification for the 2016 Euros in France
(Wales starting squad from 10 October 2015, Bosnia 2-0 Wales [match-day which saw Wales automatically qualify for the 2016 UEFA Euros tournament].)
(Plus 6 other player-options for the squad/ 17 Wales players profiled below…)
wales_national-team_2015-uefa-euros-q_2016-uefa-euros_chris-coleman_g-bale_s_.gif
Photo and Image credits above -
Blank map of United Kingdom, by Daniel Dalet at d-maps.com. Blank map of Wales by Demis.nl at Demis Web Map Server. Map caption (Cambrian Mountains) from welt-atlas.de/map_of_wales. Small illustration of Wales 2015 kits from en.wikipedia.org. Wales 2015 home jersey, photo unattributed at footyheadlines.com.
Chris Coleman talking tactics with Gareth Bale and David Edwards, photo by Stu Forster at gettyimages.com. Wales 2015 jersey, photo unattributed at footyheadlines.com.
Goalkeeper, Wayne Robert Hennessey, GK (Crystal Palace), photo unattributed at skysports.com.
Defenders, Chris Gunter, RB/LB/RMF (Reading), photo by Catherine Ivill at gettyimages.co.uk. Ashley Williams, CB (Swansea City), photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Ben Davies, LB (Tottenham Hotspur), photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Midfielders/Wingers, Ashley ‘Jazz’ Richards, RB/LB/RMF (Fulham), photo by Stu Forster at gettyimages.com. Joe Allen, CMF/AMF/DMF (Liverpool), photo unattributed at thisisanfield.com. Joe Ledley, CMF/AMF/DMF (Crystal Palace), photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Neil Taylor, LB/LMF (Swansea City), photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com.
Forwards/Attacking Wingers, Aaron Ramsey, CMF/AMF/RW (Arsenal), photo unattributed at mirror.co.uk. Hal Robson-Kanu, LW/RW/FW (Reading), photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Gareth Bale, RW/LW/FW/ (Real Madrid), photo unattributed at skysports.com.
Other player-options, David Vaughan, MF/DMF/RMF (Nottingham Forest), photo by Laurence Griffiths at gettyimages.com. David Edwards, AMF/RM/CM (Wolves), photo by Catherine Ivill/AMA at gettyimages.com. Sam Vokes, FW (Burnley), photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe via zimbio.com. Simon Church, FW/W (Milton Keynes), photo by Catherine Ivill/AMA at gettyimages.com. James Chester, CB/RB (West Bromwich Albion), photo by Matthew Ashton at gettyimages.co.uk. Jonathan Williams, AMF/R&LMF (Crystal Palace/ on loan to Nottingham Forest), photo from nottinghamforest.co.uk.
___
Thanks to all at the following links -
Wales national team (en.wikipedia.org).
Thanks to Demis of the Netherlands for the blank map of Wales, at Demis Web Map Server (demis.nl).
Thanks to Stuart James at Guardian/football for the two fine articles.
Special thanks to the very excellent site called transfermkt.com – for their unerring ability to describe most any footballers’ position(s). Transfermkt.com.

October 29, 2015

2015-16 FA Cup, First Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances./ Plus: illustrations and a few words about each of the four FA Cup first-timers (Barwell, Didcot Town, Salford City, Whitehawk).

Filed under: 2015-16 FA Cup — admin @ 8:56 pm

2015-16_fa-cup_1st-round_location-map_crowd-sizes_post_h_.gif
2015-16 FA Cup, First Round Proper: location-map with current average attendance




Links…
-Competition…FA Cup (en.wikipedia.org).
-First Round: fixtures/teams…FA Cup/First Round Proper (en.wikipedia.org).
-FA Cup at soccerway…FA Cup [Summary] (soccerway.com/national/england/fa-cup).
-BBC’s page on the FA Cup…FA Cup (bbc.com/sport/football/fa-cup).

By Bill Turianski on 29 October 2015; twitter.com/billsportsmaps.com.

    2015-16 FA Cup 1st Round Proper, featuring the 4 clubs in the FA Cup 1st Round for the first time ever
    (Barwell, Didcot Town, Salford City, Whitehawk)…

Barwell F.C.
The yellow-and-green-clad Barwell FC, nicknamed the Kirkby Roaders (after their 2.5-K-capacity ground), are located in south-western Leicestershire, in Barwell, which is about 2 km NE of Hinckley, and about 19 km or 12 miles SW of Leicester (by road). Barwell FC are a 7th Level side in the Northern Premier League, and currently sit 15th. This is a rather new club, being formed in 1992, from a merger between Hinckley FC and Barwell Athletic, both of whom had been in the 11th Level Leicestershire Senior League, and both of whom had never reached the FA Cup 1st Round. For 7 November 2015, in the 2015-16 FA Cup 1st Round, Barwell have drawn a home tie versus 5th-division side Welling United (of SE London).
barwell-fc_kirkby-road-ground_e_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Barwell 15/16 kits, illustration from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barwell_F.C. Panoramic photo of Kirkby Road ground by Tim at tims92.blogspot.com/panoramic-pictures. Photo of main stand unattributed at fortheloveoffootballblog.com.

Didcot Town F.C.
Didot Town FC, who wear red-and-white, are nicknamed the Railwaymen, and are from Didcot, which is located 16 km or 10 miles S of Oxford (by road) in Oxfordshire. Didcot Town are the lowest-placed and smallest-drawing club to qualify for the 2015-16 FA Cup 1st Round. Didcot are currently averaging 130 per game. {Source: nonleaguematters.co.uk/divisions [Southern Div 1 S & W].} Didcot are an 8th Level club in the Southern League Division One South and West, and currently sit 16th. Didcot have drawn a home tie in the First Round, on the Sunday (8th Nov. 2015), and will face League Two (4th Division) side Exeter City. The match will be televised. {See this from the Didcot Town site, Didcot v Exeter chosen for Live TV Game (didcottownfc.co.uk).}
didcot-town_draycott-engineering-loop-meadow-stadium_c_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Didcot town 15/16 kits, illustration from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didcot_Town_F.C. Main stand at Didcot’s ground, photo by David Bauckham at pyramidpassion.co.uk/didcot_town. Photo with cooling towers and training facility in background, photo by Hants at exeweb.com/2012/10/10/fa-cup-101213-didcot-town-v-maidenhead-united-match-report/. Photo of roofed terrace behind goal, in a downpour, photo by JJ Willow at flickr.com.

Salford City F.C.
Located within the city of Salford in west-central Greater Manchester, Salford City FC play in Kersal, Broughton, Salford about 4 km NW of Manchester city centre, and only about 3 km N of Old Trafford [home of Manchester Utd]). As it says in the Kersal page at en.wikipedia.org, “[Kersal's] immediate proximity to Manchester effectively makes it a suburb of that city, although it is politically and administratively separate.” Like Barwell (see two sections above), Salford City are also a 7th Level side in the Northern Premier League; Salford currently sit in the play-off places in 4th. Salford City wear red-and-white (but wore orange before 2014-15/see 3 sentences below for why they changed to MUFC-type kit). Salford City play at the 1.4-K-capacity Moor Lane in the Kersal area of Broughton, and are nicknamed the Ammies (a reference to the club’s 1963-to-1989 official name of Salford Amateurs FC). Salford City were a 9th Level club just 8 seasons ago, and have gained 2 promotions since then – first being when they won automatic promotion as 2nd-place-finishers in the 9th-level 2007-08 North West Counties Football League Division 1. Then in March 2014, in a 10%-share/each consortium with a majority investor [50%-owner, the Singapore businessman Peter Lim], a bunch of famous ex-players, who all made their names just down the road at Old Trafford, bought the club. Those 5 being Manchester United alumni Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, and Nicky Butt (aka the Class of ’92). {See this, Why the f*** did we buy a football club?’: Scholes, the Nevilles, Giggs and Butt reveal the highs and lows of the Salford City takeover in new BBC documentary, article by Mike Keegan at dailymail.co.uk/sport/football).} Then Salford City, in their first season under the new Red-Devil-alumni-owners, won the 2014-15 Northern Premier League Division One North, winning promotion to the 7th Level Northern Premier League. (Ryan Giggs has said the club has a 15-year goal of reaching for the upper reaches of the Football League.) For their FA Cup First Round debut, Salford City have drawn a home tie, versus 4th-division side Notts County, and it will be the first match in the 1st Round, on Friday evening the 6th of November, and of course it will be televised.
salford-city-fc_moss-road_r-giggs_g-neville_p-scholes_n-butt_k_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Salford City 15/16 kits, illustration from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salford_City_F.C. Photo of main stand by pitch-side-stories.com/salford-city. Photo of Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, and Nicky Butt at Salford City’s Moor Lane ground [March 2014], photo by salfordstar.com. Main stand at Salford’s Moor Lane, photo unattributed at thesportbusiness.co.uk.

Whitehawk F.C.
From Greater Brighton, in East Sussex, Whitehawk are located a couple kilometres east of the Brighton city centre. Whitehawk FC are nicknamed the Hawks. The club was established in 1945, as Whitehawk & Manor Farm Old Boys FC. Whitehawk wear red and white, but the shield on their crest is a darker brick-red. They play at the spartan yet sylvan Enclosed Ground, which has a capacity of 2,000, with a main covered stand which seats about 120. Whitehawk are in their second season in the 6th level, in the National League South (National League South [2015-16]). Whitehawk have a modestly small fan-base, and draw second-least in their league, at just 246 per game currently. But…Whitehawk are sitting fourth and are in the play-off places, so, were they to gain promotion, Whitehawk would (almost cetainly) be the smallest club in the top Non-League division [the 5th division]). Whitehawk have drawn a home tie for the FA Cup 1st Round, on the Saturday (7th Nov 2015), and it will be versus 5th-division side Lincoln City. I think this could be a winnable fixture for Whitehawk, especially if enough folks in Sussex decide to attend the match.
whitehawk-fc_the-enclosed-ground_b_.gif
Photo and Image credits above – Whitehawk 15/16 kits, illustration from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitehawk_F.C. Aerial photo of the Enclosed Ground, unattributed at manygameshaveiseen.blogspot.com/2013/07/whitehawk-0-v-3-brighton-hove-albion. Photo of fans at the Enclosed Ground, watching a match in the rain, photo by StephenHarris at panoramio.com/photo/32272002.
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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 map of Greater Manchester, by Nilfanion (using Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater Manchester UK relief location map.jpg.

-Current average attendance figures from Soccerway.com.
-Current average attendance for lower Non-League clubs (7th and 8th Levels), at non-league-matters.co.uk.

-And a big thanks to this brilliant blog which I never knew about…FA Cup Factfile, https://facupfactfile.wordpress.com/2015/10/26/fa-cup-201516-1st-round-preview/. I got the info on all the clubs-in-the-Cup-for-the-first-time from this blog.

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