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, 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;

2015/16 FA Cup 2nd Round Review (
FA Cup 3rd Round Preview (
The competition…2015-16 FA Cup (
3rd Round fixtures… 2015-16 FA CUP 3RD ROUND (
BBC’s FA Cup page…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…

Thanks to all at the links below…
-Contributors at 2015-16 FA Cup (
-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
-Stadium capacities, from List of football stadiums in England [listed by capacity] (

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.

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

-London (
-Football clubs of London (top 8 divisions)…Football in London (
-A recent article on football in London, from the Two Unfortunates site…Football Cities: London (on 9 Nov.2015, by Rob Langham at
-London Photos Archive (
Photo credit above – unattributed at

    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;
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} 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} 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} 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}

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
-Tottenham (White Hart Lane), exterior roof-top view of stadium, photo unattributed at
-West Ham Utd (Boleyn Ground aka Upton Park), aerial photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via
-Crystal Palace (Selhurst Park), photo of exterior of Holmesdale Road Stand, by Rosella Scalia at [article: The road to Selhurst Park, by Rosella Scalia].
-Fulham (Craven Cottage), photo of the actual Craven cottage there at the ground, unattributed at
-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
-Brentford (Griffen Park), aerial photo by David Levene at
-Millwall (The New Den), street-level exterior photo of the New Den, photo by [Millwall/The Den].
-Leyton Orient (Brisbane Road), aerial photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images Europe via
-AFC Wimbledon (Kingsmeadow aka Cherry Red Records Stadium), photo unattributed at .
-Barnet (The Hive), photo taken from the Jubilee line by Paul50, uploaded by Dave H at [thread: The Hive ground].
-Dagenham & Redbridge (Victoria Road aka Chigwell Construction Stadium), photo by Rambler1977 via
-Bromley (Hayes Lane), photo from
-Welling Utd (Park View Road), photo by the Onion [Saturday 26th February - Conference South Welling United 1 v Weston-Super-Mare 0.] (

Also, Thank You, to…
-All who contributed to…Football in London (
-Nilfanion…Blank relief map of Greater London, by Nilfanion (using UK Ordnance Survey data), at File:Greater London UK relief location map.jpg. attendances on map page are from from
-Non-League clubs’ attendances from
-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;
-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
-Thread on the day Ireland clinched…Ireland are through to the European Championships! [thread with 1,024 comments] (
-Team (current squad)…Republic of Ireland national football team/current squad (
-Team, with schedule, etc…REPUBLIC OF IRELAND (
-Country…Republic of Ireland.
-Provinces of Ireland…Provinces of Ireland (

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.(}

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 (}

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 (}

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 (

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.)
Photo credits above – John O’Shea scoring on a header, late (94′) v Germany, photo by Keith McManus/BPI via Shane Long scoring winner v Germany, photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images via Shane long runs to fans to celebrate his winning goal v Germany, photo by Getty Images via Robbie Brady scoring in the fog in Bosnia, photo by Reuters via Edin Džeko after scoring for Bosnia to equaliize v Ireland, photo by Getty Images via Screenshots of interior-view of Aviva Stadium on 16 Nov.2015 from video at Schematic illustration of Ireland squad lineup, by Jonathan Walters scoring from the penalty spot (24′), photo by AFP/Getty Images via Jon Walters scoring second goal off free kick by Robbie Brady, screenshot of video at Jon Walters celebrating with fans alongside giant green-&-white-checkered flag, photo by Peter Morrison/Associated Press via Martin O’Neill & Roy Keane after win, photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile/Corbis via

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

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).

Photo and Image credits above – Ireland 2015 kits illustration from Republic of Ireland national football team Photo of Martin O’Neill jumping for joy as Ireland scores a late goal for a draw in Germany, photo unattributed at 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 ( Blank map of Ireland, by NordNordWest at File:Ireland location map.svg ( Circa 2014-15 Ireland jersey badge, photo uploaded by Otaku [unattributed] at [thread: appreciating-the-worlds-finest-in-football-kits]. 2015 Ireland jersey, photo from
Goalkeeper… Darren Randolph, GK (West Ham Utd), photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via
Defenders…Séamus Coleman, RB/RMF (Everton), photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via Richard Keogh, CB (Derby County), photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images at Ciaran Clark, CB/DMF (Aston Villa), photo by Craig Brough/Reuters via Robbie Brady, LB/LMF/CMF (Norwich City), photo by Christopher Lee via
Holding Midfielders…Glenn Whelan, CMF/DMF (Stoke City), photo by Paul Thomas at James McCarthy, CMF/DMF/AMF (Everton), photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images Europe via
Attacking Midfielders…Jonathan Walters, RW/CF (Stoke City), photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images via Wes Hoolahan, AMF/LW (Norwich City), photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images Europe via Jeff Hendrick, CMF/DMF/AMF (Derby County), photo by Harry Engels/Getty Images Europe via
Striker…Daryl Murphy, CF/W (Ipswich Town), photo by Stuart Watson at
Other player-options…Shane Long, CF/W (Southampton), photo by David Cannon/Getty Images Europe via John O’Shea, CB/WB (Sunderland), photo by Getty Images (mis-attributed) at Robbie Keane, CF/LW (LA Galaxy), photo unattributed at James McClean, LW/FW/RW (West Bromwich Albion), photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images via Shay Given, GK (Stokr City), photo by Christof Koepsel at Aiden McGeady, RW/AMF/LW (Everton), photo by Gareth Jones via Marc Wilson, CB/LB/DMF (Stoke City), photo by Getty Images via Stephen Ward, MF (Burnley), photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images Europe via

Thanks to all at the following links -
-Republic of Ireland national team (
-Special thanks to the very excellent site called – for their unerring ability to describe most any footballers position(s).

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, Second Round Proper: location-map with current average attendances

By Bill Turianski on 30 November 2015;
2015/16 FA Cup 1st Round Review (
Brief article on 1st Round upsets…FA Cup first-round round-up: Chesham’s Ryan Blake stuns Bristol Rovers (Press Association article at
The competition…2015-16 FA Cup (
2nd Round fixtures…2015-16 FA CUP 2ND ROUND (
BBC’s FA Cup page…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}. 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).

{ 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}
{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…)
Photo and Image credits above –
Main Stand at Chesham Utd’s The Meadow, photo by at Kits illustration from Chesham United F.C. ( Chesham Utd traveling fans, photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe via 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 Photo of Barry Hayles scoring for Bristol Rovers circa 1997, unattributed at Photo of the 43-year-old Barry Hayles entering the game, photo by Trevor Hyde at;-chesham-win-away-at-bristol-rovers. Photo of Ryan Blake after scoring, photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe via Photo of the Chesham squad celebrating with traveling Chesham fans after the big upset victory, photo by Trevor Hyde at;-chesham-win-away-at-bristol-rovers.

Thanks to all at the links below…
-Contributors at 2015-16 FA Cup (
-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.

-Current average attendance figures from
-Current average attendance for lower Non-League clubs (7th and 8th Levels), at

-Thanks to Chesham United official site for club history and Cup-run information,

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, 1988 season: map with helmets

    NFL, 1988…

By Bill Turianski on 18 November 2015;

The 1988 NFL season & Super Bowl XXIII (23)…
-NFL 1988 standings, etc, here, 1988 NFL_season/Final standings (
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 (…”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…
Photo and Image credits above -
Jerry Rice, one-handed-grab from 1st quarter, photo by Lennox McLendon/AP via Roger Craig with 40-yard gain to start 4th quarter, photo by Getty Images via Montana in the pocket, set to throw in the 4th quarter on the 92-yard game-winning drive, photo by Richard Mackson/SI via John Taylor catching the winning pass with 34 seconds left, photo unattributed at Bill Walsh being carried off the field by players, photo by AP via Walsh: Noviembre 30, 1931 – Julio 30, 2007. Joe Montana, photo by Focus On Sports/Getty Images via

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 (

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.]
Photo and Image credits above -
Boomer Esiason (Cincinnati), photo unattributed at; Dave Krieg (Seattle), photo unattributed at; Wade Wilson (Minnesota), photo by USA Today via
Eric Dickerson (Indianapolis), photo by USA Today via; Herschel Walker (Dallas), photo unattributed at; Roger Craig (San Francisco), photo by George Rose/Getty Image via
Henry Ellard, photo by USA Today via Jerry Rice, photo unattributed at; Eddie Brown (Cincinnati), photo by USA Today via

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 (].

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] (}. 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 -
Arizona Cardinals Helmet History
Image credits above –

Above: Helmet illustrations and shoulder patch illustration from:

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 (
Thanks to the now-defunct, 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… ‘National Football League‘.
Thanks to MG’s Helmets, for the helmet illustrations of the 2 Super Bowl teams (Cincinnati & San Francisco).
Thanks to, at 1988 NFL Leaders and Leaderboards.
Thanks to Gridiron Uniform Database, for allowing use of their NFL uniforms illustrations.
Thanks to the contributors at 1988 NFL season (

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

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

    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;

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 (}

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 (}

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

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 (} 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…
Photo credits above – photo of Bale celebrating v Belgium by Reuters via 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

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…)
Photo and Image credits above -
Blank map of United Kingdom, by Daniel Dalet at Blank map of Wales by at Demis Web Map Server. Map caption (Cambrian Mountains) from Small illustration of Wales 2015 kits from Wales 2015 home jersey, photo unattributed at
Chris Coleman talking tactics with Gareth Bale and David Edwards, photo by Stu Forster at Wales 2015 jersey, photo unattributed at
Goalkeeper, Wayne Robert Hennessey, GK (Crystal Palace), photo unattributed at
Defenders, Chris Gunter, RB/LB/RMF (Reading), photo by Catherine Ivill at Ashley Williams, CB (Swansea City), photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images Europe via Ben Davies, LB (Tottenham Hotspur), photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe via
Midfielders/Wingers, Ashley ‘Jazz’ Richards, RB/LB/RMF (Fulham), photo by Stu Forster at Joe Allen, CMF/AMF/DMF (Liverpool), photo unattributed at Joe Ledley, CMF/AMF/DMF (Crystal Palace), photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images Europe via Neil Taylor, LB/LMF (Swansea City), photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images Europe via
Forwards/Attacking Wingers, Aaron Ramsey, CMF/AMF/RW (Arsenal), photo unattributed at Hal Robson-Kanu, LW/RW/FW (Reading), photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images Europe via Gareth Bale, RW/LW/FW/ (Real Madrid), photo unattributed at
Other player-options, David Vaughan, MF/DMF/RMF (Nottingham Forest), photo by Laurence Griffiths at David Edwards, AMF/RM/CM (Wolves), photo by Catherine Ivill/AMA at Sam Vokes, FW (Burnley), photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images Europe via Simon Church, FW/W (Milton Keynes), photo by Catherine Ivill/AMA at James Chester, CB/RB (West Bromwich Albion), photo by Matthew Ashton at Jonathan Williams, AMF/R&LMF (Crystal Palace/ on loan to Nottingham Forest), photo from
Thanks to all at the following links -
Wales national team (
Thanks to Demis of the Netherlands for the blank map of Wales, at Demis Web Map Server (
Thanks to Stuart James at Guardian/football for the two fine articles.
Special thanks to the very excellent site called – for their unerring ability to describe most any footballers’ position(s).

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, First Round Proper: location-map with current average attendance

-Competition…FA Cup (
-First Round: fixtures/teams…FA Cup/First Round Proper (
-FA Cup at soccerway…FA Cup [Summary] (
-BBC’s page on the FA Cup…FA Cup (

By Bill Turianski on 29 October 2015;

    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).
Photo and Image credits above – Barwell 15/16 kits, illustration from Panoramic photo of Kirkby Road ground by Tim at Photo of main stand unattributed at

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: [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 (}
Photo and Image credits above – Didcot town 15/16 kits, illustration from Main stand at Didcot’s ground, photo by David Bauckham at Photo with cooling towers and training facility in background, photo by Hants at Photo of roofed terrace behind goal, in a downpour, photo by JJ Willow at

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, “[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} 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.
Photo and Image credits above – Salford City 15/16 kits, illustration from Photo of main stand by Photo of Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, and Nicky Butt at Salford City’s Moor Lane ground [March 2014], photo by Main stand at Salford’s Moor Lane, photo unattributed at

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.
Photo and Image credits above – Whitehawk 15/16 kits, illustration from Aerial photo of the Enclosed Ground, unattributed at Photo of fans at the Enclosed Ground, watching a match in the rain, photo by StephenHarris at
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 (
-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
-Current average attendance for lower Non-League clubs (7th and 8th Levels), at

-And a big thanks to this brilliant blog which I never knew about…FA Cup Factfile, I got the info on all the clubs-in-the-Cup-for-the-first-time from this blog.

October 19, 2015

Northern Ireland national team – starting line-up (Best XI) from match which clinched their qualification for the 2016 UEFA Euros in France. (Northern Ireland starting squad from 8 October 2015: Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece. Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK, att: 11,700).

Filed under: Northern Ireland — admin @ 8:51 pm

-Article on Northern Ireland clinching…Northern Ireland reaching Euro 2016 feels like the glory days of 1982, (by Henry McDonald at on 8 Oct. 2015).
-Team…Northern Ireland national football team.
-Country…Northern Ireland (

    Northern Ireland national team – the Northern Ireland national team has qualified for the UEFA Euros [France, 2016] for the first time…and have now qualified for a major tournament for the first time in 30 years (previous: had qualified for the 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain & had qualified for the 1986 FIFA World Cup in Mexico)…

By Bill Turianski on 19 October 2015;
Demographics of Northern Ireland
Size of Northern Ireland:
14,130 km-sq (or 5,456 K square miles). Northern Ireland is similar to the size of the state of Connecticut in the USA. And Northern Ireland is [about the equivalent of] the ~166th-largest country by area, placing them between Brunei and Trinidad & Tobago (that is, if Northern Ireland were an independent nation, as opposed to what they are [a constituent state of the United Kingdom]).
{Sources: Northern Ireland;
List of countries and dependencies by area;
List of U.S. states and territories by area.}

Population of Northern Ireland:
around 1.8 million {2015 estimate}. Northern Ireland is [about the equivalent of] the ~155th-most-populous country, placing them between Kosovo and Gabon (that is, if Northern Ireland were an independent nation, as opposed to what they are [a constituent state of the United Kingdom]). {Source: List of countries and dependencies by population.}

Capital & largest city:
Belfast, city population: about 333,000 {2015 estimate}. Greater Belfast metro-area population: about 579,000 {2001 estimate}.

Economic profile of Northern Ireland: see this chart, Profile of Northern Ireland (

Northern Ireland won Group F of the 2016 UEFA Euros qualifiers, beating out Romania, Hungary, Finland, Faroe Islands, and Greece…
Northern Ireland’s top-scorer in the qualifiers was Kyle Lafferty, who cannot even get onto the starting squad for his pro club, Norwich City (and he had been loaned out to Turkish 1st division minnows Çaykur Rizespor for the second-half of last season). But Lafferty sure was banging ‘em into the net for Northern Ireland all through the qualifiers. The 28-year-old Lafferty scored 7 goals in 9 matches in the 2016 UEFA Euros qualifiers (and led Group F in scoring). However, Lafferty had to sit out the crucial 9th match, after he amassed his 3rd yellow card in the 8th match (when Northern Ireland drew 1-1 with Hungary at Windsor Park in Belfast, on 7 September 2015). So in the 9th match, versus Greece at the temporarily-11.7-K-capacity Windsor Park, on the 8th of October, Josh Magennis filled in as the lone Striker (and scored; a brief match-report for the clinching 9th match can be found 3 paragraphs below, in the Steven Davis section).
Photo credit above – unattributed at

Coach of Northern Ireland:
Michael O’Neill. Michael O’Neill.
Age 46, born 5 July 1969, in Portadown, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, UK.
CV – as a player (MF), from 1984 to 2004: Coleraine (N.I.), Newcastle Utd, Dundee Utd, Hibernian, Coventry City, Aberdeen, Reading, Wigan Athletic, St Johnstone, Portland Timbers (USA), Clydebank (Sco.), Glentoran (N.I.), Ayr Utd (Sco.). Retired as player in 2004. Pro clubs managed: Brechin City (Sco.) from 2006-08, Shamrock Rovers (Ire.) from 2009-11. Hired as the head coach of the Northern Ireland national team in December 2011. In October 2015, O’Neill’s Northern Ireland team secured qualification to a major tournament for the first time in 30 years by winning Group F of the 2016 UEFA Euros qualifiers.

Squad captain:
Steven Davis. Steven Davis.
Age 30, born 1 Jan. 1985, in Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Appearances for Northern Ireland national team: 78 app/ 7 goals.
Steven Davis had a very solid 2016 UEFA Euros group-stage qualifications, and at least one person in the blogosphere put Davis on the 2016 Euros qualifiers Best XI…{see this, European Qualifiers All-Star team ( via, thread, here)}. Steven Davis plays club football for Southampton. Davis is a CMF who usually works in a defensive-midfielder capacity, whether it be for the Hampshire, England-based side, or for the Northern Ireland team.

Despite being essentially a defensive-midfielder, Steven Davis has the ability to come through and score in the clutch, as he did versus Greece, at Windsor Park on 8 October 2015, when Northern Ireland were without their top-scorer and talisman, Kyle Lafferty. In the match versus Greece, which secured Northern Ireland’s qualification for the 2016 Euros tournament, Steven Davis scored a brace, the first via a deft slotted pass from Blackburn MF Corry Evans to Leeds United MF/Winger Stuart Dallas, who then set Davis up for a close-range finish. The second goal for Northern Ireland came early in the 2nd half (49′), from substitute-Striker Josh Magennis (of Kilmarnock), on a looping header from a corner kick taken by Oliver Norwood (of Reading). Steven Davis then got his brace 9 minutes later (58′), also on a header-from-a-corner – this one taken by West Bromwich MF Chris Brunt (one of 2 Baggies in the starting squad that day). And then the unheralded-yet-capable Northern Irish defense held Greece up to the 86th minute, when Christos Aravidis made it 3-1. But that was too little too late for Greece – the 2004 European champions – who finished last in Group F, behind even the plucky Faroe Islands. And now, all that is left is for the Northern Ireland team to do is to book their flights to France for June 2016. Here’s hoping the 2016-Euros-Q-playoffs-bound Ireland national team finds a way to France, as well.

Below – the Northern Ireland squad that clinched qualification for the 2016 Euros
(8 October 2015/ Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece. Windsor Park, Belfast; attendance, 11,700.)
Photo and Image credits above -
Blank map of United Kingdom, by Daniel Dalet at
Blank map of Ireland [segment], by NordNordWest/Maximilian Dörrbecker, at File:Island of Ireland location map.svg (
Photo of Josh Mageniss and rest of NI squad rushing to congratulate coach O’Neill after clinching qualification to the 2016 Euros [on 8 Oct. 2015), photo unattributed at
2015 NI jersey, photo unattributed at
2015 NI kit crest, from
Squad -

Michael McGovern, GK (Hamilton Academical), photo by Gary Hutchison/SNS Group via
Paddy McNair, CB/RB/DM (Manchester United) photo by Getty Images via
Gareth McAuley, CB/ MF (West Bromwich Albion) photo by
Craig Cathcart, CB (Watford), photo by Kevin Affleck at
Chris Brunt, LM/AMF/LB (West Bromwich Albion), photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Europe via
Central MF/Holding Midfielder,
Steven Davis, CMF/AMF (Southampton), photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images Europe via
Jamie Ward, LW/RW/FW (Nottingham Forest), photo by Jan Kruger at
Corry Evans, MF (Blackburn Rovers), photo by
Oliver Norwood, AMF/DMF (Reading), photo by Martin Willetts at
Stuart Dallas, AMF/LW, photo by Nigel Roddis at
Josh Magennis, FW (Kilmarnock), photo by
Other player-options (incl. regular starter at FW, Kyle Lafferty, who was suspended for the 8 Oct. 2015 match)…
Kyle Lafferty, FW/W (Norwich City), photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images Europe via
Liam Boyce, FW (Ross County), photo by Ken Macpherson at
Niall McGinn, RW/LW/CF (Aberdeen), photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images Europe via
Luke McCullough, CB/RB (Doncaster Rovers), photo from

Thanks to all at the following links -
-Northern Ireland national team (
-Special thanks to the very excellent site called – for their unerring ability to describe most any footballers position(s). rules.

October 10, 2015

France: 2015-16 Ligue 1 location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed./ Plus a few words on, and illustrations for, the 3 recently-promoted clubs in Ligue Un (Angers, Gazélec Ajaccio, Troyes). /Plus a look at the new municipal stadium built by the city of Bordeaux, for FC Girondins de Bordeaux & the 2016 Euros [to be hosted by France].

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,France — admin @ 1:18 pm


France: 2015-16 Ligue Un location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed

-Teams, etc…2015–16 Ligue 1 (
-Ligue Un official site (in English)…
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…Summary – Ligue 1 – France(

    France: 2015-16 Ligue Un location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed

By Bill Turianski on 10 October 2015;

    The 3 promoted clubs in the 2015-16 Ligue Un…Angers, Gazélec Ajaccio, Troyes…

Angers SCO, and their ground, Stade Jean-Bouin
Photo and Image credits above – Angers 15/16 jersey, photo unattributed at City of Angers city upon the Maine (fleuve), panoramic photo by tango7174 at File:Angers collage.jpg ( Aerial view of stadium [view to the south], image from a screenshot of satellite view at Interior shot of stadium with nearly-full-capacity-crowd (from 22 May 2015), photo by Thierry Bonnet/Ville d’Angers at . Exterior view of stadium (looking in), at twilight, photo by M. Mouchoir at File:Stade Jean Bouin Angers 2.JPG (

Angers (prounounced ‘Ahn-zhay’), is a city in western France and is the historic capital of Anjou. Angers has a city-population of around 147,000 {2009 figure}. Angers SCO wear black-and-white-stripes. They play in a 17.8-K-capacity stadium and have spent 24 seasons total (counting 2015-16) in the French 1st division. But Angers SCO had not been in Ligue 1 for over two decades. Angers had previously been in the top flight in 1993-94, when they finished last and went straight back down, drawing just 4.8 K per game. Granted, Ligue 1′s average attendance back then (10.0 K cumulative average for Ligue 1 in 1993-94) was less than half of what it is now, twenty-two years later (22.2 K cumulative average for Ligue 1 in 2014-15). That rather long spell without top flight football in the area has made it the case that Angers’ fanbase never really grew that much. Of course, it didn’t help that between 1994 and 2007 Angers had suffered 3 separate spells in the 3rd division. Once they got back into the second tier in May 2007, the side began drawing in the 6-K-to-8.6-K range in Ligue 2 (for the last 8 seasons). Currently, Angers are averaging a decent 12.4 K, and are playing rather well – they sit second on 18 points from 9 matches, after beating Marseille away then beating Bastia at home, before the international break started in the third week of October 2015. Angers might not be able to keep up that pace, but they are looking to be positioned well to avoid the drop.

Gazélec Ajaccio, and their ground, Stade Ange Casanova
Photo credits above – Jersey, photo unattributed at Shot of Ajaccio old quarter and harbor, photo by Aude Balloide at Aerial shot of stadium, photo by Steafa at File:Ange-Casanova 2011.jpeg. Photo of primitive terrace behind one of the goals at the stadium, & shot of main stand, both photos unattributed at [thread: Ajaccio stadiums].

The city of Ajaccio has a population of around 65,000 {2010 figure}. Gazélec Ajaccio, who wear bright-brick-red/orange-&-dark-blue, are the second-biggest club in the Corsican capital (after current-2nd-tier club AJ Ajaccio), and are the third-biggest club on the island of Corsica. (The biggest Corsican club being, of course, current-1st-division club SC Bastia, who hail from Corsica’s second city, Bastia.) 2015-16 is Gazélec Ajaccio’s top flight debut. (Note: I could not find recent post-stadium-renovation photos of Gazélac’s Stade Ange Casanova, but now, wrt to the concrete-step-terraced-goal-stand [seen in the lower-right-hand-photo above]…that goal-stand now has a full set of hard-plastic seats bolted to the terrace-steps there. The whole stadium also got a stucco re-plastering and a new coat of white emulsion, and the tiny ground now has a 4.2-K-capacity.) In France, maybe 2 or 3 times a decade, a real minnow emerges from the lower leagues, often via back-to-back promotions (such as Gazélec Ajaccio just did, and such as Arles did in the 2008-to-2010-time-period). Then they go straight back down – such as Arles did in 2009-10, and such as Istres did in 2004-05. I hope this will not be the fate of Gazélec Ajaccio. But when you are talking about a club that had always drawn below 2.4 K for its entire lifetime (before top-flight-promotion), and a club who currently play in a stadium that only has a 4.2-K-capacity (for Ligue Un matches), well, you can see how the deck is stacked against them. And Gazélec Ajaccio are currently winless after 9 matches, and sit last in Ligue 1, on 3 points. {Update 7 weeks later, on 22 Nov. 2015: but then Gazélec Ajaccio won 4 in a row, beating Nice, Bordeaux, Reims away, and Bastia away in their derby. That fourth-straight win on 22 November, which moved Gazélec out of the relegation-zone to 16th place (and put Bastia into the drop-zone), featured an excellent 12-yard left-outside-foot flick/volley by Khalid Boutaib (see it here).}

Troyes (aka ESTAC), and their ground, Stade de l’Aube
Photo credits above – Shot of Troyes 2015-16 jersey, photo unattributed at Aerial shot of stadium and surrounding countryside outside of Troyes, photo unattributed at [thread: Troyes, Stade de l'Aube]. Old village street in Troyes, photo by, at Exterior of stadium at night, photo by Troyes aka ESTAC at Interor of stadium, photo from [the now-defunct site] via

Troyes is a 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. 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, above). The Troyes pro football club wears light-royal-blue with gold and navy accents, 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

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 above, is pretty up-to-date. Troyes can draw around 11-to-14 K in the top flight, and around 8-to-10 K in the second tier. Currently (mid-October 2015), Troyes are drawing 11.7 K.

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. 2015-16 will be Troyes/ESTAC’s 8th season in the top flight, with their previous Ligue 1 appearance being in 2011-12 (and before that, Troyes had a 2-season spell in Ligue 1 from 2005-06-to-2006-07). In other words, Troyes is a yo-yo club, and, sure enough, they are right back in a relegation battle, sitting second-to-last after 9 matches, winless, on 4 points.

New stadium for FC Girondins de Bordeaux & for the 2016 Euros [to be hosted by France] – the Nouveau Stade de Bordeaux
Photo credits above -
Aerial photo of stadium in construction, photo unattributed at Interior of stadium on opening day with giant banner of Bordeaux supporter group les Ultramarines, photo by N. Tucat/AFP via Exterior view of stadium at evening, photo by/at 2015-16 Bordeaux kits, photo [segment] by Bordeaux crest/Girondins banner from
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of France, by Eric Gaba (aka Sting), at File:France location map-Regions and departements-2015.svg.

-Attendances and Ligue 1 stadium-capacities, from the excellent Ligue 1 official site,

-Gazélac Ajaccio 2013-14 attendance [3rd division], from E-F-S site,
-2014-15 stadium capacities (for league matches) from; 2014-15 Ligue 1/Stadia and location (

September 28, 2015

Italy: 2015-16 Serie A location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed. / Plus a map showing the locations of the 3 Emilia-Romagna-based clubs (and their venues), now in Serie A (Sassuolo, Bologna, Carpi)./ Plus a few words on, and illustrations for, the 3 promoted clubs (Carpi, Frosinone, Bologna).

Filed under: Attendance Maps & Charts,Italy — admin @ 7:51 pm

Italy: 2015-16 Serie A location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed

-Teams, etc…2015–16 Serie A (
-English-speaking coverage of Italian football…Forza Italian
-Here is the archive-page of Serie A-focused writer Paolo Bandini, {archive page, Paolo Bandini (}
-Table, fixtures, results, stats, etc…Serie A/summary (

By Bill Turianski on 28 September 2015;

    Italy: 2015-16 Serie A location-map, with: 14/15 attendance data, seasons-in-1st-division-by-club & major titles listed

I am using the same template I have used with my recent maps of the 2015-16 1st divisions of England, Germany, and Spain. I still have France to do, and I plan on posting Ligue Un 2015-16 map-and-post on Saturday 10 October. Anyway, listed at the chart at the right-hand-side of the map page are the following 6 things…Average home attendance (league matches) the past 2 seasons, including 14/15 Percent-Capacity and Crowd-size change. League finish the last 2 seasons. Seasons-in-1st-division (and consecutive seasons noted). Italian titles (with last title listed). Coppa Italia titles (with last title listed). Major international titles (with last titles listed) [Anglo-Italian Cup? Sorry, never a major title.]
Features on map…
The map includes the listing of the 20 Regions of Italy (which is the first political division in Italy). The map also features the 6 largest cities in Italy (in order of largest-to-smaller, here are the most-current city population figures [as opposed to the (much-larger) metro-area-population-figures]…Rome/2.8 million, Milan/1.3 million, Naples/.98 million, Turin/.89 million, Palermo/.67 million, Genoa/.52 million). {Source: 2014 & 2015 figures at List of largest cities in the European Union by population within city limits (}
4 stadium-shares in the 2015-16 Serie A…
There are 4 stadium-shares in the 2015-16 Serie A (in Genoa, Milan, Rome, and Verona), and they are all noted on the map. The map also shows the two clubs in Emilia-Romagna who have been forced by the Italian football authorities to play in larger nearby stadiums. Those 2 clubs are third-year-top-flight club Sassuolo; and the white-and-red-clad Carpi, who are making their top flight debut in 2015-16. Both had been originally playing in very tiny 4-K-capacity stadiums.

Below, venue-locations and home-locations of Bologna, Sassuolo & Carpi…
Image credit above – segment of Blank map of Italy by TUBS, at File:Italy provincial location map.svg.

For Sassuolo, playing about 15 miles (21 km) away, in the city of Reggio-Emilia, has worked out OK for the turtle-green-&-black-striped side. Sassuolo are not drawing bad at all for a club that pretty much sprang up out of nowhere three-or-four years ago. Sassuolo have been drawing between 12 to 13 K the past 2 seasons, and actually seem to be establishing themselves as a viable top tier club, with a 12th-place finish last season. And Sassuolo have started strong in 15/16, in 4th place after 6 matches.

Carpi are not playing in their stadium because it is pretty inadequate…
But it really remains to be seen if the back-to-back-promoted Carpi can weather such a venue-shift as well. Because there are other factors with respect to Carpi…namely, that many supporters did not want their Cinderella-club’s historic first-division debut season to be played down the road, at the five-times-larger stadium of hated local rivals, Modena. One of the larger supporter-groups of Carpi – a group named Guidati dal Lambrusco – have actually announced they will boycott home matches. {For more on that, see the following article. Here is Gentleman Ultra’s excellent August 2015 post, at, on Carpi’s Serie A debut season, Carpi: Serie A alternative club guide (by Richard Hall and Luca Hodges-Ramon at}.}.

Below – Stadio Sandro Cabassi, home of Carpi FC when they play in the lower divisions; and Carpi’s home-venue for Serie A, Stadio Alberto Braglia in Modena
Photo and Image credits above – Entrance to stadium, photo by Stefano Romagnoli at Rooftop-view of stadium, photo by Stefano Romagnoli at Interior photo of “stadium”, photo unattributed at Shot of Carpi squad with fans in background, photo from FC 1909. Larger photo of venue, photo by Antti’s Football Scarves blog ( via Modena stadium, photo unattributed at [Serie B stadiums thread].

So one of the largest Carpi supporter-groups is boycotting their own home games. This does not bode well for Carpi. Their stadium, as you can see further above, is the 4.1-capacity Stadio Sandro Cabassi. Look at the rust on the gates of the main entrance, and look at the black mold-scum festering at the tops of the granite walls. You call that inviting? I call it scary. Look at those tiny isolated-and-fenced-off bleacher-stands there behind the goals, then look at the slanted concrete moat (is this police-state-type concrete moat/riot-wall actually necessary?), and then look at the barbed-wire-topped riot-fence ringing the pitch. What is this, a convict-holding-pen or a football stadium? That faction who is boycotting Carpi’s home matches because they now have to play home matches at the hated Modena, well, they should not be casting stones at someone else’s house, so to speak. Because their club’s home ground is pretty dire. And besides, Carpi is averaging 10.6 K right now, whereas they could only average 4.1 K in their own stadium (see this/from 22 Sept. 2015). Hey boycotting Carpi fans, where do you think the extra 6 K each game of ticket-revenue goes to, which your club is now getting (at Modena)? It goes straight to your club, you boycotters. This is not rocket science. Carpi is literally profiting from their move to Modena. But meanwhile, a fan-group of Carpi boycotts their home matches – out of misplaced spite. Where is the logic in that? Hey fan-group…your boycott might mean ‘we hate Modena’ to you, but it also NOW means ‘we don’t want our club to earn more ticket-revenue’. Well, those boycotters will probably be able to watch Carpi at their home ground in 2016-17. Because it is starting to look like Carpi are going straight back down to Serie B. Carpi sit last on 2 points after 6 matches. And they sacked their manager on Sunday 28 September after the 6th game – a 5-1 shellacking by Roma.

Frosinone – also with a Serie A debut in 2015-16, and their ground, Stadio Matusa…
Photo and Image credits above – aerial shot of stadium, photo unattributed at File:Panorama Frosinone edit.jpg, photo by Moongateclimber at
Roofed main stand, photos from [Frosinone]. Aerial image of stadium , screenshot of bird’s-eye satellite view at

Frosinone are from the city of Frosinone, which is located 75 km (47 mi) SE of Rome. Frosinone is connected to the capital by the A1 motorway (both are in the region of Lazio). The town serves somewhat as a bedroom community for commuters who work in Rome. The city of Frosinone has a population of around 46,000 {2014 estimate}. Frosinone Calcio wear all-yellow with royal blue trim. Frosinone Calcio, like Carpi FC 1909, are making their first division debut in 2015-16. Also like Carpi, Frosinone have a small ground. But Frosinone is a club that is about twice as big as Carpi as measured by gates – Carpi drew 3.0 K last year, while Frosinone drew 5.2 K. And Frosinone’s ground is not nearly as small or decrepit as Carpi’s ground. And Frosinone’s ground – the 9.6-K-capacity Stadio Matusa – passed muster by FIGC, and the club will be hosting their 2015-16 Serie A home matches there.

Frosinone’s stadium looks pretty nice (no running track!), and the worst I can see is a bit of rust at the welding joints on their nicely archaic cantilever roof (see it above), which covers part of the main stand on the west side of the stadium (there is minimal roof-coverage at the ground, because there is not much rain there in that part of south-central Italy).

The then-struggling Frosinone got their first point in Serie A in the 5th round on 23 Sept. 2015, with a 1-1 result against reigning champions Juventus in Turin. It was a last-minute 94th-minute goal (the goal was a dramatic header from a corner-kick, by actual Juve-supporter Leonardo Blanchard). Juventus might also be really struggling, but what a way for Frosinone to record their first point in the top flight. From, thread: [23 Sept. 2015]/. From Guardian/football, Frosinone’s Leonardo Blanchard savours historic goal against Juventus (by Paolo Bandini on 24 Sept. 2015 at

Then Frosinone beat fellow minnows Empoli 2-0 on Monday the 28th of September, to move out of the relegation zone. Go Frosinone! It is starting to look like a decent start for Frosinone, but, like Carpi, it will be an uphill battle for Frosinone to stay up.

Bologna are back in the top flight after winning the 2014-15 Serie B play-offs…
Bologna are one of the nine or ten biggest yo-yo clubs in Europe (“up there” with Hertha Berlin, FC Köln, FC Nürnberg, Sunderland, FC Kaiserslautern, RC Lens, Norwich City, Wolverhampton, and Sporting Gijón). Bologna has suffered two relegations in the last 10 years (in 2005-06 and in 2013-14), and otherwise have been perennial lower-table/relegation-battlers in the top tier (with 17th-place finishes in 2008-09 and in 2009-10, a 16th-place finish in 2010-11, and a 13th-place finish in 2012-13, one year before getting the drop in 2013-14 as 19th-place finisher). And wouldn’t you know it? After 6 games into the 2015-16 Serie A, Bologna is right back in a relegation-battle already, with 1 win and 5 losses, and sitting second-from-bottom in the table.

The Italian 2nd division play-off system – complicated but fair…
Last season, Bologna won the complicated-but-equitable Serie B play-offs. I say equitable because the Italian football authorities have sensibly figured out a way to have a play-off system which rewards final league placement…by giving the higher-placed club the tiebreaker in aggregate score. And 4th-place Bologna utilized that rule to beat Avellino 3-3 aggregate and then in the 2014-15 Serie B play-offs finals, Bologna beat Pescara 1-1 aggregate. Both times Bologna got the nod with a better 4th place finish than 8th-place Avellino and 7th-place Pescara. Hey England, this play-offs aggregate tiebreaker rule is a brilliant idea, which needs to be adopted in the Football League. Hats off to the Italian football authorities (FIGC) for the progressive tweak in the lower-divisions play-offs rules…a rule that benefits those promotion-candidates who finish higher. Which is only fair.

Bologna’s stadium has a stupid running track…
Bologna play at the 32-K-capacity Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, which (sigh) has a stupid running track. Oh Italy, when will you learn? Your stupid running-track-infested municipal stadiums are ruining your game. Get the memo, Italy. ALL football fans detest stadiums with running tracks. Italy, please, I beg of you. Build some new 1st-divison-worthy football stadiums without running tracks, already. If Bordeaux, France can do it, than I am pretty sure Bologna, Italy could too.

Why are there running tracks in most 1st division municipal stadiums in Brazil or Italy or other quasi-Third-World nations?
Seriously…WHY? Is it stupid urban planners there, or is it the fear of goons running onto the field there? Either way, it is ruining their product.
I mean come on, Italy. It’s embarrassing. Serie A regularly features some of the highest-calibre and watchable pro football anywhere on the planet…but it is so often being played in dumps of stadiums with (or formerly-with) those stupid running tracks. Stadiums that should have seen the wrecking ball years ago. All over the Italian peninsula. Currently 35% of all 2015-16 Serie A matches are being played in lame-ass venues afflicted with the accursed running tracks. Such as in Rome (2 teams). And such as in Naples. And such as in Verona (2 teams). And such as in Empoli. And such as in Bologna (see photo in illustration below). And the filled-in running-track stadiums in Serie A are pretty lame too (Palermo, Fiorentina, Torino, Atalanta [Bergamo]). At least, besides Juventus’ recently-new stadium (Juventus Stadium, opened Sept. 2011), there is one other recent ray-of-hope on the stadia front in Italy – and that of course is the massive re-build going on the past 2-and-a-half years up in far north-east Italy at Stadio Friuli, in Udine, home of Udinese Calcio…from Stadium DB site, from 13 Sept. 2015, update on the re-build at: Stadio Friuli (

Bologna FC, and their home, Stadio Renato Dall’Ara…
Photo credits above – Aerial view of Bologna, photo by Bamshad Houshyani at via View of stadium from curva, photo unattributed at (scroll down at the bottom of that post for plenty of photos of the renovation at Stadio Friuli).
Thanks to all at the links below…
-Blank map of Italy by TUBS, at File:Italy provincial location map.svg.
-Attendances from E-F-S site,
-2014-15 stadium capacities (for league matches) from 2014–15 Serie A (; Serie A (

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