Archive for the FA Cup Category

Author interview – Calvin Wade

Posted in Authors, Books, FA Cup, Family life, Football with tags , , , , , on April 23, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

I first came across author Clavin Wade after reading his very enjoyable ‘Another Saturday & Sweet F.A’, where he follows a team from the very start of the FA Cup right through to the FA Cup final. He has since  written two more books covering the FA Trophy and FA Vase. If that wasn’t enough he has also written a series of fiction books! You can find out more about his books on his Amazon page.

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What inspired you to start writing and how did you manage to get your writing noticed

From the age of about 17 or 18, I was always writing things that I never finished and then one day, in 2006 (by which time I was 35) I was listening to Radio 5 Live and they were wanting listeners to write 5 minute monologues with a World Cup theme for Johnny Vegas, Sheridan Smith or Kwame Kwei-Armah from Casualty. I thought I could write a pretty funny one for Johnny Vegas so I wrote it flat out in about fifteen minutes and sent it off. Luckily the BBC liked it and it was the first entry to air with Johnny Vegas performing it. It was played on the first day of the World Cup and then again on a Christmas Day special. It was called ‘I Hate Football’ and it was about Johnny Vegas’ character hating football but then falling in love with a football mad lady who had a life sized poster of Wayne Rooney above their bed and every night he had to lift her up so she could kiss his fourth metatarsal better.

From that very small taste of success, I thought I could write a book so spent about three years writing a very long novel called ‘Forever Is Over‘. Initially, I just badgered friends and friends of friends to buy it and then word of mouth led to the Irish novelist Cathy Kelly hearing about it and she put me in touch with the directors of a London literacy agency called Curtis Brown. They ended up dropping me fairly quickly (as they were dealing with proper literary stars like Jojo Moyes) but they passed on some invaluable advice including to get my book on to Kindle as soon as possible and that’s when the hundreds of sales became tens of thousands of sales (unfortunately it never became hundreds of thousands or millions)!

Who would you say are authors you admire and why?

I have always liked writers who can tell a great tale without necessarily having to confuse me with long words. When I was in my twenties I loved John Irving’s books (I still do) and then writers like Nick Hornby and Tony Parsons came along when I was in my thirties and I found their stuff very readable. More recently I’ve really enjoyed Matthew Quick’s ‘The Silver Linings Play Book’.

You have written a number of fiction books. Which do you find easier to write, non-fiction or fiction?

I find non-fiction a million times easier to write than fiction! As a child I always kept a diary which was probably quite unusual for a boy. My non-fiction is probably just an extension of that. Grown up diary writing with a footballing theme. With fiction, I really need to be in the mood to write it and have to think hard about what direction I want things to go in and who would say what and why. With non-fiction, everyone else creates the events for me and I just write about them. I think I have probably overdone the footballing books now though and if I write another non-fiction book it will be horse racing or cricket.

How did  you meet up with Alan Oliver?

It was pure fate. I had decided to go to every round of the FA Cup and after the draw was made decided to start at West Didsbury & Chorlton v Abbey Hey. There were two reasons for this, firstly because I used to live in both West Didsbury & Chorlton as a student and secondly, because the winners were due to play Burscough, a team I had briefly played for. Alan had also decided to do every round that season and as a Mancunian had also decided to start at West Didsbury & Chorlton. 24 hours before the game, I read something on WD&C’s website about Alan so contacted him, we met up at the first game and have been mates since. Alan is a proper ‘groundhopper’ whilst I am just a football fan.

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Your books are very open about your personal life….

It’s very natural for me to be candid and I think the hardest bit is to hold back a little to avoid upsetting other people who may not be as candid as me. My wife, for example, is always telling me off for letting everyone know our business good or bad! My wife is, in many ways, a lot more private than I am, so I have to bear that in mind.

Highs and lows of Everton’s current season…

The highs from a general perspective has been Koeman turning around the gradual depressing slide under Roberto Martinez and returning to being a Top 7 side. Hopefully (even if Lukaku and Barkley go) we can build further on it next season. Seamus Coleman was having a great season which was a high but then his broken leg on international duty was the real low.

Who would  you like Everton to sign?

He has his critics but I think Joe Hart is a far better keeper than any of the four keepers on Merseyside at the moment so if we could afford him, I would like Hart. I would also like us to further strengthen the spine of the side, we will need a centre back (as Jags can’t go on forever), a central defensive midfielder (as the same applies to Gareth Barry) and a centre forward (as Lukaku wants to move on and I think there will be a bid to tempt him this summer).

Do you think non-League is undergoing a resurgence?

Non-League crowds remain healthy helped by a lot of people being priced out of Premier League fixtures. Personally I found the FA Trophy campaign just as enjoyable as the FA Cup and enjoy going to watch the likes of Southport, Chorley or North Ferriby United almost as much as watching Everton. In the North West though, it has been disappointing to see Southport, Burscough and Skelmersdale United all going through very difficult times.

Other Footy Stuff...

My eldest son is now an under 18 at Rochdale so I enjoy watching him (and my other son) play most of all. Tomorrow (I’m writing this on Friday 21st April) I am off down to Shrewsbury to watch Shrewsbury v Rochdale (u18s) which will be great. Whilst mentioning Rochdale, I’ve probably seen their first team six or seven times this season and enjoy the family feel they still manage to retain there. They also manage to punch above their weight so I’ve particularly enjoyed seeing them surprise a number of sides at Spotland. I am excited about next season as it will be my son’s last season in the Academy and I am hoping he can push on and earn himself a professional contract.

Book Links

mybook.to/calvinwfio

mybook.to/calvinwanothersat

Rochdale 1-4 Stoke City FA Cup 4th Round

Posted in FA Cup, Stoke City, Stoke City FC with tags , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2015 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Good away win after an early wonder goal by Bojan, easily the most talented Stoke player I have seen in my lifetime as a Stoke supporter. Rumours of Liverpool interested in him, they can look elsewhere, Emile Heskey would be good for them 😉

The other goals came from Stephen Ireland, Victor Moses and Jon Walters. Next round is Blackburn away, a tough game and hopefully televised again.

Andy Wilkinson has returned from his loan spell at Millwall and Jamie Ness is back on loan at Crewe for the rest of the season.

Rochdale in the Cup, Philipp Wollscheid signs

Posted in FA Cup, Football, football transfers, Stoke City, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , on January 8, 2015 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Stoke City face Rochdale away in the 4th round of the FA Cup. That is a tough tie and could be televised on the Monday night.

German defender Philipp Wollscheid has signed on loan until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent deal in the summer. Looks like a good signing and could pose more of an aerial threat at setpieces and corners. May even make the bench for the Arsenal game.

Midfielder Jamie Ness has resigned with Crewe on loan for the rest of the season.

Stoke City 3-1 Wrexham FA Cup 3rd round

Posted in FA Cup, football transfers, Stoke City, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 4, 2015 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

At one nil down I did think ‘here we go again…’ losing to lower league teams. Luckily a late goal surge courtesy of Arnie and two from Stephen Ireland saved our blushes. Wrexham deserved a draw really although not complaining! Fourth round draw is on Monday 5th January.

Transfer wise we are set to sign German international and centre-half Philipp Wollscheid on loan until the end of the season. There would then be an option to sign on a permanent deal in the summer if he impresses and he gets a taste for oatcakes 😉 This could mean the end of Robert Huth’s time at Stoke though.

Elsewhere Wilson Palacios could join Brighton on loan and we are again linked to QPR’s Junior Hoilett. We were linked to him in the summer, mainly as Mark Hughes brought him over to the UK.

Stoke draw with Man Utd, Pulis and Shotton away!

Posted in AOR, FA Cup, Football, football transfers, Stoke City, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2015 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Stoke drew with Man Utd today 1-1 with an early Ryan Shawcross goal and a disallowed Stoke penalty. Man Utd had more long balls than us yet their manager thinks we’re a long ball team! That’s seven points from nine over the festive season, a very good points haul. Next up non-league Wrexham at home in the third round of the FA Cup. Have to be careful as they are doing well this season and we have a so-so record against non-league/lower league sides. I am not going to even mention by name that north eastern non-league club who beat us in the 1970’s, a case where I can sadly say I was there…

Former manager Tony Pulis has joined West Brom as their new manager. Good luck to him and hands off Glen Whelan and Jon Walters!

Ryan Shotton has joined Derby County on a permanent deal after being on loan with them since the summer. A local player he made over 70 appearances for us and good luck to him. With the January transfer window now open we may see Brek Shea leave and possibly Andy Wilkinson join Millwall permanently.

Contracts wise rumour is Glen Whelan has been offered an improved contract and a new contract has been offered to Peter Odemwingie, who is currently out injured until June. No news on a new deal for Peter Crouch as yet.

Matthew Etherington announces his retirement

Posted in FA Cup, Football, Stoke City, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , on December 4, 2014 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Former player Matthew Etherington has announced his retirement due to reoccurring back injuries. He signed for us in 2009 and left in the summer after his contract ran out. He played 152 times for us scoring 13 goals, including a corker against Bolton in the 5-0 demolition of them in the 2011 FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Great player for Stoke, good luck Matty!

He tweeted:   “Due to an ongoing back problem, the day has come for me to retire from professional football. I have some amazing memories since the day I made my debut at just 15 years old.

“Thank you to all the great clubs I have played for and to the supporters. I have made some mistakes along the way but it has made me who I am today. I look at the past with pride and to the future with optimism.

“Thanks to everyone for the kind messages. Really overwhelming reading them all. Nice to know I left a few good memories during my career.”

Chelsea 1-0 Stoke City FA Cup 4th Round

Posted in FA Cup, Football, Stoke City, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , on January 26, 2014 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Poor performance all round from Stoke as we lacked passion, attacking threat and Walters was woeful with his crossing and giving possession away. It’s a cup game yet in the last ten minutes we did a defensive throw in the Chelsea half and never seemed like scoring. Short FA Cup run this season then although beating Chelsea given our away record was never going to be on the cards. What concerns me more is the lack of pace in attack and the commitment of some of the players.

Sunderland on Wednesday is a real six pointer and I fear we don’t have the fight in the team to beat the drop. I really hope I am wrong but a few players look as though they lack confidence and/or care, plus Wilson has dropped in form the past couple of games, hurry back Mr Huth!