Archive for the Stoke City FC Category

Unhappy Bony

Posted in Football, football transfers, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , on March 14, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Wilfred Bony has said in the local press today he wonders why he joined Stoke City. To be fair, based on his performances since joining us on a season long loan form Man City, the majority of Stoke fans are wondering exactly the same! He was superb at Swansea, however he has not really clicked at either Man City or with us. With the signing of Berahino he is not even making the bench at the moment and safe to say we won’t be signing him in the summer.

Better news with Ibrahim Afellay signing an extension to his contract which was due to run out in the summer. Should be a busy summer with a number of players out of contract, including Stephen Ireland and Shay Given, neither of whom look likely to be offered new deals.

Stoke-on-Trent City of Culture bid 2021

Posted in News, Stoke City, Stoke City FC with tags , , , , , on March 9, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

My home town of Stoke-on-Trent is one of the hopeful cities bidding to be the 2021 UK City of Culture. Cities have till the end of January to register interest, with final bids due by the end of April. A shortlist will be announced in July and the winning city in December.Cities involved along with Stoke are Sunderland, Cardiff, Coventry, Hereford, Perth and Paisley.

Background:

UK City of Culture is a title given to a city in the United Kingdom whereby the city creates a national cultural event programme for one year. The initiative is administered and judged by the UK government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport. It aims to celebrate culture and bring a number of significant social and economic benefits to an area. It is a hard fought competition that is entered by several cities in the UK. The title is awarded once every four years.

The programme aims to:

  1. Encourage the use of culture and creativity as a catalyst for change.
  2. Promote the development of new partnerships.
  3. Encourage ambition, innovation and inspiration in cultural and creative activity.
  4. Align the cultural excellence of national arts organsiations to support the year with cultural highlights that will attract media attention, encourage national tourism and change perceptions.

The first title holder of the award was Derry Londonderry in 2013. In 2017, Hull will take up the title.

Didcot Town 2-3 Taunton Town

Posted in Stoke City FC with tags , , , , , , on March 8, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

I blame my former work colleague Scott as he tweaked my interest in non-league football after extolling the joys of following Slough Town. So having recently moved to Didcot I thought it was a good excuse to see my new local team in action. They play in the Evo-Stik Division One South & West league, which is currently topped by former league club Hereford Utd (who caused trouble with a pitch invasion at Didcot the previous weekend). Driving to the ground I was looking out for the bright lights of the ground and nearly turned into the local Tesco delivery warehouse. However, I did make it to the ground and it is impressive with a fairly new clubhouse/bar and decent seating area. There is a covered standing area and more seating behind one goal plus a tea hut! Their nicknames are the Railwaymen (like Crewe and they also play in red tops like them) and Diddy (I assume after the town and not a tribute to Ken Dodd!).

Form wise Didcot have drawn one and lost five in their previous six games, whilst Taunton are the exact opposite, five wins and a draw in their last six games. Didcot took an early lead through Joyce, although Taunton had equalised by half time. Pretty evenly matched in the first half and there is a lot more aerial/hoofing of the ball – Tony Pulis would be in his element watching some of this game. Second half saw Didcot take the lead again with a penalty put away by Whitehead. It was short lived as Taunton equalised, had a penalty saved and finally got the winner with some ten minutes to spare. Hard result on Didcot, although the result did run to current form.

An enjoyable game and glad I was located near the Didcot old boys who provided lots of entertainment with their quips. Taunton had a dozen or so fans in the 96 official attendance and they were a lively and noisy lot. They don’t seem to like Yeovil Town much 🙂 Their number five is a big lad, reminding me of the former Stoke player and kebab lover Jon Parkin.

Andy Ballard is the manager of Didcot and spent a lot of his career at Oxford City, plus a spell at Slough Town. The players have mainly played previously in local non-league teams like Oxford City, although Callum McNish has played for Exeter City and Southampton youth team, and you can see that is some of his on the ball trickery.

So along with my first love Stoke City, I can add Didcot Town to teams I follow along with Crewe and East Fife.

Glandular fever #6

Posted in Family life, Glandular fever, Stoke City FC with tags , , on March 7, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Week 24 in the Glandular Fever (GF) House! Well if my poor sense of humour is coming back then I must be getting back to some sort of normality 🙂

In the past few weeks have had a few relapses where I have felt really ill with GF, however as I now know what is coming I know how to deal with it a bit better. It is about pushing yourself but within limits as it can make you more ill. Good advice here on the Patient forum. Knowing that fine balance takes some time and although I am still fatigued/exhausted at the end of each day I take heart in the fact I have done a little more or achieved a goal I set e.g. going to my first gig last weekend since last summer.

Having good support from loved ones, family and friends is a big boost as well. GF is a very strange illness in that medicines can’t help it, just a good balance of vitamins, healthy food (with the odd cake 🙂 ) and rest helps. Unfortunately some people with GF can develop chronic fatigue syndrome/ME (NHS Direct puts it as high as 1 in 10) and that requires a whole different series of medical and practical steps. My then girlfriend, now wife, helped me push through the barrier if you like to prevent this happening to me which was a real possibility back in November last year. Take control of GF and not let it control you, not easy believe you me but doable.

I am keeping positive, trying to keep the stress low (stress is one of the biggest triggers in GF and it reoccurring ) and enjoying/appreciating everyday things in life more.

 

Walk All Over Cancer update

Posted in Cancer Research UK, Fundraising, News, Stoke City FC with tags , , , , , on March 3, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

https://fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/team-aj

Day three of ‘Walk All Over Cancer’ which you have to aim to do 10,000 steps per day to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. The fundraising is up to £145 which is really good. A BIG thank you to all our sponsors to date.

It is fun, but tough, doing 10,000 steps per day as I am still recovering from glandular fever  (GF) which comes back if I do too much. However, these relapses are not as bad as the early days with GF. I still take daily vitamins (including echinacea which I’d recommend), avoid caffeine and drinking plenty of water. I do give in to the odd cake and sugar treat 🙂

Water is good for flushing the Epstein-Barr virus out of your system. General advice is to drink at least eight large glasses of water a day.

GF seems to affect a lot of young athletes like Olympic gymnast Max Whitlock and promising young golfer Amber Ratcliffe. They all go on to full recovery, so if you currently have GF take heart as you will recover it just takes time and a sensible balance of rest and gradually increasing your activity levels.

Bojan joins Manz on loan

Posted in Football, football transfers, Stoke City FC with tags , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Bojan has joined German club Mainz on loan for the rest of the season. Good luck to him and he may be back at Stoke next season, although not sure he features much in Mark Hughes’ plans.

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Injury wise Stephen Ireland, Jack Butland and Geoff Cameron are all due back by the end of February, whilst Jon Walters has no return date as yet from his knee injury/surgery.

Berahino signs and two youngsters out on loan

Posted in Football, football transfers, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , , , on January 23, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Stoke City finally signed Saido Berahino from West Brom on a five and half year deal for at least £12m, rising to possibly £15m with add ons/clauses. Hopefully he can rediscover his goal scoring form of the 2014-15 season. His signing could see Bojan leave this week with Middlesboro the most likely destination still.

Two youngsters have gone on loan for the rest of the season…Ollie Shenton has joined Wrexham and Ryan Sweeney has gone to Bristol Rovers. Shenton was tipped to break into first team action after a couple of subs appearances in the 2014-15 season. This is the first loan period for Shenton which will hopefully develop his potential further. Sweeney joined us in the summer from AFC Wimbledon after impressing greatly during his time there.