Archive for football

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

Brighton & Pompey promoted; Johnson extends contract

Posted in Football, Stoke City FC, The Premiership, Transfer rumours with tags , , , , , , on April 19, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Brighton clinched promotion to the Premier League at the weekend, which will see a nice day trip down to the south coast for us next season. Looks like Newcastle will land the other automatic promotion spot, although both Reading and Huddersfield could catch them if they win all their remaining games and Newcastle slip-up.

Really pleased to see Portsmouth finally achieve promotion to League One. FA Cup winners in 2008 and then relegated from the Premier League in 2010 – not that long ago in the football world. It has taken them four seasons to escape League Two, a timely reminder to current Premier League fans of how a team can really drop like a stone. More recently we have Blackpool, who may clinch a play-off place in League Two, another team beset by off field problems that has seen the club on successive relegation’s since being relegated from the Premier League.

Stoke news and Glen Johnson has signed a one year extension to his current contract taking him up to the summer of 2018. Phil Bardsley and Charlie Adam are both awaiting news on whether their contracts will be renewed as both are out contract this summer.

 

 

Berahino drugs claim

Posted in Football, football transfers, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2017 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Saido Berahino claims a spiked drink on a night our led to his recent drugs ban. He certainly didn’t enjoy his past couple of years at West Brom. Hopefully he will get on the score sheet this weekend away at Leicester.

Shaqiri look set to sit out the weekend again after picking up another knock whilst playing for Switzerland in the week. He could be another possible summer departure along with the likes of Bojan, Wolschied and Joselu.

One summer incoming transfer could be a season long loan of Chelsea starlet Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The Sentinel reported this in January and now the ‘Daily Mail’ have picked up on a possible summer move.

Stoke City injury update

Posted in Football, football transfers, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , , on November 21, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

After a lacklustre game against Bournemouth we really need to get back to basics for the Watford game. Whelan should be fit by the weekend, possibly on the bench? Bardsley went off injured and no date as yet on his likely return.

Better news with Butland due back early next month and Aflley has returned to training.

The club are looking to sign keeper Lee Grant in January as his current loan expires then. He has proved a real success since taking over from Shay Given.

Other transfer rumours include a possible bid for Port Vale’s defender Nathan Smith. Unlikely though as we don’t do much business with the Vale!

Sunderland six pointer

Posted in Football, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , , , , on October 13, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

A real six pointer this weekend as we take on Sunderland at home, the only team currently below us in the Premier League. We have a couple of injury doubts in Joe Allen and Glen Johnson, with Jack Butland due back early next month.

Sunderland could welcome back Victor Anechebe and of course they have Jermaine Defoe who always seems to have a good game against us! Plus we could see the battle of the yellow cards as Lee Catermole and Phil Bardsley, if he starts, vie to get booked first.

The game is a sell out and lest hope for our first league win of the season.

Kosovo make their full football debut

Posted in football transfers, Gibraltar, News, Stoke City FC with tags , , , , , on September 5, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Kosovo were recently cleared to compete internationally by FIFA and play their forst ever World Cup qualifier tonight against Finland. Six players have been allowed to switch national teams, five have previously played for Albania and one for Norway. Others who could switch are Stoke’s Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka (Switzerland), Shefki Kuqi (Finland) and Lorik Cana (Albania). Arsenal’s Xhaka has recently stated he will remain playing for Switzerland.

They were voted in by FIFA in May 2016 along with Gibraltar. They face Finland tonight and have a tough qualifying group – Croatia, Iceland, Turkey and Ukraine – joining Finland.

Gibraltar face Greece at home on Tuesday in their first ever World Cup qualifier.

Joselu off on loan

Posted in Football, football transfers, Stoke City FC, The Premiership with tags , , , on September 1, 2016 by The Rock 'N' Roll Oatcake

Joselu sealed a season long loan move to Deportivo just ahead of the transfer deadline last night. Signed last summer he has not made a big impact at Stoke and is now on his seventh club, averaging roughly one per season.

We have signed another promising youngster in left-sided defender Cameron McJannett from Luton Town.

Summer ins/outs:
IN
Joe Allen (Liverpool £13m)

Ramadan Sobhi (Al Alhay 6m Euros)

Ryan Sweeney (AFC Wimbledon – undisclosed fee)

Wilfried Bony (Man City – season long loan)

Lee Grant (Derby County – loan until January 3)

Bruno Martins Indi (Porto – season long loan)

Cameron McJannett (Luton Town – undisclosed fee)

OUT
Peter Odemwingie (released) *

Steve Sidwell (Brighton & Hove Albion – free) *

Marc Wilson (AFC Bournemouth – undisclosed fee) *

George Waring (Shrewsbury Town – loan)

Choulay (Shrewsbury Town – loan)

Philipp Wollscheid (Wolfsburg – season long loan) *

Joselu (Deportivo – season long loan) *

* = in last season’s 25 man squad list