Hello darkness my old friend….. Autumn has most definitely arrived now, but that just makes finishing a match under floodlights all the more charming. We’ve been on the road again with more groundhopping with a camera with 2 matches attended in 2 days with great attendances, great atmospheres, great prices but a bit of a lack of goals in the consistently contentious comunidad of Catalonia.
A father pushed his two daughters hurriedly onto the footpath and immediately sploshed his left foot into a puddle. With a sigh, he followed his children to a 50cm strip of concrete beneath an overhanging shop front, accepting the dark patch now a quarter of the way up his denim jeans. I caught his eye as I shuffled up slightly to provide room, sharing a defiant “that’s how it is sometimes” type of smile with him as his family squeezed in beside me. Now all we could do was hope the shower would soon cease. They had their weekly shopping to complete. I had 30 minutes to locate this damn stadium.
The Estadio Pinilla hosted another partido amistoso the day immediately following CD Teruel’s pre-season friendly against Atlético Levante. The boys from CD Castellón on the Valencian coast travelled all the way up to the medieval provincial capital a full kilometre into the clouds where they took on SD Huesca, the club recently relegated from La Primera and who are used to playing at altitude.
Let’s be honest. Some places in the world just speak to us and we don’t know why. It could be entire nations, obscure cities or very specific buildings, corners or points on a street. During this year’s pre-season season, I got the chance to visit one of mine. That place is Teruel, provincial capital of the region of the same name and the most southerly city in semi-autonomous Aragón in Spain’s north-west.
Quite a beautiful design brought to us courtesy from the south coast of France. I really hope that the ultras of Olympique de Marseille put actual pencil to paper in the creation of this very creative piece that invokes the traditions and history of one of France’s major clubs.
10am on a Friday morning may be an unusual time for a Football match, but it doesn’t make it any less enjoyable – particularly when you’ve been able to go for so long. But with restrictions easing slightly and pre-season friendlies now underway, we did not miss the opportunity to get our groundhopping kicks once again in the home of a semi-professional outfit in Spain.
A small-time club that we have a bit of a soft spot for here at FBTG has hit a milestone today. Happy 8th Birthday to Xerez Deportivo Football Club – a sports team fighting to keep the Football traditions of a city alive and well.
A less than chivalrous design brought to you by somebody who is clearly a Denver Broncos fan (NFL in case you were wondering). We cannot say we are fans of the…. theme of this Aufkleber, but the colours contrast well in spite of its vulgarity. Moreover, it is interesting to observe fans of teams, clubs and franchises in other sports taking inspiration from Football fan groups and adapting their practices to their own needs. We at FBTG have previously made the point that far from seeing themselves as culturally superior (as many outsiders like to claim), US citizens who follow team sports often display an alacrity to “copy” (for lack of a better word) fan customs they observe in stadia around the world. NFL fans creating Football-Ultra style stickers and posting them around your city is perhaps a good example of this.