Play on …

When Fair Play Publishing floated the idea of an online football magazine to get us through the lockdown phase of the Covid-19 pandemic, I was straight on to it. The theme for Edition 1 was ‘old soccer and new football’, and the contributors could decide how they interpreted that theme.

The resulting piece compares the good old days of Mirandinha at St James’ Park with the heady heights of Sydney FC’s Milos Ninkovic at Central Coast Stadium, and I think it reads well. It was an absolute last minute decision to head to the Mariners v Sydney FC game as I’d been playing that afternoon and the turnaround was going to be tight. I’m so glad I did. The experience was a breath of fresh air – Sydney toiled away and rode their luck before coming good at the end in a true Champions performance.

I’ve never experienced any success following Newcastle, so it is difficult to compare the two on equal footing. I missed out on the majority of the Keegan era, so away days were usually defeats. A last minute Liam O’Brien goal at Blackburn does stick out though, as does the utterly outrageous win at Leicester to stay up to avoid relegation to the third tier way back in 1992. It’s also difficult to compare the two as Sydney FC play every game away from home now after the stadium was razed to the ground – imagine Newcastle being forced to play home games at Kingston Park, with the odd game at Gateshead Stadium.

Have a read. Mine is only one of many in-depth stories, or ‘long reads’ as they are billed, and there are some quality journalists in amongst those storytellers.

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