The footballing year has come to an end, here’s a brief look back on the year in a few slideshows of photos from my phone. The number of these photos taken in wild weather is testament to the crazy conditions we’ve faced as supporters, players and referees this year. I’ve attended a 30-game season of Gladesville Ravens NPL Women’s Youth League Under 15s, loads of Sydney FC games, men’s and women’s, a rain-affected West Ryde Rovers Over 35 division 2 season, the Australia Cup final, the NPL Grand Final, the A-League All-stars, Matildas games, Socceroos games, Women’s FA Cup first round, Men’s FA Cup first round replay, a solitary EPL game and of course 26 games at the FIFA men’s World Cup in Qatar to cap it all off. What a great year of football, and 2023 is going to be even bigger. Here’s some low quality photos to remind me (and you) of what a year it’s been. Try not to get too misty-eyed looking at the photos of Kogarah Oval.
Kogarah uproar as capo is ejected from women’s game; daring to put my foot on a seat at Jubilee; Kogarah’s Cove for a women’s game; Section 18 hooligans; Ravens are back at training; pub going off before the Big Blue; collateral damage in the away bay at AAMI Park; making peace with the Victory boys; Vietnam dispatched; Meadowbank Ultras convene to put the football world right.
Sunny days at Leichhardt; Valentine’s Day proposition in Newcastle; NPL media pass; West Ryde Rovers season underway; West Ryde Rovers season under water; en route to Commbank Stadium derby; crazy weather for the AFC qualifying round at Kogarah; all smiles at the A-League women’s semi-final; sky blue in a sea of black.
Flag making in progress for the Japan game; flag in action at the Japan game; soaked, defeated, but still smiling; great big flag at Olympic Park; FA director Heather spruiks a women’s football novel; the team who dissected the 2023 legacy plans in Kiama; panel discussion about fiction writing; reusable tifo for the A-League Women Grand Final 2023; the glorious sight of the LoLos in action.
Matildas fans; Tameka is an Anna Black fan; Townsville; the Cove at Central Coast Stadium; not bad yourself and the Sky Blue wonder in the crowd in Canberra; Kyah loves Anna Black too; sneaking into Cheers Bar after Liverpool beat Newcastle; Carla’s socks were white.
Rails’ school team with a major win; farewell Kogarah; on the radio with the Lone Ranger; a fabulous A-League all-stars game with Barcelona; Alanna Kennedy at Meadowbank Park with my book; assistant ref just disallowed a last minute equaliser but all is forgiven; finding a way through the Sydney FC defence; refereeing a top-flight local women’s game; Rails does what Remy does and scores at Marconi Stadium.
Absolute soaking for the Ravens at Christie Park; Rale Rasic joins in the celebrations at Commbank Stadium; Allianz Stadium opens; the World Cup is ours; Heather Reid in Brisbane; the only mood to be in at the Caxton; King of the Qukes; Michelle from Optus is an Anna Black fan too!
Refreshed at the Matildas; Sam Kerr’s boot is now Rails’ boot; Ravens win the league and send the whole club up to NPL 1; Toon Army fans getting moved on from the Opera House forecourt; Australia’s Newcastle fans meet up in Sydney; available for signatures; the never-ending Qukes tour; Suncorp capo.
Eden Park following the Socceroos; Australian crew loving life in Auckland; getting creative in the away bay; they give those Qukes away in trays now; streamers at Commbank on a controversial occasion; soaking wet looking through the toilet seat; crazy tifo for our return to Allianz; on the tools at Commbank; beautiful sunset over Leumeah.
Interstate tournament winners in the A.C.T.; off to the World Cup via England; pictured at St James Park with a famous commentator; Women’s FA Cup 1st round action as AFC Fylde beat Alnwick Town; press conference at St James Park to introduce a bestseller; a thrilling FA Cup 1st round replay at Victoria Park in the away end as Solihull miss out on penalties to Hartlepool; a flying visit to Craik Park, home of Morpeth Town; some tasty merch from the National Football Museum in Manchester; the world’s largest collection of football shirts.
On the way to the opening ceremony of the 2022 FIFA World Cup; expectations high ahead of the clash with Tunisia; metro, this way; media tickets and media accreditation for the World Cup; different hazards to heed; big shirt unveiled at Al Janoub; made in Brazil, idolised in Newcastle; a four goal win for Sydney FC women; a new Unashamed Football Novel has arrived.
That’s all. Keep an eye out here for the completed account of the World Cup, from group stages to the round of 16, coming soon.