PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : MARCH

Just the three matches attended this month, and not a lot of productive phototaking.

Best ones I managed was of Jamie Mulgrew taking a corner against Distillery, and a couple from the bore draw between Northern Ireland and Slovenia.

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Linfield v Lisburn Distillery

Northern Ireland v Slovenia

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PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : FEBRUARY

Like in December/January, I attended a match at a stadium for the first time. A lot more grand than Suffolk Road and Solitude, but Nou Camp and Aviva Stadium.

In February, I also visited Estadio El Prat, home of La Liga side Espanyol.

I visited Barcelona for a weekend in February and absolutely loved it. I’d booked it primarily for a break, but did keep an eye on the football fixtures, and managed to get a ticket for Barcelona v Atletico Madrid on my arrival.

If I do visit Barcelona again, i’d like to do it the other way around, and go to an Espanyol match, and do the tour of the Nou Camp.

Nou Camp was great, a fantastic fixture of both modern and old features.

A few days later, I visited Aviva Stadium in Dublin for the Northern Ireland v Scotland match.

The match, as a 3-0 defeat suggests, was dreadful, and it didn’t help being placed in awful seats with people standing at the side of the pitch blocking your view.

Thankfully, I managed to make use of some spare seats and managed to get some decent photos.

Barcelona

Northern Ireland v Scotland

Linfield v Dunmurry Rec

Glenavon v Linfield

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : DECEMBER/JANUARY

Not a lot of football in December due to a number of factors, Linfield going out of the CIS Cup, not being arsed with travelling to Solitude on a Friday night, and weather related postponements.

Despite the snow that covered Northern Ireland throughout December, unfortunately, I was unable to get to Windsor Park to get a snow photo of the stadium, similar to the one I took in January 2010.

On the last day of the month, I headed to Suffolk Road for the first time, to watch Linfield take on Donegal Celtic, and put in an adject display which saw me sulk into the new year.

In January, I added Solitude to grounds I have visited, as I went there for the first time, watching Linfield win 4-2 in a game which was almost abandoned at half-time due to fog.

As a result of that, I had now visited every ground in the top flight of the Irish League, although Newry’s relegation and Carrick’s promotion means I have 11 out of 12 now, having never been to Taylor’s Avenue.

Despite the ground not being photo friendly, I did manage to get some good snaps which pleased me.

Donegal Celtic v Linfield

Cliftonville v Linfield

Linfield v Glenavon

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : NOVEMBER

Busy month this with a packed fixture list, including an international friendly between Northern Ireland and Morocco.

The first fortnight of the month saw me visit two of the more photo friendly grounds in Portadown and Crusaders, managing to get some good photos, even if the result at Seaview wasn’t what I was hoping for.

The other games (Donegal Celtic and Dungannon at home, Distillery away) weren’t the most productive in terms of results, but I decided to take in the novelty of being in the Railway Stand at Windsor Park, which is very photo friendly, managing to get some good photos of the Morocco game.

Enjoy

Portadown v Linfield

Linfield v Donegal Celtic

Crusaders v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Morocco

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Lisburn Distillery v Linfield

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : OCTOBER

October was a busy month, with lots of games and lots of goals, including, the greatest goal in football history ………… if you believe the Northern Ireland media.

The month started with Linfield taking on Portadown and finally getting into their goalscoring groove after a slow start to the season.

With a 3-0 lead at half-time, I decided to take the opportunity to get some stadium pics, as temporary seats were being put in, in preparation for Northern Ireland’s Euro 2012 Qualifier against Italy.

A few days later, I headed to The Oval for the second-half of the match between Glentoran and Portadown (I usually play football on a Tuesday night, so popped in ……. and I was in the Portadown end, just to clarify)

That night, Matty Burrows scored “The greatest goal in football history”

I must admit, watching it live in the flesh, it was a brilliant goal. Constant media overkill has been tiresome, but I suppose, it’s hard to complain about a positive good news Irish League story, especially when the media aren’t slow in sticking the boot into the game here.

That Friday, I was at the Northern Ireland v Italy game, and managed to get some good shos from my vantage point in the Viewing Lounge.

The following day, I was at Coleraine, one of my favourite away grounds to see Linfield record a 2-0 win.

Later in the month, I went to further Linfield games against Newry and Crusaders, especially enjoying the 8-1 win over Crusaders, before finishing the month off with another visit to Old Trafford, this time to see United take on Spurs.

Linfield v Portadown

Northern Ireland v Italy

Coleraine v Linfield

Linfield v Crusaders

Newry City v Linfield

Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : SEPTEMBER

September wasn’t the most intense football month, and not a lot of photos taken.

I only went to three matches, and two of them were 0-0 draws (I saw seven 0-0 draws throughout the season)

The other game I went too, was a bit of a cracker as a Dimitar Berbatov hat-trick helped United to a 3-2 win over Liverpool.

When Berbatov got his hat-trick goal, I managed to get a picture when just showed the emotion of it. Get in!!

Manchester United v Liverpool

Glentoran v Linfield

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : AUGUST

Finally, in August, the season began, with Linfield looking to win a 50th title in the club’s 125th anniversary season. With all that hope and optimism, it was quickly brought back down to earth with a drab 0-0 draw at home to Ballymena United.

The following day, I jetted off to Edinburgh to take in the Edinburgh Festival, and managed to get some portrait shots of Tynecastle, home of SPL side Hearts.

Back home the following weekend, I visited Stangmore Park, to see Linfield’s title defence stutter more with a defeat against Dungannon Swifts, but on the plus side, I managed to get some good photos.

After home wins over Distillery and Coleraine, my next away match saw me use my new camera for the first time, and got some enjoyable shots, especially of Curtis Allen celebrating his winning goal.

The season, like my phototaking, was up and running.

Linfield v Ballymena United

Tynecastle

Dungannon Swifts v Linfield

Linfield v Lisburn Distillery

Linfield v Coleraine

Newry City v Linfield

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : JULY/PRE-SEASON

My season started in July with a match between two sides from different countries.

I’d have hoped that it would have been the World Cup Final in Soccer City, but I had to make do with a European Cup tie between Linfield and Rosenborg.

Due to ground work on Windsor Park, supporters were only allowed in the South Stand, which wasn’t the best for photo taking opportunities.

After a 0-0 draw at Windsor Park, Linfield lost the second leg 2-0 to lose 2-0 on aggregate, bringing to an end my dream of seeing Noel Bailie lift the trophy at Wembley in May 2011.

My next match, was a pre-season friendly away to Dunmurry Rec, on a weekday evening, soaking up the sun and watching Linfield coast to victory, while getting some photos.

With a win that convincing, Dunmurry are the sort of team that would be on my wishlist for opponents in the early rounds of the Irish Cup.


Linfield v Rosenborg


Dunmurry Rec v Linfield

MANCHESTER UNITED 4-2 BLACKPOOL 22.5.2011

Was at Old Trafford on Sunday for United’s last league game of the season , against Blackpool, a game which of course, saw United lift the title for a record 19th time.

Gutted for Blackpool going down, I would have like them to stay up, but, they’re the opposition so there was no sentimentality from me, regardless of the league being won.

If anything, I’m more gutted about Wolves staying up than Blackpool going down as we’ll have to suffer another season of the performing chimps on the Match of the Day sofa fawning over how much of a “character” their golf buddy Mick McCarthy is.

An entertaining game which United won, and picked up the league on an (eventually) sunny day, so not a lot to complain about.

Managed to get a good seat and some half-decent photos, which was nice.

Enjoy.

Photo Album

SCHALKE STICKERS

Having uploaded some photos of Bourissia Dortmond fan stickers in Dublin, this week, it’s the turn of Schalke fans, who have appeared to have plastered every street post in the vicinity of Old Trafford in their artwork.

Also in Manchester, managed to spot some stickers from FC Twente, FC United, and um …….. Ralphie Milne Ultras.