PHOTO OF THE SEASON 2013-2014

So, another football season is over, time to look back. It’s taken in four countries and various stadiums, teams and levels. There was a lot of pictures, so here are my favourites. Feel free to vote for yours :

FUGLAFJORDUR

Taken just after the final whistle of Linfield’s match with Fuglafjordur as fans applauded, the composition and framing just works for me which is why I love the photo.

SKODA

Taken before Linfield’s match with Skoda Xanthi, again, the composition and the light works for me, as supporters walk to The Kop, ready for the 90 (well, in this match, it was 120) minutes that await.

JEFFREY

Like the other two, it’s all about the composition, as David Jeffrey observes the action during a pre-season match against Derriaghy CC

RICHMOND

Taken during my trip to Dublin, I took in a St Patrick’s Athletic game. The colours just make this photo for me, as is the fact you came see a rainbow over the stadium.

CAMERAS

Taken during the Northern Ireland v Portugal match, the two cameras, focused on the action in sync does it for me, alongside the composition of the players, so small in comparison with their surroundings.

BRISBANE ROAD

I’m a sucker for arty pics of football stadiums. I took this during a trip to London, when I took in a match at Leyton Orient.

THE OVAL

Linfield fans looking on, under the floodlights, as their side has a free-kick against Glentoran at The Oval.

ROONEY

Manchester United fans looking on as Wayne Rooney prepares to take a free-kick against Olympiacos.

SEAVIEW

Linfield fans looking one at a match at Seaview. Seaview is always good for photos.

BLUE

Arty one, take of seats in the South Stand at Linfield’s last game at Windsor Park before redevelopment, which the South Stand will be one of the main areas getting redeveloped.

CLARKE

Taken on the last day of the league season, love the composition, especially of the two players, one with the ball, and one trying to win the ball back,

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PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – APRIL/MAY

Due to an early Irish Cup exit, my first match in April didn’t come until the 12th of the month, as Linfield headed to Seaview for a must-win game, and ground out a 3-2 win.

Got some nice photos, as per usual at Seaview due to the closeness of the pitch, helped by a sunny day as well.

The following weekend, I was at Windsor Park to see Linfield’s title hopes take a critical blow with a draw against Portadown.

Three days later, I was there to see Linfield’s title hopes take a fatal blow against Glentoran.

That game, was the last Linfield game where the South Stand, as we know it will be used. Sat there in the 2nd half as Linfield were attacking the Railway End, I managed to get some final shots of the stand for posterity.

As the seasons ends, so does eras. The following Saturday, it was Lurgan for me to see Linfield’s last match with David Jeffrey as manager.

It was typical end of season stuff, with Linfield running out easy 5-2 winners.

The following weekend, came my final match of the season, the Irish Cup Final. Unfortunately, Linfield weren’t involved, but I got a ticket in Lurgan the week before for the Glenavon end.

Glenavon won the game 2-1, to lift the cup for the first time since 1997. A week short of 10 months since my first game, my 2013-2014 season was over.

Crusaders v Linfield

Linfield v Portadown

Linfield v Glentoran

Glenavon v Linfield

Ballymena United v Glenavon

Ballymena United v Glenavon Photo Album

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – MARCH

March for me began in Ballymena, for the (much delayed) County Antrim Shield Final between Linfield and Crusaders. Bit of a novelty this one, being in the home end, where they had a plaque to proudly show off that their toilets have a Gold Award. I didn’t get any photos of that, you’ll be glad to hear.

I got some match photos. Would have been nice to get some trophy photos, but unfortunately the usual problem of idiots invading the pitch and ruining it for everyone else put paid to that.

A few days later, back on the road again, Portadown bound, to see Linfield secure a 2-1 win. And yes, I was in the ground in time to see Andrew Waterworth score after 18 seconds.

The following Saturday, I was back at Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon.

The following midweek, more travelling, to Old Trafford to see United take on Olympiacos, turning around a 0-2 defecit to go through 3-0 on aggregate.

More travelling the following weekend, to Coleraine, for a 0-0 draw. Got some good photos though.

I finished the month with the top of the table clash between Linfield and Cliftonville. The less said of that, the better.

Crusaders v Linfield

Crusaders v Linfield Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Manchester United v Olympiacos

Manchester United v Olympiacos Photo Album

Coleraine v Linfield

Linfield v Cliftonville

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – JANUARY

A new year, but still watching football.

My football watching of the year started later than I had hoped due to the postponement of the Linfield v Glenavon match on New Year’s Day.

That weekend, I started the year off with a first – my first visit to Warrenpoint. It was certainly a memorable game as Linfield game from 2-0 down with 5 minutes to go to win 3-2.

Managed to get some good photos, helped by close access to the pitch and a lunchtime kick-off.

My only other games were Linfield’s matches against Crusaders (home) and Ballymena (away) – got some ok photos from those games, nothing special.

My last game that month was Linfield’s game against Ards. I got no good photos that night whatsoever. The less said about that game, the better.

Warrenpoint Town v Linfield

Linfield v Crusaders/Ballymena United v Linfield

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – DECEMBER

December’s football watching began for me with a road trip to Coleraine. It was my first trip to Coleraine in two years, and it turned out to be an enjoyable game, Linfield snatching it 3-2 with a late goal.

The following week, I was at a wet Windsor Park for the visit of Ballinamallard, as Linfield recorded a routine 3-0 win.

My next Linfield game was one of the highlights of the season – Boxing Day. Being an odd numbered year, it was, of course, at The Oval.

Not a game that will rank alongside other classic Boxing Days, but Linfield won, which is the important thing.

Got some ok photos, nothing special. Best photos of the month came at Coleraine.

Coleraine v Linfield

Linfield v Ballinamallard United

Glentoran v Linfield

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – NOVEMBER

November began at Windsor Park with Warrenpoint Town and Ards the visitors. Unsurprisingly, Linfield got routine victories.

Didn’t get any good photos of the Ards game, managed some ok shots of the Warrenpoint game.

The following weekend, I was on the road to Dungannon, where Linfield suffered a shock defeat. To make matters worse, there wasn’t much natural light to get decent shots. All about priorities. Despite this, managed to get some ok shots.

The following weekend, a massive game against Glenavon, given that Linfield had went into it with two successive defeats. Going 1-0 down early on, just made the atmosphere more tense.

Thankfully, Linfield came back to win 3-2, and all was well with the world.

The following weekend, it was Solitude for me, and I spent an hour at a Leisure Centre to watch Linfield put in a pitiful collapse. Usual phototaking arrangements at Solitude, not that it mattered due to the lack of goalmouth action for Linfield.

Linfield v Warrenpoint Town

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Linfield v Glenavon

Cliftonville v Linfield

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – OCTOBER

October began with a trip to Lurgan for a top of the table clash between Glenavon and Linfield ………… but it was Glenavon who were top of the league.

However, Linfield’s best performance of the season saw them claim the three points, and results went their way to send them top of the league for the first time all season.

Mourneview Park is one of my favourite away grounds, very photofriendly. I got some ok shots, nothing special, but had an enjoyable day.

Enthused by the performance, I headed to The Oval a few days later for a League Cup tie between Glentoran and Linfield. An awful game, and poor photos. The only plus point was that Linfield won.

The following weekend, I was Windsor Park bound for the visit of Dungannon Swifts, a routine win for Linfield, with no photos of excitement unfortunately.

Crusaders were the visitors to Windsor Park the following weekend for a top of the table clash, where both sides cancelled each other out in a 0-0 draw. Managed to get some ok photos despite the lack of goalmouth action.

To end the month, I was Ballymena bound for the first time since January 2012 to see Linfield continue their winning run.

Ballymena isn’t a kind ground for amateur photography, but the sun shone (after a wet first-half) and Linfield won 4-1, and I managed to get some good shots.

Glenavon v Linfield

Glentoran v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Linfield v Crusaders

Ballymena United v Linfield

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – SEPTEMBER

September began for me with the World Cup Qualifier between Northern Ireland and Portugal. Everything looked set for a Northern Ireland win, until Ronaldo turned on his magic, aided by playing against nine men.

The next day, it was back to Irish League action, as I made my first visit to Dixon Park, to see Linfield take on Ards.

The following weekend, I was Old Trafford bound. A trip with a difference, as it was my first visit with David Moyes as United manager, for the game against Crystal Palace.

There was much hype in the build-up about a Belgian on the bench about to make his first appearance for United at Old Trafford. Little did we know, it would be another Belgian on the bench that day we would be falling in love with over the season.

Seven days later, I was on my travels again, to Fermanagh, to see Linfield take on Ballinamallard, getting some nice shots on a sunny day, and watching Linfield win.

To end the month, it was back to Windsor Park for the first time in three weeks, to see Linfield take on Coleraine, which was won by Linfield with an injury time goal.

The sunny days might have been ending, but the football season was in full swing. Time to look forward to the Winter months.

Northern Ireland v Portugal

Northern Ireland v Portugal Photo Album

Ards v Linfield

Manchester United v Crystal Palace

Manchester United v Crystal Palace Photo Album

Ballinamallard United v Linfield

Linfield v Coleraine

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – AUGUST

August was when the season properly started. For me, it included matches in three different countries.

My first match of the month was at Richmond Park, to see St Patrick’s Athletic take on Drogheda United. I was in Dublin that weekend, so thought i’d take in a game.

My original choice was Bray Wanderers v Boehmians, but they moved it from the original date, and I wasn’t able to go to it.

The match at Richmond Park, was the same score as my previous visit in 2010 ………. 0-0. I should probably be banned from attending matches there.

The following weekend, it was Shamrock Park, to see Linfield and Portadown draw 1-1. The Irish League season, was finally up and running.

Three days later, was a match that should have been played the previous season, the re-arranged World Cup Qualifier between Northern Ireland and Russia.

That weekend, I was in Edinburgh, primarily for the festival, but I always like to take in a game while i’m there.

The SPL Fixture Computer gave me Easter Road for a second successive year, the visitors this time being Dundee United.

My final match of the month saw bottom placed Linfield take on Glentoran, in a 0-0 draw. That is not how I imagined August would end.

St Patrick’s Athletic v Drogheda United

St Patrick’s Athletic v Drogheda United Photo Album

Portadown v Linfield

Northern Ireland v Russia

Northern Ireland v Russia Photo Album

Hibernian v Dundee United

Hibernian v Dundee United Photo Album

Linfield v Glentoran

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – JULY

The 2012-2013 season couldn’t end soon enough for me. A couple of months later, refreshed and ready for the new season, I headed to Windsor Park in early July to see Linfield face IF Fuglafjordur in the UEFA Cup, winning 3-0 to secure a place in the next round.

Two weeks later, I was back at Windsor Park for UEFA Cup action, with Linfield once again defending a lead from the away leg. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, as Skoda Xanthi ran out winners after extra-time.

With the UEFA Cup run over, it was back to earth with a bump, as pre-season friendlies resumed, Linfield facing Derriaghy CC and running out easy winners, getting some nice shots at a photo friendly ground (When the sun shines)

Good to be getting back in the match going habit.

Linfield v IF Fuglafjordur

Linfield v Skoda Xanthi

Derriaghy CC v Linfield