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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STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : 2013-2014

Barring something amazing, my matchgoing 2013-2014 season is over, time for a statistical analysis.

There were no curiousities to report. Went to some games, saw some goals, visited some new grounds. Standard stuff.

Matches Attended : 47

Goals Seen : 139

Red Cards : 23

Hat-Tricks : 2

Cristiano Ronaldo (Northern Ireland v Portugal)
Robin Van Persie (Manchester United v Olympiacos)

Penalties Missed/Saved : 2

Highest Scoring Match : 7 (Linfield 5-2 Ards, Glenavon 2-5 Linfield)

Countries Seen Matches In : 4

England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland

Teams Seen Play : 31

Ards, Ballinamallard United, Ballymena United, Cliftonville, Crusaders, Crystal Palace (1st time) Derriaghy CC, Drogheda United, Dundee United (1st time), Dungannon Swifts, Everton (1st time), Glenavon, Glentoran, Hibernian, IF Fuglafjordur (1st time), Leyton Orient (1st time), Linfield, Manchester United, Northern Ireland, Peterborough United (1st time) Portadown, Portugal, Russia (1st time) Skoda Xanthi (1st time), St Patrick’s Athletic, Tottenham Hotspur, Warrenpoint Town (1st time)

Competitions Watched : 11

County Antrim Shield, European Cup, FA Premier League, Football League One (1st time), Irish Cup, Irish League, League Of Ireland, Northern Ireland League Cup, Scottish Premier League, UEFA Cup, World Cup,

Stadiums Visited : 18

Ballymena Showgrounds, Brisbane Road (1st time), Coleraine Showgrounds, Dixon Park (1st time), Easter Road, Ferney Park, Milltown (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Richmond Park, Seaview, Seycon Park, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, The Oval, White Hart Lane (1st time), Windsor Park,

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

STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL YEAR : 2013

So, my football watching is over for 2013. Time to look back at the year just gone. And what better way to do it than with a load of stats.

Games : 48

Goals Seen : 135

Red Cards : 19

Missed/Saved Penalties : 5

Hat-Tricks : 2

Matthew Tipton (Linfield v Coleraine)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Northern Ireland v Portugal)

Teams Seen : 35

Ards, Ballinamallard United, Ballymena United, Bangor, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crystal Palace (1st time), Crusaders, Derriaghy CC, Drogheda United, Dundee United (1st time), Dungannon Swifts, Falkirk (1st time), Fulham, Glenavon, Glentoran, Hibernian, IF Fuglafjordur (1st time), Israel (1st time), Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Manchester United, Northern Ireland, Norwich City, Portadown, Portugal, Queens Park Rangers, Rangers, Reading (1st time), Russia (1st time), Shamrock Rovers (1st time), Skoda Xanthi (1st time), St Patrick’s Athletic, Tobermore United (1st time) Warrenpoint Town (1st time)

Stadiums Visited : 21

Ballymena Showgrounds, Clandeboye Park, Coleraine Showgrounds, Craven Cottage (1st time), Dixon Park (1st time), Easter Road, Ferney Park, Hampden Park, Ibrox (1st time), Loftus Road (1st time), Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Richmond Park, Seaview, Seycon Park, Shamrock Park, Solitude, Stangmore Park, Tallaght Stadium (1st time), The Oval, Windsor Park

Competitions : 11

FA Premier League, IFA Championship, IFA Premiership, Irish Cup, League Of Ireland, Northern Ireland League Cup, Setanta Cup, Scottish Cup, Scottish Premier League, UEFA Cup, World Cup,

Curiousities :

2nd Feb/6th Apr : Two matches in one day

2nd Feb : First ever floodlight failure at a match attended, Fulham v Manchester United

Feb – Apr : Visiting, Queen’s Park, Rangers, and Queens Park Rangers grounds.

UEFA 100 Club : Dundee United (now at 30 clubs)

Top Five Matches :

1. Northern Ireland 2-4 Portugal
2. Falkirk 3-4 Hibernian AET
3. Fulham 0-1 Manchester United
4. Linfield 3-1 Cliftonville
5. Coleraine 2-3 Linfield

2013 IN PICTURES – JULY

Now into July, there was lots of warm days but not much photography.

No concerts, but I managed three football matches, two of Linfield’s European games and a friendly against Derriaghy CC.

The extra light in the evenings helped me with my football photography, so I made the most of it.

Got some Street Art around Belfast as well during the month, managing to get one of a snowman throwing a petrol bomb.

Linfield v Fuglafjordur

The Snow And The Sun

Linfield v Skoda Xanthi

Derriaghy CC v Linfield

LINFIELD 3-0 IF FUGLAFJORDUR 10.7.2013

The last time I was at Windsor Park, I left fed up and disillusioned, having witnessed Linfield end a pathetic season with a pathetic run of form. What a difference a few months make.

New kit (it’s rather nice), new players (all in the positions which needed strengthened) and Linfield going into the game 2-0 up led to a mood of positivity, not seen at Windsor Park for a while.

The crowd was better than expected, considering it’s a UEFA Cup game, and the opposition not being well known and the tie being as good as dead. Not only that, there was a queue in the club shop before kick-off. Not sure if it was for the new shirt or a Season Ticket, but it was good to see.

For most of the first-half, both teams were, to use a pundits phrase, feeling each other out. IF had attacks but never really threatened. Anytime they got into a shooting position, there was usually a Linfield player getting in the way.

Linfield played well in spells, even *Gasp* playing it out from the back. New goalkeeper Johnny Tuffey seems to be fond of running off his line, but the important thing is, he spotted the danger, and dealt with it, every time.

Eventually Linfield took the lead towards the end of the first-half with a Michael Gault header, before a quick double from Jamie Mulgrew and Phil Lowry killed the game and the tie, if it wasn’t dead already.

The rest of the game was exhibition stuff, though there was a frustration of a lack of subs, to give players some game time, especially with only one friendly played, and no other friendlies scheduled before the next round.

That game is against Xanthi of Greece, who I know little about, but I know they will be better than IF. It was great to be back watching football again, and not only that, great to be enjoying football again.

Photo Album