STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF A FOOTBALL SEASON

You can thank @philmojones4 for the inspiration for this pointless blogpost, when he commented on how many matches he’d been too during the 2011-2012 season, and it got me thinking, then I thought some more, and came up with this statistical analysis of the football season just past (I know technically the season is still going, but for me, it is over)

Matches Attended : 44

Goals Seen : 120

Red Cards : 5

Hat-Tricks : 2

Aaron Burns (Linfield v Dungannon Swifts) Peter Thompson (Linfield v Newry City)

(Last season I witnessed hat-tricks by Dimitar Berbatov and Lionel Messi)

Hat-tricks missed due to being on holiday : 1

Phil Lowry (Linfield v Donegal Celtic)

Hat-tricks missed due to not being arsed with Irish Cup ties v lower league opposition : 2

Rory Patterson (Linfield v Ballyclare Comrades) Peter Thompson (Linfield v Coagh United)

Highest scoring match : 7 (Linfield 7-0 Newry City)

Countries seen football in : 4

England, Holland, Northern Ireland, Scotland

(Last season, it was 4 as well – England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Spain)

Teams seen play : 28

Aberdeen, Ajax Amsterdam, Ballymena United, BATE Borisov, Carrick Rangers, Cliftonville, Coleraine, Crusaders, Derriaghy CC, Donegal Celtic, Dungannon Swifts, Excelsior Rotterdam, Faroe Islands, Glenavon, Glentoran, Heart of Midlothian, Linfield, Lisburn Distillery, Manchester United, Newry City, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portadown, Serbia, Sunderland, Tottenham Hotspur, Utrecht, VVV Venlo

Competitions Watched : 8

Eredivise, Euro 2012, European Cup, FA Premier League, Irish Cup, Irish Premier League, Scottish Premier League, UEFA Cup

Stadiums Visited : 14

Amsterdam Arena, Ballymena Showgrounds, Ballyskeagh, Coleraine Showgrounds, Mourneview Park, Old Trafford, Seaview, Seycon Park, Shamrock Park, Solitude, The Oval, Tynecastle, Windsor Park, Woudestein

NB: Stats do not include last night’s Manchester United v Irish League XI game. My visit to Amsterdam for the Holland v Northern Ireland game will be counted towards 2012-2013 statistics.

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2010 IN PICTURES – APRIL

April was a busy month, and I have photographic evidence to back it up, including trips to Dublin, Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool.

I headed to Dublin at the start of the month to see Linfield take on Bohemians in a Setanta Cup Semi-Final.

The game was on Easter Saturday, but I decided to take Good Friday off and head down to make a wee break of it.

I spent the Friday in Dublin and took in a League of Ireland clash between St Patrick’s Athletic and Sporting Fingal in the evening, before the Linfield match on the Saturday.

One big regret of the month was that I didn’t take my camera to the Easter Tuesday title decider against Glentoran, but two days later, I was in Sheffield watching James in concert at Sheffield O2 Academy.

The next day, I headed to Manchester, before spending the Saturday in Liverpool and then going to Ewood Park on the Sunday.

A few weeks later, I had an unexpected week off work and became a tourist in my own city, and managed to get some intersting graffiti shots.

The end of the month, saw Linfield visit Seaview to take on Crusaders in a game where Noel Bailie made his 1,000th appearance for Linfield, which was commemorated with a banner.

A win for Linfield that day would have secured the title, but a 0-0 draw meant that champagne was on ice.

A 1-0 win over Cliftonville on the following Tuesday night meant Linfield were champions, and I had my camera there to capture.

Dublin Blog

Sheffield/Manchester/Liverpool Blog

James Review

James Photos

Linfield Champions 2010 Photos

FOUR FOUR TWO PHOTO COMPETITION

Whilst browsing through the current edition of Four Four Two, I saw an advert for a football photography competition being sponsored by the magazine.

Now, I like football, and I like photography, so entering this is a bit of a no-brainer.

The competition is divided into two categories, so i’ll be entering the amateur competition.

I had some photos lined up in mind, but a quick look at the rules saw that photographs had to have been taken between August 2009 and July 2010, which will rule out some photos I had in mind.

I’m going to put some photos forward and ask for feedback before deciding which pictures to enter. Unsurprisingly, most of these photos will be from Linfield matches.

The first photo is from a pre-season friendly between Dunmurry Young Men and Linfield.

The venue was pretty basic, but the closesness to the pitch and the late evening light (If I remember correctly, the kick-off was 7pm, in order to get the game finished before nightfall) was a great opportunity for amateur photography, especially as the game was a routine victory for Linfield with Paul Munster’s 4 goal haul being overshadowed by a serious injury to Curtis Allen.

The season (falsely) started at Coleraine the following weekened. The traffic heading to Coleraine that day was so bad I only made it into the ground at 3.40pm.

At 3.20pm, being stuck in a trafficjam somewhere in Rasharkin and hearing that Coleraine had just went 2-0 up, the temptation to try and turn around and head home was there.

Coleraine is a ground which is friendly to amateur photographers, and I managed to get one of an attentive crowd and pitchside photographer training their eyes on the action taking place on the pitch.

In September, I attended the Manchester Derby at Old Trafford, and managed to blag myself some pitchside seats, which was a great assistance for amateur photography.

The first photo from that day was taken pre-match, as United fans unfurled a banner parodying a billboard unveiled by City to commemorate the signing of Carlos Tevez.

The second photo came right at the end, as United players and fans celebrate Michael Owen’s 90th minute winner

There’s just something about the photo which makes it great, that you can see the emotion of what victory means on Derby Day.

Moving on to the biggest derby in world football, I managed to get one well composed of a photographer getting a photo of Linfield players celebrating Mark Miskimmin’s goal against Glentoran.

November saw Linfield make trips to Newry, Portadown and Dungannon. Of the photos that were taken at these three games, my favourite was the one of Billy Joe Burns and Michael Gault battling for possession against Dungannon Swifts at a fog-covered Stangmore Park.

Come January, incliment weather meant that the Irish League was now having a Bundesliga style winter break.

I made the most of the weather to get some photos of Windsor Park covered in snow, a shot I had always been wanting to get.

Come April, the weather had improved and so had Linfield’s results. I headed to Dublin for a weekend for the Setanta Cup Semi-final against Bohemians, taking in St Patrick’s Athletic v Sporting Fingal as well.

My final favourite photo of the season came after the match against Cliftonville when Linfield clinched the title.

Phil Lowry is being interviewed by a radio reporter, and the floodlights and the composition just works for me.

Thanks for having a wee look through my photo journey of the 2009-2010 season, feel free to offer feedback and vote for which photo(s) I should enter.