PHOTO OF THE SEASON : 2016-2017

So, the 2016-2017 season is over for me. I hope you’ve enjoyed my photographic look back at the season just gone.

I’ve selected some of my favourites, so feel free to vote for the one you like the best.

POLSKA

Taken back in June 2016 at Northern Ireland v Poland, I like the composition, how everyone is fixated on the action at the other end of the pitch, and the colour co-ordination of both sets of fans.



WILGAR

Taken at a pre-season game between Linfield and Dundela, it captures the joys of going to football matches in pre-season, sunshine and relaxation ahead of the hard slog ahead.



SEAVIEW

I like the framing of this, as the crowd is in position, awaiting kick-off in a big match.



CELEBRATION

Linfield fans celebrating Jimmy Callacher’s winner against Glentoran in October. I just like this for some reason other than the obvious.

PALMERSTON

There’s just something about the architecture of old football grounds that does it for me. This is out of use turnstiles at Palmerston Park, home of Queen of the South.

APPEAL

Linfield fans appeal in unison, all making the same hand gestures, for a goal to be allowed. The goal was disallowed for a foul.



ELF

Taken at the Steel and Sons Cup Final. Some people like getting dressed up for Christmas.

GAYNOR

I like the composition of this, from Ross Gaynor’s posture, to substitutes chatting to each other while the game goes on.

UNITED

I like the composition of this, all eyes fixated on the penalty area and the incoming corner.

SPOT THE BALL

I like the composition of this shot, it looks like a Spot The Ball image, except that the ball is in the shot, with two players getting ready for an aerial tussle.



COLERAINE

I love the framing and seeing players in the background running to join the celebrations.

WATERWORTH

Celebrations after Andrew Waterworth’s second goal against Cliftonville, capturing the joy of the event and the achievement just about to happen.

PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON : JULY

Following a UEFA Cup exit to Cork City, there would be no European Linfield games for me in July, relying on hastily arrange friendlies for my football fix.

I got two of them, away friendlies against Dundela, then a trip to Harland and Wolff Welders.

Dundela v Linfield

Harland and Wolff Welders v Linfield

DUNDELA 1-3 LINFIELD 19.7.2016

Out of Europe, Linfield quickly plugged the gap in their diary by arranging a series of away friendlies as they look to get ready for the start of the new league season on August 6th.

One of those friendlies, was a short trip to East Belfast to face Dundela. It was my first pre-season game. I’d hoped that would be at Larne last week, but the fact the last train for Belfast left during the game ruined that plan.

It was my first visit to Wilgar Park since 2005, and fans attending were treated to a strong team. It wasn’t a full strength team, but I had heard of ten players in the starting eleven.

The one player I hadn’t heard of was Number 16, a trialist. It turned out his name was Aaron Duke, a 20 year old striker from Lisburn last on the books of Dundee United. He was to endure a mixed evening.

Linfield went on the attack in the opening minutes, with Paul Smyth getting in behind Dundela’s defence and firing into the side netting from a wide angle.

It was no surprise to anybody that Linfield took the lead after 13 minutes. It was even less of a surprise that the goal game from Paul Smyth. It was a header from a Ross Gaynor cross.

Smyth was involved in all of Linfield’s attacking play, he was running show.

His strike partner Duke, endured a frustrating evening, but he did get a reward for his persistence.

He shot wide when he could have scored, then he headed against the top of the crossbar. It looked like it wasn’t going to be his night.

Eventually, he made it 2-0 after a cross from Kirk Millar. Fittingly, even his goal came after he had a shot saved, scoring the rebound.

Most of the game was attack v defence, with Linfield doing the attacking.

Early in the second-half, Aaron Burns went close, while Jimmy Callacher had an overhead kick saved.

The match looked like being a non event, until Ross Glendenning let a Scott Collins shot under his body.

Suddenly, the match became competitive when it should have been long put to bed.

Despite this, Linfield introduced substitutes from the bench. The most effective sub was Ross Clarke, desperate to make up for lost time after a year out through injury.

Clarke fired home a low free-kick from the edge of the box to make it 3-1 and secure the win for Linfield.

Up next, another trip to East Belfast to take on Harland and Wolff Welders. It will be my first visit there since 2012. Linfield lost 1-0 there and it set the tone for when the season finally kicked-off.

Hopefully, it will be a bit better this time around.

Photo Album