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Roker Rover

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  1. Not read the whole thread, sorry, I have a job and stuff. As someone who has thoroughly enjoyed visiting every ground in the Lowland league, some more than once, but has never seen either of the chuckle brothers play, what's the verdict on this as an experiment? Is it still just an experiment or will it become the norm now? PS Way back pre and indeed post second world war down here in England, we did not have a pyramid below the football league and the top non league sides in my region, such as Crook Town, Bishop Auckland, West Auckland, Durham City and North Shields used to play in a league called the North Eastern League which also contained Sunderland and Middlesbrough reserves. Newcastle had managed to get themselves into the more exclusive Central League for football league reserve teams so never took part after the very early years. Ironically the central league finally opened its doors to others in the late 80's and Sunderland won it in the 90's. Newcastle never won it despite being in it for 50 years longer. Replaced by the PL U23 league now in the name of progress..............Aye it were better back in my day......
  2. I should have added that its completely unacceptable for the lady on the gate to be abused. Hope she is OK as football at this level depends on decent people like her. I hope she knows its just a few idiots and that the vast majority apprecieate what she and many others do to facilitate a good day out for the rest of us.
  3. I am a Sunderland season ticket holder and I am in it a couple of times in the crowd scenes. Brentford away springs to mind. 3-1 up at half time and drew 3-3. For what its worth, we should not have sacked Jack Ross (or Lee Johnson this year for that matter). Sometimes you just need to knuckle down, dig in and back your man. Both those sackings resulted in very poor form initially under the new managers. Phil Parkinson was an utter disaster and the bloke is a dinasaur in football terms. I like Alex Neil and think he maybe can get it done, but if he does not get us to the play offs this season the knives will be out among the vocal minority. We really don't help ourselves sometimes as fans.
  4. Got to say, and I was on the hop, that people getting upset over flags etc are more than a little bit wierd. Its just a flag. Whatever happenned to live and let live? Additionally I suspect very few Scottish people would be upset by an English flag in the same way very few English people would get upset by seeing a Scottish flag at a game in England. There are always a daft minority though I suppose. Re wierdos on the hop, I spotted one guy drawing a map of the ground in a note pad. Presumably he has not heard of Google Earth!!! I do keep a spreadsheet of games I have attended but it only includes the basic info, date, league or competition, teams and the final score plus the attendence if I can find it. I don't need full lineups, goalscorers and times of the goals like many of the hoppers seem to. One bloke at half time at Caledonian Braves on Friday night stopped the ref on the way back to the dressing room to ask where he was from as that info was not on the board. The ref said Glasgow and the hopper than said what part of Glasgow? The ref shook his head and said I am not telling you that and walked off. I know I am one but I fully agree a large percentage of these hoppers are complete fruit loops
  5. Go further North and leave the more Southerly ones for the Sunday morning game is the answer to that.
  6. I did overhear you mentioned by one of the organisers this weekend so its clearly in their thoughts. Problem I see is distance as the majority on the hops come from the South of England and for e.g. their bus is still not due back in London as I type this at 22:17 on a Sunday night. The Sunday morning game needs to be earlier in my opinion as I was basically kicking my heels this morning waiting for the 12:15 start. I realise this impacts on the players and the locals etc, but is an 11am start for e.g. really that early? Stayed in Kinross which is 20 odd mins drive away. That maybe could have been a 10:30 or 11:00 start and if they are doing a hop in North Fife or Angus then the Sunday game would need to start even earlier. If I was running it I would do Friday /Sat South of the Forth or South part of Fife and have the Saturday games further North. I realise floodlights are needed for the Friday match and not sure how many in the South yet to be done have these? PS - Is the 12:15 start a licensing issue? Can clubs in Scotland serve Alcohol in corporate areas before noon?
  7. I think the concessions thing is actually to maximise the revenue for the clubs from the hop, I was on this again (for the 6th time out of the 7 Scottish ones they have done). I never travel with them or stay in the hotels with them as my location in the North East of England makes it easier for me to travel independently and I book my own accommodation which is often a campsite. I am 55 years old and younger than many on the hop and if they allowed concessions you would have maybe 150 pensioners paying a couple of hundred quid on travel and accommodation and giving 3 or 4 quid to each club. I think its fair that they pay the full adult price and I am sure the clubs know full well who their regular OAP's are and can look after them as they see fit. If I was on the committee I would just let the regular OAP's in for free and tell the groundhop lot that they were season ticket holders. I am not close to the organisers and don't go on any of their other hops just the Scottish ones, but I am pretty sure they take no gate money at all and there must be committee members from clubs who have hosted previously on this forum who can confirm this. I enjoyed it again this time and the highlight for me was Hill O Beath last night. Nice ground that is immaculately maintained and a cracking game of football. I had been to the soulless Alliance park before and therefore knew not to expect too much from that one. That's me completed the current Lowland League (Not seen either of the chuckle brothers teams but been to a game at the proper teams who play there. My game my rules) to go with the main 42. Still got 3 to go of the 92 in England but got them all planned this year and now moving my attention to doing the National League plus National League North and South of which I have already done 24 of the 66 member clubs. PS - The time I missed the hop was due to a clash with Sunderland playing Pompey at Wembley in the Papa Jon's final a few years back. We lost as usual.........
  8. I love Scotland and Scottish football and will be up there this weekend watching two matches during which I will recomplete the 42 upper league grounds in Scotland. I still have not completed the 92 in England although I have been getting close. I am also half Irish, so when I say I want all the home nations plus the Republic to do well I do actually mean it. Maybe that makes me an outlier?
  9. Knowing how somebody does something is not the same as knowing how to stop it.
  10. Delighted England have got to the final as this has been something I have wanted to witness my entire life. I was born three months after the 1966 Final. Going to calm my nerves in the build up to the Final by doing something I really enjoy. Driving up to Scotland and watching some football. Doing Kelty Hearts v Dundee United tomorrow night and camping, then up to Aberdeen for Cove Rangers v Stirling Albion (Haway the Bino's). Stopping in a B&B then the 4 hour drive back home Sunday morning for the final. Scanned through the thread and can I point out a couple of things? I am not a fat racist pig!! (I admit to the fat bit). Certain England fans who boo the knee etc and throw plastic chairs at tourists in foreign plaza's, do not represent me or indeed my country. They are very much in the minority. I suspect they are the sort of 'England' fans that the person mentioned in point 3 aspires to be. I wanted Scotland to do well in the tournament. The Rangers fan on here who changed his avatar to a George Cross is clearly a complete melt. It says he is a golden shoe winner, surely it should read Clown Shoe winner?
  11. As an outsider from a neighbouring country, who likes to watch a bit of Scottish football at all levels when I get the chance, I find this Juniors/Seniors thing baffling. Its all very Judean peoples front and peoples front of Judea to me. Its very clear looking from outside that a single 'non league' set up in a pyramid that enables clubs to find their own level, is the way forward. I accept that if you are a lot closer to it (and certain clubs) than I am, this might not seem so obvious. Sounds like you are looking at a sea change though that might finally give Scotland a proper functional pyramid.
  12. Good stats. I missed last years event because it clashed with Sunderland v Portsmouth at Wembley in the EFL Trophy Final. Done all the rest though.
  13. Bonnyrigg v Berwick was supposed to be part of the Scottish Ground Hop this year, I have tickets and I suspect so do a few hundred others who have never been to Bonnyrigg. Waiting to hear whats happenning to these games now even though none of them in the 4 years its been running have attracted a crowd of over 500 as far as I can see.
  14. I went down to London at the weekend primarily to see my Brother who is terminally ill. Was not meeting up with him till Sunday so took the opportunity to knock off another National League ground on Saturday. I had a choice of 4 in the London area but went with Dagenham and Redbridge v Aldershot as its an ex football league ground and I would like to do all of those on top of the 92. It was a good choice I think as Dagenham raced into a 4-0 lead in 24 minutes and really should have had a penalty in the 27th minute when the Aldershot keeper brought down the Dagenham striker in the box. The ref seemed to bottle that decision as he may have had to send the keeper off and Aldershot may well have been 5-0 down after 27 mins and down to 10 men. Final score was 6-1 and its a nice little ground with a great bar that accepts anyone. Recommended if you get the chance. It's the 11th current national league ground I have been to and now have only 2 of the current 92 to do plus Cove to recomplete the Scottish 42.
  15. Nothing is met with much sympathy in your part of Bedfordshire mate. Was there twice last season and met some good people both times but also met some very iffy characters. Steven Yaxley Lennon with his hate filled bile is your most famous son. Seems to me you don't do much 'sympathy'.
  16. Re Yorkshire. I think Barnsley v Huddersfield and obviously Sheff Utd v Sheff Wed are the two biggest Derby games. Hull v Leeds can get very tasty I have been told, but then again Hull v anyone can get very tasty and I should know!!
  17. The answer down here in England is Middlesbrough. They love to call games v Sunderland and Newcastle 'Deby' matches, but as a Sunderland fan we only have one Derby match and I know Newcastle fans feel the same. Hartlepool and Darlington were always too small to be real rivals as they hardly every played Boro and that's even more the case now that those two clubs are non league. Looking South they have Leeds as the nearest club, but even though both Boro and Leeds are within the old Yorkshire boundaries I have yet to meet a Leeds fan who considers Boro a Derby. They have their obsession with Man Utd as well as Yorkshire derbies with Sheff Wed, Sheff Utd, Huddersfield, Barnsley, Bradford City, Rotherham and Hull. Boro really are a team with no natural rivals. My team are probably the nearest equivalent rival to them and its true that they love to beat us, but its just not reciprocated in the same way. I always get the impression they are frustrated that pretty much nobody takes them seriously. Leicester is also a good shout as they are in a triangle with Nottingham Forest and Derby County but neither of those two see Leicester as their main derby game. Coventry City could be a third side who nobody really cares about that much. They are the after thought of the West Midlands in the same way Boro are in the North East. PS - I actually like Middlesbrough as a club and as a place. I have worked there in the past and for the most part the people are great. I actually like to see them do well, which pretty much proves my point that its not a derby when we play them.
  18. Done 4 games in the Czech Republic, 5 in Poland plus one in Croatia so far this year. I am currently planning a Baltic trip with my wife and would like to do a few games in Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia over the summer months. Been to all but 6 of the 134 current league grounds in England and Scotland. but over the last few years I have been spreading my net further afield and am now up to over 30 games in Europe.
  19. Its all well and good using football as the reason but what about say a music concert? My Daughter and thousands of others flew to Croatia and Madrid for those. Plus if people did not go away to football matches they would probably use the cash to go on a city break or an extra holiday instead. Add to this that people going away for a football match will me minuscule compared to pepol flying for holidays and business then its a pretty pointless argument. Are you suggesting we ban the world cup, the Euros and the Champions league on environmental grounds? If you really want to reduce emissions from air travel then tell everyone to stop having a summer holiday. PS - I have personally visited six countries so far this calendar year and have seen football matches in 4 of them and I don't feel overly guilty. The football was not really the main purpose of my visits.
  20. Not going too well with that prediction mate are you although there is time yet. He and the new owners have been an absolute breath of fresh air and after years of barely winning a game, me and my fellow Sunderland fans are thoroughly enjoying our football again. Personally I have only missed three games all season including the pre season, and one of those was because even though I go to a hell of a lot of away games, I did not have enough loyalty points to get a ticket for AFC Wimbledon. The other two games I missed were Grimsby away pre season and Gillingham away on a midweek. They have re-engaged the fans including getting us involved in replacing the faded seats at the stadium among other things. Sunderland is a very happy ship at the moment and the openness and information flow from the club has been superb with the owners happy to do pod casts with fans groups etc. The whole atmosphere round the place has been massively lifted. Its a long way back but its a start. It's also doing wonders for my chances of completing the 92 as well. Just 6 left now and Sunderland play 2 more of those in the new year in the league. That will get me to having done 130 out of the 134 English and Scottish league sides current grounds. Also got my eyes on a cheeky trip to Macclesfield as a neutral which would get that up to 131 of 134. By the way we are also on target to achieve the highest ever third tier average attendance in English football history. Man City averaged around 28,300 when they were at this level and we are yet to have a crowd less than that and are averaging over 30,000 with two bumper Christmas gates to come.
  21. I have been an advocate of the Nations league since it was announced and saw it as a way of getting rid of the depressing boring meaningless friendlies and I think it has already shown that it can do that. Delighted with England's display today and even though I know most of you don't like England (and why should you to be fair?), we actually have the foundations of a very competitive top international side who could be around for quite a while. The next Euros have a group in the UK and the semi final and final at Wembley which would make it effectively a home tournament could England make the semi finals. If we did it would then be our third semi final in three years!! I hope you beat Israel on Tuesday and get the backstop of a play off place for the Euros.
  22. I really enjoyed it. It was actually my first visit to Hampden (been back since for the Hibs v Ross County League Cup Final and have still got a home Scottish International on my wish list). Yes it was odd sitting in the padded seats in a stadium that holds 50 odd thousand in a crowd of 450 but at the same time I am really glad I did it as that is a big part of Queens Park's history and lets be honest few clubs have a history as long and as interesting as they do. I echo the few posts I have now read above this one and hope you build a proper football ground not a one stand token gesture with the running track still in place. Get rid of the running track and put covered terracing on three sides and a covered seated stand on the main stand side and you then have a proper football ground that Queens fans can enjoy and create a decent atmosphere in. That would be a ground I would very much look forward to visiting to re-complete my full set of the SPFL grounds.
  23. Looks like Lesser Hampden will be my next Scottish League ground to visit having done all the current 42. Not read the full thread (sorry but its late and I have work tomorrow and only just found out the news an hour or so ago). What are the plans for lesser Hampden? Can you get rid of the running track and create a decent football ground? It definately has the potential to be very good for a lower league side but keeping the track would kill it. You need spectators on all four sides in my opinion to make a proper ground. Apologies to any Dumbarton, East Fife or Falkirk fans. Gateshead are my home town club and much as I love them, the home game experience is hideous. Everyone in one stand and watching it from the far side of the running track. No wonder they have never grown their support beyond 1,000 even when they are doing well. The place is an atmosphere vacuum.
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