The Trials & Tribulations of Non League

Du Malone writes: Recently I was given the opportunity to review blog posts for Score More FM’s ‘Posts of the moment’ column. I finished the review by picking a new blog, ‘A thistle and the vale’ from JDH. I suggested it would be worth following.

Well, this opening narrative post doesn’t disappoint. I’m reblogging it here because I like the liveliness of the writing.

JDH Football Manager Blogs

Jonathan Hogan

The Scottish Football calendar has drawn to a close, and whilst many outlets will be focused on the blue half of Glasgow’s return to the mountain top, this piece will focus on a team still trudging up towards basecamp. Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, are the team I will be focussing on today and their season in the East of Scotland League Conference B.

The pre-season started in a hectic manner, with the appointment of, recently retired Lowland League journeyman, Greig Porter as Manager. Having funded himself through his coaching courses but with only a short player/manager stint at Rosyth FC, this seemed like a risky manoeuvre. This sense of risk was heightened when at his initial press conference to a single journalist he stated his coaching influences where “Bielsa, Pep and Poch” and further described himself as a “pragmatic Bielsa” (surely an oxymoron as the influential Argentine can…

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We need to make sure we don’t get complacent

Scene: Breakfast room, home of Girnyk-Sport manager, in Horishni Plavni, central Ukraine. Dramatic personae: Manager; his daughter; his son. DAUGHTER: You know, Dad, I'm looking forward to your winter break. MANAGER: Pleased to hear it. Any particular reason? DAUGHTER: Well, often I don't look forward to it. I mean, if the team you're managing isn't … Continue reading We need to make sure we don’t get complacent

Tactical transformation on the Black Sea: the advent of wingers

Grigor Pasha writes: I've written before about the advantages of a winter break. Here in Romania it's long enough to introduce a new tactic. During the break we (that is, Farul Constanta) host three cup competitions, so that we can not only train a new tactic but also test it in match situations. I didn't … Continue reading Tactical transformation on the Black Sea: the advent of wingers

Tactical misjudgement: a case study

Grigor Pasha writes: The story has it that, just as Orpheus was about to emerge from Hades with his beloved Eurydice, he made the fatal error of turning to look backwards at her -- causing her to disappear. I think I committed a similar error with the previous blog post. The moment I decided to … Continue reading Tactical misjudgement: a case study

Rapid descent into Romanian hell

Grigor Pasha writes: In my first pre-season at Farul Constanta I wasn't able to organise any matches against big teams: those that were available wanted too much money. I sought to create interest by organising three cup competitions -- imaginatively named the Black Sea Shield, Black Sea Trophy, and Black Sea Cup -- against the … Continue reading Rapid descent into Romanian hell

How we won the league: the story told in four acts

Grigor Pasha writes: Prologue In the least few matches of my first season (2019-20) in charge at Chernomorets Balchik, we had finished well -- three wins and a draw. That probably helped us get off to a good start in the second. So too did the fact that three loanees stayed on for a second … Continue reading How we won the league: the story told in four acts

In the mild midwinter: in praise of the mid-season break

Grigor Pasha writes: Jan 2021. It's the winter break here in Bulgaria. I know the pros and cons of winter breaks are something journalists love to start a debate on, when they're too lazy to do any real reporting. In Bulgaria, the break is the obvious pragmatic choice. Though winters here in Burgas, on the … Continue reading In the mild midwinter: in praise of the mid-season break