Posted: 10/6/2016


         NO, NO its not what you think I am saying. Run by Londoners from Wembley Stadium HQ,  I meant .' FANK YOU THEFA.!! "

         I was booked on the Trans Pennine Express from Leeds to Manchester Airport when I found out the day before about the 4 NATION u20s TOURNAMENT  in the Greater Manchester Area. Usually do a good job of taking the game into the provinces, without having to pay off the debt at the new Wembley Stadium and for the fans having to fork out for the very expensive Hallal burgers. Burnley, Rotherham, Doncaster, Sheffield, and other towns to give the locals, including boys and girls, the chance to pay very little to support the Three Lions and Lionesses.

      The first match featured Germany v USA at the Leigh Sports Village, home of the Leigh Centurians Rugby League club, who have just been promoted to the top tier next season. Also lots of football and rugby pitches in the complex. I had called the FA in London and requested accreditation. NO REPLY so I just showed up. Big mistake.!  I had to deal with a 20 something FA employee in a dark suit and light brown shoes !! Perhaps a subscription to GQ magazine...or is it me that's out of fashion.?

       Anyway, he was very polite and I am sure that his mum and bosses would be pleased. I was accused of being very rude and disrespectful. RIGHT ABOUT THAT. At my age I don't like ERMOS...Easily Replaceable Minor Officials. As about 50 scouts poured in for a plush seat and coffee and sarnies I was told CLOSED MATCH..NO PRESS ALLOWED IN !

       Not sure who had such a horrible decision. Given the scandals that the world's press has shown up in England and with FIFA, UEFA, and indeed world wide.. NEVER EXCLUDE THE PRESS. Besides, why weren't local schools and youth clubs invited free?  Anyway, I had an email sent to young Mister X saying that I was also a scout and I got my wrist band. I missed the only goal, and only excitement when Jonathan Klinnsman of U Cal Berkeley, son of Jurgen, and one of 4 college players on the squad, had a pk scored past him in the 12th minute.. or so i was told!

       The likeable TAB RAMOS, a very creative player in his time with three World Cup campaigns under his belt,  is the USA coach.  US youth men's teams have had problems at most levels in various age groups and this squad showed little flair and style. The Germans were not exactly exciting. The match finished at 5.00pm and the next match was at 7.00pm across Greater  Manchester in Oldham. I hitched s ride with a couple of Alans, scouting for Bury. GREATJOB and we arrived in good time at Boundary Park, home of Oldhan Athletic..but now known as SPORTS DIRECT.COM STADIUM. home of THE LATICS. A brand new stand and a much better match. two early goals from Englsnd easily defeated The Netherlsnds 2- 0. So off to MAN Airport and a few sleepless hours before my Easyjet flight to Tivat. Montenegro at 6.00am

    Since my Montenegran is VERY limited, I am watching CNN at Haus Grabic across the road from Tivat beach and yacht marina. Glad to see a story about KOSOVO, only accepted into FIFA in May and all the reports and videos of Thursday's FIFA World Cup 2018 matches. Pristina City stadium is not suitable at present so the DARDANET-The Dardanians,  hosted Croatia at Loro Borici Stadium in Skhoder, Albania  and lost 6-0 after getting a point in an early match 1-1 in Finland a month ago. next 2 matches away in Ukraine and Turkey.although the Ukraine match will be in Krakow, Poland.

     i will be in Podgorica on Saturday for Montenegro-Kazakhstan.