Odysseys

  • Shimizu Impulse: Falling For The J.League

    WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY: BARRY VALDER

    After arriving in Japan with visions of ageing Western stars seeing out their careers in the J.League, it was quite an eye-opener for an English fan to discover a whole new football culture and a young, exciting league. It wasn’t long before he became one of the regular faces at Shimizu S-Pulse…

    kokuritsu national stadium (1)

  • Racing Club: The Long And Loyal Wait

    WORDS: DANIEL EDWARDS                         PHOTOGRAPHY: NACHO POY

    After a desperate search for a ticket to the first Copa Argentina final, a 15-hour bus ride to San Juan, and a skinful of cheap alcohol, an English supporter of Racing Club was ready to see his once-great club end an 11-year wait for glory, yet the wait goes on for the country’s “most long-suffering fans”

    racingibwm13

  • Alan Black: From Clyde to California

    INTERVIEW: DOMINIC BLISS

    When Alan Black moved from Glasgow to California, he discovered that the kids in suburban America didn’t react too well to his Scottish coaching technique. After writing a critically acclaimed book about his experiences, he spoke to TheInsideLeft about the game’s transatlantic cultural differences…

    The 1906 Ultras group support San Jose Earthquakes home and away and drive the atmosphere at games

  • Wonder Wall: Emerson Thome In Japan

    WORDS: RICHARD GODDEN

    Emerson Thome had the character and footballing traits that earned him a place in the hearts of fans wherever he played and, during two seasons in Japan, with Vissel Kobe, the man nicknamed “The Wall” for his defensive stoicism became a local hero. He relives his enriching career finale…

    Emerson Thome was given an emotional send-off when he departed Kobe in 2007 and ended his playing career

  • A Russian Revelation

    WORDS: ROBERT DILLON

    Russia is still the Churchillian enigma of old, still barely fathomable to the Western mind, but for this Englishman, there is a certain appeal to the diverse cultures and cities represented in the Russian football leagues. In the image of the statue of Mother Russia overlooking the crumbling stadium of a faltering Rotor Volgograd, a student from Grimsby found his own, imperfect footballing Mecca…

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