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Enzo’s Rant – A woman’s place


[Eastern Suburbs asked me to contribute a regular match day programme column for the duration of their first season back in the national league football fray. My brief was to be “slightly controversial or provocative”. Half joking, I told them they could call the series ‘Enzo’s Rant’ and to my surprise they agreed! […]

Life’s not so bad after all

Andrew Blake for E-Subs with Robbie Pearson sliding in

Eastern Suburbs 4, Tasman United 2 Bill McKinlay Park, Auckland, December 4 2016 It’s fairly typical for my men’s national league give-a-stuff levels to be at their lowest ebb immediately after I’ve finished covering the women’s game for the year. The National Women’s League never fails to get my pulse […]

Guest Post – The Birko Recipe

Damian Hirst mobbed when Birko's third went in

[Following on from John’s excellent post about his experience reaching out to the local community to build support for Auckland City FC, I thought it might be cool to ask a few other clubs to tell us about what they do. With more people sharing what works for them, there might be […]

NZF’s Great Integration


It comes, it looms, it’s been clearly outlined in a National Competitions Briefing Document (that has been kindly passed onto us here at ITBOTN). Rend your garments and gather the children indoors, New Zealand Football is looking to change the football calendar entirely (maybe!) Repent, sinners! Repent! After Rob Sherman’s review of competitions […]

Five freaks

The moment Waitakere's penalty went in

I’m not ashamed to admit that last Sunday afternoon I reached peak football freak – a state of being that is reserved only for the rarest, most magical of occasions when everything falls perfectly into place. Ideally, there are a few key ingredients that are required before one can ascend […]



There are English men of a certain age, in their late sixties onwards, who will insist that Duncan Edwards was the greatest player to ever pull on an England shirt. My father’s one of them. He was nine years old in 1958, his own father a staunch Manchester United supporter, […]