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Top of the pops

Rolston celebrating with Moore

2016 wasn’t a great year in a lot of ways – what with all the much loved famous folks who died not to mention Brexit, Trump, Syria, and the like. But it has been a vintage year for ITBOTN.

Way back when I first started this thing I said that my grand vision was to eventually turn it into a group blog that people from right across the football community could and would contribute to. We have taken some big steps towards achieving that aim this year and we have some serious readership growth to show for it!

We have attracted 310,877 page views (WordPress stats) at the time of writing, a 70% increase on 2015, and our 97,123 StatCounter unique visits saw us peak at 13th in the Open Parachute rankings in May – up from a high of 25th last year.

This begs the question, which were the posts that drew in the most readers? I’m glad you asked!

…Just pretend you did…

In reverse order, they are:

10

Kevin Fallon

Kevin Fallon – Backing the game – 971 page views

John Palethorpe went out to Walter Massey Park to interview former All White coach Kevin Fallon, not long after the shock announcement that he would be coaching Manukau City this year, and came through with some top insights!

9

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Eric Steele – 989 page views

I was very fortunate to be invited to a special training session for international keepers with Eric Steele – a visiting goalkeeping coach who has trained many of the world’s best.

8

Rosedale Park, Albany

Five of the most depressing – 1,022 page views

I did a series of posts ranking the best grounds I’ve visited on my travels, the most improved, the ones with the best food, but readers overwhelmingly preferred the one looking at the most depressing! Miserable souls you are…

7

Manukau

State of the nation IV – The fescue awakens – 1,023 page views

Not as popular as it used to be, my annual pre-season tour of Auckland’s NRFL grounds to rate their quality for the season ahead has been the number one post every previous year I have done it! It may have tumbled down the rankings to 7th, but with over a thousand page views it’s obviously still proving useful.

6

Sam van Pomeron heads home Waiuku's first of three goals

A tale of three teams – 1,081 page views

Hard to know what made this post so popular. Was it Franklin United’s 2-0 home loss to Metro? Or was it Waiuku’s AFF Championship team’s 3-0 win over Papatoetoe United over on the number 2 pitch…

5

Daniel Donegan dealing the cards as the bus got underway

An eye opener – 1,088 page views

My eye opening bus ride to Hamilton and back with the Glenfield Rovers first team! This is probably my favourite post of the year, so I’m glad it got a few people both reading it and hopefully talking about it.

4

Wembley Park, Whanganui. Photo by Shannon Doyle -

Photo by Shannon Doyle

Nil all at Wembley, extra time looms – 1,132 page views

Another controversial one! Whanganui Marist stalwart Wayne Ruscoe venting about some of the differences of opinion with Central Football his club and others had surrounding the governance of Wembley Park.

3

Laura Merrin with the throw-in

Is it 2016 or 1816? – 1,187 page views

A good old fashioned rant following up on kiwi and Everton footballer Laura Merrin’s treatment at the hands of the UK gutter press.

2

A plane coming into land at Tauranga Airport

Torn – 1,677 page views

The precursor to ‘An eye opener’, this was a rant about the mistreatment of the Forrest Hill Milford women’s team who were forced to fundraise for their trip to Christchurch for their New Zealand Women’s Knockout Cup semi-final.

1

toxic

Tony Veitch and Toxicity – 5,008 page views

John Palethorpe’s well justified rant about Tony Veitch went viral and smashed all records. 5,008 page views is an all-time high by quite some margin and probably will be for quite some time!

In case you’re wondering, the previous best was ‘There’s only one Hannah Reid’ with 3,566 page views largely thanks to Google… 2015’s ‘State of the nation III – Return of the dead rye’ is third with 1,995.

In previous years, the noticeable trends in the most read posts were giving people information they needed (like state of the nation) or featuring clubs with large fan bases that readily share posts on social media. This year, the trend seems to be the popularity of posts that are negative, critical and highlight controversial issues. I’m not sure how I feel about this!

My personal new year’s resolution for 2017 is going to be to try and be a little bit less stats obsessed, take my time more and focus on things that I enjoy writing about so let’s see how that goes (or if it lasts)!

See you in the New Year.

Categories: Other Football Topics

Tagged as:

Enzo Giordani

A grassroots football enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent club on earth - A.S. Roma. More info (including e-mail address) can be found here: https://in-the-back-of-the.net/about/

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