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Your faves

I’ve told you which games were my ten favourites this year, now it’s time to tell you which ITBOTN posts published in 2017 were your ten favourites – according to the numbers of people who read them.

Interestingly this year only four of the top ten are posts that resulted from games I attended and three of those four featured Waiheke United. While match day write-ups remain our bread and butter, it’s not the thing that necessarily brings punters flocking anymore.

Overall our stats are down a little bit this year, which probably reflects the fact that I haven’t been as obsessed with them as previous years and took my foot off the accelerator as promised. Having said that the numbers on this year’s greatest hits are broadly in line with last year’s. The drop in the average from 1518 to 1310 can be explained by the fact that last year’s number one, a rant about Tony Veitch, was well off the charts and that level of success isn’t likely to be repeated until we get bought out by ESPN!

But anyway, without any further ado, here are this year’s star performers…


Changes afoot – 869 page views

Back in May I breathlessly reported on rumoured changes to NRFL football coming in the pipeline. Namely scrapping Division 2, scrapping reserves leagues for all but the Premier Divisions (where they will be rebranded as under 19s) and cutting Women’s Premier from ten teams to eight. Most people seem to be taking these as read now.


Nongie or Bussed – 883 page views

My epic trip to Ngongotaha on the team bus with Waiheke United. There’s not much more to say about this except to reiterate that it was definitely a personal highlight!!


It’s a feeling – 908 page views

Waiheke United’s Northern League debut in the perfect place for it really. The Latin flair of La Banda del Pipazo met the Anglo Saxon staidness of Takapuna AFC and the contrast was vivid but the mix of cultures also provided some golden moments such as spotting a couple of the Takapuna old boys tapping their toes and shaking their hips along with La Banda almost in spite of themselves.


Arguments against equality – 1043 page views

Abby Erceg’s retirement from the Football Ferns was a massive talking point early in 2017. Her story shocked a lot of people, as we learned about the lack of support our domestically based national women’s team players were getting. In this post I attempted to rebut some of the silly arguments I encountered from people trying to say she was wrong or that things couldn’t change.


A question of priorities – 1297 page views

My original post highlighting Abby’s story and outlining my take on the issue. It was and still is a question of priorities. But it’s great to hear that Abby is now talking to the new Ferns coach about a possible return.


Are you serious? – 1368 page views

My extensive interview with Melville coaches Sam Wilkinson and Michael Mayne on the year ahead and their ambitious plans to turn Melville into a national powerhouse. I understand it ruffled quite a few feathers across town. This was also a bit of a landmark for me from a writing point of view as it was the first time I’ve tried to frame an interview as a narrative rather than just posting a transcript.


The biggest game – 1432 page views

The third of three Waiheke United games featured on this list, and quite rightly the most popular one! My favourite game of the year, a top of the table clash, comebacks, flares, niggle, plot twists, late goals, you name it, this had it all.


Commins Manapi. Photo by Grant Stantiall


Ten years on: that tackle – 1452 page views

John Palethorpe’s look back at a horror national league tackle by Commins Menapi (who sadly passed away later this year) on Riki Van Steeden. Not one for the faint hearted but it certainly proved popular with those with the stomach for it!


Nobody likes a McLeoudmouth – 1509 page views

It’s sad that a post like this was the second most read thing we wrote this year. It’s also sad that I had to write it at all. Homophobia remains a blight on our game going into 2018 and it’s the responsibility of everyone who truly loves football to do what we can to stamp it out.


Promising young footballer passes away – 2342 page views

And it’s even more heart-breaking to report that this year’s most read post was a tribute to a promising young footballer whose life was tragically cut short. If we could stamp out cancer too, that would be great… I have no other words.

Numero uno this year was ITBOTN’s third most read post of all time. Second is There’s only one Hannah Reid, which is mainly thanks to Google searches for Hannah’s famous namesake, and our most popular post of all time remains the afore mentioned number one from last year.

It’ll be interesting to see what rates next year! If our stats go down because nobody dies or does dumb shit I’m totally fine with that!

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.

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