Up Pohnpei: A quest to reclaim the soul of football by leading the world’s ultimate underdogs to glory by Paul Watson

Leave a comment

After one too many late night discussions, football journalist Paul Watson and his mate Matthew Conrad decide to find the world’s worst national team, become naturalised citizens of that country and play for them – achieving their joint boyhood dream of playing international football and winning a ‘cap’. They are thrilled when Wikipedia leads them to Pohnpei, a tiny, remote island in the Pacific whose long-defunct football team is described as ‘the weakest in the world’. They contact Pohnpei’s Football Association and discover what it needs most urgently is leadership. So Paul and Matt travel thousands of miles, leaving behind jobs, families and girlfriends to train a rag-tag bunch of novice footballers who barely understand the rules of the game. Up Pohnpei tells the story of their quest to coach the team and eventually, organise an international fixture – Pohnpei’s first since a 16-1 defeat many years ago. With no funding, a population whose obesity rate is 90 percent and toad-infested facilities in one of the world’s wettest climates, their journey is beset by obstacles from the outset. Part travelogue, part quest, Up Pohnpei shows how the passion and determination of two young men can change the face of football – and the lives of total strangers – on the other side of the world.

Up Pohnpei: A quest to reclaim the soul of football by leading the world’s ultimate underdogs to glory

Advertisements

A Season With Verona: Travels Around Italy in Search of Illusions, National Character and Goals by Tim Parks

2 Comments

Is Italy a united country, or a loose affiliation of warring states? Is Italian football a sport, or an ill-disguised protraction of ancient enmities?
After twenty years in the bel paese, Tim Parks goes on the road to follow the fortunes of Hellas Verona football club, to pay a different kind of visit to some of the world’s most beautiful cities. From Udine to Catania, from the San Siro to the Olimpico, this is a highly personal account of one man’s relationship with a country, its people and its national sport. A book that combines the tension of cliff-hanging narrative with the pleasures of travel writing, and the stimulation of a profound analysis of one country’s mad, mad way of keeping itself entertained.

Click on the image for more information.

23 Sweet FAs: Round the World with a Football Table by Andy Sloan

Leave a comment

23 Sweet FAs records Andy’s adventure through Europe, Russia, Iran, India, the Himalayas and the Far East. He encountered a warm welcome from the president of FIFA, witnessed the titanic clash of Iran v Iraq, took tea in the home of the Dalai Lama, survived tragedy on Mount Everest and celebrated triumph in Japan. Bursting with enthusiasm, football histories and fascinating trivia, 23 Sweet FAs proves that cultural difference is no barrier when it comes to the beautiful game.

Click on the image to find out more about this book.

The Soccer War by Ryszard Kapuscinski

Leave a comment

In 1964, renowned reporter Ryszard Kapuscinski was appointed by the Polish Press Agency as its only foreign correspondent, and for the next ten years he was ‘responsible’ for fifty countries. He befriended Che Guevara in Bolivia, Salvador Allende in Chile and Patrice Lumumba in the Congo. He reported on the fighting that broke out between Honduras and El Salvador in 1969 after their matches to determine which one of them would qualify for the 1970 World Cup. By the time, he returned to Poland he had witnessed twenty-seven revolutions and coups and been sentenced to death four times. “The Soccer War” is Kapuscinski’s story, his eyewitness account of the emergence of the Third World.
Click the image below for more information about this book:

Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, An American Town by Warren St. John

Leave a comment

The extraordinary story of a refugee football team and the transformation of a small American town.
Clarkston, Georgia, was a typical Southern town until it was designated a refugee settlement centre in the 1990s, becoming home to scores of families in flight from the world’s war zones – from Liberia and Sudan to Iraq and Afghanistan. Suddenly Clarkston’s streets were filled with women wearing the hijab, the smells of cumin and curry, and kids of all colours playing football in any open space they could find. Among them was Luma Mufleh, a Jordanian woman who founded a youth football team to unify Clarkston’s refugee children and keep them off the streets. These kids named themselves the Fugees.
Outcasts United follows a pivotal season in the life of the Fugees and their charismatic coach. Warren St. John documents the lives of a diverse group of young people as they miraculously coalesce into a band of brothers, while also drawing a fascinating portrait of a fading American town struggling to accommodate its new arrivals. At the centre of the story is fiery Coach Luma, who relentlessly drives her players to success on the football field while holding together their lives – and the lives of their families – in the face of a series of daunting challenges.
This fast-paced chronicle of a single season is a complex and inspiring tale of a small town becoming a global community – and an account of the ingenious and complicated ways we create a home in a changing world.
Click the image below for more information about this book:

Add your own review in the comments secrion!

%d bloggers like this: