So this weeks post was going to be a write up on the Team Wellington v Canterbury United game which ended 3-3, but having to leave at half time when it was only 2-1 and production issues with the photos has changed that plan.So I thought I'd do a totally self indulgent look at my highlights of the year instead
Highlight Of The Year
|Receiving my award from sponsor Kyocera & NZFMA's Simon Kay Photo Shane Wenzlick|
Well I can't go past winning Website of The year at the NZ Football Media awards. I was and still am quite stunned by this. I only entered after some encouragement from Enzo Giordani from In the back of the net. When I did I joked that I was only doing it to give him some competition! But somehow I went and won it! I would feel bad, but then he is a Roma fan.........oh and he also deservedly won the Internet \ Community Writer of the Year award (which I was also a finalist in).
I was just thrilled to be nominated and that I got to attend the awards presentation at the glitzy NZ Football 125th anniversary dinner in Auckland, thanks to Simon Kay and the NZ Football Media Association.
Bruce Holloway, who won publication of the year for his excellent National League Diaries did a good write up on the night, which included this pretty apt description of me -
"Website of the year went to Dangerous Dave Webster, who has metamorphosed from a one-time drunken traveling All White fan into a multi-media phenomenon with his JourneyFan website"
the judges said
“......Dave Webster's JourneyFan site edged it with his well combined pictures and stories from a wide variety of men's and women's matches, plus his opinions on other aspects of the game, all the while displaying considerable knowledge and wit.”
I'd just like to say thanks to all those that have supported the site, whether retweeting, sharing or just reading it and that have given me feedback and encouragement. I recently hit 35 000 page views an average of around 330 per post which is fantastic. I never really expected much at all when I started. What really surprises me are how many likes different posts get.
My highest viewed post is Playoff Pandemonium the Capital 1 playoff between Wainuiomata and Naenae, which got a massive 1500 page views.
Next highest are two of my favourites, both with around 600 page views, Programmable a review of the Central Region programs I picked up over the year and A Capital Culture my interview with the co-coaches of the Capital Women's team.
|North Wellington's Kieran Cripps scores a diving header in the Chatham Cup game against PN Marist|
With a name like the JourneyFan (which has absolutely nothing to do with the 1980's band) I did a fair amount of Journeying around the country to watch football. In all I saw 65 games (well it was actually 1 more than that, but I only saw 1 half of 2 games and being Scottish I have a natural aversion to that number between 65 and 67 for some odd reason!) and covered enough distance that theoretically I could have driven from Wellington to Adelaide and back.
|Yellow Fever in Sprig & Fern Nelson|
It started with the ASB Premiership final games in Napier and Auckland and finished with a my 1st Yellow Fever tour to Nelson, which I didn't write about but can sum up like this, it rained, beer was good, drank lots, laughed a lot, oh and watched some football too.
The Chatham Cup accounted for the other road trips from the NZ Football alternative media meet up in the first round in Taupo to a Memorial weekend (Masterton & Palmerston North – both grounds are named Memorial Park) and then the final, which included the epic side trip to see Waiheke United
When I started the website I looked for pictures on the web, but soon realised that the best thing to do was take my own. So I have been and really been enjoying it.
Whether its the buzz of being pitch-side (as it's the closest I'll ever get to playing again) or when the actual players like or comment on the photos, or when clubs like your photos enough they ask if they can buy them I'm not really sure. But it's heaps of fun and another highlight has been the small photographic football community, from Michael Welsh (Dr Yomcat Shoots) gifting me a long lens he no longer used the first time I met him, to the likes of Grant Stantiall lending me his expensive equipment, Cam Macintosh (PhotoMac) and Enzo happily giving advice and encouragement it's been brilliant.
|Olympic players celebrating their Central League title with Apollon founding members (1953) Con & Cris Palamedis. Apollon became Christian Youth FC before renaming as Wellington Olympic in 1983|
GAME OF THE YEAR
The games that stood out for me this year included
- The best however was the Chatham Cup Final between Birkenhead United and Waitakere City. A decent crowd creating a great atmosphere, a good game that looked as if it was cruising for a Birkenhead win until Waitakere got back into it and forced extra time, before Birko managed to become the 42nd club to win the 93 year old trophy
|The Birko "Massive" Awesome crowd at the Chatham Cup Final|
TEAM OF THE YEAR
It could have been Wellington Olympic with their 3rd Central League title in a very close league, but it has to go to Capital Football Women's team. 2015 had seen the worst ever performance by a Wellington Women's team at the National Level. 2016 saw new co-coaches in Emma Evans and Sam Morrissey and the addition of Briar Palmer, back from spells in Auckland and Australia, but the rest of the squad essentially the same.
They put in some terrific team performances, playing nice attractive football and made it to the final where they went down to a very good Canterbury United Pride team (who won their 3rd title in 4 years). While obviously losing the final is disappointing, Capital can be extremely proud about their season and how they performed and hopefully will go one better next season.
|Capital celebrate as they win the penalty shootout that gets them into the final|