That's Not My Name

Posted on 23rd December 2008

Since Dan was born I've always called him DanDan. Just recently he asked Nicole, "Why does Daddy still call me DanDan?" Apparently now that he's all done grown up, he's not too happy with being called DanDan any more. So for from now it'll be Dan or Daniel :)

File Under: dandan / family

Last Of The Teenage Idols

Posted on 6th June 2008

Last weekend we took DanDan to the Grassroots Football Live event at the NEC in Birmingham. When we initially found out about the event we thought it would involve some dedicated training for his team, Callowbrook Swifts. We did think it was a bit odd that adults were charged more than children if the event was aimed at them. It wasn't until we got there we discovered it was actually more like a trade fair. As a trade fair it wasn't bad, and we did end up getting the usual compliment of freebies. DanDan was miffed that he didn't get a Mars football, but then he was the only one to get a England beanie hat.

There were several training sessions that you could sign up for, so in the afternoon, we did sign the boys up for a training session with some of the Leicester City coaches, and another later with a FIFA coach, but they were quite short sessions. Still the lads did seem to enjoy the day overall.

Nicole and I are not football fans really, so although many of the names I knew, I was mostly unphased by them. Graham Taylor, Harry Redknapp and Steve McClaren were there, together with several reportedly well know players, including a guy called Billy Wingrove. Now I have nothing against Billy, but all I could think of while I watched him was, well okay he can do some clever tricks, but is he any good on the field and can he score goals? I'd never heard of him, so figured he probably wasn't the next golden boy for England, however, on returning home I discovered that he doesn't play for any club, all he can do is tricks. As entertainment that's fine, but if you expect your opponent to sit there waiting for you to show off to the crowd, then I think you'll soon discover how useless your trick skills are worth. As such I found the attention put on him was largely misplaced.

For me there was one point that did interest me. I spotted that Dario Gradi was going to be presenting a train session, so went along to catch some of it. He was using the Alex youth team to highlight tactics, and was exactly the sort of thing that I was expecting from these sessions. After the session I did something I wouldn't normally do. I went and asked for his autograph. A couple of young lads had already asked him, as he stood on the sidelines afterwards, so I thought I'd take the opportunity too. I had a short chat with him, mentioning that I used to live near Crewe, and he was in good humour as we talk about how the place had changed. Funnily enough I moved away from Crewe the year Dario started his mangerial career at Crewe Alex.

All in all, an interesting day, and perhaps for older lads it would have been more beneficial, particularly the tactics and ball control training sessions. I'm not sure we'd go again, but I do think it was good for DanDan. Perhaps next year, we'll let his Nanny and Grandad take him as they're much more interested in football than we are :)

File Under: callowbrook / crewe / dandan / football

High Speed Dirt

Posted on 11th May 2008

Callowbrook Swifts had their last match today. Despite going ahead at 2-0 early in the match, they were drawing 3-3 at half time. But the heat took its toll and Hampton managed to score another 2 in the second half for a final score of 3-5. It could so easily have gone in Callowbrook's favour, as in one instance Dan led a great run down the left wing, crossing to Joel, who hit a lovely shot at goal, but hit the post and was caught by the goalkeeper. With several other attempts on goal, and a few corners, it wasn't a lack of trying on Callowbrook's part. It was a shame for Ross, as he did make several great saves, but Hampton got themselves into good positions and made it difficult for him to cover all angles.

There's a break for the summer now, although training still continues. There are also two new players starting with the team ready for the next season, so it'll be interesting to see how the team dynamics work with the new additions. Callowbrook, as they are at the moment, have come on leaps and bounds in the last 6 months, and they're still getting better. The previous two matches they won 4-2 and 4-0, so they've proved they can do it. 11 goals in the last 3 matches, not bad in anyone's book. I'm looking forward to the next season anyway :)

File Under: callowbrook / dandan / family / football

Down In The Park

Posted on 6th April 2008

Ethne & DanDan

Ethne & DanDan

After waking up to snow, we took the kids round to the park to throw snowballs and build snowmen.

Snowball fight!

Snowball fight!

Up on the hill it looked like a few people were even venturing down the slope on sledges. Seeing as it's a steep hill, they obviously felt quite brave. Some kite flyers were also having a good day up there too.

Meanwhile, DanDan made a snow angel and four snowmen, while Nicole and Ethne made another. Ethne made us laugh by adding a bum to her snowman, although it looked more like a pronounced tail. Should have added long ears and called it a snow bunny :)

File Under: dandan / ethne / family / rubery / weather

Spotlight Kid

Posted on 27th February 2008

Dan & Jack

Dan & Jack

Dan's match on Sunday was an interesting one. Playing against Marston Green, both teams had a ten-man strong team. However, in the warm up prior to the match, Ross took a bad knock on his leg, which meant that not only were Callowbrook Swifts down to nine men. Not only that we were down a goalkeeper. Dan stepped up and got to wear Number 1 for the whole match. He did himself proud too, as during the match he got to save a few goals. He's also got a good kick on him, and has done since he was about 3, and taking one particular drop kick, got the ball all the way over the halfway line and at the feet of his own players. A couple of touches between Sharpy and Joel and Callowbrook were 2-0 up.

We saw this score at halftime against Cadbury's earlier in the year, so it was only too easy to lose the match. Marston Green took on the challenge and pushed as much as they could. despite Dan, Jack and Zak getting in the way several times, unfortunately Marston scored first from a very good shot on goal. There was nothinhg Dan could have done to stop it. Callowbrook continued their attack on goal, but despite several shots, the ball never hit the back of the net. Marston got lucky following a shot on goal. Dan managed to save the initial shot, but let it get away from him. Had he have been quick enough and dive on top of the ball he may have stopped the follow up. The final score 2-2.

Man of the Match

Man of the Match

Dan did himself pround and earned himself Man Of The Match. He's been hoping to do well enough to win the trophy for the week, and now it sits in our front room for all to see ;)

I've really enjoyed taking the action shots during the matches, but it's a shame I get so wrapped up in the game though, as I've yet to catch any of the goals on film, or the saves. I'm going to have to get better at just taking shots any time the ball even thinks about going near the goal line.

I've managed to capture a few decent pictures of the players themselves, but I think I still need a lot of practice. I've been trying to see what works between the zoom and long shot, but the closeups without zoom seem to work best. Unfortunately that does mean I either have to continually run up and down the touchline or hope one of the teams manages to stick near the opponents goal area, preferably Callowbrook obviously. I'll just to see how well I do over the coming weeks.

File Under: callowbrook / dandan / football

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