Stamping Grounds

Stamping Grounds

by Charlie Connelly

Travelling to all of Liechenstein's qualifying matches, Charlie Connelly examines what motivates a team to take the field dressed proudly in the shirts of Liechtenstein despite the knowledge that they are, with notably few exceptions, in for a damn good hiding.Sampling the delights of Liechtenstein's capital, Vaduz, such as the Postage Stamp Museum, the State Art Museum and, er, the Postage Stamp Museum again, Connelly provides an evocative and witty account of the land where every year on National Day the sovereign invites the entire population into his garden for a glass of wine.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Football
  • Rating: 3.88
  • Pages: 328
  • Publish Date: November 3rd 2005 by Abacus
  • Isbn10: 0349114889
  • Isbn13: 9780349114880

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You can see why he thought it would be a good subject for a humorous football book; there is something fascinating about these tiny countries, fielding largely amateur teams that lose nearly every game they play and almost never score a goal. Connelly spends much of the book trying to work out what it means to be Liechtenstein, what distinct national character there is to separate it from Switzerland or Austria; it turns out there isnt anything.

For a long time I thought this would be too obscure for me, and that reading variations of 3- or 4-nil match reports wouldn't endear me to a writer who likes following leftfield football teams around Europe, then decides to put it into a book. But as Connelly developed relationships with people involved in Liechtenstein football, he won me round and generated a bit of affection from me for his adopted side. Although he starts off as an observer, as he makes friends more people offer their opinions on the country and the national football team, and he is later involved in the National Day celebrations.

However, my inner geek was initially disappointed to find that I as reading more about the lack of interest Liechtensteins streets, and the authors interactions with surly barmaids, than about the football team. I should point out that Connolly does state that he is a travel writer, which explains a lot of the flowery prose describing very little in the opening pages, and the repeated sections of what I did at the weekend that some travel writing seemingly consists of, rather than giving the reader a deeper insight. Despite my initial reservations on the first sections of the book, it develops nicely and provides a warming tale of the travails of one of Europes football also-rans and some insight into the country and its people and gives an interesting read to anyone interested in international footballs backwaters.

I was getting a beer when the one exciting score happened, which involved kicking." And I felt way more excited by his sports writing than I do about the actual sport. Also, first book I've ever read about Liechtenstein, so that was pretty rad.

This is a tale of the journey of Liechtenstein football team in a world cup qualification tournament. Victory for David in many of these cases is not just a win or a draw, but a decent loss too. A team of players who are bankers, teachers, businessman first and footballers second.

Stamping Grounds on the other hand is Charlie Connelly following the Liechtenstein national team over the course of just 8 games during 2000-2001 in a tiny country that cares very little about football.

Chris Connelly mixes history, culture, and football to pull out an interesting story from an insignificant country and their insignificant attempt to make the World Cup. This book is strongest in Connelly's humor, the dry narrative will make you burst out laughing.

Charlie Connelly is a bestselling author and award-winning broadcaster.