Click images above to enlarge
Although my working games usually involve a journey into three-figures as far as miles are concerned, this time it was much closer, with a short trip across the Black Country to Oldbury.
Like numerous other professional football clubs, The New Saints has a scholarship programme. This is where 16-18 year olds can continue in education but play football at the same time. Naturally, the colleges that they attend have leagues that they compete in, and that’s why I was at the Portway Lifestyle Centre.
TNS FC’s partnership is with North Shropshire College, while the opponent on this occasion, Sandwell College, has an association with West Bromwich Albion. Both sides wore the respective club colours, as the scholars’ set-up is very much part of the wider club fabric.
With The New Saints leading 5-0 at the break, there were three more goals in the second period, with TNS running out 7-1 winners in the end.
As a Wolves fan, did I get special pleasure from the fact that the club’s local rivals were beaten convincingly, even if just a college game? The answer is no, not at all. It’s about being professional, and as I work for The New Saints, naturally I want the club to do well. That’s all.
I was happier that TNS won rather than who the opponent was. It’s as simple as that. Plus, it pays never to gloat because you don’t know where life takes you. Remember Joey Barton making derogatory comments about Burnley? Then he signed for them…
Although my visit to Oldbury was a working game, I still count them on my ground list and you can view my groundhopping pages here. There’s a short video below that I made, that can be viewed courtesy of the club’s Facebook page.