July/August issue available now online and in store
The new WSC is out now available from all good newsagents or to order now from the WSC shop with free UK delivery.
Triumphant in 2020-21: Brentford back after 74 years | St Johnstone's cup double
Cambridge United: Community club on the rise | A fan turned manager
What happened to Joe Hart? | The appeal of amateur football | Mayhem in Brazil | Cardiac health campaign | Birth of the backpass rule | Non-League's day at Wembley | England clear on taking the knee | Social media boycott impact | Grimsby Town lead the way | Promotions granted in the women's game | The Saturday football paper | Non-League pyramid reshuffle | June football at Denton Town | A World Cup hospitality experience | Focus on Steve Bruce | Deportivo La Coruña's 1999-2000 title
Double feature St Johnstone take the silverware
When your club take 130 years to win their first major trophy you don’t expect the next one to come along for a while. While St Johnstone’s 2014 Scottish Cup final win over Dundee United was wildly celebrated, many also paused to quietly reflect on parents, other family members and friends who had seen plenty of lean times but were not around to witness this sublime moment. If there were any expectations about what lay ahead they mostly centred on spending the next few decades boring the pants off anyone who would care to listen about how magical it had been. Now just seven years later, however, Saints have shredded that script by winning both the Scottish Cup and League Cup in the space of three months.
Warrington Rylands 3-2 Binfield / Hornchurch 3-1 Hereford Non-League Finals Day
On the evening of May 19, 2019 I walked away from Wembley Stadium along with the rest of a 42,962 Non-League Finals Day crowd. We’d seen Chertsey Town lift the FA Vase, AFC Fylde the FA Trophy, and that’s that for 2018-19, I thought to myself. Another season neatly wrapped up, just like they always are. Two stop-start years later, in football and life in general, I’m back for the first time and everything looks different.
Picture perfect Amateur football drawing a crowd
Many fans anticipating a relaxation of the Covid lockdown rules in England on April were disappointed. The amended guidelines produced by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) stated “spectators are not permitted to attend sporting events taking place on private land”, effectively ending aspirations of attending games in an enclosed ground before May . It was a blow for a football-starved nation. However, the announcement’s distinction that “[it] does not prevent people from viewing recreational or organised sport that is taking place in a public space” offered a scintilla of hope for those prepared to watch football in more rudimentary surroundings.
Back bencher Joe Hart's stalled career
Some football fans seem to take it as a personal insult when players fail to fulfil their early potential. Most at risk appear to be those who displayed elevated levels of self-assurance in their formative years and none more so than Joe Hart. Apart from positioning and agility, the values of self-confidence and a demonstratively organisational nature might seem essential for a goalkeeper. Yet as Hart’s career developed it was these qualities that prompted detractors to rail against him. Resilience might also be cited as a desirable asset and Hart certainly displayed that early in his career.
St Johnstone photo via Getty Images, Non-League Finals Day photo via Getty Images, amateur football illustration by Gary Neill with photos by Mike Bayly, Joe Hart photo via Colorsport
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