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  1. Last chance saloon – treble zero needed

    By Steve Sands (AFS Contributor)

    Whilst looking at my ‘both teams to score’ coupon this week, I noticed there was also the option to predict that both team wouldn’t score.

    The perfect option for supporters of those teams firing blanks and shooting duds. Sounds like a tricky one to pull off, especially as clean sheets may be difficult to come by with so many games in quick succession over the festive period - and defenders full of turkey and Christmas pudding.

    With teams also suffering from injuries and suspensions at this time of year, landing any sort of bet is going to be tough this weekend but this is the last chance of the year to get one over your friendly bookie.

    So here’s my shout for those who can’t hit a barndoor....
    ...

    Updated 27th December 2014 at 04:55 PM by Veritas

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  2. Shelley Kerr – ground breaker

    By Steve Sands (AFS contributor)

    Looking forward to what will be an historic occasion when the England Women's team make their Wembley debut against Germany on Sunday 23 November, I also pondered why there is still a distinct lack of women in key coaching roles.

    To help investigate this issue, I spoke to one of the real trail blazers for women in sport - Shelley Kerr.

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    Shelly in thoughtful mood on the touchline -photo courtesy of Zoe Birkbeck Photography

    Back in August, the University of Stirling made history by appointing Shelley as the first female manager in British men’s senior football. The University’s 1st XI play in the Scottish Lowland League, in effect the fifth tier of Scottish football. ...

    Updated 16th November 2014 at 10:46 AM by Veritas

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  3. BBC’s FA Cup focus – Hull, Hartlepool and howay the lads

    By Steve Sands (Hull correspondent)

    Recently, I put forward the argument that Hull was the true centre of the football universe. Right on cue, further evidence emerged this week to back up this assertion as the BBC announced that live coverage of the Third Round draw of the FA Cup will be coming live from the fair city of Hull.

    The draw will take place on Monday 8 December at 7pm on BBC Two and will be hosted once again by Mark Chapman. Cup excitement will hit fever pitch as the remaining League One, League Two and non-League clubs desperately hope to land a glamour tie against one of the big boys.

    To add a Newcastle theme to the event, the Premier League’s all-time top goalscorer Alan Shearer will be on hand to draw the balls. I’m sure he’ll be ...

    Updated 14th November 2014 at 06:10 PM by 11v11

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  4. Soccer Aid - True Blood

    By Steve Sands (AFS Contributor)

    You may recall that in the middle of my serious, or at least semi- serious, football blogs I suddenly wrote one based around the television series Sex and the City.

    This was based on someone suggesting that I frequently used the expression - ‘it got me thinking’ – a saying that one of the characters in the show uses in nearly every episode apparently.

    On the back of that my irrepressible work colleague Nicola decided to set me a new challenge along similar lines.

    Surely there can’t be any connections between the television show ‘True Blood’ and football was the gauntlet she laid down, adding how about linking in Take That as well along the way.

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    Updated 17th October 2014 at 04:10 PM by Veritas

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  5. A few sports apps for your smart phones

    by B. Money

    If you have a smartphone and have a bit of time on your hands, why not idle a bit of time away playing around with a sports-related Android app? Here we have a quick look at a few of the most popular entertainment options of the early 21st century, including some sports-themed apps, a simulated football game, sports information application and online casino!

    FIFA 14

    The FIFA franchise is the dominant simulated football game, featuring 33 leagues, over 600 licensed teams, and more than 16,000 players. You'll find this pretty user-friendly, optimised for tablets as well as smartphones – while the touch controls can be mastered quickly. FIFA ...

    Updated 30th September 2014 at 05:08 PM by 11v11

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  6. Golfing Footballers

    By Steve Sands (AFS Contributor)

    Just a short blog to mark the 2014 Ryder Cup which starts tomorrow at Gleneagles.

    2014 is the first time in more than 40 years, and only the second time in its history, that the tournament has been staged in Scotland.

    I have to admit that the competition is one of my favourite sporting events and is likely to reduce me to being a couch potato for the next few days.

    Making a link to football is pretty straightforward.

    Footballers have been rushing to the golf course after training for generations. And some claim that they could have played the sport professionally.

    Indeed, in 2013 the Professional Footballers Golf Tournament was launched to bring together some of the biggest stars ...

    Updated 25th September 2014 at 01:42 PM by Veritas

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  7. On football, blogging and Sex and the City

    By Steve Sands (AFS Contributor)

    As a novice blogger I was keen, if a little apprehensive, to see what feedback I would receive to my early ventures. You can imagine how surprised I was to get the following reaction.

    “Just had a read of your blog and it made me think of Sex and the City. Carrie Bradshaw used the phrase ‘it got me thinking’ in pretty much every episode.”

    I’ll definitely have to stop using that expression, which got me thinking!
    Surely there can’t be any connections between Sex and the City and football that would allow me to shoehorn this unexpected feedback into one of my blogs. Well here goes, I’m going to attempt it.

    It turns out there was a very strong link earlier in the year. The show made a ...

    Updated 25th September 2014 at 01:42 PM by Veritas

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  8. Wembley wins right to host Euro final and semi-finals

    England will be hosting the Euro 2020 final and semi-finals, with a unanimous vote in favour it was confirmed today.

    UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino explained the reasoning behind the plans to host Europe 2020 in multiple locations around Europe, saying:

    "2020 is the 60th anniversary of the European Football Championship. Obviously the fact that the Euro will feature 24 teams instead of 16 puts an additional burden on countries hosting such an event. It becomes much more difficult for many countries – the requirements are becoming bigger and bigger.

    "An opportunity like this, to give many cities and many countries the possibility to host even just one part of a Euro, is certainly an excellent thing, especially in times when you have an economic ...

    Updated 19th September 2014 at 12:13 PM by 11v11

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  9. When is booing acceptable at a football match?

    By Steve Sands (AFS Contributor)

    In my first blog for 11v11, I squeezed in a sneaky reference to cricket, my other sporting love. It covered Sepp Blatter’s plans to give managers the chance to use television replays to challenge decisions - a concept that cricket has fully embraced. Although cricket, unlike football, has natural stoppages that allow for such reviews.

    This blog is actually inspired by cricket, after Birmingham born all-rounder Moeen Ali was recently booed by Indian supporters while playing for England at Edgbaston.

    To his Credit Ali told the BBC afterwards that he “wasn't too fussed. It didn't affect me one bit.”

    It got me thinking, is it acceptable to boo at a football match?

    The problem is that ...

    Updated 28th September 2014 at 10:31 AM by Veritas

    Tags: booing, football
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  10. Which football laws would you change?

    By Steve Sands (AFS Contributor)

    I have been mulling over Fifa president Sepp Blatter’s proposals to give managers the opportunity to use television replays to challenge referees’ decisions during matches.

    Blatter told delegates via a video link at the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester recently that such a system could be put on trial as early as next year.

    My initial reaction to the idea was - shouldn’t we be making sure that the current laws, or interpretations of those laws, are working as well as they could be before going off on such a radical tangent.

    At this point I have to declare myself a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to such things. Although the introduction of goal line technology was a long ...

    Updated 28th September 2014 at 10:32 AM by Veritas

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