Park Hall (The New Saints)

“Oh god Andy, this isn’t going to be like the time you did only Scottish grounds for about eight months solid, is it?” Firstly no, although I’ve a few Welsh grounds in the bag, and secondly I do wish this blog didn’t attract such a blatantly racist audience. You all make me sick.
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But aside from your far right agenda, this is a stunning ground that I have absolutely no right to have enjoyed so much, and it still irks that I did.
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Firstly, the club’s history is odd. You’ll probably know The New Saints better under their previous name – Total Network Solutions. They were named after their principal sponsor until BT took them over in 2006 and the name was no more. But they still had Jeff Stelling declaring on TV that “they’ll be dancing in the streets of Total Network Solutions” every time TNS won a game during the classified results.
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Anyway, aside from the club’s various mergers that don’t make for particularly pleasant reading, the ground is also home to a bowling alley. Yes! You read that correctly! I’m fairly certain that’s something I should detest. Oh and they have an artificial pitch as well. We’re hitting some severe negatives here. So why did I love it so much?
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Put simply, this monster of a stand. It’s insane. It’s very similar to Newtown’s stand from last week, only far, far bigger. It’s absolutely bonkers – it seems to serve largely as a home to the dugouts, then the upper deck has some wooden seats and desks for press. I would not fancy sitting up there on a windy day.
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A couple of other perfectly pleasant stands surround two other sides of the pitch, as well as some wonderful floodlights, and that’s pretty much it really. This is a ground that on paper I definitely should have hated, yet a couple of nice touches and I was in love. Absolutely worth a visit.
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Woodhorn Lane Update
A big week at Ashington as Championship side Preston North End visited, with Premiership referee Michael Oliver officiating. Not much noticeably different to the stand, although it was used for a couple of people videoing the game.
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My book appears to be reduced by 30p at the moment, so fill your boots.

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Latham Park (Newtown AFC)

Welsh side Newtown bowed out of the Europa League last night which is a mighty shame based on their wonderful ground. True, FC Kobenvahn fans had been hoping that they’d been elsewhere last night, but that seems somewhat foolish.
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Besides being based at the foot of some lovely green hills, it’s not just the surrounding scenery that catches the eye here. First up, some nifty brickwork? Oh aye, that’ll do for starters.
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Then there’s an uncovered stand. It seems wildly optimistic for a British side to have such a large open seating area, but I visited on a sunny day and could think of nothing better than taking in a game from this vantage point.
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Actually, that’s a lie. One particularly high but narrow effort stands out as bonkers but the sort of wonderful place you’d choose to sit. Or take a ladder to the upper level and stand. It’s easily one of the best stands I’ve seen since starting this blog.
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The opposite side of the pitch hosts a few different efforts, all bunched up together, all different, all of them brilliant. It’s basically like football ground porn.
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In fact, it says something that I rate this place so highly despite having an artificial surface. It’s pretty much the only sour note this ground has, and even then that’s made up by the ludicrous amount of goals stored for games on the plastic pitch.
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Absolutely worth visiting, especially as all of this is visible without needing to go into the ground itself. Our first foray into Wales is a great one!
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Woodhorn Lane Update
Some slightly disappointing news this week, friends. The stand is looking terrific but I’ve noticed some banners on the side over the last week or so. Closer inspection this week reveals boards promoting Dulux. I’m assuming this is a sponsor, which is logical, but has sullied a so far beautiful stand!
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Finally – my book appears to be reduced to a bargain £2.69 at the moment. If it means I get less money then I’ll be livid, but you might as well take advantage by clicking here.

Mapperley Plains Sports Club (Gedling Miners Welfare FC)

Fear not, dear reader. You’re quite right to be asking the question and you’re not alone. I reckon at least 90% of the visitors to this site will have seen the blog’s title and asked the same. “You said what now?”
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It’s certainly a mouthful, but I’m fairly certain that Gedling Miners Welfare FC has to be right up there with the best names for a football club we’ve encountered. It’s wonderfully quaint and gave me rose-tinted glasses on my brief visit to their ground.
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Their home is something that on another day I could have hated. It’s brilliantly new – absolutely spotless. But there’s still a bit of character about the place. Tea huts and toilets in Portakabins? That’ll do for me.
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As a visitor the low fence will mean you can see pretty much everything, with the adjoining leisure centre meaning you can park your car quite easily while you do so.
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In short, it’s small but perfectly formed. The perfect addition to this blog.
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Woodhorn Lane Update
I did promise extra photos last week but bizarrely the arrival of a fun fair sort of ruined my plans. Who stands next to a ghost train and takes photos of other stuff?!
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My book? As ever, it’s available by clicking here. Thanks.

Belle Vue (Wakefield FC)

Technically not a football ground, this is and always has been home to rugby league. However it did spend roughly a decade as home to the town’s short-lived football team.
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It’s mildly interesting reading in terms of the history of Wakefield FC. Essentially, Emley were offered the use of Belle Vue as their ground near Huddersfield didn’t meet ground requirements. Not only did the club relocate to Wakefield, but they quite quickly changed their name too, several times.
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The club were wound up in 2014, so the experiment was short-lived, although a new Emley reappeared at their old home. It’s certainly a very odd story.
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In terms of Belle Vue it’s an odd one. Slap bang in the middle of streets it has a very old school feel to it. However, a stand made up entirely of Portakabins doubling as corporate boxes isn’t much to my liking at all. We saw them at Cardiff Arms Park and here’s another rugby ground featuring them. Horrible things.
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But there’s no denying it does have plenty of positives. Its checkered history and the part it plays in Emley’s past leaves me a bit cold, but there’s no denying it’s worth a look if you’re in town.
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Woodhorn Lane Update
A stunning week at Ashington! Just look at the front of the stand! There’s glass and the club’s name – very exciting stuff.

The only problem is, er, I’ve managed to travel to Wales without having any photos of it on my phone. So watch this space!
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And don’t let the lack of Woodhorn Lane pics put you off buying my book!

Selhurst Street (Radford)

Well this is a perfectly pleasant little corner of the world, albeit low on visibility when walking around.
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Having done Meadow Lane and the City Ground on previous visits to Nottingham, this was fairly close to the city centre and so I headed along with zero expectation.
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It’s right next to the tramline, which is also ideal for a trainspotter like me. The fences are high enough that there’s not loads to see from outside, but you can get some snaps on your tip toes and one end is perfectly exposed for a neb inside.
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A couple of stands on either touchline are complimented with one behind a goal but to the side. The sort of perfect quirky addition that scores highly for me.
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A rather tatty looking “Welcome To Radford” sign was also visible and also lovely and so it’d be hard not to recommend this as a place to visit. Wedged in between houses on every side, it’s a lovely addition to this blog and we’ll worth a visit.

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Woodhorn Lane Update
Only a couple of pictures this week, one from distance as the scaffolding is down and the back of the stand looks great. Bit of a shame that the old stand is still sat in front of it obscuring the view. I really hope they move that inside the ground and behind one of the goals, but fear they’ve probably left it a bit late. Never mind, at least Sky have already been round to install a satellite dish on the new stand!
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Want to read more words written by me? My book is available by clicking here.