The 2017-2018 Football Season, a Retrospective of Sorts

2017-2018 Football Season

As the 2017-2018 Football Season draws to a close with the FA cup Final to be played this coming Saturday, apparently there is a wedding on the same day as well but I don’t know much about that! I thought it might be an opportune time to take a quick look back on a few of my favourites from the 2017-2018 Football Season. A season I might add that I found myself covering on average a game a week. I know this doesn’t actually sound a lot but I also work as a Commercial, Editorial, PR and Press photographer.

So in 8 months the tally is roughly 19 grounds, 54 teams that included everything from a full international friendly all the way down to step 6 and I absolutely loved it! At this point I should thank both Pro Sport Images and The Non league Paper as well as a load of other publications that continued to commission me to head out and work.

Football is such an ethereal thing; filled with passion and commitment. What follows is a selection of my work I personally like. As an aside about 80% of is published.

So I think I’ll divide this into three: Celebrations – The photographers holy grail, Action – in the game it happens and Passion – whats behind the game.

Celebrations – The photographers holy grail

There are is a moment in football that overcomes all else for a photographer, that of the celebration. The moment where everything pales into insignificance. Yes the goal is good and if I’m honest normally happens behind a load of players from where I am sitting. There is something magical about that moment after the goal, the celebration moment when I sometimes think I can see the real player. The elation and sometimes the relief!

2017-2018 Football Season

NOVEMBER 4, 2017: Folkestone Invicta against Dorking Wanderers in Bostik League Premier Division. Where the home side ran out 3 to 1 winners. Fullicks Stadium, England.Folkestones Ade Yusuff celebrates after putting the home side 3 to 1 up from his penalty in the 90th minute.

Its cool isn’t it? However take it from me its the hardest thing to take a photograph of in the game!

Action – in the game, as it happens

Probably the bit that is easiest or is it? many years ago I always remember being told that if its action and the ball isn’t in the frame then don’t bother sending it. Its a mantra I have followed since as everything else can be changed, straightened, made darker\lighter. Sometimes though it doesn’t matter.

2017-2018 Football Season

Third from top Dover Athletic against second from bottom Solihull Moors in Conference Premier at Crabble Stadium in Dover, England. Dover ran out winners by a goal to nothing. Dover’s defender Manny Parry puts Solihulls goal keeper Nathan Vaughan under pressure.

I always find looking at players faces during the action is where the true emotion comes out

Passion – whats behind the game

Its always hard to force yourself to see the game from a slightly different angle, but when you do the rewards are nearly always better than the action itself.

2017-2018 Football Season

Dover’s Manager Chris Kinnear

Managers and fans a like its about the passion!

So when all is said and told do I have a favourite? not really. But, then again a huge amount of my time was spent getting wet and cold covering Dover Athletic and truth be told I have become a fan! So my favourite picture from the past season has to be this one. For me it sums up their season, an inexperienced team thrown together and very nearly did the unthinkable.

2017-2018 Football Season

Dover’s midfielder Nortei Nortey celebrates scoring Dovers first goal late in the first half during the Vanorama National League match between Leyton Orient and Dover Athletic at the Matchroom Stadium, London, England on 18 November 2017

So whatever happens during the impending FA Cup final and the much talked about World Cup 2018 in Russia I will be chomping at the bit to get going again for the new season.

Dover Athletic v Torquay United – 07/04/2018

Dover Athletic v Torquay United. As the season gets to the sharp end and play-off places are hard fought for. It made a change to actually have sunshine. I know as a sports photographer moaning comes with the job but still I thought I was about to start to rust. The game itself was a meeting of teams at both ends of the league and neither team wanted to take any risks. Here are a few of my favorites. There is a full gallery here.

I give you the footballer totam pole! Although nobody seems particularly happy!

Dover Athletic v Torquay United.

Dover’s forward Ryan Bird rises above Torquay’s defender Sean McGinty and team mate Giancarlo Gallifuoco

Lastly for now a shot of Mitch Walker that illustrates his commitment putting his well being on the line. This really brought tears to my eyes!

Dover Athletic v Torquay United

Dover’s keeper Mitch Walker bravely saves an effort by Torquays Brett Williams.

Dover Athletic v Sutton United – 10/02/2018

Dover Athletic v Sutton United. I am fast coming to the conclusion that football has to be played in the rain! I think its about 6 straight weeks now and I’d be lost without my ThinkTank Hydraphobias

Dover Athletic v Sutton United

Dovers Ryan Bird cannot believe his luck as he narrowly misses scoring

So torrential rain and a game that was too close to call what was not to like! Sadly it wasn’t to be Dovers day as Sutton ran out winners by a single goal. Despite being reduced to 10 men and surviving a barrage of pressure from Dover during the closing minutes the equaliser remaind elusive. The frustrastion on the Dover players faces is clear to see.

There is a full gallery from the game here

Dover Athletic v Leyton Orient in the FA Trophy – 03/02/2018

Dover Athletic v Leyton Orient in the FA Trophy. Possibly the first time the two sides have met at Crabble, happy to be corrected on that one. It was a thrilling 7 goal thriller which the visitors ran out winners with a stoppage time winning goal. One of those days where your just at the wrong end!

Dover Athletic v Leyton Orient in the FA Trophy

Leyton Orient’s defender George Elokobi celebrates after scoring the O’s first goal during the The FA Trophy match between Dover Athletic and Leyton Orient at Crabble Stadium, Kent on 3 February 2018.

There was a moment when it appeared that Dover were on the verge of an epic comeback. They came back from 3 goals down to level the score. But alas it wasn’t to be.

Dover Athletic v Leyton Orient in the FA Trophy

Team mates flock to Dover’s forward Ryan Bird to celebrate his goal during the The FA Trophy match between Dover Athletic and Leyton Orient at Crabble Stadium, Kent on 3 February 2018. Photo by Matt Bristow.

Here are a few of my favorites from the game. There is a full gallery here and as usual there will be pictures in The Non-League Football Paper