Tag: sitenews

“Could You Spare Some Cutter, Me Brothers & Sisters?”

Paraphrasing a line taken from ‘A Clockwork Orange‘ as my inspiration, I’m delighted to launch my own Patreon page!

I’ve been writing about Bury on this blog for nearly three years. Unfortunately, their expulsion from the EFL, coupled with my move into freelance writing as a career, has meant that I have had to diversify what I write about in order to continue pursuing my passion and ambition.

The blog itself and future video and audio content on YouTube and a podcasting platform (both of which will be coming soon) will always be free for everyone to access. I’ve yet to make any money whatsoever from my blog itself since its creation, with the ads on the site not generating enough revenue to pay me more than the minimum $200 threshold WordPress specifies to pass that along.

I’m not a fan of asking for money in any shape or form, and any money received through Patreon will have no direct effect on the type of content I produce – that is, I’m not simply going to start chasing the money, I’m going to continue writing in the same manner I always have, which has received excellent feedback from people within and without the sport.

I greatly value the small but extremely dedicated readership I have garnered up until this point, having started BMiE as a way of overcoming overwhelming grief and a deep dissatisfaction about the way my day job/career was going, having ignored doing what I was good at and took enjoyment from doing for far too long. BMiE did start with a slightly lighter tone to reflect the ‘hobby’ aspect of its formation, but soon developed into a more serious body of work.

With the above in mind, I have taken the step of creating this page you now find yourself on. Hopefully, If you have read this far, it means you are at least mildly interested in BMiE, which earns you my eternal gratitude – please read below to find out more specifics about my plans for the future. 

How are things going to change?

‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’. As much as that mantra is a little tired, it does ring true for me and my plans. Events outside of my control (especially surrounding Bury) have dictated to an extent the path I am now on. The style in which I write will remain exactly the same, which is kept consistent across my social media channels.

How much are you asking for?

$3 a month. As simple as that. If you want to contribute more, I won’t say ‘no’, but I wanted to ensure it’s as simple and as low as possible. I only envisage this changing if I receive a lot more support than I’ve bargained for!

What’s the long-term plan?

To be able to make enough from BMiE and my freelance work for others to never have to consider going back to a career I hated. The figure in my head is comparatively low to be able to achieve that. I also want to finish my (football) scouting studies and gain press accreditation. Obviously, I also hope that the bulk of what I write about can return to being about a club with ‘Bury’ in its name, but there are no guarantees of that…

Additionally… if you sign up to become a patron in the first month, you’ll gain access to extra content (and I stress ‘extra’, because it will never be in place of anything now), as well as being able to suggest articles for me to write about – I’ll come up with a system of choosing the best ones, depending on how things progress. There is a permanent link in the blog’s sidebar to join!

https://www.patreon.com/burymeinexile

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What to Expect for the Foreseeable Future

Hopefully, you’ll have seen my post on Bury from earlier today, and the subsequent announcement from the ‘working group’ kicks things into the latter of the month.

The effects of the summer’s machinations on my budding freelance writing career have been massive, in terms of the opportunities I’ve been able to take up (or not, as the case might be); the general level of enthusiasm I’ve had for crafting pieces, given that I had to abridge my analysis of League One and Two and focus almost solely on the financial side of the game; lastly, the feeling that I’m playing ‘catch-up’ on a season that’s already a month old.

It’s time to shake that malaise off, though. As I’ve said before, I want to continue to write and enjoy it to the fullest again. As you might’ve guessed from the redesign, there will be a broader view of local football, taking in matches in person that will be played out as high as the zenith of the Championship to as low as the 10th tier in England (which might still be where a team called ‘Bury’ will be in 2020/2021), as well as wherever observers would transpose Welsh football. Below is a map and a list of potential clubs that I’ll be visiting during the next nine months or so:

Local Clubs
WordPress has an awful habit of compressing/resizing images – to see it more clearly, right-click ‘open image in new tab’, then delete the dimensions at the end of the URL
Local Clubs
The number in parentheses corresponds to the tier the club ply their trade in

What struck me when researching teams in close proximity to where I now live was the sheer number of them. I would never have envisaged that before, and to the best of my knowledge, the Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire areas are not renowned for playing host to a litany of outfits in the upper reaches of the non-league system; an interesting quirk of the current campaign is that the county city of the former have been placed in the National League North, meaning their away trips are often quite arduous for the top level of regionalisation. How the expansion will affect them or the division of clubs from next year remains to be seen.

Additionally, I’ll be resuming my analysis of League One and Two, looking at each side week by week in a snapshot, dissecting their tactics, players, and perhaps most tellingly (depending on the personalities) the managers’ quotes about how they think their charges are faring. I’ll also be reviewing books more frequently, starting with ‘One Football, No Nets‘ by Justin Walley. All of these changes, along with the work I’ve put in the redesigned site (which will be finished by tomorrow), should mean there are at least two posts per week that are easier to find and read… and it will never be about the frequency for me, always the quality. I hope you’ll support me along the way, because I think the future, despite everything, is going to be exciting for the blog.

 

League Two Club-by-Club Preview for 2018/2019: Explaining the Format

This is a short post explaining exactly what the format for my League Two previews for the coming season will be, in case you aren’t already familiar with my site.

Club Order: The first thing you will notice right from the outset tomorrow is that the clubs are not in any order whatsoever: not alphabetical, not reverse alphabetical, not in any order of predicted finish or where they came last season. No order. I even used random.org to help me generate a truly random list; the reason for that is ostensibly to keep people a) guessing and b) coming back!

2017/2018

Record Last Season + Quick Summary: As it says on the tin, with a particular focus on expectations against the reality.

Top Goalscorer: Self-explanatory.

Top Creator: Number of assists.

2018/2019

Manager/Head Coach: A brief summary of their background and how they came to be at their current club.

Ins: Lovingly lifted from Transfermarkt.

Outs: As above. All first team transfers will be present and correct at the time of writing.

Predicted First XI & Shape: The further into the previews I get, the likelier the accuracy of them will be higher. Fortunately, for the purposes of this blog, the summer transfer window finishes early, so clubs have less time to make me look like a fool (in theory!). They will be presented visually via the tried-and-tested cut and paste job from Lineup Builder.

Tactics: As above.

Predicted ‘Area’ of Finish: Stating an ‘area’ rather than exact finishing position a) gives me some degree of leeway if any major transfers happen after my prediction and b) prevents people deducing with, say, three or four previews left the remaining clubs’ finishing places and (hopefully) retaining interest. The areas will still be reasonably specific and as follows:

  1. Gunning for automatic promotion
  2. Play-off chasers
  3. Comfortably mid-table
  4. Safe but sorry
  5. Circling the relegation drain

Given that there are four teams that get promoted in League Two and half that figure that leave the EFL (an aberration in my view, but I’ll save that for another post) every year, there are likely to be significantly more sides in the first two categories than the latter two, such is the nature of the division.

One thing I will say right now is that I don’t think there is a single, outstanding candidate at either end of the table at the time of writing. That is in sharp contrast to the two tiers above, and should make for a very intriguing campaign.

I hope this makes it clear what to expect. If you have any feedback regarding the format once the previews and predictions are complete, I’d love to hear from you via a blog comment, Facebook or Twitter.

Bury Me in Exile is Not Dead!

This blog will properly restart in the close season. I have been battling depression for quite a while (and not just because of how horrific this season in particular has been) but I feel like I’m slowly improving and have turned the corner. Some of the content will change from 2018/2019 onwards but hopefully, the quality won’t in the eyes of the readers. Football and Bury have taken a back seat during this period and on occasion, I’ve even had to be reminded that there’s a match on (as it seems some of the players have judging by results). I concluded that I have some serious issues with the general direction of travel both the sport as a whole and the Shakers are currently on. It’s unlikely I can affect the former and perhaps not even the latter; however, I will certainly try my best to at least explain what I mean by that in the months ahead.

A few aspects will certainly change and I have listed below what they are:

  • I felt like a bit of a ‘fraud’ writing previews and reviews of matches I didn’t attend in person. Granted, as of the current season, there has been access to footage of the full match a day or so after it has taken place and you can play around with the video to gain better hindsight (and insight) of events. Even so, it doesn’t give you the full fat experience of attending a game. To that end, I’ll only write previews and reviews of matches I know I’m going to go to or see live in some other form from now on.
  • I don’t have as much time to dedicate to writing this blog as I did previously. That’s why I’d rather implement the ‘fewer, bigger, better’ mantra of quality over quantity. Dropping most of the previews and reviews will in turn lead to a more studied assessment of, say, a month’s worth of games.
  • There will be more content as a proportion where I explore the state of the club and the sport in a wider sense, as was my original intention when I first created it 14 months ago. This is hopefully a way of gaining a wider audience that still enjoy reading longform prose on the ‘meatier’ matters affecting fans.

 

Some things will remain the same, however:

  • My commitment to balanced writing; yes, I can be very critical of aspects of how, say, Bury are run but I always steer well clear of playing the man, rather than the ball.
  • Reaching out to fans of teams other than Bury, through season previews, occasional match previews/reviews, Q&As and additional content.
  • Promoting coverage of Bury’s U18s/Academy and women’s sides. They deserve to have the same level of care and attention as the men’s senior squad.

 

I certainly didn’t envisage that 2017/2018 would be the poorest season in living memory. At the time of writing, a win for Oldham Athletic at home against Walsall tonight will make the Shakers the first team in the top four tiers to be relegated. It will also undoubtedly precipitate yet another massive overhaul of staff (both on and off the field). There certainly won’t be a shortage of things to write about during the long, summer months…

Don’t forget! If you have a suggestion for something you want to see on here, please feel free to contact me. Any sensible ideas are always welcomed.

League One Club-by-Club Preview for 2017/2018: Explaining the Format

This is a short post explaining exactly what the format for my League One previews for the coming season will be.

Club Order: The first thing you will notice right from the outset tomorrow is that the clubs are not in any order whatsoever: not alphabetical, not reverse alphabetical, not in any order of predicted finish or where they came last season. No order. I even used random.org to help me generate a truly random list; the reason for that is ostensibly to keep people a) guessing and b) coming back!

Best Blog or Account to Follow: Every club preview will have a link to a Twitter page, podcast and/or blog of a supporter or group of supporters of that side. I want to try to ensure that others benefit from my writing and hopefully, you’ll find different perspectives from them and at least some other content to your liking.

2016/2017

Record Last Season + Quick Summary: As it says on the tin with a little bit of meat, e.g. was Charlton Athletic’s eventual final position of 13th ‘better’ vis-à-vis their expectations before 2016/2017 commenced than, say, MK Dons’ 12th place.

Top Goalscorer: Self-explanatory.

Top Creator: Number of assists.

2017/2018

Manager/Head Coach: An attempt to profile the current manager/head coach of the club in question.

Ins: Lovingly lifted from Scunthorpe United’s excellent transfer tracker.

Outs: As above. All will be present and correct at the time of writing.

Predicted First XI & Shape: The further into the previews I get, the likelier the accuracy of them will be higher. As I write this blog on my own, it’s necessary to start nearly three weeks before a ball is kicked to ensure enough scope and depth is dedicated to each one. They will be presented visually via the tried-and-tested cut and paste job from Lineup Builder.

Tactics: As above.

Predicted ‘Area’ of Finish: Stating an ‘area’ rather than exact finishing position a) gives me some degree of leeway if any major transfers happen after my prediction and b) prevents people deducing with, say, three or four previews left the remaining clubs’ finishing places and (hopefully) retaining interest. The areas will still be reasonably specific and as follows:

  1. Gunning for automatic promotion
  2. Play-off chasers
  3. Comfortably mid-table
  4. Safe but sorry
  5. Circling the relegation drain

 

However, there will be more than two teams for group #1, more than four for #2 and more than four for #5. Currently, I think it’s quite difficult to discern one side much stronger or weaker than the others in the third tier. The league as a whole looks to have improved ‘on paper’ and it should make for an extremely compelling 2017/2018.

I hope this makes it clear what to expect. If you have any positive or negative feedback regarding the format once the previews and predictions are complete, I’d love to hear from you via a blog comment, Facebook or Twitter.

Bury Me in Exile: Plans for the Close Season

The close season for some football fans when there isn’t an international tournament in the summer can consist of little more than looking out for the fixture announcements and watching YouTube highlight reels of players their club signs. Whilst there will obviously be fewer consistent posts per week, this blog aims to do things a bit differently and below is a taster of what’s to come and roughly when it will:

  • Analysis of the retained list, which is due to be published on Thursday. I will try to get something up the day after or on the following Monday. I am expecting at least 10 of the current squad to be released and/or made available for transfer. Short reports on each of the players who are being released from their contracts or placed on the transfer list.
  • Review of 2016/2017 for Bury as a whole, which will drop late next week.
  • Review of 2016/2017 for each individual player not covered by the retained list post.
  • Team of the Year/Season for League One, which I will publish after the play-offs have concluded.
  • Where and how Bury need to improve next season to be both more consistent and achieve the stated aim of promotion (which will be a tough ask), plus analysis of the ‘current’ players and how to get the best out of them.
  • A look at other clubs’ retained lists for realistic potential signings Lee Clark could make to improve the squad, with an emphasis on where he has been before in either a playing or coaching capacity. That is likely to be towards the end of the month.
  • ‘Scouting reports’ on confirmed signings shortly after they happen.
  • An in-depth preview of every League One team in 2017/2018, with rough predictions of where they will finish (e.g. ‘pushing for promotion’ rather than 1st or 2nd), as well as how they could line up on opening day. To ensure the highest accuracy possible, this will be done just before the opening weekend of matches.
  • Very short summaries or snippets of friendly matches if there is something particularly relevant from them, e.g. a particular player plays or is on trial or a new shape is tried out.
  • Opinion pieces on other EFL issues, such as what format next season’s EFL Checkatrade Trophy will have.
  • I’m also looking into the possibility of interviewing Bury players and staff, but I can’t at this stage promise that will definitely come to fruition.

Apropos of little, something I will never do on this blog is make any (c)overt political posts unless it directly affects football itself; for example, if legislation was passed capping salaries or the price of matchday tickets to £20… or how badly the EFL are currently ‘running’ things (Leyton Orient). I feel it would alienate some of the potential and current audience and I want to maintain the balanced tone I try to strike with my blog. Many other football blogs I have read cross this line, especially since the General Election was called in the UK the other week. However, very few do it well and even fewer still successfully prevent the political dominating the personal in what is still ostensibly words on a screen about eleven men or women kicking a ball against eleven other men or women.