Sunday, 23 July 2017

Social Media & The Armadillo

Staffordshire Moorlands  1  Leek CSOB Reserves  3


Had it not been for the power of social media, Steve and I would never have had the ground breaking idea which would revolutionise future visits to Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

Both of our other halves, Rachael and Julie, have annual passes to the aforementioned park, and on the occasions when they are accompanied by myself and Steve, one of the must see attractions is without doubt the armadillo.

The armadillo reminds us of a remote control vehicle, it scurries around, typically in circles, yet due to it's construction you can't see it's legs, so it looks like an armoured car that's being operated from a distance!

The armadillo is the boss, but, it was while having a pint at the Ye Olde Crown Hotel in Waterhouses, that we had the idea. It's a bit like the entertainment you get at half time in football matches, where someone sticks their forehead on a pole and spins round it a few times, before staggering towards a football and ultimately ending up on their arse as the crowd cheers. Well, what about flipping an armadillo onto it's back, spinning it around a few times, and then putting it back on his feet and seeing where it ends up? You could take bets as to it's final destination? It would be a real crowd puller, the kids would love it, groundbreaking even.

I suspect Yorkshire Wildlife Park might take a bit of convincing, but we can be quite persuasive, and I think in time the armadillo will actually quite enjoy it, I mean, it can't be very exciting running round in circles, think Scalectrix, how boring does that get after a bit?

The Facilities - In Keeping
So what the hell has this got to do with football? Well, take today, up until Wednesday night I was torn between a gigantic jaunt up to South Shields or a spin across towards the Welsh border to watch Malpas. But then Steve tells me he's been chatting to a chap from Staffordshire Moorlands via Facebook, and it turns out he's found out they play their first ever game at their new home in Waterhouses. That was it then, that was both of our Saturdays sorted.

But not just that, not only was there real enthusiasm shown that someone from outside of the area was actually showing interest in the club and planning to visit, the guy from the club even went to the effort of sending a further message the night before the game to let us know the kick off had been moved forward to 2pm. How good was that? It reminded me of the experience I had with Staffordshire LA last season, dealing with such helpful, friendly and enthusiastic people is not only a huge assistance, but it also creates a real feel good factor about a club. How could you not like Staffordshire Moorlands after that experience?

What's Not To Like?
To be fair, when I saw them at their old ground in Leek last season, they were equally helpful then. I was concerned about the pitch, but the Secretary assured me that the pitch was fine, however, I was advised to keep a watch out for the fog. It was pretty foggy as I travelled the Ashbourne to Leek road, but once in Leek itself, we had no such problems.

So what of the ground? It's really nice, set behind some relatively newly built houses that are in keeping with the locality, it has a real rural feel to it. Throw in some sheep in the fields and the hills that sit behind and to the side of the pitch, and you have something of an idyllic setting.

The Sheep Have A Fine View
The facilities are set behind the goal in a communal building that again is built in the same style as the new houses, while at pitch side are a couple of sturdy dug outs. Despite heavy overnight rain the pitch was fine, and we found a small grass bank behind the bottom goal as a vantage point for the proceedings.

Moorlands have a young side and on the day they lost 3-1 to what looked to be a slightly more experienced Leek outfit. They did grow in confidence though and started to take the game to the visitors in the second period but that left them exposed at the back and in turn they conceded as a result. A missed penalty late in the first half didn't help the home sides cause either.

A very enjoyable afternoon, a really good football club set in a cracking location, I wish them  well for the rest of the season as they continue on their journey having only been formed just over a year ago.

Now for the armadillo........
The Armadillo Would Love It Here

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