2019 Football Resolutions!

by J.S. Leatherbarrow

Well well. I suppose first thing should (mostly) always be first - so a very Happy New Year to all of our readers. The New Year traditionally brings us a psychological break from the last year - good or bad. The time to clear the overflowing cupboards in our minds & start stock-piling afresh.

So what do we intend to do with the year? Get slimmer, read more, climb Everest? Or smaller things? Be a little nicer to strangers you disagree with on Twitter perhaps? Go and watch your team more? Stop slating a new signing who hasn’t set the world alight after two whole games maybe?

Let’s hear from those inside football and - of course - from the fans about their plans for the year.

In 2019, we’d like to see Sean Cox make a full recovery and an end to discrimination and hate in football everywhere in the world. We all have a responsibility to make football fun again.
— Paul rogers - Head of Digital and Social Media at AS Roma
To get myself fit and slim ready to play in the Legends game v Bayern Munich and to score my first ever goal at the new stadium, my football life would be complete
— Micky Hazard - Tottenham Hotspur Legend
In 2019 we want to continue being Unique and being The Ninjas we have always been.
— Bulawayo Chiefs
I don’t really do new year resolutions but my immediate goals for this year are to firm up a second book idea and keep a watchful and hopefully busy eye on Brazil’s new extreme-right government, taking it to task in print whenever possible. Then there’s the copa America in Brazil which I am looking forward to and which will be very important for Brazil. They need to win something soon. This will be a year of big personal moves for me so I know it will be very busy on all fronts. Happy new year to all and GGTTH.
— Andrew Downie - Author of Doctor Socrates & Reuters Journalist in brazil
New Year’s resolution will probably be to try and get along to as many women’s football matches as possible to experience the spectacle of live games at all levels.
— Chris Slegg - Co-Author of The Women's Football Yearbook & BBC Journalist
This new year will be, again, a vintage mixing joys, passion, sorrows and emotions. Football evolves over the seasons, years, but remains the most popular sport in the world. To our delight. But for this new opus, if we had to choose a resolution for this magnificent sport, racism, in and out of the stadiums, must stop. It is time to realise the seriousness of these acts, often voluntary and inadmissible. Let’s keep our energy to live a stadium, push his team and enjoy the show. Football was, is and will be, forever, universal.
— Jean-Félix, creator and editor for La Vista
In 2019 we hope to continue breaking down barriers whilst playing high-intensity, beautiful football and driving more funds to our charity partners (promotion to the 8th tier for the Men’s team would be nice too)
— Daz Moss - President, Prague Raptors FC
To enjoy every moment and to ensure Spurs fans’ voices are heard as we move back to our beautiful home.
— Rachel Martin - on behalf of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporter's Trust
I hope for a year in which fans will be heard more, and on their side, may fan activism continue to matter. And most of all: a year in which racism, sexism and fascism will not play a part, in football and everywhere else. Happy New Year!
— Felix Tamsut - DW Sports Journalist
Our resolution is to get promotion and develop more youth players.

From social media we would like to start making a positive impact, by using our social media leverage. ❤️

Happy new year
— Ajax Cape Town
Well for this year I would really like to see PlayersNet receive backing from the governing bodies of the game so it can continue and build on the great work it has done to date. My wish for the wider game is two fold. Firstly this re-growing issue of racism in the game has to be managed and educated to dissipate and go away. Kick it Out fo a magnificent job with this but the game needs to be more proactive to stand together and present a “will not tolerate it” stance. Secondly, for the game to present a more united front where all in it work for the greater good if what us a magnificent product and game and something which is so important to do many.
— Pete Lowe - Founder Of players net and former Manchester City Football Club Head of Education and Performance Management
In 2019 we will give it our best to win promotion for the men’s team without forgetting who we are. The importance is having fun and remaining a big family. We will recruit some new players for ISUN Flames and our women’s team. In addition to that we will try to grow our twitter account bigger so that we can inspire people to spread love and acceptance both within and outside the football community.
Not to forget, we will try to help Flames players to avoid being deported to Afghanistan. We love them and Afghanistan is not a safe place to be for our boys.
Our resolutions for 2019 are to not go through head coaches like Spinal Tap goes through drummers and to complete an entire league campaign without any major mid-season player exoduses. A jersey sponsor and a victory over Columbia FC would be cool as well...
— Kenneth Tebo - President of Motorik FC Alexandria
We are looking to continue to develop both off and on the field, looking to improve our league position as much as possible whislt continuing to embrace social media and interacting with clubs and followers alike.
— Martin Mckenna - Saint Anthony's FC
My New Years resolution is to try set up a website for our girls and look into helping our local community
— Matty - Mersey Royal Girls
Our new year resolution this year is to ‘never remain hidden’

Seeing the overwhelming support we’ve received, we have decided to start sharing our experiences with the world

To let the whole world know what being a female footballer in grassroot Africa is all about
— Bravehearts Ladies FC 💞⚽
As 2019 starts, I hope this year brings a more supportive and less divided Arsenal fanbase as the club restructures and goes through transition. I also hope to be able to (finally!) see Arsenal play a live match. And in terms of professional growth, I hope to stop procrastinating, and write more about football, and how the sport continues to surprise and inspire me.
— Rahima Sohail, Producer at the express tribune & arsenal fan
In 2019, we aspire to arrange an event which brings together the Football Twitter community; albeit an end of season (promotion) party or a series of pre-season friendlies/ tournament.
— Paul Gutteridge - Chairman, Caversham United
Our New year’s resolution is to to get promoted to the first division, and round out our squads with committed local talent as well as lower the cost for players to play. We look forward to achieving our goals in 2019
— Dynamo FC - ST. CLOUD
Visit my local non-league side more often! Explore more obscure, remote, and vulnerable footballing communities through investigation and journalism.
— Maia Freeman - Football and the city columnist
My resolution would be to raise the profile of both women’s football and youth football (starting with the various Spurs teams and branching out into others) and to continue to fight against any and all forms of racism that exist in the game...no place for those vile actions in 2019.
— Will Rivard - Football And The City Columnist & Founder of Tottenham Hotspur World
In 2019 I resolve to get less stressed out by Americanisms in football talk- side backs, PK shots, shut outs and road games are still going to sound weird to my ear but it’s time to find more joy in more people finding joy in football.
— John Collins - Host of the game of football podcast
Get to a Detroit City FC game. Despite visiting Detroit at least once a year, I’ve never managed to time my trip to see them play. This year, I’ll be factoring in the fixture list into my planning.
— Mark Lawson, Editor - Game Day Tourist
Christian Knittel - attend a match at Anfield in 2019

Dave Knittel - watch more MLS matches as a neutral to support the domestic league.

Matt Knittel - support and follow more closely my hometown team, the Philadelphia Union.
— The Knittel Brothers - Hosts of the bros talking soccer podcast
In 2019 we aim to improve on our charity work which helps make everyday living that bit easier for those that are struggling. We hope that through the values of Sankt Pauli we can continue to bring more people together. And as always, there should be Nae Fitbaw for Fascists.
— Glasgow St. Pauli
For one more Club to pay their women’s team the same as their men’s
— Charlie Dobres - Director of Marketing - Lewes FC
David Turner, Co-Founder and Editor - Over The Bar:
Personally I’m aiming to attend more games than 2018 across different levels of the game, especially local non-league and women’s team’s.

David Pearson, Written Content Editor and EFL League One SME - Over The Bar:
Mine would be to take an outsiders view of my club, Rochdale, more seriously. I think we are all very guilty of seeing our teams’ affairs through tinted glasses and often we get quite defensive when we shouldn’t.

Paul McGarraghy, Co-Founder and Editor - Over The Bar:
To improve my understanding of the impact the game has on local communities and economies, at the lower end of the football pyramid, before judging clubs against Premier League standards.
— Over the bar
2019 for me is about getting my UEFA B badge signed off early in the year and then getting my team ready for a push at promotion to Step 6 of the FA Pyramid.
— Raphael Frascogna - Founder Of Footy v Cancer
To not end 2019 in the same shape I ended 2018 and to get back out playing the game in reality rather than just in the beautifully melancholic dreams that plague my sleep.
— Benny V - Dance Concept Label Manager, Co-owner of souped up records and spurs fan
My new years football resolution is for Tottenham to finally come back home after what seems like an eternity away from the lane and if I’m being greedy it would be fantastic to end our silverware drought also
— Dan Tracey - Host of the E-Spurs Podcast
My resolution is to find the thermal underwear that works best for me at Away matches, where I can’t rely on my home match resources for keeping warm (I have a number of crafty warm-up resources at The Dripping Pan, but am yet to discover the most useful thermals!)
— Karen Dobres - Equality FC Team at Lewes FC
I will discover a Sheffield United player that I have never heard of, do a heap of reading and research, and then write something about him.
— Sam - Dem Blades Fanzine
To finish both open series of articles - “Fan Representation” to be published on Fans Without Scarves and “Poppies and Pitches” at its new home at Football And The City
— TJ - Founder, Fans Without Scarves
My New Years football resolution is to learn — or make an attempt to learn — from as many of the people with whom I interact as possible. It’s a year to further embrace diversity of opinion — so long as that opinion is supported
— Alex Mansfield - Co-owner and editor LFC Transfer Room, Co-host LFC Transfer Room podcast on Anfield Index
We Hope to Expand our supporters from 8,000 to 40,000 and have a pre-season match with @ASRomaEN and Other European Teams.
— AC Spartans
It has been estimated that around 10% of the population are gay. However there is not one single player in the PL that is out as openly gay. With over 500 squad players in the PL, this doesn’t seem right.
Football is one of the last ares of Western Culture that has yet to catch up with the rest of society.

My football resolution for 2019 is to do more to support the LGBT community in the game, and to call out any homophobia I witness.
— Scott Sanders - Tottenham Hotspur Fan
1. Football as a force for good and change in Africa and to build connections in countries such as Iran - where women’s football is helping to drive social change?
2. Supporting womens’ football
3. Supporting “kick it out” and other initiatives
— Peter Willis - Tottenham Hotspur Fan
I’d like to more actively support women’s football here in Belgium. Definitely going to try and attend matches of the national women’s team and a local club when I can.
— Frédéric La Roche - Belgium & Spurs Fan
This ending 2018 came with surprises differing from negative to positive ones. One of them being that Chelsea’s fast adaption from defensive play to attacking one which aroused high hopes for us fans and our rivals alike. Hence resolutions to be in the top four as a first for 2018 in this current season was achieved beyond measure with this crop we have in the current squad. As a happy Zimbabwean Chelsea FC fan base we have highs hopes for Europa title as a gift for us fans, for our fans to grow in support of the team, most all to be recognised by the mother board of Chelsea FC, to see a perfect competition in the football fraternity and a reduction which currently blemishing the perfect spot. It would be an honour if all these are achieved for us Chelsea fans.
— Tichaona Hungwe, Simon Duuro & Benson Chiguri on behalf of Chelsea Zimbabwe
As the years pass in an era of omnipresent news coverage and a saturated football writing ‘market’, it’s reassuring to remember that a niche still exists for quality long-form prose. Whilst I would not put my own work on a pedestal, part of what keeps me going is the feedback I receive from readers.

The last piece I wrote was over 8,000 words, and it can be a struggle to hold people’s attention for that length of time. Using graphics and other visualisation tools can help, but I think the main thing is actually quite simple: I don’t just insert blocks of text one after another. The eye can get lazy, and it needs a variety of stimuli to keep someone engaged to it, as they’re not expecting a book when visiting your site, and you have to be conscious of the different schema.

One of the conscious shifts I have made this season is to actively write fewer articles but with more time dedicated to each one. That’s something I plan to continue into 2019, all whilst avoiding what has been commonly referred to as ‘clickbait’. That form of journalism can actually be just as rewarding to read, but it somehow feels a little dishonest to rope people in that way. If I can’t let my work speak for itself, and the positive feedback shared amongst football fans sell it to new readers, then what good is it?

Writing almost exclusively about Bury and the division they find themselves in will always be a niche within a niche. I understood that from day one. Avoiding overt politics, sensationalism, bias, and clickbait in them is very much part of my ethos. These things are not necessarily mutually inclusive, and there are in some cases other writers out there that can weave compelling narratives with these... but I can’t, and I feel that it is starting to prise open one or two doors that would otherwise have remain closed to me, as someone who’s only realised in his early 30s that yes, I’m actually good at it, but I still have plenty to learn. I hope you’ll stay with me on the journey!
— Peter Taylor, Editor - Bury Me In Exile & Football Manager Researcher

J.S. Leatherbarrow