English in Action: March 2016

The main talking points from last month…

New beginnings
March saw several leagues across the globe begin their 2016 seasons. Two of those leagues were MLS and J1 League in America and Japan respectively.

Firstly, Jay Bothroyd has made a dream start in Japan’s top tier. After finishing as the J2 top scorer last season, the former Cardiff City man has made the step-up with newly-promoted Júbilo Iwata look easy. In his first three matches of the season, the 33-year has already notched four goals. His early season goal-scoring exploits have made him an early leader in the goalscoring charts.

Over in the US, no fewer than eleven Englishmen have already featured in the first four weeks of MLS this year.

Dom Dwyer has been carrying on what he does best and was a stand-out performer against Vancouver Whitecaps were he bagged a brace to secure a 2-1 win for Sporting Kansas City.

Elsewhere there have been MLS debuts for DC United’s Rob Vincent and England legend Ashley Cole for LA Galaxy.

America’s third tier, the USL, also commenced this month with former Tottenham Hotspur forward Cameron Lancaster already on the score-sheet for Louisville City this year.

Hungarian adventure
Not many Englishmen have featured in Hungarian football. When Craig Short took over as manager of Hungary’s most prestigious club, Ferencváros, in 2009, he was joined by four compatriots. Sam Wedgbury, Paul Shaw, James Ashmore and Mathew Lowton all featured in Hungary during Short’s stint at the club.

However, since then there has not been an Englishmen to feature in the league (don’t quote me on that), until Nathan Eccleston made the move to Békéscsaba at the end of February.

Since then, the former Liverpool forward who is now 25, has scored one goal in five appearances as his new side battles relegation in Hungary’s top tier.

Romanian jackpot
The past two months have seen Romania become a serious attraction for English footballers as three have made the move to the eastern European country in recent months.

At the end of February, 25-year-old midfielder Ross Jenkins left Crawley Town to join ACS Poli Timişoara, the former club of fellow Englishman Wilson Kneeshaw. Former Watford midfielder Jenkins has made three appearances from the bench since his move east.

Elsewhere, winger Jeffrey Monakana who had a spell with League Two club Bristol Rovers at the start of this season, joined fellow Romanian top tier side Voluntari, although he is yet to make an appearance.

In the country’s second tier, Moses Makinde, who featured for Auerbach in Germany last season, has featured for Metalul Reşiţa. The 23-year-old has made four appearances so far.

Fresh start in Malaysia
After five seasons in the A-League for three different sides but only 27 appearances, defender Brent Griffiths swapped the Central Coast for Pulau Pinang in Malaysia.

The 26-year-old defender has struggled for game time in the past year but has since made three starts for his new side, lasting the entire match in all three.

After five games in the 2016 season, Pulau Pinang sit in mid-table, with one win and two draws.

Third country lucky
After spells in Spain and India failed to yield goal, Jermaine Pennant finally has a goal on foreign soil (he failed to score in European competitions too) for Singapore side Tampines Rovers.

Since the move to Singapore, Pennant has been a key player for Tampines, firing two goals in six games, which has led Tampines to second in the league after four games.

One of his strikes was a sumptuous free-kick, which can be seen in the video below.

April
April is another big month for new beginnings as football begins in Finland, Norway, Sweden and America’s second-tier, the NASL.

 

English in action: 7th December

Belgium: Club Brugge 2-1 Zulte-Waregem (Pro League)
Zulte-Waregem suffered a narrow defeat against top of the league Club Brugge yesterday.

English midfielder Chuks Aneke started for the away side, fresh from his goal midweek in the cup.

However, despite playing the full 90 minutes, the former Arsenal player was not able to secure a win for his side as he picked up a booking the 2-1 loss. His side remain in 14th place in the league.

Belgium: Visé 1-6 Tienen (Third Division)
Tienen thrashed Visé to move up to 12th in the Belgian Third Division.

English defender Amardeep Singh played the entire match for Tienen, as they fired four second half goals to record a comfortable victory.

Germany: Meuselwitz 2-0 Auerbach (Regionalliga)
Two Englishmen started for Auerbach as they took on Meuselwitz in a battle between two of the Regionalliga Nordost’s bottom three.

Defender Korede Aiyegbusi and midfielder Moses Makinde lined up for Auerbach as they looked for the three points which would take them out of the bottom three.

However, they would have left the match very disappointed as they fell to a 2-0 defeat.

Aiyegbusi played the whole game but Makinde was substituted after 55 minutes, with his side already one goal down.

Greece: Asteras Tripolis 1-1 Panathinaikos (Super League)
Englishman Luke Steele started in goal for Panathinaikos as fourth hosted third.

The game started badly for Steele and his team-mates as they found themselves a goal down after 30 minutes.

However, six minutes later, his side equalised to secure a 1-1 draw. The result means Panathinaikos remain in 3rd place in the Greek Super League.

Greece: Acharnaikos 0-0 AOT Alimos (Football League)
English midfielder Jamie Moore was on the bench for AOT Alimos as they headed to Acharnaikos for a Greek Football League match, the country’s second tier.

The slight attacking midfielder joined Cypriot side Ethnikos Achna in July this summer but just two months later, joined AOT Alimos, where he has since made six appearances in all competitions.

With the game still goalless after 64 minutes, Moore was introduced as AOT looked for the win.

However, 25 minutes later, the English substitute was substituted as they game ended goalless.

Netherlands: Vitesse 2-2 Twente (Eredivisie)
Chelsea loanee Josh McEachran was on the bench again for Vitesse as they hosted Twente.

The English midfielder has not seen as much first team football as he would have liked so far this season out on loan, having started just one game all season in the cup.

The match was tied at 2-2 when McEachran was brought on in the 56th minute for his first appearance since early October.

The change failed to alter the match, as they game ended all square.

Netherlands: VVV Venlo 1-1 Roda JC (Eerste Divisie)
When English winger Medy Elito was brought on in the 73rd minute for VVV Venlo, the game was goalless.

Just five minutes later though, his side took the lead and thought they had secured the victory until Roda JC hit back with an equaliser in the 89th minute.

New Zealand: Hawke’s Bay United 2-5 Wellington Phoenix Reserves (ASB Premiership)
English midfielder Ryan Tinsley started as his side Hawke’s Bay United hosted Wellington Phoenix Reserves in New Zealand’s top division.

The former Nottingham Forest man made it two goals in two games when he fired home a penalty kick in the 31st minute.

However, Wellington, already two goals up at the moment, would go on to fire a further three goals in the second half to win 5-2.

Portugal: Beira-Mer 1-2 Feirense (Segunda Liga)
English defender Peter Gregory started for Beira-Mer as they hosted Feirense in a mid-table battle in Portugal’s second tier.

Gregory’s side had a great start, taking the lead after just four minutes but Feirense hit back with two first half goals of their own to win 2-1.

The former Portsmouth defender played the whole match.

 

 

English in action: 29th November

In a busy Saturday, fifteen Englishmen made appearances for their overseas sides.

Belgium: Waasland-Beveren 2-1 Mouscron-Péruwelz (Pro League)
English midfielder Jonny Rowell played the full ninety minutes as his side Waasland-Beveren defeated Mouscron-Péruwelz 2-1 in the Belgian Pro League..

The result means Rowell’s side move up to 13th in the league table, one spot above compatriot Chuks Aneke’s side, Zulte-Waregem.

Belgium: OH Leuven 3-0 Racing Mechelen (Second Division)
Another English midfielder in Belgian also saw his side his side win. John Bostock played the full match as his Leuven team strolled to a comfortable 3-0 win over Racing Mechelen.

The result means Bostock’s side remain in sixth place in the Belgian Second Division.

Cyprus: Ayia Napa 1-1 Nea Salamis (1. Division)
Two English players lined up against each other in this Cyprus top tier match.

Defender Michael Felgate and goalkeeper Corrin Brooks-Meade started for Ayia Napa and Nea Salamis respectively.

In the end, the points were shared between the two expatriates as a goal in each half saw the game end 1-1.

Germany: Hallescher 2-1 Osnabruck (3. Liga)
English forward Osayamen Osawe came on for his 12th substitute appearance of the season as his side Hallescher shocked Osnabruck by winning 2-1.

Osawe came on in the 91st minute, as the hosts looked to see out the final moments of the game by bringing on the former Blackburn Rovers forward.

Germany: Carl Zeiss Jena 4-0 Auerbach (Regionalliga)
13th place Auerbach travelled to 4th place Carl Zeiss Jena with two Englishmen in their squad.

Defender Korede Aiyegbusi started for Auerbach with his compatriot midfielder Moses Makinde on the bench.

However, the match turned out to be one to forget for the two expatriates, as even though Makinde came on in the 69th minute, Auerbach fell to heavy 4-0 loss.

Francis Williams.

Germany: Rot-Weiß Oberhausen 3-1 Rödinghausen (Regionalliga)
Two Englishmen played against each other as Rhys Tyler‘s Rot-Weiß Oberhausen hosted Francis William‘s Rödinghausen in Germany’s fourth tier.

Tyler started the game on the bench but Williams started up top for the visitors.

The game turned out to be bitter-sweet experience for Williams as the forward scored his first goal of the season, in his twelfth appearance, but could not prevent his side from losing 3-1.

Tyler came on as an 88th minute substitute for the hosts, with his side already 3-1 up.

India: Pune City 1-1 Atlético de Kolkata (Indian Super League)
Jermaine Pennant made his fourth start for Pune City as they hosted Atlético de Kolkata in the Indian Super League.

The English winger was subbed in the 84th minute with the match at 1-1, and that was how it finished.

Malta: Tarxien Rainbows 0-6 Valletta (Premier League)

Lateef Elford-Alliyu grabbed a brace

Valletta made it two comfortable wins in a row, as they defeated Tarxien Rainbows 6-0. The result meant Valletta have now scored 11 goals and conceded none in their last two games.

Lateef Elford-Alliyu was on the score-sheet once again as he bagged his fourth & fifth league goals of the season when he scored Valletta’s third and fifth goals of the match.

Portugal: Belenenses 0-0 Arouca (Primeira Liga)
English goalkeeper Matt Jones started for Belenenses as they looked to move into the Primeira Liga’s top three with a win.

The three points didn’t come though as, although Jones did his job by keeping a clean sheet, his outfield team-mates did not manage to get a goal, as the game ended 0-0.

USA: New England Revolution 2-2 New York Red Bulls (MLS Playoffs)
Two Englishmen did start for New York Red Bulls in their MLS Eastern Conference Playoff final second-leg but all the talk was about the English striker that didn’t start.

MLS top-scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips missed New York’s biggest game of the season through suspension.

The two Englishmen who did start though were Richard Eckersley and Lloyd Sam. The pair played the full ninety as the game ended 2-2, meaning New England went through on aggregate after a 2-1 win in the first leg.

English in action: 21st November

It has been a while since the last English in action update. Although there have been a couple of overseas Englishmen in action recently, most have been for Auckland City in the OFC President’s Cup. A separate update on that tournament will be on the blog following its completion.

Meanwhile, seven expatriates were involved in games yesterday.

France: Strasbourg 0-0 Dunkerque (Championnat National)

Seventh played sixth as Strasbourg hosted Dunkerque in France’s third tier. A bumper crowd of 9,461 packed into the Stade de la Meinau saw English defender Edwin Pindi come on as an 81st minute substitute for Dunkerque.

Pindi, now in his fourth season with the French side, made sure his side kept a clean sheet as the game ended goalless. The match was the defender’s sixth appearance of the season.

Germany: Auerbach 0-2 Plauen (Regionalliga Nordost)
From France’s third tier to Germany’s, Auerbach hosted Plauen in the Regionalliga Nordost. Starting for the home side was English defender Olukorede ‘Korede’ Aiyegbusi. The 26-year-old is in his first season in Germany, having previously had spells in America, Finland and Switzerland.

Aiyegbusi has been a regular for Auerbach this season, missing just two games but he was unable to prevent his side losing 2-0 as they conceded a goal in both halves to Plauen, who now move above them in the table.

Fellow Englishman Moses Makinde was an unused sub for Auerbach.

India: Kerala Blasters 2-1 Atlético de Kolkata (Indian Super League)
Kerala Blasters’ player/manager David James was in action again as his side hosted top of the table Atlético de Kolkata. The 44-year-old goalkeeper is currently leading the Golden Glove standings in the Indian Super League, having kept four clean sheets in a row.

Although in this match the former England international conceded, he managed to guide the Blasters to a 2-1 win, to put them just a point off the top of the table.

Former Cardiff City striker Michael Chopra was also involved, coming on as a 75th minute substitute for the Blasters. Both Englishmen were booked in the match.

Netherlands: VVV Venlo 4-2 FC Volendam (Eerste Divisie)

English winger Medy Elito was one of only two non-Dutch players to start as VVV Venlo hosted FC Voldendam in the Netherlands’ second tier.

Elito joined VVV in the summer, making the move overseas after six consecutive in England’s Football League.

The Englishman’s side got off to a brilliant start, with forward Randy Wolters scoring a hat-trick in the first 18 minutes to race Venlo into an early 3-0 lead.

In the end, the home side secured a 4-2 victory, with Elito playing 76 minutes before being substituted. VVV are now eighth in the Eerste Divisie.

Poland: Ruch Chorzów 1-0  Śląsk Wrocław (Ekstraklasa)
Second in the league Śląsk Wrocław travelled to second bottom Ruch Chorzów in what looked like would be a routine win for the away side.

Defender Tom Hateley, son of former England international Mark, started the match on the bench for Śląsk as they looked to put pressure on top of the table Legia Warsaw.

However, after a tense 90 minutes, Ruch Chorzów shocked their supposedly superior visitors with a goal in stoppage time to secure a 1-0 win. Hateley was an unused substitute.