As the year moves on, and the days are getting shorter, I love the games under the floodlights. As a football fan, I’ve always found that such matches have always had that little extra something. I think it goes back to when I was a child, at Molineux, with my dad.
In the history of the game, the words Wolverhampton Wanderers and floodlights are synonymous. Way back in the early 1950s, the club became one of the first to use artificial lighting in its current format.
Although it had been used previously, it was just sixty years or so ago that it really caught on. As far as the Molineux connection is concerned, it led to a series of extremely high profile games, where the cream of Europe travelled to the Black Country – and were beaten.
The likes of Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Valencia and the cream of the crop, Ferenc Puskas’ Honved, all came, saw, but failed to conquer. Back to the history of the game and Wolves, as a result of these fixtures, are always referenced in the documentation of the birth of competitive European football.
Initially the European Cup, now the Champions League that TNS plays in, you can trace the historical thread back to Molineux. Just as Wolves are highlighted as being up there with innovations that have changed the game, likewise The New Saints are in there as well.
Even in my short time as a dedicated follower of Welsh football, I can remember when the term ‘plastic pitch’ was directed towards the club and used in a derogatory manner. However, with two-thirds of the Welsh Premier League having joined the 3G revolution, that one seems to have disappeared as quickly as a game cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch.
Of course, our visitors tomorrow (depending on when you are reading this) Bala Town, are among the latest batch of clubs to embrace the synthetic approach. Even if just from a practical angle, it was an inevitable route for the Lakesiders to take. Whenever it rains in Wales, it certainly pours in Bala.
In addition, as we’ve embraced here at Park Hall, not only does it benefit the senior men’s side, but the advantages go right through to the wider community. I am at Park Hall two or three days a week and it is extremely rare to see the pitch devoid of some sort of activity.
Back to Bala, well done to Glyn Berrington, Moya Jackson, David Ingram, Nadine Belle and yours truly who all correctly went for the recent 2-0 victory on the road against the Maes Tegid outfit and #BeatTheBelle. Due to high scoring matches, exact predictions have been thin on the ground since.
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