8th May 2022
Surrey v Matabeleland
Programme Price: £2
I was delighted to receive this programme earlier on this week after having a piece written by yours truly included in it. More of that later, but for now let’s start the review of what I have to say is an excellent programme.
The programme consists of 32 pages from the front to back cover is packed full of information. With page 1 being the front cover, page 2 is a full page advert whilst the following page features a short piece welcoming all to the game.
Pages 4 and 5 feature notes written by the Surrey manager, Matt Nash. The manager states how much both he and his players are looking forward to not only this game but also forthcoming fixtures against Hampshire Charity FC, Chagos Islands and Cascadia respectively.
Page 6 advertises a game between the Surrey Women’s team and the Afghanistan Women’s Development Team, to take place on Sunday 29th May. A very interesting fixture as we all know the troubles faced by women in Afghanistan and this fixture certainly goes to prove that football is a game for all of the world’s people – long may that continue!.
Page 7 is a full-page advert and is followed on pages 8 and 9 with some excellent information on Surrey. It is written that International Surrey Football follows the historic boundaries of the county used between the 8th century and 1899, prior to the county of London, which later grew into what is now known as Greater London after 1965. This means that International Surrey Football recognises Surrey as stretching from Rotherhithe, where the game against Matabeleland was taking place, down to Gatwick Airport, and across the North Downs towards Farnham and Camberley. The area encompasses over 3 million people and includes over 50 senior men’s football clubs and 30 senior women’s football clubs.
Pages 10 and 11 provide some very interesting information on Matabeleland, firstly with a piece explaining who, and where, is Matabeleland. It is written that Matabeleland is geographically part of Zimbabwe in the southeast of Africa, and represents the Ndebele people, a distinct group many of whom have deep historical reasons to distrust the Zimbabwean government. The area’s heartland is Bulawayo, and Matabeleland was its own independent country for much of the 19th century, before being incorporated into Zimbabwe as a province following two vicious wars.
The piece then goes on to talk about Matabeleland with regards to football. The team was managed by English coach, Justin Walley during the 2018 CONIFA World Cup in London and during the tournament the great goalkeeper, Bruce Grobbelaar appeared briefly in one game for the team. Grobbelaar can trace his roots back to the Matabeleland area.
Pages 12 and 13 both feature adverts which are followed on page 14 with a tribute to Gabriel Stauring and Katie-Jay Scott, who both lost their lives in a tragic car accident in November 2021. Both Gabriel and Katie-Jay were volunteers for the iACT charity.
Page 15 is a full-page advert which is followed on page 16 with details on the venue for the game at the Moatside Ground, home of Merstham Football Club. The club was founded in 1892 and in 1897 they were amongst the founding members of the Redhill & District League. In more recent times they reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time in their history in the 2016/2017, a record home crowd of 1,920 witnessed them losing 5-0 to Oxford United.
Page 17 is an advert and is followed on pages 18 and 19 with a player profile on Surrey’s striker, Tiago Andrade who plays his club football for Roffey FC. His first game for Surrey was in December 2019 against the Chagos Islands and states his long term ambition is to represent Surrey in the World Unity Football Alliance World Cup.
Pages 20 and 21 are both dedicated to providing information on the superb voluntary organisation – Her Game Too. The organisation is run by female football fans, who are committed to growing the campaign with the aim of fostering an ethos in football in which women are welcomed and respected equally.
Pages 22 and 23 looks at the International Surrey Women’s team who are looking forward to intriguing fixtures against the Afghanistan Women’s Development Team on 29th May and against the Kashmir Football Association on Sunday 12th June respectively.
Page 24 provides information on CW Sport Radio, which is the brainchild of budding commentator Chris Walker (Chris would be providing commentary on the game). The following page advertises some International Surrey Football merchandise, amongst other items, you could treat yourself to a shirt for £20 or a scarf for £5.
Pages 26 and 27 provide a book review written by some bloke from Shropshire by the name of Gareth Thomas! The review I wrote was on the excellent One Football No Nets written by the ex-Matabeleland coach, Justin Walley. If you haven’t yet read the book then please do as it is not only the best football books I have ever read, but also right up there with the best books on any subject that I have had the pleasure of reading.
Pages 28 and 29 both feature adverts with page 30 showing the previous results from games played since 2018 by the International Surrey Men’s Team. Some of the results include a 2-1 win against Barawa in 2018, a 6-0 win over the Army FA in 2019 and a 3-1 defeat against the Chagos Islands in 2021.
Page 31 is an action photograph from a game between Surrey and the Chagos Islands, with this excellent programme ending on page 32 with the team line ups for the home team and Matabeleland.
For the record, Surrey won this game against their opponents from Matabeleland by 5 goals to 2.