Stoppage Time celebrates its first birthday!
It was on December 1st, 2009 when I posted my first ever blog on Stoppage Time and it is good to know that the novelty hasn’t worn off. Of course when one tries to cover the world of football it is difficult to keep up with every event as it happens but the intention is there on my part to provide a service dedicated to informing my readers about the world of football. When I was growing up there was a very limited service regarding football beyond the shores of the United Kingdom and I had to look far and wide to find out any information about the Beautiful Game. The football magazine World Soccer was and remains a Bible of the world game and that was the medium which gave me the buzz for following football outside of my homeland. In recent years the Internet has given a new lease of life to writing and the Blogosphere very much reflects this. Having been encouraged by a friend last year I finally decided, after much consideration, that I should give football writing a go.
As an inexperienced writer of any kind I was wondering if my reports would ever attract enough interest to sustain my enthusiasm for blogging. The response, in terms of traffic numbers, has given me a positive outlook as the blog enters its second year and I hope that the numbers will continue to grow. The highlight for me personally was the sudden explosion of hits that my blog attracted during the 2010 FIFA World Cup with nearly 25% of the year’s visitors to Stoppage Time coming during world football’s showpiece event. In all there have 37,517 visitors in the blog’s first year and I can only hope that the interest will keep growing, especially now that you can follow Stoppage Time on Facebook and Twitter.
So what do we have to look forward to in 2011? There are many international tournaments with the AFC Asian Cup kicking things off from January 7th in Qatar. The CONCACAF Gold Cup, North and Central America’s big international tournament, begins on June 5th with the Copa America starting in Argentina nine days later on June 14th. The FIFA Women’s World Cup will begin on June 26th and will take place in Germany where the hosts will want to win their third consecutive title following wins in 2003 and 2007. There are many qualifying matches still to go for the 2012 European Championships and African Cup of Nations so it will be as eventful as ever at international level. This will be complimented by the World Championships at Under-17 and Under-20 levels, the UEFA Under-21 European Championships and the 2011 South American Youth Championship all of which, I’m sure, will prove to be a great stage for the next generation to showcase their talents.
As well as the international game Stoppage Time will continue to focus on the club game in all continents. The Champions League brand, started off by UEFA in 1991-92, has been successfully copied in each continent and the blog will look at the latest news in all of the elite club competitions of each confederation, the winners of which go into the FIFA Club World Cup at the end of the year. Finally there will be more Away Days to report on and there will be a new feature in the middle of the year in which the blog will look at the world’s biggest and most successful football clubs.
But, of course, if you have any comments or ideas for the blog I will be only too happy to read and consider them. You can join the fan page on Facebook; just type in Stoppage Time – International Football Blog and you will be updated on the latest reports and you can leave your comments. Also you can follow the blog on Twitter where you can also reply to the various tweets. Go to http://www.twitter.com/StopTimeBlog
Finally I would like to personally thank everybody who has taken time out to read the blog and make it an enjoyable first year. Plus I would like to thank everybody who has helped advertise the blog on their websites such as BBC Sport, Soccer Blogs, Polish Football Scout and others who have helped add to the numbers visiting the blog. Hopefully Stoppage Time’s second birthday will prove even better than its first one and I personally urge you to tell your friends about the blog if they have any interests in world football. If you don’t believe me just consider the comments of the well-known football website In Bed With Maradona which published this in its article “The Football Sites You Simply Must Visit” earlier this year:
“If there’s a better football blog out there then IBWM would like to see it. Peter offers coverage of everything from everywhere. Brilliant. A real IBWM favourite.”
All the best and happy reading.