WHO ARE YA? Steve Obertelli


Steve Obertelli

1) Who are ya?

Steve Obertelli, Aged 28, Bolton.

2) Who do you support?

Bolton Wanderers FC (GM – Good lad!)

3) What was your first game?

Bolton Wanderers vs Tranmere Rovers, Sat 14 April 1990 at Burden Park, Result 1-1

4) What do you do for a job?

Community Football Development Manager & Academy Coach at Burnley FC.

Day to day role is to develop and deliver Community Football activities at schools in Burnley. Ranging from beginners football coaching for children aged 4-5 years through to Coach Education for children age 14-15 years.

I also work with the Academy as Lead Coach for the Under 11’s, this includes 3 coaching sessions per week and one matchday (Sunday).

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

I had a similar role at Bolton Wanderers FC from 2001-2012, I also worked in the Academy for Rochdale AFC between August 2012-Jan 2013 before committing all my time to Burnley FC.

6) How did you get into it?

I went to Bolton Wanderers as part of my Secondary School work experience in 2000, volunteered my time in School holidays, and started there as a YT (Youth Trainee) in July 2001.

Played at North West Counties Level for local side Daisy Hill FC which included scoring an FA Cup Goal.

7) What do you get out of it?

Coaching is extremely rewarding, whether it be teaching a child for the very first time how to dribble with a football or seeing a boy I have coached in the past who is now a Scholar at Manchester United. Sharing my passion for the game with youngsters and seeing their enthusiasm is great!

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Work hard, never let anyone tell you something is unachievable, and always keep an open mind. Remember, ‘The mind is like a parachute, it only works when open’.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

I wouldn’t change a great deal as I have had some great experiences over the last 12-13 years through coaching in China, Hong Kong & Uganda, to being on a UEFA ‘B’ course with Denis Irwin. I have a lot of happy memories to date from working in football, especially as it started at the Club I support.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

As a young BWFC fan it was Tony Philliskirk, then Super John McGinley. However growing up it was definitely . . . David Beckham.

The ability he had when playing was fantastic, the ability to play such accurate long passes was a joy to watch. Not only that but his constant hard work and drive to improve is a great example for any young aspiring footballer. All this along with the strength of character he showed after being a National Villain in 2008, and turning it around to becoming England Captain and sometimes dragging the National Side single handed through games (vs Greece at Old Trafford).

WHO ARE YA? Matthew Shaw


Matthew Shaw

1) Who are ya?

Matthew Shaw, 20, from Halifax, West Yorkshire

2) Who do you support?

FC Halifax Town

3) What was your first game?

Halifax v Shrewsbury sometime in 2000, it was 0-0.

4) What do you do for a job?

I’m the Sports Reporter for the Pulse of West Yorkshire radio, along with other roles.

5) Have you played/worked for any football clubs?

Yes, I’m part of FC Halifax Town’s media team.

6) How did you get into it?

A strange one, that. I met one of the media team members in a nightclub, and it went from there!

I do Sports Journalism at University, it wasn’t totally random.

7) What do you get out of it?

In truth, I don’t work much there anymore as different opportunities have arisen. But, at first, it helped me learn and practice different disciplines in sports reporting, which I’m highly grateful for.

8) What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your stud marks/footsteps?

Don’t turn down any opportunity, ever.

Networking is as vital as the skills you’ve inherited, if you only have one it’s difficult to make it in the profession.

9) If you could do it all again what would you change?

Time management.

Like any other student, I could have managed my time better. As a result, I didn’t fulfill my potential with my articles all the time, which is a shame.

10) Who’s your footballing hero?

David Beckham, obviously. It’s not just his actions on the field, but off it he is a gentleman and a really humble guy. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet him twice and he is such a nice person.



Ian Rush says…

Football and milk have shared a long and enduring relationship. The Milk Marketing board (as was) was keen to promote the health-giving properties of milk via the medium of sport, and who better to do it than athletic, healthy footballers.

The Football League cup was known as the Milk Cup between 1982 and 1986, and those of you over a certain age will remember the Ian Rush/Accrington Stanley milk advert fondly.

Besides the League Cup/Milk Cup, there has been another competition running in Northern Ireland, sponsored by the Milk Marketing Board for Northern Ireland.

The Northern Ireland Milk Cup is an international youth football tournament held annually. The cup matches are mainly played in the North Coast area of Northern Ireland, with matches taking place in the towns of Portrush, Portstewart, Castlerock, Limavady, Coleraine, Ballymoney, Ballymena and Broughshane.

From Wikipedia:


Eusebio was a guest at one of the Milk Cup launches. Also picutred are Sean Curneen (left) and George Henderson (right) former chairman and secretary of the Tyrone Milk Cup Association – See more at: http://ulsterherald.com/2013/10/25/tyrone-chairman-says-rebranding-milk-cup-is-biggest-challenge/#sthash.iO0vbZuO.dpuf

“The Milk Cup began in 1983 with sixteen teams participating at an Under 16 (Premier) level. Motherwell F.C. from Scotland were the first winners. It was founded by Jim Weir, Victor Leonard, George Logan and Bertie Peacock, one of the most famous football players from the region.

“The competition was extended in 1985 when an extra age group, the Under 14 (Junior) section was introduced and again the first champions were from Scotland, as Rangers F.C. won the Milk Cup at that age level. The competition at both levels has grown in size and stature over the years, with teams increasingly travelling from all continents to compete. The Under 19 (Elite) section was introduced in 1995 with the Welsh finishing the tournament as winners. Traditionally, the finals are played at the Coleraine Showgrounds on the Friday evening.


The world’s most recognisable footballer, David Beckham captained the 1991 Milk Cup winning Manchester United team

“Many current international footballers have taken part in the Milk Cup, players such as Keith Gillespie, David Beckham,  Ryan Giggs, Steve McManaman, Steve Staunton,  Charlie Davies, Jonathan Spector, Paul Scholes, and Wayne Rooney have all competed at some level in the Milk Cup. In the 2002 FIFA World Cup there were 30 Milk Cup veterans playing.

“To celebrate the competition’s silver jubilee, a friendly match took place between Northern Ireland and four-time junior section winners Everton F.C. at the Coleraine Showgrounds on 14 July 2007. Everton won the tie 2–0.

“One of the key parts to the Milk Cup is the inclusion of six representative teams from each county of Northern Ireland – Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone. This system allows young players from across the province to compete against some of the best in the world at their age group.”

From the official NI Milk Cup website, “The History of the Milk Cup“:


The inaugural winners of the Milk Cup – Motherwell in 1983

“Who would have thought that the Northern Ireland Milk Cup would have become such a magnificent event, one which is eagerly anticipated by football people all over the British Isles and farther afield?

“It was all very much an experiment in 1983 with eight Ulster teams and an equal number of visitors including the Algerians and a side from Coleraine’s twin town of la Roche-sur-Yon in France.

“Scottish stars Motherwell were the name on everyone’s lips that year after Irish FA president Harry Cavan declared the tournament open. Stephen Connors was the young lad to emerge with all the plaudits, scoring 12 goals for the Scots, three in the 5-0 win over hosts Coleraine in the final.”



Milking it

“The Mexicans won the Elite crown last year beating Denmark in the final while Brentford were impressive 2-0 winners over five-time Junior champions Everton.

“The Elite competition [featured] four teams this year. Mexico, the 2011 winners Denmark and the two-time champions USA [joined] hosts Northern Ireland in [the] round robin competition.

“It has been four years since Northern Ireland last won with a squad that included Corry Evans, Josh Megennis Billy Kee and Will Grigg along with Cliftonville’s Irish League winning goalkeeper Conor Devlin, who also competed with Manchester United at the tournament and Coleraine defender Howard Beverland.

“Boss Stephen Robinson will be eager to see this year’s crop of hopefuls emulate the achievements of 2009 when Northern Ireland landed a third Elite success to join Paraguay as the most successful national side in the competition’s history with three triumphs.

“Brentford [were] up against Mersey giants Everton and Liverpool in the Junior section.

“The Japan national squad [also competed] plus Equador’s Barcelona Sporting club, California based Strikers FC and the winners of a qualifying competition in Colina, Chile.

“There [was] a nice combination of international, cross channel and local teams in the Junior section,” says Milk Cup secretary Jim Weir.


Milk spray

“In addition to the six County teams from Northern Ireland [there were] three from the Republic. Cavan and Monaghan [was] represented as [was] North Dublin Schools and Dundalk.”

“The English line up also [included] Southampton, Watford, Swindon Town and Plymouth Argyle.

“The draw [took] place on Tuesday, April 30, at W5 in the Odyssey Complex, Belfast, with the traditional welcome parade of participating teams in Coleraine on Sunday, July 28. Finals night [was on] Friday, August 2, at Ballymena Showgrounds.

“The Milk Cup [was] sponsored by the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland and is supported by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, BBC Sport NI and the four Council areas of Coleraine, Ballymena, Ballymoney and Limavady.”

Pity the poor kangaroo


adidas World Cup Football Boots

Kangaroo leather is a strong light weight leather derived from the hide of kangaroos.

It used to be used in professional-level football boots and tennis shoes, such as the Diadora Borg Elite, due to it’s ability to be cut down to a very thin substance (the thickness of the leather) but still retain its strength.


Diadora Borg Elite Gold

Studies conducted by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) confirm that kangaroo is one of the strongest leathers of similar substance available.

Animal welfare groups have been calling for a boycott of kangaroo leather amid concerns over the culling of the kangaroos for their hides.

adidas has agreed to end the use of kangaroo leather for the prestige boots worn by Premier League stars following the complaints about animal cruelty.

The Daily Mail reported in September 2012 that:
“In the past, all the major manufacturers have used kangaroo skin for boots worn by stars from David Beckham to Frank Lampard and John Terry

“Beckham stopped wearing kangaroo leather boots in 2006 after he was given details of the controversial slaughter methods, but other stars and firms like Adidas refused to stop using the skins.


The Predator range of boots from adidas is now made without kangaroo leather

“The move by adidas followed pressure from ethical investors, specifically the British organisation Co-op Asset Management.

“The firm said: ‘We engaged with adidas in connection with their continued use of kangaroo leather. We noted positively the successful transition of the Predator range that no longer contains kangaroo leather and that within the next 12 months Adidas will have reduced their sourcing volume for kangaroo leather by 98 per cent.’

“British animal welfare group Viva! has worked closely with the Australian Wildlife Protection Council(AWPC) in campaigns to prevent the sale of kangaroo products, including meat.

“Both yesterday issued a guarded joint congratulation to the German giant for its ethical decision to move away from the use of wildlife in its global business.

“They said the move will save thousands of these animals from being shot and spare their babies from being clubbed to death.

“Other boot manufacturers are also cutting their use of kangaroo skin following animal welfare group campaigns.

“Philip Woolley, EU Campaign Director of the AWPC and head of international operations, said: ‘Having worked tirelessly for over ten years to get sports companies like Adidas to stop using kangaroo skin, the news of Adidas dropping their use on ethical and animal welfare grounds, is just a fantastic result.

“‘We congratulate both Adidas and the Co-Op for their positive approach to stop this trade and help save the lives of almost one million baby kangaroos each year.’”