Welcome to a continuation on new series on The 94th Minute, called “Starting XI”. This is where I ask various people, who are involved in football in some manner, eleven questions to get to know them better! The first ten questions will differ for each person, but the eleventh and final question will always be:
“Who would be in your all-time, favourite starting XI?”
This is a question where anyone can be put into their starting eleven, whether they are famous footballers, football legends, past or unknown players who had an impact on their childhood, or even players they have played with or coached. Anyone is acceptable in their XI!
The seventh installment of the series is an interview with The Groundhopper, a YouTube groundhopping vlogger with over 7.2k subscribers. Based in South Wales, a lot of his recent videos focus on South Welsh clubs and grounds, although he often travels the world in his pursuit of watching football, and produces many brilliant videos from various countries. To follow him on Twitter, his account is @GroundOfTheDay, whilst his excellent YouTube channel (where I would highly recommend for you to subscribe to) is at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR_BJZIDeGNx4W6zw32g-hw
1. How did you first get into groundhopping, and then decide to branch out into making vlogs during your football travels?
I never really started groundhopping before the YouTube channel, and always followed Swansea City home and away, so I was used to travelling and watching football.
The only time I went groundhopping before was in Argentina and Brazil, when I went travelling in 2015 – really enjoyed that experience!
My personality type is that I always need to be doing something, so if I was groundhopping and just watching, I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much. I was getting bored of watching Swansea, as we lost our identity, and was living in London, which is a hot bed for football teams from all levels. My first vlog was Hanwell Town versus Thamesmead United.
2. How would you describe your groundhopping videos and channel to anyone who hasn’t seen them on YouTube yet?
Semi professional content for semi professional football!
3. On average, how long does it take to edit one of your videos?
If I work flat out it would take me about 3 hours to edit a video, but I drift, so it can take me 8 hours to edit, but that includes me scrolling Twitter and watching other YouTubers’ videos.
4. From your many groundhops you have done around the world, which one has been the most enjoyable or most memorable?
My most enjoyable was probably the Welsh Cup final in 2017.
Difficult to say most memorable as I don’t put my entire life into a vlog, so I would probably say Ekateringburg for Egypt versus Uruguay in the 2018 World Cup because it was a awesome Russian adventure. However the most memorable vlog was probably DC United versus Chicago Fire in Washington D.C. where we were a part of a protest, which was like stepping into a TV, as you see it all the time but this was a first hand experience.
5. What in your opinion, makes a great groundhop?
At least 5 goals and no rain!
6. Are there any grounds or fixtures you are desperate to visit or wish to see in the near future?
I have a list of teams I want to visit. Top of my head, I’d like to see the Dundee Derby as it sounds cool and both teams are geographically close to each other.
7. What would you consider the most odd or strange situation you have encountered during the groundhopping journeys?
Seeing a man in his 50’s hitting on college girls in America was really creepy!
8. As someone who regularly produces excellent videos about South Welsh teams, how do you think the situation of South Welsh football currently is? Are you optimistic or do you have your worries for the future?
South Wales football will never thrive with Swansea, Cardiff and Newport all being in the English leagues. I’m not one of those people who want the Welsh teams who play in England to come back immediately, but it’s a negative against South Wales teams. Ammanford FC, for me, are the model club for south Wales – a local team with a loud fan base is what all teams should strive for. Aberdare have started to something similar and I hope to see them in the Welsh First Division in 4-5 years time.
Also on a side note, it’s great to see Barry Town United and Cardiff Met in Europe next season. I would love to see at least five South Wales teams in the Welsh Premier League.
9. Also, as a Swansea City supporter, could you give an opinion or thoughts on The Swans’ first season back in the English Championship has gone? Are you optimistic for next season despite Graham Potter’s move to Brighton?
Supporting the Swans is just depressing! We’re selling Dan James to pay for the Ayew brothers’ wages. So in my opinion, we’ve got 2-3 years of standing still, hoping to avoid relegation, then hope our youth team produce players than can help us get promoted again.
10. If you could change or amend anything in football, what would you like to change and why?
To make all clubs ‘fan owned’ and all money (earned) must stay within the club. Wage cap all across the world, but bonuses are allowed, so you get paid for your achievements. This prevents the Sanchezes and Ayews of this world just coasting.
11. Finally, who would be in your all-time, favourite Starting XI and why?
- GK: Dida
- DF: Cafu – Kompany – Maldini – Roberto Carlos
- DM: Ferrie Bodde – Leon Britton
- AM: Cristiano Ronaldo – Sigurdsson – Montero
- FW: Fat Ronaldo
Players I grew up with (that Brazil 2002 team was 👌🏼) and favourite Swansea players. I rate Messi, but this team is more about power and skill!
A massive thank you to The Groundhopper for answering my questions and being a great guest on the Starting XI series! To find out more about his YouTube channel, or to learn more, he can be found at the following locations:
- YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCR_BJZIDeGNx4W6zw32g-hw
- Twitter: @GroundOfTheDay
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegroundhopperyt/
To read my previous Starting XI episode, where I interviewed Flintshire-based coach, Gareth Jones, it can be found HERE.
If there you have any feedback, comments or suggestions who I should interview next in the series, let me know either below in the comments box, tweet me @The94thMin or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! It would be good to hear what you think about the series so far!
In addition, please follow my podcast channel on the following platforms:
- Anchor: https://anchor.fm/the94thminute
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