Members

Radu Baicu is a thirty-two-year-old Romanian football scout, journalist and fan based in Ploiesti, Romania. He runs Scouting Romania and has had the honor of working previously for clubs like Bayer 04 Leverkusen and Hannover 96, but will try to explain to you how not to run a professional club, because in Dracula’s country almost every team, well, sucks! (Twitter: @rbaicu)

 

 

James Baxter is from Shropshire, England and a (long-distance) supporter of WBA and Telford United. He moved to Olomouc in Northern Moravia in 1998 and followed Sigma until coming to Slovakia in 2003, where his allegiance now lies with MSK Zilina. Formerly a contributor to Albion’s Grorty Dick fanzine during the ‘90s and early 2000s, his interest became more permanent early last year after fulfilling the long-held ambition of being published in When Saturday Comes. He now writes for In Bed with Maradona, European Football Weekends, and is a regular contributor to Britski Belasi despite its founder insisting on supporting the evil enemy from the capital.


Dan Brennan is a British football journalist who has contributed to a number of newspapers and magazines over the years, both in the UK and further afield. A fluent Russian speaker, he has worked and studied in various corners of the former CCCP. Now based in Glasgow, he also runs Libero Language Lab, a sports translation agency. A chequered past ducking and diving in the Slavic football margins has seen him variously, assemble IKEA furniture for Sergei Rebrov, get thrashed at chess by Andrei Kanchelskis, serve as part-time factotum for Hearts owner Vladimir Romanov and set up a failed transfer to Everton for Viktor Onopko. (Twitter: @DanBrennan99)

 

Rob Dillon is a Sheffield-based student, who came into contact with Russian football through the combination of Football Manager and study of the language, and has been hooked ever since. FM has led to an interested following of SKA-Energia Khabarovsk and Zhemchuzhina Sochi, whilst a year studying in Russia saw Shinnik Yaroslavl and Rotor Volgograd become his adopted teams. Rob is also the author of More Than Arshavin , and is determined to get Maksim Primak on the BBC rumours page at least once in his lifetime. (Twitter: @RobDillonMTA)

 

 

Charles Ducksbury is a football writer born in Sheffield, England. A lifelong follower of Sheffield Wednesday, he started following Italian club Hellas Verona from a young age and now is a regular home and away following the Gialloblu. His first interest in Eastern Europe started when Wednesday bought (at the time) little known Yugoslavians Dejan Stefanovic and Darko Kovacevic and has since followed football in the region, particularly the Balkans region. A regular contributor to The Elastico and has written for Football-Italiand In Bed With Maradona. (Twitter @cducksbury)

 

Sergii Filonenko is a twenty-two-year-old student living in Kyiv, where he works as a professional translator while finishing his master’s course at the university. His favorite teams are, of course, Dynamo Kyiv and the Ukrainian national team. In addition he supports Barcelona and AC Milan. He does not support an English team, which he finds strange, but nevertheless it is so. He tends to be skeptical and cynical towards most things. (Twitter: @big___phil)


Benjamin Formela part-funded Czech football with his Erasmus grant while a student in Prague. Afterwards, he convinced his special lady friend’s Czech family that immersing himself in the Gambrinus Liga was the only way he would learn their language. Ben lives in London and enjoys all the best sports, even American ones. He scrutinizes Bristol Rovers, but he enjoys watching gifted players who have better things to do than give 110%. He can run really fast. (Twitter: @czechfotbal)


Mark Gilbey, having grown up in Peterborough, was perhaps destinedto develop a fervent wanderlust.It’s taken him to over fifty countries around the world.He enjoys visiting places off the beaten track, but fell in lovewith central and eastern Europe after first clapping eyes on Kyiv’sbombastic Rodina Mat in 2001; one Dynamo game later and Mark was hooked on its football.Now a freelance writer, he has lived and worked across the region, but the lure of Peterborough United draws him home . . .until that wanderlust kicks in again.Mark also writes FourFourTwo.com’s former Soviet republic footballblog Never Mind the Bolsheviks. (Twitter: @Mark_Gilbey)

 

Andrzej Gomołysek is the founder and co-author of Taktycznie, the first and only Polish site devoted to football tactics. He also freelances for various sites, e-zines and newspapers. For the SFU he provides tactical analysis of the Ekstraklasa and everything else connected to Polish football. (Twitter: @taktycznie)


 

Marcus Haydon‘s introduction to the game came sitting on a wall at the Tilehurst End of Reading’s former home Elm Park. It was during those early days that names such as Dariusz Wdowczyk and Boris Mikhailov started to creep onto the Royals’ teamsheet, burgeoning his interest in football in the east. Support of Widzew Łódź in the 1996/97 Champions League group stage followed (fortunately they didn’t raise expectations too high), before curiosity manifested itself in extensive travel throughout central and eastern Europe. More recently he’s contributed work to 4thegameGoal and When Saturday Comes. (Twitter: @marcusjhaydon)

 

Ryan Hubbard is an East Midlands based blogger with an interest in Polish Football which has been described as “unhealthy”. A proud supporter of home-town club Leicester City, Ryan says his interest in the Ekstraklasa began after having a combination of a large group of Polish friends, and a “very interesting” game of Football Manager. This is where he stumbled across his second footballing love, Górnik Zabrze. His descent into the blogging world came when his first piece was published by In Bed With Maradona, which led to him starting his own “Ryan Hubbard’s Modern Football” blog. You can also find Ryan’s football related art work at Los Revolucionarios (Twitter: @Ryan_Hubbard)

 

Saša Ibrulj is a Bosnian freelance journalist based in Mostar, splitting his time between Bosnia and Stockholm. He contributes to many of the major Bosnian papers and The Blizzard. (Twitter: @sasaibrulj)

 

 

 

Ivan Kalashnikov decided to switch from music to football journalism after one remarkable five-a-side game in Taiga against the local Khanty team. While working as a Deputy Editor for Sports.ru, Ivan created the very first Russian Premier League fantasy football project and mentions Jonathan Wilson’s name in his articles more than you really want to know. Before the start of the bizarre 2010-11 season Ivan was sent on a mission to London (and coincidentally appointed as a columnist for Zenit St. Petersburg’s official website the day after leaving Russia) but he still follows Russian football from its depths to, well, its depths. (Twitter: @kalashnikovivan)

 

Ross Mackiewicz is a Birmingham based football writer. He has written for a number of reputable sites including Soccerlens, In Bed With Maradona, Goal.com and is the chief sub-editor at Football Italiano. He has recently founded his own website entitled 1970 PSG, which is dedicated to French Ligue 1’s Paris Saint-Germain and their renaissance. As a fan of Russian football, particularly CSKA Moscow, he will provide insight as one of the newest members of the SFU. (Twitter: @RossMackiewicz)

 

Alex Milic is a Sydney-based sports journalist with expertise in Eastern European football, particularly the Balkans region. He has interviewed many well-known football faces around the world, including Serbia forward Nikola Žigić and Yugoslav and Greek football legend Dušan Bajević. He writes for many publications across the world in both English and Serbian. (Twitter:@Alex_Milic17)

 

 

Igor Mladenovic is a 20 year old French-Serbian student in Economics in Paris, France. His longstanding passion for Manchester United led him to a highly unsuccessful rate at alluring women in nightclubs, seeing as the only thing he can offer to females craving a ‘One night stand’ is a ‘Sir Alex Ferguson stand’ .. But who would really like to spend 25 years in the company of this footballing geek? At least these refusals leave him plenty of time to contribute to Bagsynotin.net and other French blogs on all things football, more especially Serbian football. (Twitter : @Mladenovic_)


Matt Morrison is based in Bristol, UK, and covers the Estonian Meistriliiga, the national team and follows Estonian players playing around the globe. He also has an interest in Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus. An occasional contributor for In Bed with Maradona and other blogs, including his own Eesti Japgpall. (Twitter: @iammoribund)


 

Tomasz Mortimer grew up in Nottingham, England from a football-mad family. His Dad was madly in love with Manchester United, his Mum a Huddersfield Town fanatic, and his Grandad (from Hungary) adored Ferencváros (and of course the Hungarian national team). He took his Dad’s club side but most importantly his Grandad’s nation and from an early age much preferred to see Hungary lose to Malta than watch England thrash Andorra. At just eighteen he is now a part-time football blogger at HungarianFootball.com, part-time Football Manager player (or addict, as some would say), and part-time student at the University of Derby. (Twitter: @HungariaFootbal)


Igor Naumovski is founder and Editor-in-Chief of MacedonianFootball.com and Macedonian correspondent for various media and betting agencies. He is a full-time Macedonian football fan (one of the few) and part time geek, web enthusiast and musician. (Twitter: @JumboMkd)


 

 

Domm Norris is a Mancunian Russian football fanatic who longs for the return of the Soviet Top League – only minus the communism. A co-founder and editor of the SFU, you can expect to see him covering a range of topics from the the inaugural Soviet Top League in 1936 to the latest big money Brazilian to hit Russian shores. Domm also writes for In Bed with Maradona, Backpage Football and his blog Football-globe.net. (Twitter: @footballglobe)

 

 

Derek Patterson is a Scotsman living in The Czech Republic (Plzen, to be exact) and whose day-job is as a teacher trainer. He is a member of Evertonians For Change, where he helps to coordinate the the group’s plans and contributes to the writing/editing duties of the group’s output. This, of course, means he is a supporter of Everton and counts amongst his greatest achievements the transformation of his (Czech) wife into an Everton fan and football fanatic more generally. Outside of work and football he is an amatuer historian and spends a fair bit of time immersed in late Republican Rome and Greek history after the decline of Athens. Loves Irn bru. (Twitter: @derekvplzni)


Michal Petrák started to embrace football in the merry times after the Velvet Revolution when the Czechoslovakia national team represented a democratic country for the first time at the 1990 World Cup in Italy. His country has since been divided into two republics and he has gone on to follow his dream of being admitted to football matches for free. He has studied journalism and media studies and worked as a writer for various sports media. He has covered two World Cups (2006 and 2010) and EURO 2008. He aims his attention at various matters going on in Czech football. (Twitter: @michalpetrak)


Mick Reynolds is a 24 year old History graduate from Leitrim in the West of Ireland. He became interested in Eastern European football through the writings of Jonathan Wilson, buying the likes of Alan Dzagoev on Championship Manager, and seeing the Republic of Ireland being ripped apart by Russia at home in a European Championships Qualifier in 2010. He loves Leeds, hates Ken Bates, has written for www.thejournal.ie and www.teaandtoast.ie and runs the newly formed blog footballactivist.wordpress.com. (Twitter: @electricmiknik)

 

 

Daniel Richardson is a Slovakia football fan and blogger. He stands on the terraces, drinks a beer, sings songs, takes photos and writes about it. Football in Bratislava is about as far as you can get from his day job and that is what makes his hobby such a rewarding diversion. Slovakia is Central Europe and he loves it. He’s been fascinated by football there since he attended a Bratislava derby in a near-empty stadium. His site Britski Belasi is about English-language promotion, discussion and support for football in a country where the game can be described as a different kind of ‘beautiful’. (Twitter: @britskibelasi)


Eliot Rothwell, a co-founder and editor of the SFU, is an eighteen-year-old student and football writer from Bury, near Manchester. Eliot has also written for the Bury Independent, Goal.com (attending Premier League matches in a press capacity and conducting interviews) and World Football Columns. His initial idea to combine the talents of a number of quality writers led to him contacting a number of Eastern and Central European journalists and bloggers, culminating in the creation of the SFU. Eliot lists Paolo Maldini, Pablo Aimar and Paul Scott as his footballing heroes whilst he follows, and holds a season ticket at, Bury FC in the nPower League 2 of the English football leagues. (Twitter: @EliotRothwell)


Eugeny Shevelev is a tactical crusader camped withinthe Ural Mountains. Nestled there in the heart of Russia he writes a tactical review for every match played in the Russian Premier League. Having decided that his missionis to introduce more rigorous analysis of football into the Russian media, his Sports.ru blog has quickly become a tactical oasis. (Twitter: @shevelevee)

 


Andrew Skomra is a co-founder and editor of the SFU. He resides in Chicago, which shares with many former Eastern Bloc cities an affinity for cronyism and graft. A former writer for the now defunct Russian Football Now, the first English-language site dedicated to the Russian game, he hopes the SFU will bring much needed attention to the seemingly inscrutable world of central and eastern European football and the exceptional writers who cover it. (Twitter: @claudebernard)

 

Manuel Veth is a German-Canadian who has lived in Germany, Canada, the Netherlands and now the United Kingdom. He is currently writing his PhD in history on the transition of football from communism to capitalism in the former Soviet Union at King’s College London. His favorite teams are TSV 1860 München, Zenit St. Petersburg, the German national team as well recently Borussia Dortmund. He is not supporting an English team yet but is sure that eventually he will! He is also a huge ice hockey fan supporting the Vancouver Canucks, and enjoys watching NHL, DEL, as well as KHL hockey.  Also look out for his blog http://wunderteam.blogspot.com/

 

Mark Wheatley is a freelance football and travel journalist based in Tirana, Albania.  Originally from Birmingham, England he is continuing the family tradition of lifelong support for Aston Villa. He has written for numerous websites and local newspapers in England. He has travelled extensively in eastern and central Asia, as well as Europe. He also thinks all countries should end in ‘stan’. (Twitter: @MWroundtheworld)

 

Firat Yalgin is an architect from Izmir, Turkey working abroad within Russian borders. Despite overwhelming working hours that hardly give any free-time at home, Firat runs the site Kontrataka which is about Russian football and its history. Firat is mainly interested in football and basketball and supports both Fenerbahce and Alania Vladikavkaz. You can find Firat discussing his love of the history and social sides of the game and of course a fellow citizen from Ordzhonikidze, Valeriy Gazzaev. (Twitter: @kontrataka)

 

 

Michał Zachodny is a freelance writer who focuses on Polish football for The Football Ramble, contributes to In Bed with Maradona and writes for his own site, Polish Football Scout. He was previously a football scout in his native country and now studies sports journalism in Wrocław. He will introduce SFU readers to the colorful football life of Poland. (Twitter: @polishscout)