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John Welsh
I am a freelance sports writer specialising in football covering Premier League, EFL and English non-leagues plus top leagues in France, Germany and Italy. I have written for Inside Futbol, Football Weekends plus football previews for Hong Kong Jockey Club, and I’m also the author of book First Touch, a novel covering the exploitation of young African footballers and their experiences in Europe.

Total articles: 31

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Germany
Can Mario Gotze revive his career at Borussia Dortmund
12:00 Saturday 2nd September 2017

When Mario Gotze scored the winning goal for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina, a thriving football career appeared to await the Bayern Munich 22-year-old. That promise has not really been fulfilled as he succumbed to a…

Non League
South Shields, Scarborough Athletic: Non League sides sharing EFL aspirations
12:00 Thursday 31st August 2017

South Shields and Scarborough Athletic have long been non league nomads. Home again, both would now like to spend time in the Football League. Recently returned to their home town after a 10-year absence, Scarborough Athletic hosted South Shields…

Non League
Low attendance concerns Gateshead FC despite decent Bank Holiday crowd
12:00 Wednesday 30th August 2017

Football League promotion is an annual target for Gateshead FC. Yet, the National League outfit isn't drawing the necessary crowds to support its effort. Three years ago, Gateshead were beaten 2-1 by Cambridge in the Conference playoff final…

League Two
Newport County return to new Rodney Parade pitch in style
15:00 Tuesday 29th August 2017

When Newport County hosted matches at Rodney Parade last season, the pitch often resembled a ploughed field. Not anymore. Upon returning to a newly laid surface, County extended their unbeaten League Two start with a flourish.Playing possession…

Opinion
Impressive early season performers at Lyon and Bordeaux
15:00 Friday 25th August 2017

Neymar began to repay his price tag with two goals against Toulouse but Lyon and Bordeaux's early season performers may also attract positive headlines this season. The Brazilian's brace at the Par des Princes stole the weekend's Ligue 1 limelight…

League One
Paul Hurst defying the relegation odds at Shrewsbury Town
17:30 Tuesday 22nd August 2017

Just days before the beginning of the 2017-18 League One campaign, Shrewsbury Town was the 11/8 favourites with many bookmakers to be relegated from the division, but after just three games into the new season, there is a mood of optimism at…

Opinion
Early success for inexpensive Championship forwards
09:30 Tuesday 22nd August 2017

A few recently demoted EPL sides are stuck in the spending habit. Elsewhere, more affordable forwards are impacting more pragmatic Championship sides. Britt Assombalonga and Martin Braithwaite joining Middlesbrough may have been among the more…

Germany
German DFB-Pokal Cup yields more first round upsets and comfortable wins
21:00 Wednesday 16th August 2017

In devising a format for the opening round of the DFB-Pokal Cup, the German football authorities hope that lower league teams can create an upset when playing high-profile clubs from the Bundesliga. FC Rielasingen-Arlen and Chemnitzer FC were…

Non League
Promoted Ebbsfleet and Maidenhead proving their worth at National League level
18:00 Wednesday 16th August 2017

It may still be early days in the 2017-18 National League campaign, but Ebbsfleet United and Maidenhead United are already proving to be stubborn opponents following their promotions from the South Division last term, with the former team still…

League Two
Adebayo Akinfenwa - Still scoring goals at 35
18:26 Tuesday 15th August 2017

Although Neymar and Romelu Lukaku were among expensive summer signings scoring on league debuts for their respective clubs, Adebayo Akinfenwa proved that he can still produce the goods in front of goal at a lower level of football by netting…

Capital One Cup
Lee Clark's Sunderland jinx continues in Carabao Cup with Bury
11:00 Saturday 12th August 2017

As a player, Lee Clark left Sunderland under a cloud of his own making. That cloud has followed on the rare occasions the manager has again crossed the Black Cats' path. It had been a boyhood dream for Clark to play for Newcastle. He had been…

Italy
Contrasting aims for Juventus, Benevento, SPAL's 2017/18 Serie A campaigns
09:00 Thursday 10th August 2017

In the coming Serie A campaign, Juventus seek their seventh successive title. For newly promoted SPAL and Benevento, avoiding relegation is the main priority. Juventus narrowly failed to complete a treble last season. Its 4-1 Champions League…

Non League
Jarrow's Northern League venture begins with defeat
13:00 Monday 7th August 2017

On the first Saturday in August, there were no games being staged among the first five levels of English football within the Tyne and Wear area, but a visit to Jarrow FC on South Tyneside proves that entertainment can be served in the lower…

France
Neymar news dominates the eve of new French Ligue 1 season
20:00 Thursday 3rd August 2017

In agreeing to pay nearly £200 million to secure the services of Brazilian Neymar from Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain are not just gambling with a vast amount of money and a potential negative reaction by the public, but they also need to maintain…

Scotland
Ambitious East Kilbride expecting Billy Stark to secure SPFL promotion
12:00 Thursday 3rd August 2017

As preparations conclude for the 2017-18 campaigns of most European football leagues, both the Scottish Highland and Lowland equivalents have already started, but can East Kilbride secure promotion to the SPFL from the Lowland League after…

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