The Footy Blog has been around since at least September 2008 (our archives don’t go further back than that), the brain child of the incomparable Joe Ross. It stemmed from the Footy Show which debuted in August of 2007. In the time since then, it’s formed a major part of the digital hub of the Score’s soccer product.
When I joined as full-time editor in September 2011, the Footy Blog was already the home of a thriving podcast, an internationally renowned Italian football columnist in Paolo Bandini, and an audience of dedicated fans of the Score’s standard-setting soccer coverage. I remember feeling very much like I had landed on the shoulders of giants in James Sharman and Kristian Jack. They were after all the faces of the Footy Show, and the best, most original soccer voices in the country. Not only that, but I had big shoes to fill in following up both Joe Ross and Brendan Dunlop as former Footy Blog editors. I can only hope I’ve in some small way lived up to their incredible standard in sports broadcasting and football journalism.
In the time since then, there have been countless changes. The site has seen its contributor list—and audience—continue to expand. The blog however has, up until now, always been rooted in the Footy Show on the Score TV. As many of you know, last August, Rogers purchased the Score, a deal made official last month. As part of that agreement, the Score’s digital assets were spun off into a separate company that includes this blog.
That means today we say a warm goodbye to James and Kristian, who will stay on with the Score as it transitions to Rogers. As a soccer writer, I’m more than indebted to their expertise, their opinions, their focus, their hard work, their knowledge, their humour, and their friendship. Canada should be grateful to be the home to two of the best in their field, anywhere. I still can’t believe I was able to call them colleagues last year; today, I’m more than proud now to call them my friends.
We say goodbye, but we also say hello. To Counter Attack.
What is this?
Well, the Footy Blog with a different name, essentially (except for slideshows all day everyday, kidding!). But the title also reflects the general goal of the blog: to go against the grain of perceived, easy wisdom in the football world, and to work hard to uncover the less glamorous (and obvious) truths of the game. It also mirrors the work of our excellent roster of contributors in reporting lesser-known but vital stories from around the world. And finally, as in football itself, the counter attack is a means for small teams to beat big ones. We’re small, but we’ve got big ambitions, to keep growing beyond our current confines, unbound by a single nation, league, or TV channel.
None of this would be possible without your continued readership, involvement on the blog comments section, and participation on the Footy Show podcasts. The only reason this site is here is because of you guys, in more ways than one. All of us here think each and every day how to give you a better product, a better read, a more interesting angle. I hope you’ll stick with us over the exciting weeks and months ahead as we continue to build upon the work of the last five years.