page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40

WINTER 201031It was a difficult decision for Nottingham Forest's Lee Camp but a chance he felt was too good to turn down. After being overlooked by Fabio Capello for the friendly against Hungary, he decided to make himself available to play for Northern Ireland instead. "I qualify through my grandfather, who was born in Belfast," reveals Camp. "The process has started, I have produced a birth certificate and things are moving along. With respect, they are not overloaded with goalkeepers. They have Maik Taylor, but he's 39 and isn't playing regularly. Perhaps there is a window of opportunity there for me. The chance came along and I thought to myself, why not? Because I don't think England is going to happen."Camp may have been ignored by England but to those who know him best there's no question about his ability. A string of impressive performances last season saw him included in the PFA team of the season. "It was a great feeling to get the award, obviously to be nominated by your fellow professionals is a great honour," says Camp. "I think it's the highest award you can get as a player, being recognised by the players you play with and against every week. It means a lot - particularly last year as the level of goalkeeping in the Championship was so high."While on a personal level it was a great season for Camp, ultimately he'll always look back on it with disappointment. Forest finished the campaign in 3rd and were drawn against Blackpool in the play-off semi-finals. Despite taking the lead in both legs Forest eventually went out 6-4 on aggregate. "A lot of credit has to go to Blackpool, they beat us four times over the course of the season so you can't complain," admits Camp. "Obviously disappointing but it was a great experience and achievement for the club. A lot of credit has to go to the manager and the staff. It took a lot of hard work and although we missed out of promotion we can be proud of what we achieved. People forget we finished 3rd and at one point were 5 points clear in 2nd. West Brom strengthened really well in January, they made some good signings and added pace and power, they got a lot of results in the second half of the season that they didn't get in the first half. I think their investment in January took them up." So can Forest go one better this season? Many believe their failure to add new signings over the summer means they will struggle to make the play-offs, let alone finish in the automatic positions. The squad may not have the depth but Camp believes the players are fully focussed on promotion. "Everyone was a little bit hurt by what happened last year and there are a few wrongs we want to put right," says the 26-year-old. "When you look around the squad you can sense that people have got the bit between their teeth. The year before when we had the relegation battle we were getting a bit of stick and the fans were on our backs, nobody enjoys that, but then we finished up there last year and everyone gets a pat on the back we all enjoyed it and that's made us very determined."If they do prove the doubters wrong and manage to win promotion to the Premier League, it'll be nothing less than the club deserves according to Camp. It's been 12 seasons since Forest last played top flight football and a return is long overdue. "You can't get away from what the club has achieved and what people have done for the club but I think that time has moved on," says Camp. "Football has moved on, it's time to make our own history. I think the club has got everything in place to write the next chapter and bring the glory days back. When you walk around the stadium and you see all the trophies and the European Cup you realise what a massive club this is. But the club has got to go there again, it's got the support, the right people in charge, it would be great to be part of seeing Forest back in the Premier League."I think the club has got everything in place to write the next chapter and bring the glory days back.John Sumpter @JMS PhotographyJohn Sumpter @JMS Photography

32WINTER 2010Ollie's 'Misfits' Shine Bright on Golden Mile.Forty miles north of Manchester United's Theatre of Dreams lies Britain's answer to Las Vegas...Blackpool. In its heyday, 17 million thrill-seekers packed into this entertainment mecca, famous for its tower, its scary landladies and its Golden Mile.The 1950s saw the finest performers from stage and screen flock to entertain packed auditoriums along the seafront. And the town's halcyon days coincided with the glory years of its Tangerine football team, with the likes of Stanley Matthews and Stan Mortensen entertaining worshippers packed into Bloomfield Road.Now, after 39 years in the wilderness, the Seasiders are back in the top tier of English football once again.Why now? Well the reasons are plentiful. But most believe the thanks go to an astute board, a charismatic manager and a 'Dirty Dozen' group of 'misfit' players, all of whom have something to prove. "When I arrived I realised all the players were similar to me, coming towards their peak, mid twenties, and hungry to prove something," admits one of those misfits, goalkeeper Paul Rachubka."There was a bit of a joke doing the rounds, that we were all free transfers; just a bunch of rejects out to show people we were good enough to play at the highest level." It's true that we've had to clean our own kit and carry our own stuff. We do things that players at lots of League One clubs don't have to do, and we were in the Championship. But we've developed a great spirit here, only helped by the success we've had. Each and every player has a great story to tell. For one reason or another, they've ended up at Blackpool and we've gone on this amazing journey."Having arrived in January 2007, Paul played a vital role in the team that won the last ten games of the season, finishing with promotion in front of 60,000 at the new Wembley."I can honestly say we stood in the tunnel at Wembley before we went out onto the pitch and we knew we were going to win. It was an amazing feeling and something very special to be part of," remembers Paul, who has represented England at Under 16, Under 18 and Under 20s levels.But this Tangerine Phoenix from the Flames was only warming up. Promotion saw the departure of Simon Grayson to Leeds and the arrival of one of the biggest characters in the game, Ian Holloway.Three years on, 'Ollie' has built on those foundations and galvanised his troops further still.Off His Ollie"It's difficult to pinpoint just one thing that he's brought to the team. He's got so much enthusiasm for the game, he's such a good orator, he's a terrific motivator and he's communicated his ideas to each and every one of us brilliantly. "The manager is a genuinely likeable guy. He's all about honesty and being truthful with you," admits Paul, who played 21 games for the Seasiders last term."He's given us so many different ways to look at the game; he's changed the way a lot of the players think about the game. And importantly he's also taught us how to score goals."When we concede a goal, you'll never see any of the lads' heads go down. He teaches us how to react to all situations during a game." If we get beat, he tells us we just ran out of time to score more goals. It's a great way to see things."But praise is also due to Paul's teammates, who have grown game-by-game into a squad which appears to fear no-one in the Premier League."The lads are hungry to develop his ideas. They're a good bunch to work with Photo courtesy of Phill Heyward