Of the dumb things I have done in furtherance of my fascination with the kick-about, the stupidest, to date, has been the obsession that I have developed with sponsoring players on clubs throughout England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Ireland. It started with our visit to Dalymount in February and being blown away by the impact that a late substitution of Joseph Ndo had on a friendly of little lasting relevance. Several months later, we were sponsoring Ndo's away shirt for the Irish league champions -- a shirt that Ndo presumably wore while scoring an away goal in Champions League qualifications against FC Red Bull Salzburg in Austria.
Since then, we've sponsored players on fourteen other teams and, as a testament to how pointless the enterprise, I am struggling to keep up with their exploits. But, putting stuff up here seems like a good way to remedy that sloth. So a few quick notes about some of the sponsored players.
On top of the table, fourth division-Scottish side Livingston FC, we are sponsoring the young winger Andrew Halliday. Halliday, an 18-year old former Ranger product, has reportedly drawn interest from a number of English sides, including, bizarrely, an actual inquiry from Charlton Athletic. Against Clyde this week, in a match that was ultimately abandoned, Halliday scored yet another goal from the wing (it would have been his sixth so far this season).
Higher up on the Scottish league food chain, Mickael Antoine-Curier, a forward we are sponsoring on Hamilton Academical's squad, scored his fourth goal in the SPL this season and the Dundee-loanee gave the Accies a vital point away against St. Johnstone. Antoine-Curier is currently scheduled only to stay with the Accies until January 1st, but we could not resist sponsoring him after he featured for Guadeloupe in the CONCACAF Gold Cup earlier this year.
In the FA Cup this week, Danny Thomas, a forward we are sponsoring on Conference's Kettering Town, saw over thirty minutes on the pitch as the Poppies forced a replay against Leeds United and a trip to Elland Road.
Peter Murphy, a young fullback we are sponsoring at Accrington Stanley, was called upon as a late substitute to try and preserve a win over Barnet for ten-man Stanley. Accrington ultimately gave up a penalty during the six minutes of injury time added to the end of the second half and will now have to travel to the Underhill Tuesday for the right to take on Gillingham in the third round of the FA Cup.