Tag Archives: Football

Honduran national team, the weather and derbies

Dear readers,

Some of you might already know, but I’ve been doing some reporting for Fox Sports Australia in the run up to World Cup playoffs between Honduras and the Soccerroos. Going by the name of my blog, there’s no guessing in who I’m following.

I’m enjoyed it and so far, pretty much so good. My first story was a big miss due to a mis intepretation of various nuances from some sections of the media. However, a third story seemed to be a massive hit, which has landed me interviews on television and radio, which I will go into in a future post. I feel quite overwhelmed by the positivity I’ve received, and I’ve learned an awful lot about patriotism and the power of words, as well as how sensitive Hondurans feel about how they are portrayed globally. I already knew about it, but this has been a great reminder and a very good learning experience. I’ve gained a lot of friends so far, such as the Barra Brava Catracha group, who I will write about more in a post coming up soon.

I wrote this post yesterday for Fox, but they decided not to run with it. I have therefore adapted it and publishing it here.



With Eddie Hernandez out the playoffs, Jorge Pinto was left sweating after his first choice goalkeeper Donis Escober and Choco Lozano were taken off during their respective teams, Olimpia and Barcelona B. was taken off with a muscular injury in Olimpia’s derby game with Motagua. However, it seems they will be fit for Honduras’s crunch games against Australia.

In the meantime, Jorge Pinto has left fans and media guessing about his select 11, adding that he has a plan for Australia.

The press and social media were surprised by the omission of Ronny Martinez and Rubilio Castillo, and the call up of some lesser known players from Honduras’s provincial teams like Juticalpa. Los Catrachos will be buoyed by the return of Carlo Costly and Mario Martinez, but how the latter fits into a team already boasting a range of talent in defensive midfield remains to be seen. The one surprise omission which has brought little news is Roger Espinoza, also known as El Chino, a utility midfield man with Sporting Kansas City in the MLS, who won the English FA Cup with Wigan Athletic in 2013. The Honduran born, US citizen has been a fans favourite over the years, scoring a few golazos along the way. Pinto obviously sees enough talent in the squad to leave him out.


What did my home city Birmingham and my adopted city Tegucigalpa have in common this weekend? Derby games! Both cities boast fiery rivalies in the city, with Birmingjam and Aston Villa and Olimpia and Motagua respectively. Yet this weekend, both derbies ended in 0-0 draws. Yes, the bragging rights mean everything to the fans in both cities, and both clubs want to claim the throne of el papá de ciudad. That’s where the similarities end though. Both Tegucigalpa’s teams are fighting to take top spot in the league, while Birmingham are locked in a relegation dog fight in the 2nd tier in the English leagues, while Villa, which now stars ex-England man John Terry, are in a rat race to return to the Premier League.

Back to the Tegucigalpa derby, both Olimpia and Motagua represent two of the country’s most powerful clubs, in which anything is possible.

Drama surrounds this fixture, and this weekend will be no different, giving supporters some reprieve of thinking about the play off with the Soccerroos. Just last season an Olimpia supporter invaded the pitch, collected the ball, dazzled two or three Motagua defenders before putting it away, while at the same time, Olimpia team took advantage of Motagua’s confusion and also scored, all of it taking place in injury time. Surprisingly, the goal stood and game finished 2-2. Click here to see the video.

While Olimpia could be labelled the Manchester United of Honduras, playing in very similar colours and being by far the most successful club, yet Motagua have won the previous two titles and currently sit four points clear at the top of the league, while Olimpia are 3rd.

The club’s supporters were mocking each other on the sport’s radio show La Potra Hn on Friday night, who called me while on air to talk about an article I’d written, about Olimpia beating Santos of Costa Rica penalties to claim  the Torneo Liga Concacaf the night before, with Motagua supporters were raining on their counterpart’s parade, claiming the victory was only region’s 2nd tier cup, the Europa League of Central America.


Talking of rain, Tropical Storm Selma entered Honduran territory on the Pacific Coast on Saturday evening, bringing torrential rain to the south side of the country. Honduras has already experienced heavy rainfall throughout the country, with has brought flash floods, landslides, overflowing rivers and reservoirs, one of which left a dam on high alert. It’s brought considerable damage to some poorer neighbourhoods in and around the northern towns and cities, claiming a number of lives.

That being said, emergency services have been quick to react and civilians have been helping one another. Australian fans coming over will be kept well away from the more precarious areas and the game shouldn’t be affected; just remember to bring your waterproofs.





Futbol en Barrio Chile y “skinning a rabbit”

Hola todo

I thought I would do an update on the Casa Alianza football team. They have been playing in a Saturday league team and, as far as I know, they have been steam-rolling through the games like Man Utd have been doing in the Premiership this season. I have seen them play before and they have fantastic squad, playing in a similar way to Spain and Barcelona: total possesion. They play with each other every day in Casa Alianza and know each others game back to front. I’ve said it before, many of these kids could break into professional teams. They’re so cunning and very technically gifted. Scouts from Olimpia and Motagua, the two clubs of Tegus, have been to look at them, but because the kids don’t have the enough resources or capital to support themselves, they can’t take them on, because the clubs can’t, or won’t, pay for it either.

I have been with them twice to where they place in Barrio Chile, which sits just on the other side of the Rio Choluteca from the city centre area. I pass it every day to and from work, and it’s sat just at the bottom of Cerro Grande where I live. It’s quite a dangerous neighbourhood and not a place for me to go wandering around with my camera alone. I hear Mara 18 are the ruling gang there and there are often grizzily stories of people being chopped up and put in the river there. What’s great is the huge cliff face just behind one of the goals. It’s very photogenic and the pictures could be put in some footy art books or something. Sometimes cows stroll on to the pitch, and the gangs look on, not to rob or kill, but because they are generally thrilled to watch the kids play. Normally I can’t take pictures of the kids and put them on my blog because of security reasons. I can, however, if the kids faces are unrecognisable, so, here you go.

The last time I went, there just so happened to be a gang there skinning a rabbit. It’s certainly an alternative ending to Watership Down, but for me it was certainly educational, especially if I find myself stranded in the woods one day, I’ll know exactly what to do (although I’ll have to catch the little f–ker of a rabbit first). I did get twenty minutes of video footage, but WordPress is being shite and asking me to download a programme for $60 or so to do it (which I refuse to, sorry WordPress and animal haters), and it’s taking up to five hours to download it onto You Tube. I took a couple of pictures, which aren’t as grotesque as the video, but if you’re an animal lover or skirmish, don’t scroll down!