World Matchplay 2015 - 5

A little bit of football history...
Recently Sebastian Schweinsteiger changed from Bayern München to Manchester United - such transfers today happen frequently in football. With the coaches it is even more frequent and they even change during the season according to success - between the German football clubs but internationally as well.

But that's not really a new thing. Already in 1950 here in Blackpool a football player dyed who after his active career at the turn from the 18. to the 19. Century worked as coached in the Czech Republic, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland as a coach. William Townley.

Townley was born in Blackburn 1866 and played as an outside left first for Blackburn Olympics, than for the Blackburn Rovers and for Darwen and finally for Manchester City from 1896 - 1897. With the Blackburn Rovers he two times won the FA Cup and in the final 1890 he with the first ever hat trick was the crucial player. For two years Townley was the captain of the English national team. Than he had to end his career due to a serious head injury.

So he decided to become a coach and as there were not too many jobs in England he moved to the continent where football just stated to get popular though it was still a developing country for the sport. As in most countries in Europe there were only amateurs in Germany and the players often had to share the costs of the clubs. It was n absolute deluxe for a club to have a coach, most of the times an older player or a club official did the job. Townley was a real pioneer in this respect and he stayed -as it was normal at that time - often only a short time with the same club. The DFC Prague was the first club which engaged Townley to prepare the club for the first German national championship. But the club lost to the VfB Leipzig in the final and Townley moved on to the Karlsruher FV which won the German Championship in 1910 well prepared by Townley.

Next club for Townley was the Spielvereinigung Fürth, at this time one of the best provided clubs and one of those with the most members in Germany. Twice the Spielvereinigung with Townley won the Bavarian Championship, the begin of a golden age. 1913 Townley moved on to Bayern München, than back to Fürth and again to Bayern München before World War I began. Where Townley was during the war is not known but in 1919 he reappeared in Munic again where he stayed till 1921. Than he moved on to Nürnberg, might be spent some time in Sweden and than together with his son, who was a football player as well to SC Victoria Hamburg. From 1923 to 1925 he was for two years in Switzerland with the FC St. Gallen and before and after the Olympics 1924 in Paris he looked after the national team of Denmark as well. For a short time he returned to Fürth and moved on to Hertha Berlin, FSV Frankfurt, the Union Niederrad and Arminia Hannover. For Arminia it was the best time ever.

Finally by now over 60 he returned to England and died 1950 with 84 years in Blackpool. He certainly pioneered the German football but whether he left some marks or whether those even continue to have an affect I can't say.

Marks in the sport of darts certainly Phil Taylor left and to be sure they will continue to have an affect when he's finished his active career. But at the moment he is more interested to defend his Blackpool title. And on the third day of the tournament he finally for the first time he stood on stage and he didn't really have a problem with his opponent. But before Taylor appeared on stage Keegan Brown totally unimpressed had sent Robert Thornton packing despite one could have believes that the Scotsman after his recent win of the European Darts Open would be hard to keep in rein. What a performance of the Youth World Champion which even more inflated the mood of the already cheerful crowd.

Than Dave Chisnall and Jamie Caven came on stage and the crowd went wild. What a match! They didn't give each other and none wanted to give in. The averages were very similar too though Chisnall threw with 13 the till now most 180s in a match. But Caven all it all was a little bit weaker in the end Chisnall got the two legs he needed to win.

And now it was time for Phil Taylor who first had some problems with his doubles but it was no problem at all, as John Henderson didn't play his best performance and Taylor won with 10:2 to the delight of the crowd. The last match was between Andy Hamilton and Raymond van Barneveld. When the Dutchman came on stage he looked rather confident and even sang his walk-on song. But he soon lost his confidence - neither his scoring nor his finishing were good and the combative Hamilton- who didn't play really good either - had an easy job. But van Barneveld didn't want to sink unresisting and started a comeback but despite the loud-voiced support of the crowd it was not crowned with success. Not an evening to remember for the five times world champion, but sometimes it just doesn't happen for you. Several other players experienced this in the first round already.

Who will be the winner of the tournament in the end I still have no idea. All three top favourites - Anderson, Taylor and Michael van Gerwen - still have some room for improvement. But even though they played good and won their first round matches I still think none of those Pro Tour Order of Merit winners will be able to consequently play the tournament till the end and win it. Might be most likely Ian White - at least I can imagine he can win against Simon Whitlock. It stays interesting!

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