And of course again - Football.

Just across the hotel there is the stadium of the Wolverhampton Wanderers - an already very long existing English football club. It was founded in 1877 but some years ago was relegated from Premier League and now plays in League One. Wayne Jones nickname "Wanderer" of course is derives from it and he even wears the club's colours though as one hears Jones is not interested in football at all.

Over all those years the Wanderes already exist it had a quote a number of coaches and managers. One of those was Frank Buckley, better known as Major Frank Buckley who worked for and with the club from 1927 - 1944. He had been a football player himself and had played among others for Manchester United, Manchester City and Birmingham City before he withdrew around 1919 from his active career and started to work as manager and coach. Nowhere he stayed as long as in Wolverhampton.
His influence on the development of the modern club manager and coach was enormous although from where we stand some of his work looks a little bit questionable. But he was one of the first managers who though coaching in football necessary. His attitude was very much influenced by his time in the army. His players got from him a book with rules the players had to comply with and he had everywhere in the town his spies, who had to make sure that even in their free time the players stacked to them.

Due to this he was more feared by the players then loved or respected. Buckley focused on fitness and a healthy diet - something completely new in the time before World War II he worked together with physiotherapists so that his players recovered sooner from injuries. Psychologists worked for him as well. Beside he though about remedies to improve the performance - already at this time common practice in cycling.

That ended in a big scandal when the media spread he would inject his players a serum out of monkey glands to increase their efficiency. When examined it turned out it only as some kind of protective vaccination against colds... He always recommended his players to take part in dancing classes to better movement and balance. Buckley was one of the first to use media for his ends - he loved to play it. Till today he is considered as one of the pioneers youth work. He even built a hostel for the youth to keep them under the same roof to be able to better control them. He often bought young players cheap, groomed them and sold them quite expensive. He was infamous to encourage his players to strong physical play which ended in a lot of dismissals and is said to continue to have an effect for many years on Leeds United where he worked after he had left Wolverhampton for four years.

To be sure it was not strong physical play which let the dart players sweat - more the TV cameras on stage and the fear to be eliminated.

There were no changes in the group tables due to the last group matches of groups E - H on Monday evening. Geert de Vos produced some brilliant darts and an unbelievable 113.86 average from now where and so could at least leave the tournament consolated. Terry Jenkins managed to win against Robert Thornton exactly the four legs he needed to progress. Mark Webster managed a win against Michel van der Horst and progressed as well at the cost of Keegan Brown, who was defeated by James Wade. Raymond van Barneveld was in danger to lose his match but American Larry Butler couldn't hit his doubles in the last two legs of the match. So at the end of the evening all the seeded players had progressed while those players he would have predicted on second place of the table really all stood on the second place of their tables.

Tuesday evening was more thrilling. Somehow Steve Beaton managed to win against Martin Adams enough legs to get into the second round after before Ian White had defeated Jelle Klaasen 5:1. Dave Chisnall lost to Scott Mitchell who looked much better than on Sunday evening while Peter Wright won against Mervyn King. Wright had the better leg difference and was all at once head of the table and will meet Adrian Lewis while Chisnall will have to play against Michael Smith who survived the group phase unbeaten.

Martin Adams - unbeaten as well - stayed the only BDO player to progress into the next round while Andy Fordham lost to Michael Smith and was out of the tournament. Nevertheless the BDO players played their part in the tournament. It looks Andy Fordham started a comeback; Scott Mitchell improved during the tournament and will have a chance to win in Lakeside again. Geert de Vos threw an impressive average and Larry Butler showed he is a serious opponent. Only Martin Phillips disappointed while Mark Oosterhuis and Michel van der Horst definitely lacked experience on stage. Scott Mitchell assured me Oosterhuis is in fact a very good floor player.

It was a real good and interesting group phase. Now I am eagerly awaiting how it will develop and who in the end will win the title...

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