I’ve been shooting Sunday League football fairly regularly for about six months, mainly at Hartham Common, a park in Hertford about a 5 minute drive from home. However, after a few months of this, I decided to venture a bit further afield, having gotten a bit bored of shooting the same teams with the same backgrounds every week, with just two pitches to choose from.
I started by Googling football pitches in the local area, and after a bit of digging I found a few in Welwyn Garden City that looked interesting. I first went to the King George V playing fields in early February, but due to poor weather and waterlogged pitches, only two of the pitches were in use. I spent about an hour shooting the matches, and decided that I would come back again in the near future.
After a very busy few weeks, I finally managed to get back to KGV a few weeks ago, and when I arrived there were five matches in progress, so I made a quick decision to circle around the field, spending ten or fifteen minutes on each match. Naturally, some games are more interesting than others and you can usually get a feel for which team are in the ascendancy or which matches are more worthwhile covering fairly quickly. Two of the pitches at the playing fields were roped off, and had already kicked off earlier than the other, so I assumed they were cup matches and spent a bit of time shooting these first.
I then made my way around the other matches, before circling back to the pitch closest to the car park, where a small crowd had been growing for the previous 10 or 15 minutes.
From what I could gather, this was a cup semi final that had gone to extra time and was edging ever closer to a penalty shoot out. I decided to position myself about halfway between the goalposts and the corner flag, opting to focus on the team wearing royal blue who were virtually camped in the opposition’s half.
As the minutes drifted away, the action came thick and fast, with fouls, free kicks, a yellow card, a dog on the pitch, and finally… a goal. I was in the ideal position as the striker hit a left footed shot past the outstretched goalkeeper to clinch victory and was duly mobbed by his team mates.
Whilst this was happening a man had appeared next to me, and at this point he asked if I had got the goal. We got chatting, and John introduced himself as secretary and acting chairman of Welwyn Hatfield Sunday Football League, and was in the midst of providing ‘live’ Facebook updates from the cup matches. John was very eager to promote the league in innovative ways, and he asked if I would be interested in shooting regularly on behalf of the league, which gave me some food for thought.
I went along to King George V playing fields again the following week to discuss things further with John, and we agreed that I would share photos each week for the league to use on their social media.
To see more photos from the Welwyn Hatfield Sunday Football League, visit my dedicated webpage andytodd.co/whsfl.