28 November 2022

How Do Footballers Spend Their Spare Time?

People can spend their childhood and some of their adulthood dreaming of playing professional football for one of the world’s top clubs. Scoring the winner in a big game sounds like a fantastic job, but what else do players get to do?

Footballers are not that different from anyone else and do many of the same things everyone does but a lot more extravagantly. Here is a look at how footballers spend their spare time.

Travel Time is Spent Scrolling and Tapping

Whatever level a player is playing at, they will be spending some time on the road. For the big boys of European football, time is spent in the air instead. The situation they find themselves in is the same; players are stuck in a chair for a few hours.

Footballers will do the same things that many people do on their commutes to work, scroll through social media, and play on their phones, all while listening to music. If you see the footage of players arriving at a stadium on the TV you will see nearly all of them wearing expensive headphones, listening to tunes.

Many players enjoy playing on gaming sites on long trips. They look for the best gambling sites just like the rest of us do. You can look here for impartial information regarding gaming sites if you have a long journey or even on your daily trip to work and back.

The players with a large social media following will use their travel time to keep fans updated on the journey. Their accounts are usually closely monitored by their clubs though. Many players will have social media managers, as well as publicists, that check tweets and Instagram posts before sharing.

Football is Not Their Only Sport

Athletes cannot help themselves. They spend all week playing and practising a sport, and then they will devote a large part of their spare time to another. The biggest second sport amongst footballers is golf, and players can quite just as competitive with each other on the golf course as they do on the football pitch.

Players golf together a lot, and players from different teams will golf competitively sometimes. Golf is a game you can play on your own too. Some footballers spend a little too much time playing 18-holes. A recent example was Gareth Bale at Real Madrid, who asked to be left out of a Champions League game only to be spotted hours later on a golf course while his teammates travelled.

Footballers play a lot of other sports too but must be careful. There is a clause in most football contracts that stipulates players must avoid dangerous activities that can cause an injury.

This keeps them away from extreme sports like snowboarding, but also physically intensive sports like rugby. Golf is so popular with players because it is easy going and they are much less likely to injure themselves. It also honours their expensive contracts, and they are less likely to spend time injured on the bench.

Playing on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC

Videogames are a popular pass time, especially amongst the younger players. They may play the latest FIFA game against each other online, and maybe some fans have beaten their idols in some matches too.

They play many of the same titles everyone else does, like Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, and can play online anonymously, hiding behind a username. This can be a terrific way for players to unwind and relieve the pressure that comes from playing football at the highest level and being a professional sports star.

Fortnite is a smash-hit online game that has caused problems in the Premier League. Some players have had to be treated for addiction to the game, and it was interfering with their focus and training schedule. This problem has reared its head in the game before, with Liverpool goalkeeper David James attributing poor performances in the league to playing Tomb Raider on the original PlayStation.

Younger footballers coming through the ranks have been playing video games all their life now and continue playing when they turn professional. Now videogame addiction is replacing the drug and alcohol addiction problems that plagued Premier League teams in the 1990s.

Working for Charities

Every top club has associations with important charities. Player's contracts will often ensure they have to contribute some of their time and fame to support local children’s hospitals for example. Some players will only satisfy their contractual obligations and then move on, but many continue to support the charities as well as others that they have chosen themselves.

Regular financial donations are just the start for some footballers, with many using their social media clout and their contacts in the press to publicise charities. This can be a massive boost to many worthy causes, as the big-name players always attract a lot of attention and help bring both financial support and volunteers to their doors.

Keeping Fit and Eating Healthily

Footballers will spend a lot of their time at work training, exercising, and monitoring their nutrition. The top clubs keep a close eye on their player’s eating and workout regimes to maintain peak levels of fitness and help them to recover after an injury.

Many players take these habits back home with them, especially as they get a little older. The career of a football player is a short one. From turning professional at 18 most players only have around 20 years to earn enough money to last the rest of their lives. Playing at the highest level does not last forever either, many players will drop down to lower leagues in their thirties and will earn less as a result.

The footballers who spend time at home maintaining their nutritional plan, staying fit with cardio, and doing some yoga, will usually have a longer career and keep playing in the top leagues. Players still having a place in a top-level squad while in their late thirties is becoming common.

There you have it. Being a professional footballer seems like it is all fun and games, and it pretty much is. Players need to make the most of it when they can though. Their careers do not last long.

Image Credit

27 November 2022

The Tridge – Michigan's Three Way Bridge

A bridge normally has two sides, that much is taken for granted. Yet what do you call a bridge which crosses a river three-ways? The citizens of Midland in Michigan, US, were faced with this conundrum but solved it with aplomb. They took the words bridge and tri and combined them. The tridge was born.

Falling (in love) Rocks

A Good Wife

This is a rather sombre and quiet meditation on the nature of infidelity, juxtaposed with some of the most beautifully colored animation I have seen in some time. It also has a wonderful retro film and reminds one of the 1950s melodramas of Douglas Sirk.

We see the eponymous wife heading home after a meeting with her lover. There are no words, just reflection and music which enhances the mood of the piece.

This is a wonderful piece of animation by W Scott Forbes. Music is provided by Cyrille Marchesseau and sound by Julien Begault.

End of a Scarer

Sometimes you just have to accept that your time has passed. Or do you? The good old fashioned Hollywood monster featured in End of a Scarer will simply not admit that he is past his scream-by date and is determined to prove (at least to one little boy) that he still has the capacity to make him yell out in terror!  After all, how can the star of such classics as King Kongo simply step out of the limelight?

Whether he succeeds is up to you to find out!

This very funny animated short was created by Chris O’Hara and served as his animated graduate film from D.L.I.A.D.T (Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art design and Technology in Dublin). 

Toi Toi

They say a boy’s best friend is his dog but the lad in this animation might just disagree! He stumbles in to the workshop of an evil old man and rescues an octopus. Yes, you read that correctly, an octopus! However, that is just the start of their adventures together as the old man is certainly not going to give him his catch without a fight – or a chase for that matter!

Toi Toi (for that is the name of the octopus) is a joint venture by seven recent graduates from The One Academy in Malaysia. Collectively they call themselves the Old Boyz Studio which is a pretty cool name when all is said and done! We look forward to seeing their first feature!

20 November 2022


What do you automatically think of when someone says a film set in a South African township? Grinding poverty and misery all round, something worthy but perhaps a little painful to watch? Then perhaps e-lectricity might change your perspective a little. Yes, it is set in a township but is an unambiguous comedy. The township has no electricity so when the sun goes down the place is left in the dark.

However, there is some hope. Walter (played with considerable charm by Thokozani Ngoma) is an inventor – a little eccentric as you might expect but a shy and disingenuous young man, often the subject of ridicule when his attempts at generating electricity go badly wrong.

At the other end of the township is the indomitable Thimble (played by the talented Rethabile Mokhele), serial knitter and supplier of balaclavas to the settlement’s rather meek criminal underclass.

Somehow their fates are, well, intertwined.

This warm and funny short film was produced and written by Jade Galbraith and directed and written by Miklas Manneke.

Lençóis Maranhenses - Brazil's Lagoons Among The Dunes

When you first see it, Lençóis Maranhenses in northeastern Brazil appears much like a typical desert: sand – and lots of it. 

Yet closer inspection quickly reveals pools of water among the ridged hills of sand, lining the landscape with their rich hues of green and blue. One of the most visually contradictory sights on our planet, there are lagoons among the dunes.

Land Art

Germany based artist Walter Mason has an affinity for pulling things apart and then putting them back in to place – but in a subtly changed way.  Chunks of ice can become upended, forming a chilly henge, elm leaves are stitched together then allowed to float away on the stream.  Beech leaves, torn asunder, find a new home on a lily leaf.  Yet the result is something quite extraordinary – intriguing but temporary, organic art which is recorded for posterity only on camera.  Following very much in the land art tradition, you can see more examples of Mason’s ingenious art at his Flickr photostream and on his tumblr page.

Ninja vs Pirate

Surely the only thing better than a film featuring a ninja, is when it has pirates in it too.  Of course if you have a film with ninjas and pirates the logical thing to do is to set it in outer space. Pure nerd bliss.

So, Ninjas vs Pirates does exactly that – with a lone ninja on a mission to relieve the robot pirate captain of his most treasured item.

Ninja vs Pirate, a 3-minute animated comedy short by 7 graduates from The One Academy, Malaysia who collectively call themselves Fruit Punch Studios.

Slug Invasion

Morning breaks on a sleepy suburb but the quiet is soon to be disturbed by an army of slugs with only one thing on their mind – to find and eat the flowers in the garden.  Yet they have an enemy, the little old lady who tends the lawns and shrubs each day.  Total war is about to break out – one of savage attrition and in which there can only be one winner, but who will it be?

This is a great animated short by a group of students at The Animation Workshop in Denmark.  The Animation Workshop is an international centre of knowledge and development for animation (and related) professions and businesses.

6 November 2022

Dance Slow Motion

See if you agree, but I thought there was something compulsive about this. Once the dance had started I just could not take my eyes off it.  I guess it may be because when you normally see street dance then things happen so quickly you simply don’t get a chance to take in what is going on.  Add a little Tai Chi style movement in to the dance and it can be even more perplexing - plus the fact the dancer is not as stick thin as the guys who normally do this (is there a little Blues Brothers going on here?) adds to the overall entrancement.

So, stand up Thai TV editor Sawang Treetippitak who created this with his trusty Canon T3i / 600D. The rest is just open-mouthed, drop-jawed history. Go Sawang!

Reading Kills

Can you imagine a world in which no one can read because if they do their death will be imminent? This is something the denizens of this particular world discover - and you can imagine the effects it has on their society...

It would certainly be a deterrent, perhaps even more so than in that most famous of dystopic illiterate societies featured in Farenheit 451.

Beto Gomez developed this idea for his thesis work at Vancouver Film School.  No one is safe, it seems – so you may well ask yourself why you are reading this!  Watch out! Behind you!

The Big One

Two aliens are in search of precious spheres which are normally about the size of an apple.  When they come across an enormous example – the eponymous big one – then the more dominant of the two decides that it is something he must have.  Yet that might not be as straightforward as it first seems.

This amusing animated short comes courtesy of a team of students at Stuttgart Media University (Hochschule der Medien).  They are Sören Hatje, Christian Höhn and Steffen Kuderer.  The Big One just goes to show that human weaknesses are not, it seems, restricted to humans!


I am a little surprised that Brisbane based filmmaker and digital artist Benjamin Zaugg didn’t simply call this Franken-Noodle but perhaps his own title has a little more class - and when you see the end of this animated short you will realize why he called it Take-Me-Away. From my own attempt at naming a piece of work which already has one, you may have already guessed what this is about.

A discarded half-eaten box of take-away noodles is brought to life and, as life does, immediately seeks to reproduce itself. Whether our noodly friend succeeds I will leave to you to discover. I was charmed by this piece which combines stop motion and puppetry. It also has a very catchy original score, Take-Me-Away, written and Composed by Ben Miles with vocals by Sam Jarousek. Two minutes of fun!

The Happy Rizzi House

You can only imagine the coughs and splutters from certain more traditional quarters when the idea for the Happy Rizzi House was first mooted to the council of a historical German city.

SpongeBob SquarePants might be happy taking up residence inside its day-glo walls but some of the elders of the ancient German city of Brunswick (Braunschweig in German) were most certainly not amused. Worse still, the planners wanted it to be placed in the city’s most historic area, the Magni quarter. Many were agog that this outrageous idea could even be proposed, let alone accepted.

Micro Empire

Clemens Wirth likes small things. So someone passed him a microscope and a drop of water and he got on with it. What we get is a fascinating look in to the micro world – and it’s not something that you get to see every day (or would probably care to see if you are even remotely squeamish!).

Yet however much you may want to look away it is really difficult to do so because you might miss something with that extra wow factor.

There is plenty of wow in Wirth’s collaboration with Radium Audio. In his own words: “The real challenge was definitely the small depth of field in microscopy. It’s really fascinating how detailed this tiny world is, and unbelievable how much is going on in only one little water drop.”