A damned good read ... charming, off the wall and well worth a tenner SUNDAY TIMES Connelly has a relaxed style and an intelligent eye for people and places ... his hilarious account of following the Liechtenstein national team should be swallowed whole in one sitting THE TIMES A wonderfully recondite book OBSERVER A must for anyone who loves the underdog. IRISH EXAMINER
STAMPING GROUNDS follows the Liechtenstein national football team through their defeat-strewn qualifying campaign for the 2002 World Cup. Drawn in a group with Israel, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Austria and mighty Spain, it was hard to see the principality's part- time players scoring even one goal, never mind adding to its meagre international points total. So what motivates a nation of 30,000 people and eleven villages to keep plugging away despite the inevitability of defeat? Travelling to all of Liechenstein's qualifying matches, Charlie Connelly examines what motivates a team to take the field dressed proudly in the shirts of Liechtenstein despite the knowledge that they are, with notably few exceptions, in for a damn good hiding. Sampling the delights of Liechtenstein's capital, Vaduz, such as the Postage Stamp Museum, the State Art Museum and, er, the Postage Stamp Museum again, Connelly provides an evocative and witty account of the land where every year on National Day the sovereign invites the entire population into his garden for a glass of wine.