• Michael McColl

      Editor

      Michael McColl started "Away From The Numbers" as a printed fanzine in 1989 for his Scottish club East Fife. It became a website in 2003 and added a general football blog in 2009. The focus has always been to mix serious articles with off-beat humour pieces. The Canadian arm of AFTN began in 2009 and is primarily focused on Vancouver Whitecaps.


      Currently a weekly columnist for Metro News Vancouver, Michael has also written for many UK publications including When Saturday Comes, Four Four Two and The Independent.


    • Steve Pandher

      Assistant Editor

      Steve has been a soccer fan since the early days of the 86ers at Swangard Stadium. He started The Whitecaps Beat blog on the instistence of his wife, as she was tired of listening to his ramblings about the club. When he plays, his two positions are goalkeeper and striker, mostly because of the lack of running involved. In addition to the Whitecaps, Steve also updates the play of Canadian players abroad with the @TrueNorthSoccer twitter account.

    • Jay Duke

      Writer

      Growing up as a casual soccer fan, Jay became a fervent supporter after a move to Vancouver and a rise in profile of the Vancouver Whitecaps. Since then, his summer road trips revolve around Cascadia Derbies, and friends weddings are only to be attended if they do not conflict with a Whitecaps match.

      Jay attempts to share his thoughts from the emotional view of a supporter rather than by advanced analytics or number crunching.

    • Aaron Campbell

      Writer

      Aaron Campbell is our new face to the soccer blog scene. He started following the Whitecaps seriously when they joined the MLS and has been hooked ever since. Not afraid to speak his mind and prove he is right in his opinions backing them up with the stats of the game.

      Yeah right. The only reason he goes to games is to get away from his small army of kids that he has populated the Fraser Valley with. One day the kids and wife will catch on!!!

      Supporter of Whitecaps FC and FC Barcelona.
      Follow on twitter @AaCamp81

    • Jun Marques Davidson Could Be Vancouver's Vital Cog

      Every team needs an unsung hero. The quiet player that goes under the radar, but who works his socks off week in and week out.

      It's obviously far too early days for us to go proclaiming such the unsung Whitecap, but when has that ever stopped us?! If I was forced to place a bet on who it might be, you have to feel that Jun Marques Davidson could be taking that accolade come the end of the season.

      Well on the one hand he could be, but on the other hand, you also feel that several people will be singing his praises at the same time, so maybe not so much under the radar, as in full view of it.

      The Caps' new defensive midfielder covered a lot of ground, without really venturing into the final third of the pitch against Montreal. Just what you want and need from a DM, and what the Whitecaps were desperately missing last season.

      He passed, he moved, he held the game up and provided a strong support for the backline throughout the match, including a vital last man tackle just before half-time, which probably kept us level at the break.

      It was a performance that won him the first 'Man of the Match' award of the season and Martin Rennie acknowledged Davidson's contribution in his post-game press conference:

      "He won 'Man of the Match' and I think he was justified in that selection.

      He's very good on the ball. He controls the tempo of the game and he also wins headers and wins tackles.

      I was very pleased to see him perform to that level. But of course, I've seen him play and I believe he's a guy who could be a very good player for this club."


      Rennie knows Davidson well, having had him for a year in Carolina, before the midfielder decided to go back and ply his trade in Japan.

      When we spoke to Jun after the game, he immediately strikes you as a quiet, thoughtful individual and not one to go around keen to grab the limelight. He has a job to do and he just wants to go on the pitch and do it.

      So how did it feel for him to win 'Man of the Match', and get a victory, in his first game for the Caps? :

      "It felt great. We got the best result that we could get. We got two goals, two fantastic goals, and everyone worked hard and we got a clean sheet. That is very important for the team too, cos that's a basic."

      And if you're looking for an all-round team player, then you've found your man in Davidson, who was keen to view the victory as a team effort more than down to anything his own performance brought about:

      "Personally, I'm very happy to get the 'Man of the Match' but you see all these players that played today. I feel that the 'Man of the Match' was the whole team."

      It's a nice attitude and one which fits in well with the Whitecaps dressing room just now.

      This IS very much a team effort. Martin Rennie has everyone on the same page of the playbook and, for now at least, egos are in check and people are happy and smiling.

      Some players will inevitably stand out and shine as the season goes on and if his performance in his first game is anything to go by, then Jun Marques Davidson could be one of the Whitecaps key players for the season ahead.

      Comments 5 Comments
      1. thebruce's Avatar
        thebruce -
        I agree: Saturday was encouraging. Jun looked athletic and tidy in front of the defence. His size helps too with all our wee tricksters around him. I also like Watson and would like to see him at Chivas with Jun. Koffie is still raw and erratic. And he drops to the turf all too often and easily looking for the ref to assist him when he gets crowded out. Hopefully Rennie will guide Koffie out of this habit. Love the AFTN articles!
      1. Cris in Van's Avatar
        Cris in Van -
        ^^^Agree about Koffie, there was one two footer that koffie went into that could have got him sent off. Too erratic and in experienced but still a fantastic prospect for the future.

        Davidson is what they need in the middle, strong on the ball and understated in that if you weren't looking for him he went relatively un-noticed. MOTM for sure with a close second to Eric Hassli.

        Great articles, I look forward to reading the new entries everyday.
      1. Michael McColl's Avatar
        Michael McColl -
        Koffie's tackling pre-season has been a bit scary at times. He goes flying in with little discipline. It;s great to have that keeness and dig, but you have to watch these days. I think Watson is way more composed. I'd like to see hin get the nod on Saturday - and not cos he's been one of our go to guys for quotes this year! I think he deserves it.

        Don't look for stuff everyday! Going to have a couple days off as it's been a hectic last few weeks
      1. CheekyMonkey's Avatar
        CheekyMonkey -
        Completely agree about Davidson. We really missed a strong DM last year. I would like someone with a bit more edge (I'm thinking a Van Bommel type) at times, but he'll do. What to people think of Rennie's strategy of holding the mid and attacking with the right and left backs? I'm thinking Rochat could have great year.
      1. Michael McColl's Avatar
        Michael McColl -
        I like attacking wingbacks (to use a really old term). We need to make sure we're adequately covering their forays forward though, otherwise faster teams will really exploit this.
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