Heartfelt and uplifting, this engaging story of a struggling Prem star shipped out on loan to New Zealand will even appeal to those of you who secretly like a bit of romance. **** 5/5 stars --FourFourTwo
Bailey of the Saints is the story of unfulfilled Premier League benchwarmer Jack Bailey, who moves to New Zealand on loan in a bid to resurrect his career in the A-League. Fearnhead draws on his experiences of covering professional football as a journalist all over the world and of those people involved in the sport that he has met along the way. What he has created is a character-driven narrative that paints what feels like a very realistic picture of life as a professional footballer - from WAG girlfriends and sexual conquests, to fall-outs with managers and fears about injuries and loss of form. It is an engaging plot that also gives an interesting insight into what life is like living in a country where football is not the No. 1 sport, and while the romantic undertones aren't to this reviewer's taste, it does give depth to a book that would not be as entertaining if it only focused on the on-pitch action. Bailey is a likeable central protagonist who undergoes a transformation from a selfish, egotistical player that most of us would recognise as the quintessential modern footballer, to someone who recognises how lucky he is to be making a living from the game, via a series of 'Road to Damascus' moments. After finishing the book, one is left with a sense of hope that if Bailey can experience an epiphany, maybe some of the aforementioned over-paid and over-hyped players could have one of their own, though I would suggest it is exactly that part of the storyline that makes this a true work of football fiction --Mark Lomas - ESPN
The novel that every football fan has been waiting for - Martin Blackburn,The Sun. Brilliant. A real page-turner. - Graeme Souness. Whether you're a football fan or not, this story captures the reader's attention from the outset - Rachel Wyse, Sky Sports News. Great read, love the book - Robbie Savage. --Cover Quotes
About the Author
Author David Alejandro Fearnhead is a journalist who has worked in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and has written for The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, Sports Illustrated, FourFourTwo, World Soccer, and GQ Magazine.