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Up Pohnpei: Leading the ultimate football underdogs to glory [Paperback]

Paul Watson
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
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Up Pohnpei: Leading the ultimate football underdogs to glory Up Pohnpei: Leading the ultimate football underdogs to glory 4.7 out of 5 stars (35)
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Book Description

2 Feb 2012

After one too many late night discussions, football journalist Paul Watson and his mate Matthew Conrad decide to find the world's worst national team, become naturalised citizens of that country and play for them - achieving their joint boyhood dream of playing international football and winning a 'cap'. They are thrilled when Wikipedia leads them to Pohnpei, a tiny, remote island in the Pacific whose long-defunct football team is described as 'the weakest in the world'. They contact Pohnpei's Football Association and discover what it needs most urgently is leadership. So Paul and Matt travel thousands of miles, leaving behind jobs, families and girlfriends to train a rag-tag bunch of novice footballers who barely understand the rules of the game.

Up Pohnpei tells the story of their quest to coach the team and eventually, organise an international fixture - Pohnpei's first since a 16-1 defeat many years ago. With no funding, a population whose obesity rate is 90 percent and toad-infested facilities in one of the world's wettest climates, their journey is beset by obstacles from the outset. Part travelogue, part quest, Up Pohnpei shows how the passion and determination of two young men can change the face of football - and the lives of total strangers - on the other side of the world.


Frequently Bought Together

Up Pohnpei: Leading the ultimate football underdogs to glory + Where's Your Caravan?: My Life on Football's B-Roads + The Bromley Boys: The True Story of Supporting the Worst Football Team in Britain
Price For All Three: £26.79

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books (2 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184668501X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846685019
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 304,903 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Full of charm and pathos as Watson's love for grassroots football in all its colours shines through. Funny without being condescending or smug, it's a refreshing counterpoint to the commercial excesses of the English Premiership. (The Big Issue)

In a market saturated with in-depth analyses of how money rules the game, sitting alongside prematurely-released autobiographies from prima donnas keen to detail their difficult Cristal-drinking existences, Up Pohnpei stands out as a shining beacon of football literature, oozing moral fibre and radiating the pure light of the sport for all to consume... A heartwarming, uplifting antithesis to all that is wrong with the modern game, Up Pohnpei is the must-read football book of 2012. (Mark Lomas ESPN Soccernet)

This book is brilliant. It embodies the true spirit of football: to bring people together. (James Corden)

Book Description

Penguins Stopped Play meets Cool Runnings in this hilarious and uplifting true story of footballing triumph against all the odds, set on a Pacific island.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars not just for football fans... 4 Mar 2012
By jerm
Format:Paperback
Let me start by saying I have no interest in football... but don't let that put you off this absolutely brilliant book. If nothing else, this book gives justification to all those late drunken nights in the pub where we all have our best ideas.

Up Pohnpai is a fascinating read both funny and touching, it is truly mind boggling what Paul and Matt manage to achieve and the story of the Pohnpai football team will hold you captivated as you journey from toad infested pitches to the bright lights of Guam's polished football field of dreams.

The author's style is funny and personal and you will quickly build up a strong empathy for both the Island of Pohnpai and its future footballing stars. Although outside of my normal reading I cannot recommend this book enough so pick up a copy, sit back and enjoy the ride.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Away the lads 27 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback
When i read an article about this in FourFourTwo magazine i thought it was a brilliant and madcap idea,having blazed through this book my initial thought was spot on,a great read not only for football fans,but travellers,and anyone who does'nt know of the football loving toad community.As a disillusioned football fan it was superb to read the 2010 World Cup Final being compared to Guam v North Mariana Islands.Funny and sometimes moving.Loved it from cover to cover
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic is the only word.... 8 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I never review books, but this book is fantastic.

Even if you don't have too much interest in football, its a story we can all relate to in some way, shape or form.

Two lads with a dream, fantastic book. Really inspiring, they've changed football for the better in Pohnpei.

Would recommend this book to anybody, great read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this and enjoy every page 6 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a funny and moving account of what sport can do for people. It's a great read even if you don't like football. It deserves to be higher in the book lists!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 9 May 2012
By R Jones
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Picked this up on kindle after seeing Paul on Soccer AM ages ago and finally got around to reading it. Wish I'd read it much earlier as it turned out to be a cracking book detailing his attempts to bring football to Pohnpei. An enjoyable book filled with some moments of real humour and you get a real sense of his desperation at times to try and make things work.

Would recommend to those even if you didn't have a great interest in football.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story! 21 April 2012
By Simon
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fantastic read, about a footballing nation I'm sure very few had ever heard of. I'm tempted to book a flight out to Pohnpei to see how the team are progressing! Just goes to show what can be achieved with hard work and a strong team spirit.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You're having a laugh!!! 25 Feb 2012
By Senior
Format:Paperback
What an amazing story ... if it was fiction you'd put it aside because 'it's too farfetched and total nonsense'! But, in fact it's a TRUE story, related with humour and charm showing what CAN be achieved with tenacity, resourcefulness and ... did I mention ... HUMOUR!!!

Well done to these two enterprising young men, to their back up team, their support network and their families ...

Treat yourself to this book ... ENJOY!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational football story 24 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback
I'd thoroughly recommend Up Pohnpei - it's an excellent book that's not just for sports fans. It's particularly refreshing to read about a true underdogs story on the other side of the world, and you'll learn a great deal about Micronesia too. Watson proves "the soul of football" is still out there - even if you have to go to the ends of the earth to find it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read, the struggle to combine getting help from ...
An excellent read, the struggle to combine getting help from the uk and locally in pohnpei , to completing their task of making a football team and their right to play other... Read more
Published 12 days ago by mr paul mark
5.0 out of 5 stars A comedic travel adventure with a football twist
This book tells the story of two normal guys who dreamed of becoming professionals either as players or managers and stop at nothing to achieve that dream. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Book Reviewer
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great true story.
Read this on holiday and had to keep stopping and reading bits out to my husband because it was either so funny or really interesting facts. Read more
Published 3 months ago by KRISTA WEBSTER
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
Anyone who has ever sat in a classroom dreaming of professional football then this is for you. But the most entertaining part for me was learning about the Pohnpei culture and... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Andy MacQuarrie
5.0 out of 5 stars Pohnpei
Paul Watson's book is a labour of love and an inspiration. It's also an amazing tale of what somebody can achieve when they really want to do something in the game. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Paddles O'Maddles
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book
FIFA need to sit up and take note that other countries do exist, hope Sepp Blatter reads this book soon!
Published 6 months ago by A. Savage
4.0 out of 5 stars Heart warming tale
Congratulations to Paul Watson on his recent appointment in Mongolia. If there is a vacancy for your assistant I will send my CV!
Published 8 months ago by Mr Kieran GIlberthorpe
4.0 out of 5 stars Outside world football
It was interesting to see what the situation is outside the world football football we normally see in the papers etc. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Tony Froggatt
5.0 out of 5 stars Edward Blackburn
A brilliant yarn, witty and heart warming. I really felt myself rooting form Pohnpei, Mark, Matt and Dilshan. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Ed
4.0 out of 5 stars Good football/travel book
A good book that kept in interesting from start to finish. Not just focused on football but also the culture of the island.
Published 11 months ago by Tomas81
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