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Beyond The Boot Camps Hardcover – 26 Mar 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; First Editon edition (26 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0752897314
  • ISBN-13: 978-0752897318
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 804,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

a lively and unvarnished account (FOURFOURTWO)

Book Description

Sequel to bestselling cult football memoir, Tales from the Boot Camps

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is steve claridges second book and carries on where he left off.
He gives us a look into the real world of football away from the pampered lifestyle of the premier league.
this is a must for all followers of football in the lower leagues and true football fans.
I strongly reccomend this book.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is constructed in an odd way - each section starts with a rendering of the facts (at least as Ian Ridley saw them) before we get a lengthier discourse covering Steve Claridge's view of events. Given that the latter will in actuality also have been penned by Ridley, it's an unusual narrative form.
That said Ridley is - as ever - very readable (both in his own right and while translating the thoughts of Steve Claridge into English) and we get a jolly romp through the last 5 years of Claridge's career as age catches up with even this fitness fanatic and his playing career peters out on 1008 games in the lower reaches of the non-league pyramid . At the same time his media career takes off (while still maintaining he could cut it in the championship at the age of 40+ given the opportunity, despite all the indications on the playing field to the contrary). Actually there was one more game to be had after the book was finished, a noble one off return to try to help Weymouth out of a financial/football mess in late 2009, a 5-1 defeat as it turned out although this was a typical result for Weymouth at the time and Steve was in no way responsible.
On the subject of Weymouth, there are a few small differences in this rendering of events from Ridley's earlier Floodlit Dreams, which covered the Weymouth player-managerial part of this book in more detail.
All in all though, an excellent read, recommended for fans of lower league football, Steve Claridge or the game generally.
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Format: Paperback
This genre of writing about life in the lower divisions probably started with Garry Nelson's two excellent "Left Foot" books. I haven't read Claridge's first book, Tales from the Boot Camps, but this sequel at times reads a bit more like Chris Hargreaves Where's your Caravan? It tells the unusual progress of Claridge's later career, when, after his "first retirement" from playing, he became a player-manager, then a player, then briefly a player- manager again before ending as a player. I haven't heard of anyone who's emulated this, but no doubt some Statto out there can put me right. Along the way he see-sawed wildly through the divisions; "in the space of three months, I had gone from Conference to Championship, then back down through League One to League Two."

Like many sports autobiographies, this is co-written, but not in the usual way. Claridge's co-writer is Ian Ridley, chairman at Weymouth when Claridge was manager. Each chapter has an introduction by Ridley, which provides a fascinating counterpoint to Claridge's version of events. Clearly they are two very different personalities, and Ridley doesn't conceal their professional disagreements, but they have a strong regard for each other. Ridley's chapters also include interview with many other football personalities, notably Dean Windass, who sees Claridge as a bit of a nutter, but (as Ridley says) Windass has "a nice line in pot and kettle comparisons."

On his time as a manager, Claridge pulls few punches about his fiery relationships with two of his other chairmen, Milan Mandaric and Theo Paphitis. He also has a healthy sarcasm for directors who don't understand the game (Len Shackleton would love the story about the director who asked Claridge why he wasn't playing 4-4-3!
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Format: Paperback
I am an avid reader of sporting biographies, and was quite looking forward to Steves life story, having now completed his footballing journey.
However i was a little disappointed. The book is interesting but that is about it. There are several insights into some interesting characters, and events from Steves Journey from the higher eschelons of his sport to the lowest reaches, but nonetheless it is only interesting at best.
If you want a really hard hitting, all laid bare life story, then Paul Mcgrath, Tony Cascarino or Stan Collymore are the best of the bunch.
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Format: Hardcover
This book carries on from where Steve Claridges first book `Tales from the Boot Camps' ended, but where that book saw Claridges at his footballing peak, this second book deals with the twilight of his playing career and his so far unsuccessful ventures into club management.

Anybody who saw Claridge play, and as he played over a thousand games that is a lot of people, will most remember him for his slovenly appearance- his shirt was always hanging out and his socks were forever at half mast - and his lackadaisical manner. You should never judge a book by its cover though, because behind his slightly eccentric facade this book proves him to be a highly intelligent man and a deep thinker about the game of football.

It's a slightly sombre book, because as well as his playing career being over, it obviously still rankles him badly that each of his opportunities to be a manager, at Portsmouth, Millwall and Weymouth have all ended acrimoniously and without him being given the time to have a proper shot at the job. It is also a fairly candid book as he his quite prepared to vent his spleen against those who have done him wrong, his views about ex Millwall owner and TV `dragon' Theo Paphitis, being particularly strident.

Tne book is jointly written by Ian Ridley, who was also Chairman for some of Claridges time as Weymouth manager. Ridley writes an introduction to each section of the book, but whilst this helps to give an independent view of what we are about to read, all too often Claridge will repeat an anecdote that Ridley has already related.

Tales from the Boot Camps is now regarded as being a classic football book. I doubt whether this book will be as highly regarded because quite simply it is not as good, but it still is a good read and offers an insight into the pressures of football management.
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