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Up Pohnpei: Leading the ultimate football underdogs to glory Paperback – 2 Feb 2012

4.7 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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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: 13.5 x 2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 559,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

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
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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I initially bought Up Pohnpei for the idea of how funny it would be to give into childhood fantasy's of wanting to play for or coach an International side, and also being a coach myself I wanted to get an insight of what other coaches do, think and feel at times.

The book initially started on that comedic tone as Matt and Paul, mainly Matt obsesses over the idea of playing football internationally, Paul starts to give into Matt and his own urges and desires to follow a childhood fantasy, and then the guys go from the sane to brave (possibly deemed insane by others,) by giving up a stable life to go and coach the tiny Micronesian Island of Pohnpei football.

After a first visit to the Island, Paul and Matt realise the task at hand is so much bigger than going over to Pohnpei and coaching a team, they have to set up a whole football infrastructure, to even achieve getting a National team in place. Things don't go Paul's way as Matt has to take a life changing career opportunity. So for the most part of the book the two man army become one, Paul has to do the leg work himself, he does have the help of a very enthusiastic football mad local Dislhan who becomes Paul's biggest asset during the battles he faces in Pohnpei itself. Paul also has bigger battles as he tries everything he can to get funding and aid from various football and sporting organisations and help from the local Micronesian states, but each time he tries he comes across more hurdles, a few of those hurdles are created by the very thing that should help him, FIFA.

Eventually Paul makes headway and with the return of his good friend Matt, they manage to get the Pohnpei national side to play in their first international fixtures under the pairs tutlage.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the first review i have ever written for anything on Amazon, i have bought countless books and other things, but thhis was the first time i was compelled to write a review. This was partly spurred on by the sour review of "Been There" all i can say is "Been there done what?" Fairly obvious you did not read the book to the detail you claim to have done.

I am an avid fan of sports, football and rugby in particular, and i love to travel and read travel books. Who hasn't had a conversation like this with their friends and done nothing about it, i scared the silent tube dwellers when i burst out laughing at ranking Montserrat even too good, the beginning of last year myself and some friends i play 5-a-side with tried to work out how we could play for them after reading an article about the desperate search for players with Montserrat heritage. When i found out that one of the guys i employed to work with me this summer had grandparents still living there and was a semi pro footballer, so i spent far too much time trying to get him to sort his papers out so he could play..... whether it happens remains to be seen.

Anyway....

The book to me is a fantastic look at the impact of sport and something that all team sports transcend and thats to create a sense of belonging to a place, a sense of community and more. It seems that the dreams you guys had, had such a positive impact on the island. Something to be immensely proud of.

The book is a genuine page turner to me, did they win? Would Brian and Joseph be ok? Who would look after the sport when you left? would Dilshan be the hero? Would Robert and Bob ever behave?

I would give it 6 stars if i could. I loved it!
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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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