One Flew Over the Magpies Nest - A Fan's Review.
This fascinating insight into the World's oldest professional League Club is a must read for all genuine Nott's County supporters, young and old, charting, over six decades, the Club's twice rise and fall through all the Leagues Divisions and five Wembley appearances.
It is also a valuable read for any student of football, it's tactics, management and governance especially in the lower leagues where the culture, finances, aspirations and frustrations are somewhat different.
Paul Mace, a lifelong supporter of County and highly successful entrepreneur in the sports industry, offers a revealing and amusing behind the scenes account of the running of the Club and the characteristics of its ambitious owners, (usually both wealthy and tight!), their managers and players. His tenets of good football management are divulged and struck this reviewer as also those of successful top executives in the both the private and public sector.
Largely drawn from in depth interviews, the ingredients of triumphant promotions under Jimmy Sirrel, Howard Wilkinson, Neil Warnock, Sam Allardyce and others are highlighted through both their tactical skills and man management. Mace also throws further light on the brief Munto/Sven-Goran Erikson episode and on the 'quiet men' who have helped save the club from extinction . There are some nice cameos too of Sirrel's warm relationship with both Brian Clough and Alex Ferguson and of his unique personal habits and wayward driving skills.
The former player's accounts of their journeys with and passion for the Club are full and frank. Often on subsistence wages, (in several instances subsidised by 5.00am stints in the local fruit and vegetable market), their companionship and team spirit are revealed with many very funny recollections of their antics and foibles. Augmented with many fine photos.
The book benefits from being autobiographical with personal anecdotes of Mace's growing up as a Nott's supporter which will trigger the readers own recollections. But it is also equally 'inclusive' with a chapter dedicated to supporters contributions. Their 'On the Terraces' antics and wisecracks are on a par with the players anecdotes for surprise and amusement.
Finally and most importantly, the author offers that essential ingredient of 'hope' with positive assertions as to the future. For a lifelong supporter such as this reviewer, who has sometimes wondered whether his addiction to 'his Club' is a curse or a pleasure, Mace manages to rekindle the passion and dreams of better times ahead.
In Nott's County's case that currently looks pretty promising under the current stewardship.
This book is available from the Notts County Club Shop or you can order by clicking on the link - https://tinyurl.com/yc6d5akd