Ohio students experience The Valley

It’s a rare day at The Valley when a delegation of Ohio’s finest students come to sample the delights of EFL football.

The state is more in tune with NFL and hockey, yet this didn’t bother a team of intrepid sports management students which began a whirlwind spring tour watching back-to-back football matches. The pupils are getting to grips with the intricacies of the game on this side of the pond and have arranged a mouth-watering week to see just how the sport is run in our country.

Shortly after hopping off the plane at Heathrow, their first stop was The Valley to drink in the sunshine and to sample the brilliance of Jacko’s team as they saw off Burton in fine style.

There was a little bemusement among the team when they realised Conor Washington had scored the opening goal! There was not a hint of jet-lag as the students donned Charlton scarves they’d bought at the club shop before taking their seats in the Alan Curbishley Stand. The pupils were immediate Addicks fans with the noise levels being boosted by some positive raucous noise, some even joining in with The Valley chants.

Starting a tour at The Valley was possibly the best grounding for the team, but barely had they caught a night’s sleep than they were on the move again. The following day they were on their way to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium to see QPR’s shock defeat to Peterborough and a couple of hours later they decamped in north London to see Spurs overcome West Ham. They were originally booked in to see our match at AFC Wimbledon, but since that was postponed, they decided to head to Woking v Weymouth. 

At each stadium they aim to pick up the history of the clubs they’re watching; key moments which have written the history of the current EFL teams, as well as ideas for how to run soccer clubs themselves one day. 

Assistant Professor at Miami University in Ohio, Adam Beissel, who heads up their Department of Sport, said: “The students absolutely loved their time at The Valley. There was a consensus among the students that they truly appreciate EFL football and how integral clubs like Charlton are to the community. There are now quite a few new Charlton supporters.”

This is an annual programme and more students will be back next year learning more about sport leadership – let’s hope their time at The Valley will result in another three points with more Addicks fans sprouting up stateside. 

(Article by Steve Garvey)

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