Today's interview is brought to you by MeritFit. MeritFit.co is a Kansas City based fitness and nutrition blog run by one of my good friends and certified Personal Trainer, Dustin Duewel. He played soccer for 12 years, inspiring his passion for fitness and nutrition. Check out his blog for all kinds of useful information to up your game and get ahead of the competition.
Well, well, well! And I said AP was done for the year, didn't I? Guess I lied a little. Or thought of this idea after I said I was done for 2016. Who knows. Anyway, in case you've missed it recently, AP has added two new writers, Dan Roberts and Nik Myles. I took a little time to ask each of them seven questions as a way for them to introduce themselves to you readers. I hope you enjoy the first of set of Seven Questions with Dan Roberts. Check it out.
Tell the readers a little about yourself. Who you are, where you're from, and what you plan on bringing to AP.
My name is Dan Roberts and I'm a freelance writer, living in Brighton in the UK. I lived in London before moving down here a few years ago with my wife and son. I have always been interested in world football and am really interested in what is happening in the US, especially at a lower league level. I hope to be able to give my views on what is happening over there as well as telling you about non-league football in the UK.
How did you come to be a fan of the game?
Even if I wanted to there was never going to be any escape from football. My dad took me to my first game when I was six and I've always loved it. I've played all my life and now watch as much as I can. Sometimes people try to make it more complicated than it is but the simplicity of football is why it is so popular.
What drew your attention to the lower levels of soccer?
I've always watched a lot of lower league football as - apart from anything else - it is so much cheaper! I have a six year old who fortunately is football mad as as well and I wanted him to know that football isn't just something you watch on TV. You can get involved by watching local clubs, no matter what level they are.
Have you done any writing previously, and where can people find it at?
I've written for a number of good football sites including In Bed With Maradona and World Soccer picked up a piece I did about the possibility of a Cascadia 'national' side. I write for a number of other sites but you can see all that and other stuff at either http://danrobertsramblings.blogspot.co.uk/
Who is your favorite league team?
I'm a Nottingham Forest fan. They won the European Cup (twice!) when I was just getting into football so I chose them. You could say I am the most unlucky glory hunter ever!
What books, soccer related or otherwise, would you recommend?
As far as football books go I loved both A Season with Verona by Tim Parks and Calcio - A History of Italian Football by John Foot. Away from football I like anything by James Ellroy and Henning Mankell as well as a brilliant book by Jonathan Lethem called The Fortress of Solitude.
What would you say to someone asking why they should support lower level soccer?
At a very basic level I think people should go and watch football matches. I don't care if you support a big team or not but it is probably unlikely that you will get a chance to see them live unless you live close by. People complain about the state of football these days but if it is really the football you care about then go and watch your local club. You won't see Messi or Ronaldo but you might see something amazing that will never happen again! You will also be helping small clubs survive just by paying your entrance fee and buying a burger and a pint. I especially like what is going on with some lower level clubs in America - and the fan culture that is growing with them. That is what football is all about.
Thanks for taking the time to go over these real quick, Dan. Follow Dan on Twitter @LasVegasWI