Playing The Man Instead of the Ball
If charges made by G. A. G. Woods, president of the Boston F. C. are true, the Bethlehem Steel soccerites are in for an interesting session when the Brooklyn Wanderers invade the home lot tomorrow afternoon for a league game. Mr. Woods is quite scathing in his criticism of the Brooklyn team, declaring that the tactics employed by the team to visit here are such that players stand in danger of being crippled for instead of playing the ball it is the players instead. Whether these charges are founded local adherents will have an opportunity of proving when the two teams square off tomorrow afternoon and again in the clash at Brooklyn, on Sunday afternoon. This information is conveyed in excerpts published under Soccer Notes in the Fall River Globe, which in quoting Mr. Woods read:
"We are going to call a halt on tactics such as were displayed in a game against us. Throughout the game the Wanderers played our men instead of the ball. That is not what soccer was intended for and it is not only going to hurt the game but ruin some of the best players in the league as well."
Little wonder that President Woods is incensed for in a recent game the Boston team lost the services of Alex McNabb, a brilliant outside right, who is to undergo an operation as the result of an injury sustained in a game with Brooklyn. In justice to the visiting clan, local fans should not judge too harshly for quite often remarks are hasty and probably slightly prejudiced by an unexpected setback. Some clubs have adopted a rush and kick style of play while others relay more exclusively on clever and scientific playing to bring home the bacon. The rush and kick style is probably most dangerous for personal contact is frequent and while a team resorting to this style of play may have no evil or malicious intent injuries are likely to occur. Bethlehem is the type of club that relies mostly on inside football to realize their point although at times a little more rush and kick is resorted to. After tomorrow's game local enthusiasts can judge for themselves to whether Mr. Woods' criticism would be just in applying it to the home tilt.
Bouquets for Bethlehem Team
"To win by fair means, or not at all with sportsmanlike conduct on the field at all times," has been a doctrine preached by the Steel management ever since soccer has had its inception in this city and players who have violated these ethics have not been tolerated on the local club. At times there probably have been violent outbreaks but not any of serious consequences and in such instances were overlooked. Under the heat of battle it is sometimes hard to restrain a player's emotion. In reference to Brooklyn the Boston president declares: "I would much rather play teams like Fall River, Bethlehem, Coats and other leaders every week than go through a game such as experienced against Brooklyn. You know that when you play Bethlehem that the game is going to be decided on its merits and you are not going to emerge with two or three injured men."