1911: RETURN OF ABERDEEN FOOTBALLERS. INCIDENTS OF THE TOUR. IMPRESSIONS BY PLAYERS The members of the Aberdeen football team were enthusiastically cheered by a large crowd of enthusiastic supporters as they alighted from the 10.15 Caledonian train at Aberdeen Joint Station last night on the conclusion of their first and what has proved (both from the playing and social points of view) very successful tour on the Continent. All the players were loud in their praises of the hospitable treatment which had been extended to them, and they spoke highly of how appreciative the Continental crowds had been of their play. All the members of the party who returned last night wore, in the form of variously designed enamel badges, mementoes of the matches in which they had participated, and these souvenirs, the players stated, they would cherish as relics of what had proved to them the most auspicious holiday in their careers. Several members of mthe party remained in London, and these will not return till later.
Director's Views. Mr Jaffrey, a director of the club, who accompanied the team, said that the Bohemian clubs were the pioneers of football on the Continent. They had very little to learn in the matter of attack and defence. In his own words, they had "nothing to learn" in the matter of gentlemanly tactics of first-class football. The president of the Slavia Club took the whole team for a cruise in his private yacht and luncheon was served on board. On returning from a most enjoyable trip, they were entertained to a seven-course dinner, to which the "yachtsmen" did ample justice. Each member of the team was presented with a valuable memento by the president of the Bohemia Club. The goalkeeper at Pandubitz stood over six feet high, and was taller and cleverer than any goalkeeper he had seen in Scotland.
Opponents' Play. Arthur King, the popular goalkeeper, of whom, as a local product, the Aberdeen public is immensely proud, was bubbling over with enthusiasm regarding the tour. "Well," said the stalwart custodian, "we found the play of some of our opponents of a higher calibre than what we expected it would be, for instance in our first match with the Slavia Club. It was Johny Madden, the old Celtic idol, who beat us there. Madden is trainer of the Club, and the movements of the players detected much of the scientific game, which was only possible from the tuition of an old British player. To a great extent the Slavians depended on their robustness for their victory, but it is only fair to say that they were the most scientific combination we had to face. "Madden" was in many of the movements, and I would not say but that with some further tuition the Slavia Club would quite be in a position to challenge for supremacy the best of the British clubs. Of course we might have won that match - it was the only one we lost - but we were somewhat taken by surprise with the determination of the opposition. One thing that impressed me, however, was that the crowd actually thought I intentionally tried to let through the goal that decided the issue of the match. As a matter of fact, I did my best to save that shot. It was probably the most difficult I had to deal with in the whole tour, but I admit I could not have cleared it. Of course we didn't disabuse their minds on the point, and found that our reputation was considerably enhanced as the result of this misconception." "I can never forget the tour," concluded King, "and I consider myself honoured by being a member of the premer club of my native city at this time."
Peculiar Refereeing. James Millar, speaking from a half-back's point of view, said the play of the Continental teams was of the old-fashioned Scottish style. The finer points of the game were prominent by their absence. It was a case of going for the man in preference to the ball, and the spectators enjoyed nothing better than to see goals scored in large numbers, or a player get a little more weight from an opponent than the usual charge allowed in this country. The utmost enthusiasm prevailed amongst the spectators when a player got a push that sent him yards along the ground. Accurate passing and scientific dribbling were thought little or nothing of, and the spectators keenly enjoyed seeing their own countrymen get good hard knocks. To the Pittodrie men the refereeing was somewhat peculiar. As rule, the "man in charge " ran up and down one of the touch lines alongside the linesman. He was, from such a position, supposed to see everything, but saw little, and many hard knocks were given and taken, not to speak of the other tactics adopted, which were quite illegal in football as played at home, without the referee being aware of the fact. The spectators were most unbiassed, and loved to see what a British crowd would consider a rough game. Millar, referring to the condition of the pitches, said the ground was somewhat hard with the heat of the sun. In the first game at Prague the Pittodrie men were at a great disadvantage. They played with the usual studs in their boots, which on the hard ground did not afford a very good foothold. After the match, the studs were taken out and broader ones substituted. The first match at Prague was somewhat of a surprise - the style of play - but the Pittodrie men soon tumbled it, and the Bohemians were afterwards played at their own game. Previous to the matches tihe stripping was done in the hotel. Then followed a drive to the enclosure, and all along the route large crowds raised hearty cheers of welcome.
Forward's Comparison. Angus Mclntosh, the inside right of the Pittodrie team, thought the standard of football on the Continent was equal to Northern Leaguequality. The Prague team was the best, as the style was much better than that displayed by the other teams encountered - in fact, equal that of the Scottish Second League. The play the Continent would improve in the course of time. Friendly Feeling. The "Journal" correspondent with the team said - Our tour has now come to an end, and what impresses one most is the fine feeling sport promotes between countries. We have visited and played in three countries?Bohemia, Moravia, and Poland - and the same good feeling exists in all. There are differences in religion, politics, and national sentiments, but on the field of sport and in meeting in friendly combat all men were alike. The international athletic and football intercourse between Britain and the countries of Europe are of quite recent date, but, judging by the good it has already done, there is a great future in view. The ministers, the soldiers, and the statesmen of the world may do good as evil in their own sphere, but in sport it is all for good. Even the bitter national feeling which exists between the Germans and Bohemians is hushed at their Football Federation meetings, and to Britain they look for guidance in this question, which is a delicate one. They, however, trust in the fair-mindedness of Britain in dealing with matters of sport.
Source : The Aberdeen Daily Journal Thursday June 1st, 1911