A big true faith welcome to our very new Blogger, Callum Patterson who arrives with usSoKoreaMap courtesy of a trip from Seaton Deleval via South Korea. Callum will be opining on all matters Newcastle United but obviously giving us an insight into life in South Korea as well as its football and culture not to mention the upcoming World Cup and how it is going down on the other side of the world. 

All the best bonny lad. 



Pronounce the above as ‘an-yong-ha-say-oh!’ and you’ve just said ‘hello,’ in Korean.

Originally from Seaton Delaval, I recently moved out to South Korea to teach English for a year and noticed a request on the true faith site for ex-pat Mags to write blogs from their respective territories. Here we go then…

So, where to start? Attempting to write this blog I suddenly got a fresh wave of admiration for those who contribute regularly to true faith and The Mag. Although I used to contribute to the latter quite regularly, my pieces were much more directed in that I was asked to write about a specific topic each time. This time around, I’ve been given freedom to write any old garbage. Where might I get inspiration from?

First and foremost, there is hardly anything you could call ‘inspirational,’ coming out of SJP at the present time. Having had a season ticket since Sir Bobby’s first full season in charge I had only missed two competitive fixtures since. I boarded the plane to South Korea on January 31st, the day before the humiliation against the mackems and am not sorry in the slightest that I missed that game. The purpose of this blog, however, is not to depress all those who read it so I won’t dwell here. I will admit though, that I’ve experienced a wonderful freedom since arriving in South Korea; it’s so much easier to ‘let it go,’ (Disney’s Frozen is incredibly popular over here, it’s actually insane – I’ll be sitting in my office at work and just hear kids walking past the door singing it. Any of you vaguely familiar with the film may recognize the song reference I worked in there. Witty, no?) if you will when you’re asleep during 99% of the games and Korean TV only shows live games that are broadcast on Sky Sports One. Yes, I’ll check the score when I wake up, but it just seems harder for the game to ruin your day when it’s just words on a computer screen.

I don’t find our recent forays into the transfer market much cause for inspiration either. I don’t mind us signing kids for the future (expect for the fact that I’m suddenly realizing that there are people in our first team who are younger than me by a number of years, when did that happen?) but to take someone like Ayoze Perez for example: a twenty year-old who has played football to no higher level than the Spanish Second Division. He might well be technically gifted and have got bags of goals over there, but asking him to come and make an immediate impression in the English Premier League is a tall order. It could completely shatter the lad’s confidence and see his progression grind to an all too familiar halt at SJP. Before he signed, nufc.com published a list of our current squad members. Three strikers were included in the list: Cisse, Campbell, Armstrong. Papiss couldn’t find the next with a map and a set of binoculars for the most part of last season and then you’ve got another two kids. We need to sign a proven goal-scorer but, unfortunately, they cost money.

Hopefully, inspiration will come from the country where I’m now living and to round off this blog, I’ll try and give a bit of a glimpse at what I’m planning to do with this creative freedom I’ve suddenly found myself with. I arrived in South Korea 4 months ago and will be here at least until the start of 2015. During that time, I’ve been asked to give an insight footballing culture and life in general over here. Starting with the World Cup, I’ll be filing reports on the South Korean games and describing the country’s reaction to the tournament as a whole. After that, I plan to attempt a balance of detailing life in South Korea, my encounters with football over here and my own opinions on the goings on at SJP.

So, if you think reading my musings might bring some light relief to your day, please do keep an eye out for future posts and, before I go, I’d just like to thank Michael Martin for giving me the opportunity to enter the Blogisphere (is this a word? If not, it should be. It is now.) and his advice on helping me get going with it.

Til next time, blog on!

Callum Patterson


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