Book Review: Oval Ways and Treble Days by Paul Evans
The title of a book can be a useful device for luring readers in; Oval Ways and Treble Days by Paul Evans being a case in point.
So let’s have a look at what it reveals. First up, The Oval is the home ground of Welsh football club Caernarfon Town. Ways? Well, this can be interpreted in terms of anything from traditions, to approaches or even tactics. Treble Days? Quite simply points to three days or periods of importance.
Therefore author Paul Evans – long-time Caernarfon Town fan, committee member and Press Officer – has been clever in the creation of the book’s title, as the subject matter amongst the 262 pages of this book does indeed reflect its title.
In the opening chapter of the book there is a brief history of The Canaries from their highpoint in the mid to late 1980s to the brink of extinction in 2010 and the subsequent rebuilding of the club with a new committee.
The main focus of the book however, begins in the second chapter as the search for a new manager ahead of the 2012/13 season commences. Thereinafter Evans presents the reader with what is in essence a ‘diary of a season’ format as Caernarfon seek promotion from the third tier of the Welsh football pyramid and compete in a myriad of cup competitions. Without providing too much of a spoiler, the book comes to record a season that “will forever be remembered as the campaign in which Caernarfon Town finally regained its pride.”
However, the book does more than simply document the matches, as Evans integrates the viewpoints of the committee, the manager and coaches, the players, as well as supporters into the story. In doing so the reader gets an idea of the difficulties of life away from the glamour of the professional game – a game where community is important to the club, but one which is sometimes constrained by finance and hindered at times by fixture congestion and relationships with local rivals which can be problematic.
Today’s media in this country is obsessed by the Premier League and the professional game, but this book shows that there are some great stories when you start to look below the surface.