The Preparation For Leadership

Introduction

Generally, people ascribe the success or failure of a leader to their qualification or fitness to lead. For this reason when leaders are sought in the secular world, the qualifications of the individuals are usually given primary considerations. On the contrary, a close examination of the call of great leaders God used in the Bible reveals that God was not primarily concerned about qualifications. Eims Leroy, observed that Leaders like Moses, Gideon and Jeremiah openly confessed their inadequacy to perform the task God called them to do.1 If God was looking for qualified men then he would not have called them.

Does it then mean that preparations are not necessary for Leadership? According to Gottfried Osei-Mensah, there are prerequisites for spiritual leadership.2 This statement implies that some form of preparation is necessary. In addition, it is clear from scripture that every leader that God used had certain qualities or abilities that were necessary in performing their task. This observation however poses a question: Were those leaders prepared for their calling or did they just happen to have the qualities God required? With God, things do not happen by chance, therefore the thesis of this article is, those whom God used in the Bible as leaders were always prepared for their task.

To clarify this thesis statement selected leaders in the Bible are examined. The goal is, first to prove that the leaders were prepared for leadership and second, to determine the nature of the preparation and its importance to the leaders' call.

The following three categories of leaders have been selected for this study:

a) Those whose call and commission came as a surprise to them
b) Those who were mentored by their predecessor
c) Those who assumed leadership as a result of a crisis.

Under each leader the presentation will also be divided into three sections:

a) His life history before his call to leadership;
b) His leadership role and achievements;
c) Summary of the specific ways he was prepared for leadership. Finally an

evaluation would be made and conclusions drawn.

A. LEADERS WHOSE CALL AND COMMISSION CAME AS A SURPRISE

Among the leaders whose call and commission came as a surprise were Moses and Paul. These were leaders who had personal encounter with God whilst they were pursuing their own goals in life. These leaders would now be discussed individually to determine how each of them was prepared for leadership.

Moses

a) His life history before his call to leadership

The Bible, in Exodus Chapter 2-5, discusses the life of Moses from the time of his birth to that of his call. According to this section, Moses was born in Egypt by Hebrew parents. But because of an edict by Pharaoh to kill all the Hebrew baby boys, his mother was unable to raise him up from childhood to adulthood. However, by what can be termed divine providence, Howard F. Vos stated that Moses probably spent the first two or three 'years of his life with his own mother.3 The remaining period of his first forty years was spent in the palace as an adopted son of Pharaoh's daughter. Commenting on the years Moses spent in Pharaoh's palace, John C. Maxwell observed that he received the best of what Egypt offered both physically as well as intellectually. Maxwell cited Acts 7:22 which states that Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians and was mighty in words and deeds.4

In spite of the fact that he was raised up in Pharaoh's palace Moses acknowledged his Hebrew identity. He had to flee Egypt because he killed an Egyptian to protect an oppressed Hebrew. The next forty years of his life he spent in Midian tending the flock of Jethro. It was in Midian, at about 80 years of age that God made the surprised call to him.

b) His leadership role and achievements

In this section the goal is just to make a brief reflection of Moses' main task and achievements. According to John D. Hannah, in his commentary on Exodus, God commissioned Moses to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt. He showed how that call and commission came as a complete surprise to Moses.5 Although God also promised to take the Israelites to a good and spacious land, that commission, according to Hannah, was not given to Moses. To support his point, he made reference to Stephen's statement about Moses' mission in Acts 7: 35-36, implying that there was no indication that Moses was supposed to take the Israelites to the promise land.6 Moses indeed accomplished the task God gave him in spite of all his objections about his inability when God called him. This was because he accepted in faith God's assuring words that he would be with him to accomplish that mission and also because of his ambition to deliver the Israelites from slavery. Commenting on the aspect of his ambition, Ted Engstrom pointed out that "he never lost sight of his ambition and calling in life which made it possible". 7 Throughout his mission these words of assurance had been a motivation for him.

In addition, Maxwell rightly observed, over the course of the years in the desert, Moses' leadership improved. He cited Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, as one person who helped to make that difference in his life.

Moses also accomplished something else that was not explicitly stated in scripture. DA Hubbard, in his article on the Pentateuch said that both Judaism and Christianity accepted without question the biblical tradition that Moses wrote the Pentateuch.8 These writings had been great materials not just for spiritual purpose but also for academic purpose.

Paul

a) His life history before his call to leadership

According to Act 21: 39; 22: 3, Paul was a native of Tarsus, a city of Cilicia. He was of pure Jewish descent and of the tribe of Benjamin (Phil 3: 5). He was a Hebrew and a Pharisee. He spoke Greek and was familiar with Aramaic (Acts 22: 2). Paul, learned tent making because it was customary that all Jewish boys learn a trade.

In his book, 'Paul the Leader', Oswald J. Sanders made this observation about Paul: "all the formative years were calculated, to prepare him to be an eminent Pharisee and Rabbi like his great mentor Gamaliel" .9 Paul studied under Gamaliel , a distinguished teacher of the law and of the school of Hillel. Sanders also observe that the school of Hillel embraced a broader and more liberal view in education than that of Shammai – the other distinguished school.10 In addition, Sanders stated that unlike the school of Shammai, the school of Hillel was interested in Greek literature. In that school, Paul learned to use works of Gentile authors. He surpassed his fellow-students in both academic achievements and in zeal for both God and the tradition of his fathers. He was almost a member of the Sanhedrin, the supreme legal and civil court. 11

b) His leadership role and achievements

Oswald Sanders, noted that Paul became a great spiritual leader when his heart and mind were captured by Jesus.12 Such statements could not have been if Paul had not made great achievements in the role God gave him to perform. Another writer, Ted E. Engstrom gave the background to Paul's success: "a Jew living in a Greek city, and with a Roman citizenship. Both by birth and training Paul possessed the tenacity of the Jews, the culture of the Greeks and the practicality of the Romans, and these qualities enabled him to adapt to the people among whom he was to move "13. According to Acts Chapter 9, when Paul encountered the Lord Jesus he was commissioned to take the gospel message to the gentiles. Records of Paul's accomplishments of his commission can be found in Acts Chapters 13-28. These included missionary journeys to gentile territories, Church planting, training or teaching ministries among the gentiles and successful debates with secular philosophers.

In addition Paul also wrote thirteen of the New Testament Epistles. In these epistles he dealt with important theological concepts like justification, sanctification and the resurrection of Christ. Various portions of defense of the Christian faith against secular philosophies are also included in these epistles. According to 2Tim. 4: 7, Paul was sure he accomplished God's mission for his life when he stated that he has fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith.

B. LEADERS WHO WERE MENTORED BY THEIR PREDECESSOR

The second categories of leaders to be examined are those who were mentored by their predecessor. Among such leaders are Joshua, who succeeded Moses and Samuel, who succeeded Eli. These two leaders will be examined individually in this section.

Joshua

a) His life history before his call to leadership

The Bible gave a brief family background of Joshua in Exodus 33:11; Num. 1:10. He was the son of Nun, the son of Elishama, head of the tribe of Ephraim. Apart from this background, there is no other information about him before he met Moses. The scriptures gave much focus to Joshua's mentoring relationship with Moses. This close working relationship between them can be traced in scripture.

According to exodus 24:13, when Moses went up Sinai to receive the two tablets for the first time Joshua accompanied him part of the way and was the first to meet him on his return (32:17). Also when the Israelites sinned by worshiping the golden calf, Moses moved the tabernacle outside the camp and left the congregation in charge of Joshua. In addition, Joshua was one of the twelve spies sent by Moses to explore the land of Canaan. It was only after about forty years of mentoring by Moses in the desert that God directed Moses to give Joshua leadership authority over the people.

In his book, 'Leadership Images from the New Testament', David Bennett mentioned four steps in developing a leader from the example of Jesus. These are:

a) To develop leaders who have learned to follow
b) To train within the context of personal apprenticeship.
c) To make commitment to the community as well as training for a task.
d) To stress on the spiritual aspects of leadership.14

These four steps can be found in the almost forty years mentoring relationship between Moses and Joshua. As Engstrom rightly puts it "Moses had the right attitude, when he knew it was time to train someone else for leadership. He was fearful of being a paternal leader and pleaded with God to give the Israelite a successor". 15 This might have been one of the reasons why he devoted himself to mentor Joshua.

b) His leadership role and achievements

Joshua's role was made clear to him when he was commissioned as the leader of Israel. His call and commission was mediated through Moses. In Numbers 27: 12-22 the Lord reminded Moses that he would not enter the promise Land and that Joshua would replace him. Moses obeyed the Lord's instructions and commissioned Joshua before the whole Israelite assembly. This commission kept Joshua in focus throughout his mission and he kept his faith in the one who called him. As Donald K. Campbell rightly observed, Joshua interceded for the nation when the Israelites sinned and were defeated.16 God's mandate was that Joshua would lead the Israelites to the Promise Land and he depended on him to accomplish that mandate. Commenting on the charge given to Joshua to be strong and courageous in Josh. 1: 6, Campbell also said it was an affirmation that God would not let Joshua down.17 However this may also be seen as an indication that prior to the time he became Israel's leader he had potentials, which he needed to build up in leadership .

Details of how Joshua accomplished his mission have been recorded in the book of Joshua. The conquest of Canaan was however not an easy one but Joshua's training as a military leader and his dependence upon God gave him added advantage. He made mistakes but he learned from his mistakes.

Samuel

a) His life history before his call to leadership

According to John C. Maxwell, Samuel was special from the time he was born because he was an answer to prayer. He further commented that, as young child, Samuel was placed in the care of Eli the High priest and Judge of Israel. 18 This revealed that the mentoring relationship between Eli and Samuel started quite early in Samuel's life. Like Joshua, Samuel stayed in the same place with his mentor. In addition, at a very early age, God began to speak directly to him and that motivated him to reverence and serve God faithfully. The role played by Hannah in initiating this mentoring relationship should not be overlooked. McChesney and Unger said that it was a vow that Hannah made to dedicate Samuel to the Lord as a Nazarite.19

b) His Leadership Role and Achievements

To better understand and appreciate Samuel's achievements, one should first examine the religious, political and social situations prior to his assumption to leadership. Eugene H, Merrill rightly observed that "the 300 or so years of the history of Israel under the Judges were marked by political, moral, and spiritual anarchy and deterioration". It was in this background, where all seemed to have failed that Samuel was groomed and also took up leadership.20

With reference to his achievements, "Samuel's level of influence with the people continued to increase throughout his lifetime. As a prophet, he was respected because he spoke from God. But in time Samuel also became Israeli Judge, a position similar to that of a king. He was the nation's civil and military leader. Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life ".21 Indeed, only leaders with certain qualities can achieve what Samuel achieved. It was that kind of excellent leadership that God was looking for in order to address the deteriorating situation in Israel. Israel enjoyed a time of peace during Samuel's reign.

C. LEADERS WHO ASSUME LEADERSHIP AS A RESULT OF A CRISIS

During the period between the death of Joshua and the start of Samuel's leadership, many people ruled Israel as Judges. All of them came to leadership as a result of a crisis need. Gideon and Samson were two of the Judges who ruled Israel at that time. They will be examined in this section, as representatives of the Judges, to determine whether they were prepared for their leadership roles.

Gideon

a) His life history before his call to leadership

In Judges chapter 6-8 the Bible gave a brief historic account of Gideon's family background. He was the son of Joash the Abiezrite. He was also of the tribe of Manasseh. One may want to suggest that Gideon had no quality or potential for leadership before he became a leader. This assumption is proved wrong in the light of the angel's greetings to Gideon – "mighty man of valor" (Judg. 6:12). As Joyce Peel rightly said, "the angel calls out his hidden qualities which we see developing in the rest of the story".

It can be seen that Gideon already had faith in God from a question he asked the angel – where are all the wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, "Did not the lord bring us up out of Egypt?" His parents have made him realize that in the past they have depended on God for survival. However, Gideon wanted an assurance that it was the God of his fathers talking to him, so he asked God to give him a sign (: 17). Joyce Peel's comment on Gideon's request is that "it isn't for the sort of sign an unbeliever asks to evade a challenge but for a sign to confirm to a believer who is ready to obey" .23 Gideon was convinced that God was speaking to him and based on that fact he responded to the call to meet the Midianite crisis.

b) His Leadership Role and Achievements

Gideon was called to perform a specific role and that was to deliver Israel from the Midianites. He had a clear vision in mind as to what he had to do. He also believed that he could accomplish his goal because he had the assurance of God. In addition he had inner qualities, which gave him enough courage to move into action, even though he started at night. Gideon delivered the Israelites from the Midianites' oppression but he first brought them back to faith in God. However, immediately after his death the people turned back to their foreign gods.

Samson

a) His life history before his call to leadership

In Judges Chapter 13-16 the Bible gave an account of Samson's life. Samson was the son of Manoah of Zorah and of the tribe of Dan. His birth was foretold to his parents by an angel. They were also told that he would be a Nazarite to God from the womb Iudg. 13: 2-5,24). The Bible also says in Judg 3: 24-25 that God blessed him and that the spirit of God began to stir him up while he was in Mahaneh Dan. From this account it can be observed that Samson was a man of unusual strength. In Hebrews 11:32 he was recognized as of the great men of faith. During Samson's time the philistines were suppressing the Israelites.

b) His leadership role and achievements

Samson's call and commission was mediated through his parents. According to Judges 13: 5 he was to start the deliverance of Israel from the hands of the philistines. As John Mazwell rightly points out, "despite his good start, Samson got himself into trouble many times, and in the end he finished poorly: he was weak, blind and enslaved by the enemy from whom he was supposed to deliver his people." 24 Samson had the opportunity of becoming a great leader but his despicable character destroyed his leadership.

Conclusion

Three categories of leaders have been examined in this chapter to prove that the people that God called to leadership in the Bible were always prepared for their tasks. The first category of leaders were those whose call came as a surprise to them. The second were those who were mentored by their predecessor and the third, were those who responded to a crisis. It was proved that all of these leaders had some form of preparation necessary for their particular calling. These preparations may come from God, their parents, religious background, formal education or a mentor. Therefore one could conclude that God does not call any person to leadership who had not been prepared. God's call or one preparation does not guarantee success because the preparation for effective leadership does not end with one's call.

END NOTES

1 Eims Leroy, Be The Leader You Were Meant To Be Illinois: Victor Books, 1982), pp. 8-13

2 Gottfied Osei-Mensah, Wanted: Servant Leadership (Achimota: African Christian Press, 1990), pp 24-32

3 Howard F. Vos. Moses: The New Unger's Bible Dictionary (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1982), p 886.

4 John C. Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes In a Leader's Day: Revitalizing Your Spirit and Empowering your Leadership (Nashville: Thomas nelson Publishers, 2000), p. 300.

5 John D. Hannah, Exodus: The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Colorado: Chariot Victor Publishers, 1985), p. 112.

6 Ibid, P 121.

7 Ted W. Engstrom, The Making of A Christian Leader: How to develop management and human relations skills (Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), P 29.

8 DA Hubbard, Pentateuch: The New Bible Dictionary (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1982), p 903.

9 Oswald J. Sanders, Paul the Leader: A Vision for Christian Leadership Today (Eastboume: Kingsway Publication Ltd., 1982), pp. 16/17.

10 Ibid, p 17

11 Ibid, p 19

12 Oswald J. Sanders, Spiritual Leadership (Chicago: Moody Press, 1980), p. 40.

13 Ted E. Engstrom, The Making of Christian Leader: How To Develop Management and Human Relations Skills (Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), p 20.

14 David W. Bennett, Leadership Images From The New Testament: A Practical Guide (Carlisle: OM Publishers, 1998), pp 33/4

15 Ted W. Engstrom, The Making of a Christian Leader: How to develop management and human relations skill (Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), p 30

16 Donald K. Campbell, Joshua: The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Colorado: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1984), p 326.

17 Ibid, P 328.

18 John C. Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minutes In A Leader's Day: Revitalize Your Spirit and empower Your Leadership (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982), p 67.

19 E. McChesney and Merrill F. Unger, Samuel: The New Unger's Bible Dictionary (Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press, 1982), p 1121.

20 Eugene H. Merrill, Samuel: The Bible Knowledge commentary (Colorado: Chariot Victor Publishing, 1985), p. 431.

21 John C. Maxwell, The 21 Most Powerful Minute in a Leader's Day: Revitalize Your spirit and Empower Your Leadership (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2000), p

22 Joyce Peel, A Journey through The Old Testament: The story of God's relationship with man. woman and the world (Oxford: The Reading Fellowship, 1993), p. 60

23 Ibid, p 60

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A Short Biography of Famous Soccer Player Fabien Barthez

His complete name is Fabien Alain Barthez. He was born on 28 June 1971 in Lavelanet, France. His playing position in the field is as a Goalkeeper. He is an ex-French soccer goalkeeper who collected awards with Manchester United and the national side of French. Barthez attained the 1998 FIFA World Cup and also Euro 2000.

Barthez experienced playing football with a number of senior clubs and they are Toulouse (1990-1992), Marseille (1992-1995), AS Monaco (1995-2000), Manchester United (2000-2004), Marseille (2004-2006), and Nantes (2006-2007).

In 1991, when he was 21, Barthez began his professional and outstanding career with the Toulouse club. Afterward in 1992he played for Marseille. The next year Barthez would play a vital part in his squad’s success for the period of European Cup by doing a really high excellence match.

As long as his career as a professional soccer player, he collected some honors with club, national teams and also individual honors. With his clubs he reached:

Toulouse (French Cadet Championship: 1987)

-Marseille (UEFA Champions League: 1993),

-Monaco (Ligue 1: 1997, 2000; French Champions Trophy: 1997), and

-Manchester United (Premier League: 2000-2001, 2002-2003).

In international level he got:

FIFA World Cup: 1998, UEFA European Championship: 2000, and FIFA Confederations Cup: 2003.

And some of his individual honors are: Yashin Award: 1998, Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year: 1998, IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper: 2000, European Footballer of the Year Best Goalkeeper: 1998, 2000, Most-capped France goalkeeper: 87, All-time France World Cup appearances: 17, and Most World Cup clean sheets: 10.

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Burnley – Lancashire – Facts About the Town

The large town of Burnley – Lancashire is located in the Burnley borough in Lancanshire, England. The big market town has a large population, over 73, 000 residents. The town is situated 18 kilometers away from the eastern side of Blackburn and 40 kilometers away from the eastern side of Preston. The town is just on the meeting point of the River Brun and River Calder. The name Burnley is translated to "meadow by the River Brun". The existence of the town has been traced back to the early medieval times. During this time, it was just a small town with a marketplace.

The Industrial Revolution saw the development and expansion of the town into a big marketplace. It earned a reputation as a major center for cotton cloth production. Business was booming and many factories were operational. The face of the town as an industrial area is changing. Nowadays, the town serves as a satellite town for major cities like Leeds and Manchester. It is also a relief center to the M65 transit. It is hard to imagine that a town that was once a catalyst of the Industrial Revolution is now employing more people in the public sector than in the industrial sector.

The origin of Burnley can be traced back to prehistoric times. Archeological artefacts like Stone Age flint tools and weapons have been discovered in some parts of the town. These were found in the moors. Angles might have occupied this place in the 7th century. Angle names like Habergham and Padiham can be found in Burnley. Records of the early settlement by the Angles are not available, but as from 1122, records were available. One record involves the handing over of the Burnley church to the Ponterfract Abbey monks.

Burnley started as a small community, with farming being the main activity. Farming tools such as corn mill were in use in the 1290s. Asmall market was established in 1294, followed by a fulling mill in 1296. A big settlement started in the manor of Ightenhill. It exceeded 50 family units by that time. Other four manners were in existence as well, as part of the Clitheroe Honor.

Small remnants of early Burnley can be seen today. One of these is the Market Cross built around 1295. The Burnley cross can be seen in the premises of the Burnley College.

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Some Facts About Social Trends

Mostly, experienced professional sports bettors and handicappers use the information on the sports trends and statistics to decide which team has more chances of winning and place their bets on that team. If you plan to participate in betting on a game of football, it is rather imperative to look at and analyze the football statistics, trends of each team, and other relevant sports data before placing the bet on a particular team. It is now not very difficult to discover data on the current trends of a team or a player as there are many websites that provide up-to -date details of sports statistics and trends of the players and teams. However, here are seven important factors that most people overlook when trying to collect data on sports trends.

Sports Trends Consist Of All Aspects Of A Game: The sports trend reports should include not only the information regarding the playing statistics of the team, form of its players, and the list of injured players, but also should include all details of teams and players , including the defensive and offensive strategies or game plans used by the team to win the matches, data about the performance, achievements, and failures of the team in the last few years, and appraisals and reviews of the games played by the team. An objective evaluation of all these factors enables a professional social bettor or a sports handicapper to correctly predict the outcome of a game.

Stadium Surface Can Affect Betting Sports Trends: Undoubtedly, the nature of the playing surface of a stadium can influence the performance and winning chances of players, especially in games like tennis. It seems that the sports bettors and handicappers assign more importance to the statistics of teams and players to predict the outcome of a game. However, other factors such as the playing surface of the stadium and weather conditions can also affect and inhibit the winning potential of a player or a team. For instance, football or basketball players who are used to playing on natural grass may find it hard to adjust to playing on an artificial turf stadium.

Economic Factors Can Influence Sports Trends: Many ardent sports lovers strongly believe that the success of the Manchester City against the Chelsea in the English Premier League tournament is the best example of the fact that money power can change the winning chances of a team. The rich Abu Dhabi owners of Manchester city has invested billions of money in upgrading the team and bought many experienced and talented football players from overseas. Consequently, the Manchester City has become an instantaneous success and has quickly started winning games.

Influence of Motivation Factors: When you look into the sports trends that determine the outcome of a sports event or game, you should also take into consideration the motivation of the players. It is not unusual that the players of a team, who have performed poorly in a game or two, bounce back with extra motivation and enthusiasm in the next match and win the game. Likewise, sometimes, a team which has won more than a few matches in a row may not be able to win a match against an inferior opponent, mainly because of its overconfidence.

Leadership and Professional Abilities of Coaches: There is no doubt that the coaches play a major role in the success of a player or a team, particularly in games like football and baseball. There are many instances in which the performance of a team dramatically improved when they got a new head coach. Hence, it is advisable to take a look at the professional achievements and history of head coaches of each team before placing your bet on a team.

How To Win A Sports Bet: It should be noted that sports trends, statistics, picks, and predictions can give you only an idea about which team has more potential and chances to win the game. To become a successful sports bettor and earn money from sports betting, you need to develop certain qualities, such as self-restraint, dedication, endurance, and money management skills. You should also try to get a clear basic knowledge about the sports in which you are betting.

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The Fall of the Hacienda

The Hacienda in Manchester was a legendary members-only nightclub that was arguably the most famous club of its time. Madonna’s first appearance in the United Kingdom was at the Hacienda in 1984, which was the height of her fame if that’s any indication of what kind of fanciful magic this nightclub possessed. First opened in 1982, the Hacienda experienced its glory days in the 1980s, a time that was dubbed «Madchester» in tribute to the musical awakening in Britain at this time brought on by the music played live at the clubs.

Owned and financed partially by the band New Order and its record label Factory Records, the early days of the Hacienda were surprisingly relaxed, featuring bands such as Ministry of Sound, Cream, and The Smiths. The late 80s saw the advent of the unique sounds of acid house and a new kind of party: the rave. The maniacal rave scene was highlighted by the use of ecstasy, laser light shows, and fast paced electronic music and it changed the landscape of nightclubs all throughout England. By 1986, DJ’s playing house music had replaced live bands and the club gained world wide acclaim.

The turning point in the Hacienda’s notoriety came in 1989 when a 16 year old girl named Claire Leighton collapsed as a result of complications from ingesting ecstasy, and died shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, this was the beginning of the end and after several rocky years, the Hacienda finally closed in 1997. An apartment building of the same name now stands on the spot of the original Hacienda at 11-13 Whitworth Street West; developers demolished the original building. The interior fixtures, including pieces from the DJ booth, were sold at auction in November 2000 with all proceeds going to charity.

Visitors to the site of the Hacienda today will find themselves in the city centre of Manchester, an area that is, not the least bit surprisingly, a hot bed of clubs and bars. Although Piccadilly Station is nearby, most tourists walk the area of city centre, which is quite small. With a wide selection of hotels, Manchester has a lot to offer the overnight guest. Local cuisine consists of anything from Thai to French to Japanese to Indian. Many locations match up an award winning restaurant to one of the finest Manchester hotels, so guests can opt for a night in after a long day of seeing the sights of this infamous musical city.

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Premier League Football Player Photos – Handy Hints and Tips For Taking Good Photos

This guide is about the specifics of taking your snaps at ‘the match’ and hints about the do’s and don’ts. Make an effort to understand your own camera’s capabilities – ‘happy snappers’ can take great football players photos as today’s modern digital cameras are all pretty good. One important thing to recognise is that taking photographs at a sporting arena, can require a permit, as obtained by the press and media organizations. However, with the proliferation and qualities of mobile phone camera’s and the compact digital cameras, all stadiums and clubs now turn a blind eye to their use by the general public. Remember this, it’s important, it is a privilege not a right and acting as such can avoid difficult situations.

Equipment: Read the camera’s instructions and understand what you can and can’t do with your point and shoot. Extra battery power is essential, small and easy, keep them warm in your pocket – longer life. An extra memory card is always a good idea. An SLR camera may be too bulky to get past security plus, may make you look like a ‘pro’ and therefore attract the wrong kind of attention. In the same vein, tripods and telephoto lenses may prove troublesome.

Location: Most premier league stadiums are modern and will not have restricted views. However, older more characterful arena’s such as Goodison Park and Craven Cottage for example, will have pillars and stanchions blocking some views. Also sunshine can play havoc with a good shot either in reflective light or, cast shadows, be prepared to adjust your camera’s setup manually if you can. Or, check which direction the stand you are choosing seats in is facing; remember the sun rises in the east, sinks in the west.

Planning: If you know where you’re going to sit, you can plan what kind of shot you think best will work from your station. Information about such positions can be gleaned from the club or internet. If you can choose you seating, then avoid being behind the goal – too much excited jumping up and down around you. Or, being too high as the angle will seem odd and the digital zoom will not be enough.

Shots: If there is a barrier or wall that you can utilize to steady the camera then, more chance of avoiding ‘shake’. You can always use football players taking free kicks or corners as a bench mark shot as there are moments of ‘stillness’, this will assist you calibrating and manual changes to the camera set up. Want football players photos close up? Then try and get a seat near the corner flag or front row along the touchline.

Continuous mode: Your camera should have this facility. If there’s a melee in the box or, good action close by, then continuous mode will give you the best chance of catching the action. Typically the built in flash turns off on ‘continuous mode’ if not make sure you do it manually.

We wish you happy snapping and you get the shots you want, hoping the simple guide will assist you getting your favourite football player photos.

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New Designs For Football Shirts Make the Preseason Exciting

Every season there is an almost audible buzz about what the new designs for football shirts will look like. Which team will look better? Which team will look worse? Will teams go with old fashioned shirts, or will they try new cutting edge designs? The speculation adds excitement to the preseason and keeps people guessing until the very last minute.

This year the most talked about new design is for Manchester United’s away shirt. Photos of their new shirts have been passed around the internet and they are not getting favorable reviews. The shirts are white with a large V pattern in red across the chest. With a lace-up top and the logo shoved off to the side of the V, these throwback shirts are being hailed as a design nightmare. Football fans are even joking that Manchester United players will all request transfers because of the hideous new shirt design.

There is also a psychological aspect to new designs for football shirts. For example, there are rumors that Arsenal plan to change their shirt colors from yellow to green this season. That change makes fans a little squeamish because the last time the Arsenal used green shirts they finished in a dismal 10th place. Unfortunately the Arsenal away shirts look more like something an official would wear with light pinstripes and a small ribbed collar.

Some of the new designs for football shirts this year show a strange robotech type of effect. The illusion of body armor is stitched into the shoulders and midriff of the new Chelsea shirts. The blue and white design is nice, but the addition of a zipper at the neckline seems unusual for a football shirt. This year’s Blackburn Rovers home shirt and Chelsea third shirt are brilliant examples of traditional football shirts. The Blackburn Rovers will wear a large blue and white checkerboard pattern trimmed with red, which is interesting while conservative. Chelsea’s third shirt is classic football with alternating light and dark blue stripes on the torso and dark blue sleeves. The bright yellow accents finish the design nicely.

The many different uniforms that football teams wear throughout the season can be a challenge when creating new designs for football shirts. The teams need home shirts, away shirts, and some have third shirts as well. The home and away shirts are strikingly different from one another, and no team would be satisfied to have just the same shirt in a different color. Each team strives for individuality, and sometimes creativity wins out over good taste.

Fans, however, will support their teams whatever design they wear. Even when a team’s new shirt design is horrid, you will find bleachers filled with rabid football fans that are proud to wear the same tasteless shirt their heroes wear on the field. New designs for football shirts add variety and interest to the game, and give fans something to look forward to every year as the season approaches. While the design of the uniform is not as important as the players who wear the uniforms, sometimes it can be just as interesting.

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