ZINE REVIEW: Alternative Wales # 14 (June 2024)

Latest issue of Alternative Wales, a zine that focuses on Welsh football culture,  written by fans, for fans.

Or in their own words:

Celebrating the unique culture of Welsh football from the international game to grassroots. We champion the entertaining, funny, irreverent and creative characters within our game.

Welsh football culture has its own soundtrack, its own style, its own sense of humour and Alternative Wales brings it all together in one place.

We release four magazines a year, a weekly podcast and host multiple events.

This issue was published after the Wales national team failed to qualify for the Euros, but before the, erm, less than satisfactory performances against Gibraltar and Slovakia.

Rhys Hartley reflects on not being able to appreciate the good times with out experiencing the bad times.

There’s a preview of Neil Collins forthcoming book, ‘International Velvet’, which looks back at the 1990s, a time when the charts were briefly interrupted by half decent guitar bands, instead of manufactured pop music. And what’s more, many of them were Welsh.  The book looks at ‘Cwl Cymru’, with bands like The Manics, Stereophonics and Super Fury Animals becoming household names. Many of those bands involved in the scene were no strangers to football terraces.

There’s Walking Football,  Women’s Football and an eight page story on Llantwit Major FC.

In short, it’s about ‘real’ football, tales of underdogs, misfits and masochists that support their local team rather than chasing glory.

It all comes in a professional, glossy A5 package, well written and a nice mix of informative and humorous. And the artwork is quite nifty.

On top of that there’s a cracking podcast, great website and range of merch.

Now excuse me, I’m going to get stuck into the back issues I ordered at the same time.