Far from the Armageddon predicted by the man responsible for marketing our game, Scottish club football has had a good few years, and feels like it is getting some of its vibrancy back; the introduction of the pyramid has injected some badly needed dynamism into the lower end of the Scottish league and the semi-professional regional leagues beneath; the league playoffs have created genuine spectacle and excitement; the continued success of Aberdeen and Kilmarnock in challenging the return of the old duopoly at the top. Dare we say, even the Scottish national team has a coach that creates some optimism. It is this sense of renaissance that is captured in How’s Your Touch, a reboot of the traditional football album that seems in-keeping with the mini-revival of Scottish football.
Gone are the staged squad photos, and the 1980s feel of those beloved old albums, and in their place is a stylish and creative work, with a look that is contemporary and slick without feeling artificial or staged. This is a Scottish football album for digital generation.
It has avoided the pitfall of the reboot however, and it has not lost that essence of a good album. It lovingly recaps the season in all leagues, charting the rises and falls of teams and players. Its 7 of the week feature giving kudos in equal measure to top league stars, such as when Uche Ikpeazu was helping Hearts barge their way to the top of the league, to lower league stars such as Rory McAllister who, thanks to week 2 of the season’s moment of the week, I now know scored his 100th SPFL goal in a 4-0 win over Albion Rovers.
The ever-growing women’s game is also included, with coverage of the main tournaments, again tapping into a sense or momentum that is gathering behind it.
This book captures so much of what is good about Scottish football, particularly the passion. It is written with genuine enthusiasm for its subject, be that Dunfermline Athletic or Motherwell, and it is the kind of book that one can easily see becoming an annual must have for fans the length and breadth of Scotland, regardless of club. This is one truly for the fan of Scottish football, from Dingwall to Dumfries, Methil to Dumbarton.
How’s Your Touch currently has a crowdfunder campaign running, which is open until June 30th – if you want to support this book’s publication, you can do so here, or follow the progress on Twitter @HYTAnnual