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Tapiray no. 69 - Rodez Aveyron Football (France)

2008 home kit

A slightly topical entrant in the TAPIRAY vaults this month (March), as French lower league side Rodez Aveyron are about to play one of the biggest matches in their history when they take on current holders Paris SG in the last 16 of the French Cup, their reward for knocking out Ligue 2 side Troyes in the previous round.

Based in the town of Rodez, they currently play in the Championnat National (Third Division), though they have spent most of their history in the CFA - Championnat de France Amateurs (where, amongst others, the top French reserve sides play). They did have a 4 year spell in Ligue 2 in the early 90s, and got as far as the semi-finals of the French Cup during that time, before losing out 4-1 to Marseille.

Links: Official site (French)

Suggested by: Philippe Charrier & Andy Carter.

Tapiray no. 70 - Preston Lions (Australia)

2008/09 kit

Preston Lions are another Australian team, and like previous TAPIRAY's from that country, were founded by Macedonian immigrants. Indeed, they were called Preston Makedonia Soccer Club until the mid-90's when the Australian FA forced clubs to abolish any ethnicity associated with their club names and so they became the Preston Lions.

Based in Preston, a suburb of Melbourne, they were established in 1959 and play at state level (a league below the National League where Melbourne Victory play). They worked their way up through the leagues and in the 1980's they enjoyed a 13-year spell in the top flight (NSL) before returning to the Victorian Premier League.

Since then they've become established as a fairly successful and well-supported side; they've been Premier League Champions three times, average crowds of 5000 and currently have over 240 players on their books with senior men's and women's teams (both playing at the top level of state football), and various sides playing in the junior ranks.

Links: Official site

Suggested by: Ian K Jack.

Tapiray no. 71 - KSV Bornem (Belgium)

2008/09 kit

From the town of Bornem, just south of Antwerp, this Belgian lower league side were founded in 1921 and play in the 3500 capacity Breeven stadium. Like many smaller Belgian clubs, they've gone through at least one merger and name change before settling on their current guise. In 1973 they (KFC Klein Brabant-Bornem) merged with KFC Fast and Free Bornem to become KSV Bornem.

They currently play in the Belgian Promotion, which is the fourth and lowest nationwide division in Belgian football. And although they've twice made it to the Third Division since the early 80's, they've also spent as much time down in the regional Provincial leagues, though they are currently in the hunt for promotion again this season.

Links: Official site (Dutch)

Suggested by: Stéphane Lievens.

Tapiray no. 72 - Angola (National)

Angola home top

The Angola national football team, nicknamed Palancas Negras (The Black Antelopes), have come to the attention in recent years after qualifying for the 2006 World Cup for the first time in their history, knocking out one of Africa's former superpowers, Nigeria, in the process. They lost one and drew two of their games at the Finals, and followed that up by reaching the Africa Cup of Nations in 2008 for the second time in succession, and only lost out to eventual winners Egypt in the quarter-finals.

Their most famous player is striker Fabrice Alcebiades Maieco (better known as Akwá), he is their most capped international and top goalscorer, and is a sporting icon in his country after scoring the goal against Rwanda that secured their World Cup qualification.

He has since retired from international football though, and Manchester United striker Manucho is probably their most well known current player. Thistle fans will be only too well aware of another Angolan, diminutive winger Jose Quitongo. He had a short spell at Firhill in the latter part of 2005/06, and was hoping to do enough to win a place in the Angolan World Cup squad. After featuring just once as a sub for the Jags before being freed, needless to say he didn't make it.

Links: Angolan FA (Portuguese)

Suggested by: Steph Lievens.