About Kyle Oliver Hulme

Studying International Relations at the University of Leeds, and if anything it's taught me how to ramble off topic. Currently on an Erasmus year in Krakow. Giving my allegiance to Leeds United, Cracovia, Juventus and AC Cesena. Expect pieces on anything other than English football.

KS Cracovia: Life as a Member of the Pasy, Part Two

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Kyle Hulme talks about his experience at last weekend’s Krakow derby…

Despite Poland being occupied by both Nazi and Soviet forces during the Second World War, Krakow remained pretty much unscathed – legend has it the Pope wrote to Roosevelt, asking that he pressed Stalin to take extra special care of the holy city – and so its many grand buildings and monuments remain as beautiful today as they were when they were first built.

Yet wandering around the main square on Saturday afternoon, it was as though you were walking around a warzone; large groups marching through the city, chanting; casings of explosion-type fireworks and flares strewn across the floor; Polish flags attached to famous landmarks flying bravely and the remnants of symbols of the enemy, left charred and burning on the street. Continue reading

KS Cracovia: Beginning Life As A Member of the Pasy

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Kyle Hulme files his first foreign report for TFN from his new home in Krakow, Poland, with tension growing ahead of the city’s biggest derby…

Yesterday I sauntered along the medieval cobbles of this beautiful city, twisting and turning through the winding streets in search of some essential piece of contraband. I reached my destination, an unassuming shop in the most shaded part of the street, immediately noticing that the store I was headed towards was stocked to the brim with the paraphernalia of Polish national pride and sporting achievement.

Entering nervously, I quickly found what I came for, clumsily stuffing a package into the hidden pocket inside my jacket. I made for the exit all the while hoping nobody had seen what I’d just taken from the shelves. Don’t worry, this wasn’t theft. The package was paid for before it was secreted away within my coat, and I hadn’t bought anything illegal either. This concealed package didn’t contain drugs, weaponry or anything of the sort, but just a simple scarf, barred in the red and white: the colours of KS Cracovia.

Such is life in the City of Knives.

Continue reading

LUFC: “We’ve always been Leeds, but for once we’re United”

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Leeds fan Kyle Hulme is excited by his club’s new lease of life as it emerges from the shadows of Ken Bates’ reign…

It can be difficult to write about your own club. Constantly fearing your own bias you can quickly fall the other way completely, find yourself typing out controversies in a rather scathing tone. Before you know it you’re calling Neil Warnock words that could get you arrested, or worse, blocked by Caitlin Moran.

I say usually, because today that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Leeds fans find themselves in quite an unusual position – optimism surrounding our club is at a ten year high, yet the expectations for this season are, dare I say it, rather realistic.

This seemingly substantiated optimism is born of all the work that’s been done by the club of late off the pitch. When GFH Capital purchased the club from Leeds fans it saw us embark on a typically rollercoaster-like ride; first we were rich, then we were poor, then Bates looked set to remain as President and supporters no longer knew where they stood.

But since the end of last season, the situation has begun to change. Continue reading

Andrea Pirlo at 100: the making of a regista

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In just a few hours, Andrea Pirlo will join an illustrious group of Italian legends as he earns his 100th cap for the Azzurri. Kyle Hulme takes a look back over his career and achievements so far…

Of all the places for a footballer to earn his 100th cap for his country, few are as fitting as the Estadio do Maracano; a stadium that once hosted a World Cup Final, saw Pele’s 1000th goal and has witnessed countless world-class players grace its surface. It seems a perfect place for Andrea Pirlo to celebrate this own landmark occasion.

Yet, considering his present status as one of the world’s most cultured and effective playmakers, it’s strange to think that in the past there were many who never imagined he would get this far.

Regardless of where he would eventually end up, Pirlo achieved immortality early on in the football canon for his role in Roberto Baggio’s wondergoal whilst playing for Brescia – perhaps the first glimpse the world saw of his long, sculpted passes. Having impressed during his time in Lombardy, he was spotted by Internazionale who signed him in 1998.

During his first stint in Milan with Inter, Pirlo struggled to cement his place, playing further up the field in a role just behind the front man. Though he struggled at club level in this more advanced role, he won the U-21 European Championship with Italy, finishing the tournament as the top scorer in his role as a #10. Loans to Reggina and a return to Brescia followed before he was signed by cross-city rivals AC Milan in 2001 – the club where he became the player we know today. Continue reading

AC Cesena: A Love Affair with Mediocrity

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Kyle Hulme discusses his new-found love affair with AC Cesena, and the fortunes of Italy’s Serie B…

Life, it could be said, is measured not in monetary wealth, but in the attachments, the bonds and the relationships we forge during out short time on this planet. For it is these bonds that shape us, mould us and help make us the people we are. And, this time last year, I would never have thought I’d form such a bond as I did with a seahorse.

Okay, so not a literal seahorse per se, but a figurative one. AC Cesena, a side who proudly sport a seahorse on their crest, had caught me hook, line and sinker.

Though that wasn’t the first time I’d been aware of their existence. My usual side of preference in Italy – and a side I am still very much affectionate towards – are Juventus, and I witnessed La Vecchia Signora do the double over the plucky minnows from Emilia-Romagna. And all the while, I couldn’t stop thinking about that startled seahorse on their badge. So whilst my beloved Juventus swept all before them and finished unbeaten in the league, I made a conscious decision: Cesena, the team that finished rock-bottom with a mere four victories all season, would be my official Serie B team. Continue reading

The TFN Writers Awards: 2012-13

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The False Nine team respond to the results of the 2013 PFA Awards with their own picks for Player of the Year, Young Player of the Year and Manager of the Year…

Continuing on in his quest to become Wales’ answer to Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale was last night crowned as Player’s Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year at the 2013 PFA Awards at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. His double win follows in the footsteps of Ronaldo who achieved the same feat in 2007.

While the main prize of the PFA Awards is voted for by the players of the Premier League, here at TFN we didn’t want to miss out on the fun and so have taken upon ourselves to put forward our own picks for Player, Young Player and Manager of the Year. Continue reading

Hypothetical XI #9 – The Hipsters

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Kyle Hulme brings the latest craze, the hipster footballers XI…

In recent weeks one particular phrase that has been popping up in football journalism and podcasts is the notion of a “football hipster”, someone who doesn’t conform to traditional football fan behaviour by supporting obscure teams in leagues you’ve never heard of. Well, we here at The False Nine have gone a step further and have compiled an XI of footballers who themselves are worthy of “hipster” status for one reason for another.  Continue reading