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Around the Academy:

The Greeks were playing football 2,000 years ago
"Anything round here we can use as goal posts?"

The Greeks had a variation of the game back in 4BC called Pheninda that involved kicking, running with and handling the ball.

While just across the waters the Romans played Harpastum, which had teams - sometimes a hundred strong - defending opposing ends of a field.

It was another form of army training and, because the players usually ended up on the ground, the pitch was usually grass or dirt.

The ball was made from a stitched leather skin and stuffed with chopped sponges or animal fur.

Don't fancy heading that much!

Wind the clock forwards to 5 AD and we come to a Japanese game called Kemari where players kicked a ball to each other across a square pitch.

Rich land owners grew trees or had trees in pots to mark out the pitch. Heard of the legendary winger Ryan Twigs?






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