#IslamicBookDay competition winner!


Congratulations to Tayyaba Anwar, winner of thevictoryboys.com competition for the #IslamicBookDay and #ReadInRamadan promotions.

A signed copy of The Victory Boys’ sequel, Team Spirit, is winging its way to Tayyaba in the UAE (just in time for Eid, inshallah!)

#IslamicBookDay competition – win a signed copy of ‘Team Spirit’!


Ramadan Mubarak! To mark #IslamicBookDay, and to provide something enjoyable to #ReadInRamadan, we’re giving away one signed copy of The Victory Boys’ sequel, Team Spirit!

Just click on the link below and read the book sample to answer this question:

What is Mr Bateman growing in his garden?


Click here for a sample of the book – and to find the answer!

Send your answer via the form below. The competition deadline is 23:59 BST on 6 July 2015.
One winner, drawn at random, will be contacted by email no later than 23:59 BST on 7 July 2015. If no response is forthcoming by 23:59 BST on 9 July 2015, including a full postal address, an alternative winner will be randomly selected.
The winner’s name and location (town/city, country) will be published on this website, along with the correct answer. (However, personal details will not be stored; anyone wishing to subscribe for updates may do so via the
‘Subscribe’ box on the right-hand side of this site – scroll down!)

The Victory Boys… in stereo!

The Victory Boys

Assalamu alaikum (peace be upon you all).
Fancy a sneak preview of The Victory Boys sequel, Team Spirit?
Then feast your ears on this!
Team Spirit Chapter 1
The whole of Chapter One, read by none other than… me.
(No expense spent).
So… what do you think?

Learn the ‘Akka’ – as performed by Amir Zidane!

Today it’s the fifth and final skill from Amir Zidane’s bag of tricks, as performed in The Victory Boys sequel ‘Team Spirit’.

After last week’s ‘Roulette’, we go street soccer today with the ‘Knee Akka’.

Read how Amir befuddled his opponent in Team Spirit, as he

akka text

Here’s how to perform the akka (click to enlarge the image)
akka annotated image

Take a look at the link in the comments section below, to see current Tottenham player Jan Vertonghen’s casual akka while in training at Ajax!

Mr Bateman’s Diary: Entry #04


Colin Bateman: Husband. Gardener. Free thinker. Shabab al-Nasr fan.

Sunday 10th May

Dear Diary,
What a strange day. Only a week to go until the tournament, and Amir’s father drops a bombshell like that. I think the boys were all in shock, to be honest. This whole Amir episode really seems to have unsettled them. And I suppose, when you add the pressure of being the reigning champions, they’ve got it all on their shoulders at the moment.
Still, when you can take a free-kick like young Ali, you’ve always got a chance of being on the winning side! What a crackerjack his goal was! I can’t wait for next Sunday! I really hope the boys can do it again!
I just can’t shake this feeling that it might not go according to plan this time…
Yours apprehensively,

Learn the ‘Roulette’ – as performed by Amir Zidane!

Today we learn the fourth of Amir Zidane’s five favourite skills, as performed in The Victory Boys sequel ‘Team Spirit’.

Following on from last week’s ‘Elastico’, we present the Roulette, made famous by Amir’s namesake: former Juventus, Real Madrid and France midfielder Zinedine Zidane.
Here’s Amir performing the trick in Team Spirit:

roulette text

And here’s how you do a roulette! (click to enlarge the image)
roulette annotated image

If you want to see a double roulette like Amir’s, check out the comments section below for a wonderful example by Yannick Ferreira Carrasco!

Mr Bateman’s Diary: Entry #03


Colin Bateman: Husband. Gardener. Free thinker. Shabab al-Nasr fan.

Sunday 3rd May

Dear Diary,
Today I saw a new star.
No, not in the sky – on the football pitch! The Prince has arrived!
Yes, Amir (‘
prince’ in Arabic, apparently) made his Shabab debut today and, my goodness, what a bag of tricks that lad is. I arrived just in time to see him score a brilliant goal, the first of… well, I don’t even know how many he scored in the end! Oh yes, there are a few boys looking a bit worried now (young Ibrahim, for one), with the tournament a couple of weeks away and the Prince putting in a performance like that.
Oh, and Diary, you’ll never guess what the boy’s last name is…
Zidane! (Did I mention that before?) Anyway, no wonder he’s a football genius, with a name like that!
Bring on the tournament!
Yours excitedly,

Learn the ‘Elastico’ – as performed by Amir Zidane!

We continue to share five of Amir Zidane’s favourite skills, as performed in The Victory Boys sequel ‘Team Spirit’.

After mastering last week’s ‘Rainbow Flick’, you’ll be ready to have a go at Amir’s third skill, the Elastico, a trick Amir uses to mesmerizing effect in the book:

elastico text

So, here’s how to do it! (click to enlarge the image)
elastico annotated image

See the comments section below for a fabulous elastico by Cristiano Ronaldo (although the less said about the cross that followed, the better!)

Mr Bateman’s Diary: Entry #02


Colin Bateman: Husband. Gardener. Free thinker. Shabab al-Nasr fan.

Sunday 26th April

Dear Diary,
Jolly interesting day today. Mrs Bateman had me get up early to crack on with some pruning I’d been putting off. (No, Diary, that wasn’t the interesting part. Far from it, in fact.) While I was trimming away – and long after mosque school had started, I might add – I encountered young Junayd and Ibrahim, the perennial latecomers, running up the street (young Ibrahim looks more and more bleary-eyed every time I see him. I do hope he’s getting enough sleep and not staying up all night watching
Match of the Day).
So, it being a long time since I’d had a good old chat with the Imam and Coach Saleem, I asked Junayd to pass on an invitation. Anyway, long story short: they all popped round later and informed me of a most intriguing development as regards the Victory Boys’ team… you won’t believe it, Diary… they’ve only gone and signed Zidane!!!
Well, OK, not that Zidane, but a very promising sounding young chap by the name of
Amir Zidane. (Interesting first name – I must look that up on the Internet and find out the meaning). I suppose the only possible problem might be: if he’s really that good, are the other boys’ places in the team secure? I wonder what they’re thinking about their new team-mate!
Sleep well Diary. I know I will, after all that pruning. Never again! Until the next time, anyway…
P.S. The Imam evidently hasn’t been using his time to brush up on his football knowledge. We were talking about transfers and someone mentioned the
Bosman Ruling. He asked, “Is this the same busman who Jossy Marino gets to park his bus in front of the goal in the Chelsea matches?” He said he’d heard about that on the radio and that he’d be happy to report other football news to us in future!
(Don’t give up your day job, Imam Munieb…)
Yours achingly (my sides, at least),

Learn the ‘Rainbow Flick’ – as performed by Amir Zidane!

In this series of posts, we share five of Amir Zidane’s favourite skills, as performed in ‘Team Spirit’.
Having learned the ‘Rabona’ last week, our second skill is the Rainbow Flick, a trick we find Amir putting to good use in his first Shabab training session:
rainbow text
Here’s how to do it! (click to enlarge the image)

rainbow flick
Check out my comment below for an instructive ‘rainbow flick’ video from Daniel Cutting, skills specialist.