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Updated: May 27, 2020

There’s not much good to be said for being in lockdown for the past couple of months.

Then again, it has helped me nail a few unfinished creative projects that have been floating around for a bit.

One particular one is a ‘funny footy card’ project that I’ve been doing with my creative collaborator and photographer friend Joe Giacomet.

It’s called ‘NOTVERY ATHLETIC’, and it’s essentially a comical collection of photos and artefacts, based on a set of fictional 1970s football trading cards.

The original concept was part of a failed creative pitch I did a few years back and, despite the fact that I didn’t secure the job, my layouts of funny footballers stayed firmly on the wall.

Also, because I like a chat on social media, it wasn’t long before I was sharing stupid soccer star names and my Facebook friends were pitching in with their own.

I’d throw in a ‘Hans Balle’, ‘Owen Gole’ and a ‘Juan Nille’ and I’d get an ‘Ernie Barf’, a ‘Eustace d’Fenda’ and a ‘Miles Orfside’ tossed back at me.

Before I knew it, there was a couple of soccer teams-worth of names to choose from.

So - like how things seem to happen ‘round here - I was irresistibly drawn to make them all ‘real’.

Of course, I couldn’t just create the players. They had to have positions, teams, strip, badges, the lot!

And, as usual, I couldn’t begin to do it without teaming up with the likes of a top scoring photographer like Joe.

But seeing as it wasn’t a proper job there wasn’t a proper deadline either. Paying work just seemed to get in the way (remember real, paying, work?)

There were a few other setbacks too, like me suggesting that we Risograph all the images to give us that authentic/crap look. Fortunately Joe agreed and did a fantastic job of combining the Riso’d images with the original shots.

So after an extended period of overtime (and thanks to the lockdown) I’m delighted to announce a result…

‘NOTVERY ATHLETIC’ is finished!

Obviously the rest of the star-studded COY! Squad pitched in too: with stellar performances by designers Kate Henderson and Tivy Davies, Anna and Sas played a blinder on the hair and make-up, and then there was our player/manager Juan, who produced the whole shooting match.

As you might have gathered there wasn’t a big budget for the cast etc, so Juan became ‘Juan Nille’, Kate doubled up as ‘Tu Wun’ and I even persuaded Joe to step in front of the camera, playing ‘Bakov de Nette’.

Veteran star copywriter Jerry Gallaher probably came up with most of the silly team names and positions, and because of his ‘distinctive’ good looks he just had to assume the role of ‘Seymore Fowles’ (the Ref).

As I write this post the lockdown is still in force, so the fancy, funny, footy exhibition will have to wait a bit (tho’if you know me, you KNOW it’s going to happen).

But, in the meantime, Joe has published a smashing, limited edition ‘Zine’ with a pick of the pics in it…email Juan ( if you’d like to get your hands on a copy.

It’s been a long road getting here but I’ve got to say that at the end of the day I’m absolutely over the moon with the final result…BACK OF THE NET!

Marco Dentonetti.


Concept & Art Direction: Mark Denton Esq.

Photography: Joe Giacomet

Producer: Juan Coello Hollebecq

Design: Mark Denton Esq., Kate Henderson, Tivy Davies.

Hair Design: Anna Longaretti.

Make-up Artist: Saskia Laroque Rothstein-Longaretti.

Wardrobe: Sabina Piccini.

Additional sensationally silly Footballer and Soccer Club names courtesy of: Mickey Brooks, Adam Denton, Jerry 'Seymore' Gallaher, Andy Mac, Ruan Milborrow, Mark Prime and Graham Pugh.

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