Bangkok Veterans League Season #3, Month #1 11/Feb/2007 • Harrow School
Feb/2007 Vets League goes to Cosmos again
It was another great day of Vets football last Sunday, and my sincere thanks go to each-&-every individual for sticking with the spirit of Vets throughout the day. We have improved on the kickoff time considerably, but still were late about half-hour — something we seriously need to work on further in the coming months.
Cosmos, having fallen to their "first-ever", not 1, but 2 defeats in the League (most likely out of respect in the disciplined hands of Teachers from Harrow and Shrewsbury), we all thought a new champion was emerging. However, giants had woken amidst numerous instigations, and rocketed to the championship rather steadfastly in the knockout part of the day, and the Vikings could do nothing to stop them.!
The teams that were aiming for the first trophy of the new season were:
• LeCoq French
• Anatolian Turks
• British Club
• BU Japan
• BSL Veterans
• Bangkok Cosmos <== defending Champ!
• Scandinavian Vikings
• Sunbelt United
• Harrow Teachers
• Winking Frog
• Shrewsbury Teachers
• Amadeus Bookmakers <== a new squad
• Irish Xchange
• Yingcharoen Standbys
While we were missing the Germans and LesGaulois French due to their Casuals League commitments, the conspiracy theory on Pickled Liver's no-show was that they were reluctant to carry the BadCup! a 2nd month in-a-row..!
On the other hand, it was a pleasant improvement to add one more team onto our roster of teams with the first appearance of Amadeus Bookmakers.
Below are just my brief observations on each team during the day:
Bangkok Cosmos: showed the chink in their armour with 2 "first-ever" loses, but still managed to runaway with the victory, defending their title in the process (they are 2-in-a-row now!).
Scandinavian Vikings: had a good run throughout the day, even helping Anders to pick up his 2nd-in-a-row Top Scorer Trophy, but things somehow fell apart in the Grand Final against the Cosmos.
Irish Xchange: proved that their Grand Final appearance in Dec/2006 wasn't a fluke, and repeated a similar feat by placing 3rd this month.
Anatolian Turks: showed marked improvement over their QF loss in Dec/2006 with a SF loss this month. So, in 2 more tournaments they could be carrying home the Top Trophy!
Harrow Teachers: "never too serious" at the beginning of the day, but drew the spotlight onto themselves by handing Cosmos their "first-ever" loss in the League's history, and grabbing the Plate! (5th overall) trophy on the day.
Winking Frog: had a good tournament overall, but were unfortunate to face Cosmos in the QF.
Sunbelt United: have shown improvement over their BadCup! quality runs over the last few months.
BU Japan: much improved and consistently finishing in the upper ranks of the League these days (no more BadCup! for them!).
British Club: started the day extremely well, but was all downhill after that, yet still saved the Shield! (9th overall) trophy for themselves.
Shrewsbury Teachers: opened the eyes of all the participants by handing Cosmos their 2nd loss in the League's history, but seemed underpowered and couldn't build onto the early success.
LeCoq French: seemed to have brought a strong squad this month, but only were able to win "their own final" (11th place) in the end.
Yingcharoen Standbys: for some reason, nothing worked right for them this month.
BSL Veterans -vs- Amadeus Bookmakers: had a brave and honourful fight for the BadCup!, in the end of which BSL Veterans graciously handed the debutantes Amadeus Bookmakers their "first-ever" BadCup! on their "first-ever" entry (much reminiscent of BU Japan in their early days!).
Having had the experience from Dec/2006's 16-team large organization, we were prepared to handle this month's 14-team chores with ease. With only half-an-hour late start and less number of games (45 in all), we avoided the "Sunset 7s" fiasco of last month.
The random group split seemed even-balanced, with Vikings and the Cosmos falling into 2 different groups of 7 teams each, indicating they could meet in the Grand Final, should they both finish at the top of their respective groups.
The difference of this month's 2x7 format as opposed to last month's 4x4 format was that there was an incentive to win games at the Group Stage this month, since only the Top-4 ranking teams of the 2 groups could aim for the Top Trophy. The Bottom-3 teams were going to have to settle down with the Shield and BadCup!.
Again, I didn't get to watch all the games one-by-one (gathering the results were tough enough), but I can report on some of the interesting scores of the Group Stage.
The most interesting "2" scores (and, I keep repeating myself!) was to see mighty Cosmos going down, not once, but twice, losing 2 of their 4 group games, first to Harrow Teachers, then right after to Shrewsbury Teachers. The crowd was in total disbelief when the scores were announced. Was this another "parallel" universe? But, just like a great team should, they picked themselves up, and finished at the top of their group winning the other 2 games, with 1 extra bonus point for scoring 3 or more goals in one of them.
In Group-A, the Anatolian Turks were cruising the Group Stage with 2 wins and 2 draws, and topped the group in the end. Vikings also faired well with 2 wins, a loss (to Yingcharoen), and a draw (with Winking Frog). Last month's Grand Finalist, Irish Xchange, grabbed the third group spot, also with 2 wins and 2 draws. Winking Frog started the day in idle with 3 draws, and a last gasp win over Yingcharoen gave them the 4th & last spot in the group to advance to the next round.
In Group-B, things were slightly more complicated. Cosmos losing, not 1, but 2 games, meant that the points-split would be more even among the teams, and grabbing the Top-4 group spots would be more contentious. And, tellingly, at the end of the Group Stage, 7 teams lining up
with 7, 7, 6, 6 | 5, 4, 3 points, meant that British Club regretted not pulling out a win in their last group game against BSL Veterans, and being confined to the Bottom-3 ranks with only 5 points on the day, which aided Harrow Teachers to sneak in as the 4th team in Group-B.
Nevertheless, the Bottom-3 teams:
• LeCoq, Yingcharoen and Amadeus in Group-A, and
• British Club, Shrewsbury and BSL in Group-B,
fought valiantly; however, couldn't muster enough points to aim for the Top Trophy, and had to be the content with the prospect of winning the Shield (9th overall) trophy on the day.
Special mention to our debutantes, Amadeus Bookmakers, giving a big scare and almost stealing a point from the mighty Vikings, but going down 3-2 on a last-second Anders hat-trick goal. Nevertheless, scoring 2 goals on Vikings should be an out-of-this-world experience. Well done, boys.!
Moving onto the QF Round, the interesting matchup in QF3 pitted Cosmos -vs- Winking Frog — the 2 always-strong teams of the League, in which Cosmos pulled out a narrow 1-0 win in the end. In the other QFs, the Anatolia overcame Harrow's persistence, Vikings cruised by BU Japan, and Irish were the winners over Sunbelt on the 1st penalty-shootout of the day.
In the SF Round, both winners were decided as a result of penalty-shootouts again, after both SFs ended 0-0 in 13 min regulation time in entertaining end-to-end games. Vikings winning over Anatolia and Cosmos disposing Irish in a re-match of last month's Grand Final.
In the Shield Division (i.e., for teams vying for 9th-14th spots), British Club were determined to erase the memories of not qualifying for the Cup Division, and making sure they bring home "some" silverware!
In the Plate Division (i.e., for teams vying for 5th-8th spots), Group-B's lowly 4th spot Harrow nicely cruised to a win, intent on re-writing some of the past months's weak showings.
And, in the BadCup! game of the day, BSL Veterans faced up against Amadeus Bookmakers in an tough but cordial game that saw BSL declining the BadCup! on a narrow 1-0 win, and generously handing it over to Amadeus as a life-long treasured gift of their 1st participation in the Vets League. Bruno and the boys from Amadeus were genuinely gracious in picking up their 1st silverware in their 1st competition in the Vets.
The 3rd place game right before the Grand Final put the Irish Xchange and the Anatolian Turks against each other in a very friendly atmosphere, in which the Irish narrowly won 1-0.
The climax of the day, or perhaps the entire League, the most awaited game of all time, finally brought the mighty Vikings against indomitable Cosmos for the "first-ever" time in a Grand Final in the League. It was sure to be utterly entertaining whichever way you looked at it.
The debate over which one of these 2 great team was greater tended to favour Vikings with their 4 championships in the League in the past 2 years, all 4 of them coming in-a-row during Mar-Jun/2006. Cosmos, on the other hand, were also 4-time winners of the League so far, however, not consecutively, but yet, with a 100% record by winning every time they entered a team.
So, a lot was at stake on this 1 single game between these 2 strong teams.
The game kicked off cautiously with both teams testing each other, with skillful passing on the pitch. However, on a surprise break Cosmos scored their 1st goal, dampening Vikings' spirits, who never recovered from it, and allowed 3 more goals for a lopsided 4-0 win for the Cosmos.
This win, now 2-in-a-row, and 5th overall championship for Cosmos makes "the greatest team" debate slightly less murky, especially if they can carry on to make it a 5-in-a-row in the next 3 months.
So, stay tuned. Everyone will be watching.!
(do read more about the current standing records and more stats in the "Champions" page).
Here's the complete scores of the day ==>
On the other hand, the "best goal scorer" debate may have already been settled, as this month, once again, Anders from the Vikings lifted the Top Scorer trophy, with a skillful game-winning hat-trick in the match against Amadeus. Congratulations!
In fact, congratulations to all the teams & players for taking part in another pleasant Vets football day. All-and-all, it was another successful day for all involved with plenty of water and drinks, and many more laughs.
Hope the quantity and quality of beer was satisfying this time
Also, my thanks to those who lent a hand on the day, especially:
Gonzague from Sunbelt,
Sirichai from Yingcharoen,
Derek from Winking Frog,
Eric and Yamine from LeCoq,
(and LeCoq's Dominique and Thierry for preparing the Trophy table )
Once again, another big thanks go to the Harrow School and Kh. Somparn for putting up a nice setup for us and making it convenient for all to enjoy. We're getting used to it more and more!
Feel free to e-mail to me all your (good or bad!) comments and suggestions. I am happy to place them on the website for all to see and debate. We hope to improve the tournament even further as time goes on.
Many thanks to all once again.
Next Vets day is confirmed for Mar/11th, and preparations are already underway. Let me know as soon as your team makes the decision to bring a squad.
Remember ==> If it's the first Sunday, it's the Vets day..!!
Picture 1 — Getting ready to kick the day off.
Picture 2 — All the silverware, raring to go!
Picture 3 — Crowds are slowly starting to trickle in.
Picture 4 — Eralp the Organizer is much relaxed and taking it easy at the beginning of the day.
Picture 5 — Anatolian Turks, with Chris keeping their goal, were a strong force to reckon with once again.
Picture 6 — Eventual champions, Cosmos, are in their new & improved shirts.
Picture 7 — BU Japan, finishing 8th under the leadership of Mori San, are continuously improving their performance month after month.
Picture 8 — Shrewsbury Teachers had a good run, and plenty of good laughs (especially after beating Cosmos during the Group Stage!).
Picture 9 — Dominique and the LeCoq boys had a lot riding this month, and won their own "11th place" final!
Picture 10 — Derek and the boys from the Winking Frog never miss a photo-op.
Picture 11 — With Gonzague, Preben and Malcolm on their side this month, Sunbelt was always threatening throughout the day.
Picture 12 — Yingcharoen Standbys never looked like to have warmed to the game this month, and finished a lowly 12th place overall.
Picture 13 — Khun Kruu Steve and Harrow Teachers, with a couple of ringers from Pickled Liver, had one of their best tournaments in recent memory this month, and brought home the Plate! (5th overall) trophy, handing Cosmos their "first-ever" defeat in the Vets in the process.
Picture 14 — Tim "the Real Deal" and the Viking Vets are taking a break to strike a pose between the games. [picture courtesy of Vikings website]
Picture 15 — Cosmos and Sunbelt face each other in one of the early games of the day.
Picture 16 — The Yingcharoen Standbys and the Anatolian Turks are battling out for points during the Group Stage.
Picture 17 — Cosmos in action again against "Pinky" BU Japan.
Picture 18 — Spectators and players are watching the heat of the action.
Picture 19 — Showing off our new sponsor, adidas, logo..
Picture 20 — Sunbelt was clearly the better side against BU Japan, winning 2-0 during the Group Stage.
Picture 21 — The "water" rush!
Picture 22 — Anatolian Turks are testing Harrow Teachers goal during QF1.
Picture 23 — Sunbelt keeper Gonzague, as vociferous as ever, guiding the troops, while Kevin from Irish Xchange is waiting for that perfect assist in their QF4 matchup.
Picture 24 — LeCoq French seem they're done for the day.
Picture 25 — The crowd is slowly winding down the day.
Picture 26 — BSL Veterans and Amadeus Bookmakers (in distinctive orange) are locked in an intense battle for the BadCup!
Picture 27 — Beer is the reward for BSL Veterans for narrowly missing out on the BadCup!
Picture 28 — Our newest debutantes, Amadeus Bookmakers, are happy and content with their BadCup! win on their first outing at the Vets League.
Picture 29 — No more smiles, as the "rocket science" kicks in!
Picture 30 — Yilmaz from Anatolian Turks attacking Vikings's goal, and Keld is firm in his defence in SF1.
Picture 31 — Keld from Vikings steps up to score his shot in the ensuing penalty-shootout in SF1.
Picture 32 — Terrific scene! There are no losers among the Vikings and Anatolia.
Picture 33 — Cosmos and the Irish get their SF2 underway.
Picture 34 — Cosmos comes out on top against the Irish in SF2, again following a penalty-shootout.
Picture 35 — The 3rd place goes to Irish Xchange, narrowly winning 1-0 over Anatolian Turks.
Picture 36 — Vikings and Cosmos are hard at work in the Grand Final.
Picture 37 — Great joint-team photo between the Grand Finalists, Cosmos and Vikings, to finish off the day.
Picture 38 — Bruno from Amadeus Bookmakers happily grabbing the first BadCup! in their "first-ever" entry.
Picture 39 — LeCoq's influential manager and captain Dominique making his point about winning "any" final.
Picture 40 — British Club's Wayne appears in disbelief as he receives the Shield! (9th overall) trophy, pondering how good the day had started.
Picture 41 — A towering Khun Kruu Steve from Harrow Teachers instructing the crowd on the ins-&-outs of how to win the Plate! (5th overall) trophy.
Picture 42 — Kevin is explaining on how good a "tournament" team Irish Xchange is, finishing in Top-3 for a second month running.
Picture 43 — Vikings's Anders never shuns the limelight, sharing their 2nd place trophy with his kids.
Picture 44 — Vikings's 3rd place and Anders's Top Scorer trophy in the hands of the future Vets!
Picture 45 — Pedro, Harold and Chris are proud receivers of Cosmos's yet another Vets Championship trophy.
Picture 46 — Everyone is all smiles in the group photo at the end of the day of Feb/2007 Vets tournament.
Author: Tim Team: Scandinavian Vikings Date: 13/Feb/2007 Source: Write-up at Vikings's website Title: VVV's Grab 2nd Spot in First Veteran's Cup of 2007
Viking Very Veteran's (VVV's) showed up at Harrow's on Sunday, February 11th, 2007 with nearly 40% of the Vikings within striking range of the Golden 50's. With a thin squad of only 8 players the Vikings started their march to the top with a game against the strong Winking Frog team. The Vikings opened the scoring with a C1 assist to the Green Frog who hopped on the ball and carefully netted the ball. The WF drew the game even but then "The Real Deal" artfully dished off to C2 who slammed the ball into the back of the net to put the Vikings on top. However, to the disappointment of the entire team, the WF drew the game even in the final minutes of the game. Vikings 2 - Winking Frog 2
The next game, with little rest in between, was against the Yingcharoen Standbys who ran circles around the Vikings who were held scoreless. Vikings 0 - Yingcharoen 2
The Viking Vets then faced a new team - Amadeus. It was all C1 / C2 in this game which saw the lead switch hands before the C1 - C2 combo put in the third goal just before time expired. C1 with an assist hat-trick and C2 with an ordinary hat-trick. The 3 goals by the Vikings gave them an extra point which later proved very valuable. However, the ratio of nearly Golden 50's dropped with the injury to Sven which left the Vikings with no substitutes and aching legs. Vikings 3 - Amadeus 2
One more group game lay ahead of the Viking Vets path to the top. The Viking Vets were almost decimated with the Green Frog hopping around on one wheel and the others nearly out of fuel. Bad going to worse the next step was up the Froggy ladder. The Vikings went out with all the effort and energy they could muster to face Le Cog and quickly executed a snap freekick that C1 rifled past the unsuspecting French team to put the Vikings up 1-0 (C2 did touch the ball so is claiming an assist). This had the Froggies crying like guppies and the Scans again capitalized on the disorganized Frogs on another C2 to C1 combination. C2 layed the ball up to C1 who sported a smile from coast to coast as he put another screamer past the LeCoq goalie. The Frogs put themselves on the scoreboard late in the game but some fine defensive effort by the American troops (Matt in goal and The Real Deal scouring the mid field) secured the victory for the Scans. Vikings 2 - LeCoq 1
With the Group Stage completed, the Viking Vets were able to secure 2nd spot and went on to face the tough BU Japan side in the Quarter Finals. The C1 - C2 combination was at it again and C2 put another two goals on the score sheet while C1 provided the assists. The second goal was a long ball by C1 headed straight for the goal which was just skimmed by C2 (C2 claims it was deflected) over the outstretched hands of BU Japan goalie. Vikings 2 - BU Japan 0
It was now into the Semi Finals and the Vikings now completely worn out and running only on fumes met Anatolian Turks team. It was a hard fought game with a few close calls denied by Matt in goal. A number of Viking shots hit the post and the rebounds could not be put in. The final whistle blew with a scoreless draw and on to penalties. A familiar situation for the Viking Vets but not always a successful one. Matt, after being stellar in Goal, was opted out by the Green Frog who insisted that he play goalie for the Vikings for the penalty kicks. C2 stepped up first and calmly passed the ball into the corner of the net as the goalie went the opposite way. C1 was up next and found the same form from the French game and left the goalie wondering where the ball was as C1 calmly walked away. Neal then stepped up to find the same form as C1 and netted the third penalty for the Vikings. It was into sudden-death for the Vikings as Christian (one of the remaining "Almost Golden 50's Boys") stepped up to the line. Using all of his decades of experience, he stared into the right corner of the net as he blasted the ball into the left corner to add another to the Viking total. It was now up to the Green Frog to stop the Anatolian Turks from their invasion which to date had not been successful. See the Anatolian Turks step up, see the Green Frog jump up, see the ball sail over the crossbar, see the Vikings in the FINAL!
It was then time for the trophy presentation. Darkness fell as C2 and the (distant) future Viking Vets proudly accepted the 2nd place trophy and C2 Top Scorer trophies to end the Veteran Tournament.
PS: The Final was Vikings zero - Cosmos "more than zero"
From: Eric Team: LeCoq French Date: 12/Feb/2007
An other good day yesterday.....
Having listen and chat to many yesterday, I think one of the remarks I have heard the most is that the games are too short....
I'd guess it might be better to have a bit longer games (15mn) and less of them, maybe 5 to 6 games as a max
I have to say I disagree with some of your statements in your summary.
You did NOT improve on the kickoff time. Lots of teams were there on time Sunday but still the captain's meeting was postponed and kickoff also. Even though it is only 30-40 min. I can't tell you how annoying it is for 12 teams to be standing and waiting for one or two guys to get the organization right.
There were NOT sufficient beers. Again we could not get one full beer
after having played the Grand Final. The only way to get a beer is apparently
to play like crap so you are out of the tournament faster!
The trophy ceremony is TOO LATE (don't allow teams to take shower
before) and there are never any beers. The result is that most of the
teams have left already when the winner gets his trophy. It shouldn't
be like that.
And it should be easy to keep track of the top scorer prize. Write down the goal scorers after each game and count afterwards! If that can not be done then we should not have a top scorer award.
Maybe this sounds a little harsh but it is the same things that keep
annoying me at each tournament.
You have a golden opportunity to get a real league started here. There are lots of teams that want to play so if these simple things can be improved you will have lots of success.
From: Stephen Team: Harrow Teachers Date: 14/Feb/2007
A great tournament, especially when we came 5th of course!
Hope to see you in March.
From: Chris Team: Anatolian Turks Date: 14/Feb/2007
Yes it was great fun and we did surprisingly well too!
I should be fine for March tournie
From: Bruno Team: Amadeus Bookmakers Date: 14/Feb/2007
Thank you again for your organization on Sunday. We all have had good fun, and we even won a cup !
We will do better next month - but I checked the results and in fact, we did 3/2 against the vikings and 1/0 against the irish X, which is not so bad for a first cup with people who have not played football for more than 10 to 27 years (was my case).
We should play in the old vet if you can create a new category of teams :)
Have a good day
From: Dominique Team: LeCoq French Date: 14/Feb/2007
Thank you for this, AGAIN, Great Afternoon; sure the beer was DELICIOUS!
If you do not add the unnecessary "but only" in your comment on LeCoq , you'll get even closer to the spirit; this time the most important was the beer and you scored best!
Next tournament will be our 10th participation; we'll go for top 10 , C'MON DIXIE COQS !
From: Roland Team: BSL Veterans Date: 14/Feb/2007
Thanks for the wonderful day and for the smooth organization.
We BSL Vets should get a trophy for the fewest scored goals in a tournament. Our catenaccio style didn't pay any dividends . . . . . this time.
From: Stefan Team: BSL Veterans Date: 14/Feb/2007
Indeed a great afternoon.
Also thanks a lot to you for the organization and I hope you weren't attacked by (small) mosquitoes like some month ago ;-)
See you soon
From: Hisao Team: BU Japan Date: 14/Feb/2007
Hi, E G and All
Thanks for last Sunday. It was really wonderful competition. BU Japan is now not really competing BadCup!, but still there is possibility to do so next round. Well, anyway, we will just enjoy it.
From: Permkiat Team: British Club Date: 14/Feb/2007
Thanks for your great organization.
Pls advise any possibilities to restart VETS LEAGUE 11 a side.
From: Graham Team: Winking Frog Date: 05/Mar/2007
Many thanks again for organising the vets event. In my short time here, I have seen the competition go from strength both in terms of number of teams participating and the standard of the games. Of course, two teams (Cosmos and Vikings) always stand out and it was fitting that they should contest the Grand Final.
The Winking Frog were a little unlucky to get the Cosmos in the QF and indeed if you look back to December, we met and lost to them in the SFs when I believe that game would have made a good Grand Final. It's fair to say that that the WF did not put out it's best squad and certainly struggled in the early stages to take points.
The final of the Plate Division just about summed up the day for us. We were dominant in the game and should have buried Harrow but they valiantly fought out a draw and defeated us on penalties.
No WF in March but some of us will be there under the guise of the British Club. Perhaps we will awaken that sleeping giant.
We look forward to supporting the competition in future months and hopefully, a title is not too far away.
Feel free to e-mail to me if you would like to voice your take on the above summary, or would like to obtain the original resolution pictures.