Bangkok Veterans League Season #3, Month #5 10/Jun/2007 • Harrow School
Jun/2007 Vets League concludes with LesGaulois as victors again
The new record 20-team, 68-match, 5-hour, 7-games-per-team extravaganza, with multitude of winners (and losers!) at Harrow School was a total joy in the Jun/2007 competition. Taking a month of break due to the rain & flooding of May/2007, the record breaking 20-team line-up was an indication of how hungry the Vets are to get back to the pitches for some much-missed football.
Having had the time to play (for Debsirin and British Club), as well as announce the games and the results, really took a toll out of me this time. Thanks to Sunbelt's Gonzague, Yingcharoen's Sirichai, and others who were on hand to pitch in their help throughout the day.
With Cosmos and Vikings missing in action, returning Champ! LesGaulois and Debsirin deservedly met in the Grand Final, LesGaulois coming out on top on a single goal at the end. Congratulations to Captain Dominique and the crew, as well as a big "Well Done!" to Kh. Decha and a very fit Debsirin, who I'm certain will return next month aiming to go 1 better!
Our all-time new record 20-team line-up was as follows:
• British Club
• Yingcharoen Standbys
• Harrow Teachers
• Sunbelt United
• Winking Frog
• BSL Veterans <== owners of the BadCup!
• BU Japan
• LeCoq French
• LesGaulois <== defending Champ!
• Anatolian Turks
• Irish Xchange
• Pickled Liver <== holders of the Plate!
• Amadeus Bookmakers
• Swiss United
• Japan FC
• Debsirin Grads <== protectors of the Shield!
• Campioni Italians
• Enfant Teenagers <== a new squad
• Team-X Volunteers
It's turning out that having odd number of confirmed teams, we're finding it quite convenient to have a "Team-X" in the line-up every month these days. Thanks to Sunbelt's Preben for originally coining the term back in Apr/2007. Also, many thanks to those who volunteer and make-up the ranks of the hodgepodge Team-X each and every game.
With 20 teams on hand, match fixtures were easy to arrange, with 4 groups of 5 teams each, in which:
the Top-2 teams were going to enter the Cup Division,
the Middle-2 were going to be fight for the Shield! (9th overall) trophy in the Shield Division.
and, the Bottom-Ender teams (5th in the groups) were to be content with the Bowl! (17th overall) or the BadCup! in the Bowl Division.
giving a total of 7 games of 13 min for each team to play in 5 hours.
Frankly, the Group Stage did not prove many surprises. A few notable ones to mention are:
Undermanned (and eventual Grand Finalists) Debsirin losing to Pickled Liver in the first match of the day (where even I couldn't help provide the sparks to my Debsirin team-mates )
Team-X's valiant fight not to finish bottom of the group
Compared to previous months, Anatolian Turks's less than inspiring run with only 2 draws and 2 points
Sunbelt's long-sought-for 2nd place finish in Group-A and entering the Cup Division
Winking Frog finally starting to assert itself in the Vets, landing the 2nd spot in Group-B
Amazing double-dare by BU Japan and Japan FC finishing at the top of Group-C and Group-D, and
LesGaulois and Debsirin snatching the group-topper spots in Group-A and Group-B
It was a welcome sight to have some rain sprinkle us, and provide for some real lush softer pitches, following the blistering heat of the first 3 hours of the Group Stage.
Right after the Group Stage, thanks to my super-duper-mainframe-computer, tallying up the scores and points took only a matter of seconds, and we were ready for the Knockout Stage.
In the Cup Division, Top-2 group-toppers formed salivating QF matchups.
Debsirin Grads -vs- Winking Frog: By now in-form Debsirin squad overran the Frogs much easily. [Score: 2-0 to Debsirin] [read Graham's take here].
BU Japan -vs- Campioni Italians: BU Japan kept the winning streak going, to enter themselves into the SF. [Score: 1-0 to BU Japan]
LesGaulois French -vs- Sunbelt United: Sunbelt couldn't muster enough to take down the defending Champ!. [Score: 2-0 to the LesGaulois]
Japan FC -vs- LeCoq French: LeCoq found a way to oust the Group-D toppers in a hard-fought game. [Score: 1-0 to LeCoq]
And, on the other bracket in the Shield Division, we've had another 4 interesting QFs among the groups's Middle-2 ranking teams:
Amadeus -vs- Germans: Germans earn a narrow victory. [Score: 1-0 to Germans]
BSL Veterans -vs- British Club: British Club fire the turbo chargers in this one. [Score: 2-0 to British Club]
Irish Xchange -vs- Pickled Liver: In the "Battle of the Bars", Irish shamrock brings much needed luck. [Score: 3-1 to Irish Xchange]
Swiss -vs- Team-X: Having accomplished its mission for a non-bottom group finish, Team-X can now be dissolved! [Score: Team-X concedes to Swiss]
And, at the very bottom-end in the Bowl Division, 4 group-enders (Anatolia, Enfant, Harrow, Yingcharoen) were working hard not to win the BadCup!, finally in which, Yingcharoen bring home the Bowl! (17th overall) trophy by winning over Anatolia, and Harrow Teachers find themselves snatching the BadCup! by losing 2-1 to this months debutantes, Enfant.
Turning our attention back to the Cup Division, the 2 SFs were battles in historic proportions.
Debsirin -vs- BU Japan: Debsirin played to a comfortable victory, ending BUJ's Cinderella-run. [Score: 2-0 to Debsirin]
LesGaulois -vs- LeCoq: The "first-ever" mega-clash between the 2 French teams in the Vets League produced an entertaining and spirited SF in which the defending Champ! secured a narrow victory. [Score: 1-0 to LesGaulois]
In the other divisions:
LeCoq grabbing the 3rd place consolation trophy, winning narrowly 1-0 over BU Japan.
Winking Frog showing its muscles and leaping to Plate! (5th overall) trophy over Sunbelt United in a nailbiting 2-1 penalty-shoutout.
Germans grabbing their first silverware literally in years with Shield! (9th overall) trophy, beating the Swiss 3-2 on penalties in an interesting Shield Division final.
And, of course, Harrow Teachers, under the leadership of Khun Kruu Matt, fighting with all their might against this month's debutantes Enfant Teenagers in the BadCup! final, but going down 1-2 in a closely battled match.
And, the Grand Final between Debsirin -vs-LesGaulois was a true "Clash of the Titans" type of match in which the 2 acknowledged strongest teams of the day faced each other. It was an entertaining end-to-end 13 min where the defending Champ! LesGaulois edged out on Debsirin with a lone goal, ending the day in a repeat victory for the Frenchmen. Congratulation to both teams!
With this win, LesGaulois starts it's own winning streak with 2-in-a-row now, hoping to challenge Vikings's 4-in-a-row record in the rest of this 2007 season.
Here's the complete scores of the day ==>
On the Top Scorer front, we opted to use the occasion and the trophy for a greater cause, and awarded it to Anatolian Turks's elder statesman Esker as a "Life Time Achievement" award. He is on his way to take on a new post at the Russian Embassy in Turkey, and this proved to be a great opportunity to remember him (and vice versa !)
In closing, special thanks go to Harrow School and Kh. Somparn for setting up all the nice pitches for us and making it convenient for all to enjoy.
Once again, I would like to thank each and every team & player for making the Vets League Sunday a milestone event in our monthly footballing calendar in Bangkok. We shall continue with it as long as the interest is present.
Next Vets day is confirmed for Jul/15 at Harrow School again. Please write me back to say whether you will be bringing a squad.
Looking forward to it.
Picture 1 — Getting ready to kick the day off.
Picture 2 — All the silverware, raring to go!
Picture 3 — Mori San and BU Japan is gearing up for the big day.
Picture 4 — The crowd is slowly trickling in.
Picture 5 — Head ref, Kh. Bang, and the Referees's team is ready as ever.
Picture 6 — Stefan and Roland are in discussions on BSL's strategy of how not to win the BadCup!
Picture 7 — Eralp the Organizer briefing the Captains right before the day's first kickoff.
Picture 8 — Team Captains are all ears.
Picture 9 — BadCup! defenders BSL is trying its best to hide the Ronaldinho Orange shirts.
Picture 10 — This month's debutantes, Enfant Teenagers, lead by their disciplined Manager Kh. Ning, narrowly escaped the BadCup!, generously handing it over to Harrow Teachers in a closely fought last place match.
Picture 11 — BU Japan in their distinctive pinky shirts, finishing a record 4th (from the top!).
Picture 12 — Germans chasing the ball against the British Club in the Shield Division SF1.
Picture 13 — Some like it wet!
Picture 14 — LeCoq enjoying their brief break before the next match.
Picture 15 — Sunbelt did relatively well compared to previous months, losing to Winking Frog in the Plate Division, and finishing 6th overall.
Picture 16 — Winking Frog players paying allegiance to their inspirational leader, Derek.
Picture 17 — Japan FC's, young-&-old massive squad, on display.
Picture 18 — Amadeus giving its utmost to challenge Debsirin's goal. [picture courtesy of Debsirin blog]
Picture 19 — Bruce scores his spot-kick to win the Shield! (9th overall) trophy for the Germans.
Picture 20 — Anatolian Turks watching the Cup Division SF1, having finished at an unprecedented 18th place themselves!
Picture 21 — The midfield tussle between BU Japan and Debsirin in the Cup Division SF1. [picture courtesy of Debsirin blog]
Picture 22 — Debsirin and BU Japan stop for a photo-op at the end of SF1.
Picture 23 — Le Bleus — LesGaulois and LeCoq — battling it out in their "first-ever" encounter in the Vets in Cup Division SF2, where LesGaulois advanced to the Grand Final on a narrow 1-0 victory.
Picture 24 — A nice joint-photo of the bitter rivals at the end of SF2.
Picture 25 — Finalists captured together before the Grand Final.
Picture 26 — Finalists after the Grand Final (and still friends!).
Picture 27 — Kicking off the Trophy Presentation. [picture courtesy of Debsirin blog]
Picture 28 — Harrow's skipper Khun Kruu Matt defending their performance as he picks up the BadCup! [picture courtesy of Debsirin webboard]
Picture 29 — Sunbelt's Keith running away with Yingcharoen's Bowl! (17th overall) trophy.
Picture 30 — Hodgepodge members of this month's Team-X Volunteers, who volunteered to form Team-X throughout the day, evidence their 16th place (or "non-BadCup!") achievement.
Picture 31 — Stefan joyously facing the music for BSL's "non-BadCup!" 15th place finishing.
Picture 32 — Ralf(Y) and Franco are jubilant picking up Germans's long sought for silverware — the Shield! (9th overall) trophy.
Picture 33 — The crowd is intrigued by the banter.
Picture 34 — Winking Frog's Kevin explaining the uncanny resemblance of the Plate! (5th overall) trophy's green colours to Winking Frog's national colours.
Picture 35 — A thrilled Mori San is humbled by BU Japan's amazing 4th place finish — they have come a long way!
Picture 36 — LeCoq's influential captain Dominique about the explain their incredible 3rd place showing this month.
Picture 37 — Eralp the Organizer explaining the success of Debsirin next to an overjoyed Kh. Decha. Picture 38 — Esker from Anatolian Turks, onto his new assignment at the Russian Embassy in Turkey soon, joyfully receiving his Life Time Achievement award to remember his fellow Vets mates in Bangkok forever. The Vets wish him all the best.
From: Roland Team: BSL Veterans Date: 12/Jun/2007/SPAN>
Thanks again for such a fantastic organization. We BSL truly enjoyed it, it was a great day with lots of highs and lows for us. The rain provided a refreshing change from the heat as well.
BSL is looking forward for next tournament.
As for the Vets Futsal tournament on Jun/30th, I had only about 4 interested players in our team. Maybe there are other teams out there with less than the minimum required players who could join and form a "Team-X" for that tournament.
If anyone is interested, I would bring all those guys together. Let me know.
From: Dominique Team: LeCoq French Date: 13/Jun/2007
Great job EG !
Thanks for all; the God of the Ball will sanctify you one day.
From: Ning Team: Enfant Teenagers Date: 14/Jun/2007
Dear Kh. Eralp,
We ENFANT were SUPER enjoyed on every match on Sunday !! Thank you very much for your SUPER organization.
We will try to get better position on next month.
See you on next Vets League.
From: Graham Team: Winking Frog Date: 15/Jun/2007
Indeed, it was quite a relief when the rain "cooled" things down a bit. Coming back from not having played football for more than a month, I found the heat hard going.
Overall, the tournament was great as usual and again, thanks to you and your helpers for this. Of course, I still think we need to tighten up on the time management and you've had my thoughts on that in the past. But if you'll bear with me, I'll reiterate (in no particular order of priority):
Stick to 16 teams — easy 4 x 4 team format. First come, first served, and the competition for places will be good. Stick to this format and you'll get into a good rhythm.
With a larger number of teams, I am seeing more players that are perhaps slightly outside the age limit so cutting it back to 16 teams might help prevent that being an undue influence, as there will be plenty of 35+ around to fill the team quotas.
Playing 10 min games to try and get back on schedule is a false economy. You'll get more draws over 8 games playing only 10 min than you would if you stuck to 15 min. Taking penalties takes longer than 5 minutes and puts the schedule back even later.
Have a results and fixture board set up at the control point.
As I said, I enjoyed the tournament — it was certainly eventful, and I always look forward to a full afternoon of competitive football.
From: Bruno Team: Amadeus Bookmakers Date: 15/Jun/2007
Even if it was not our day last Sunday, we really appreciated the day and particularly the organization which is better and better, and this despite the absence of the Excel spreadsheet :)
Nevertheless, I think that we are loosing time at the beginning of the tournament. In fact, you should really do the Captains Meeting at 12:30 and not at 1:00 pm, in order to really start the games at 1:00 pm.
A way to save 15 min more would be to split all teams in their respective groups at the beginning of the tournament. Why don't you simply ask 1 person to take each name from a basket, and then put the team immediately in groups? One person takes and reads the names of the teams, and you fill your document at the same time.
Same thing for the teams. All registered teams should be there on time and ready to play at 1:00 pm. You always spend a lot of time on asking which team is here, enough players, etc. Can't you consider that if the team has registered, all players are here and ready to play?
And, if the team is not ready on time, there is always a possibility to add 1 or 2 players from other teams, or do the 2.0 result you have in in the rules? If you do it one day, all teams will be on time the next tournament.
These were just small suggestions to save time at the beginning — not so important. And, as I said , the organization is very good, knowing the fact that it is in the hands of one person only.
Have a good day and weekend.
PS: We will not play this time in the futsal tournament, but are interesting to participate to the next one.
From: Graham Team: Winking Frog Date: 22/Jun/2007
Please find below the Winking Frog report for the Jun/2007 competition. Winking Frog Veterans – Jun/2007
The Winking Frog squad this month consisted of:
Derek "Lazy Toad" in goals;
"Ginger" Darren and Steve "Queen's Celtic" in defence;
Kevin "Sergeant Major", Graham "PMS" and Andrea "The Roman Showman" in midfield;
with Paul "BBB (Baldy, Bling, Bling) upfront; and
Preston Paul making guest appearances all over the field.
This squad is a notoriously slow starter, and it's not normally until the beer flows that their football gets better. Of course, that could just be the effect of feeling better rather than actually playing any better.
However, this month the Winking Frog got off to a flyer, and although ambition was dented by losses to the two eventual finalists, the lads stumbled home with some silverware by beating Sunbelt on penalties in the final of the Plate Division.
If you can bear the drudgery of it all, here's a run down of the games:
WF -vs- Irish Exchange: Captain Kevin heads in from all of 2 yards. Score: 1-0
Winking Frog -vs- Germans: Graham scores from 6 inches out after GK failed to hold BBB's freekick. Score: 1-0
WF -vs- LesGaulois: Played our best passage of football, but lost out to a good team. BBB scored from another header. Score: 1-2
WF -vs- Enfant: Ground out another win with Andrea netting in. Score: 1-0
QF ==> WF -vs- Debsirin: Out-played, out-maneuvered, and out-run by a classy Debsirin. Score: 0-2
Plate SF ==> WF -vs- Campioni: Another single-goal win, and another header, this time by top scorer Graham (OK, so it was only two goals!). Score: 1-0
Plate Final ==> WF -vs- Sunbelt: The Sunbelt GK played a blinder as we over-ran Sunbelt and peppered the goal with shots. The game went to penalties with BBB sealing the win with a well-taken spot-kick. Score: 0-0 after regulation time, and 2-1 on penalties.
It was an interesting afternoon of football with the weather, some feisty football and the time-keeping giving, us moments of discussion and debate.
Our thanks as usual, go to EG who puts in an enormous amount of effort month-in, month-out, on our behalf. His spirit and dedication along with those that help out deserve much recognition and appreciation.
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.