Bangkok Veterans League Season #4, Month #10 02/Nov/2008 • Harrow School
Nov/2008 Vets League goes to Harrow Cooks again!
Vets League continued its successful organization with another big 18-team tournament in this month. No new teams were added to the roster of teams, but whoever came had a good time nevertheless. Actually, there were only 17 teams confirmed, so we scrambled to form our legendary Team-X immediately, appointing British Club's Preben (who had named the team originally in Apr/2007) as its legendary Captain.
For some strange coincidence, both the BadCup! Champ (Cricketing Southerners) and the Defending Champs! (Yingcharoen Orange) did not make their way back to the competition, which meant that we were certain to have newly crowned champions in both categories.
In addition, some teams were so desperate to win in both of those categories, they have gone to great lengths to bring in reinforcements from around the region. Laurent dropped by again to shore up the side of LeCoq French, and Beyhan was flown in all the way from Tokyo to manage the efforts of Anatolian Turks.
This month, following the usual administrative Captains Briefing, with 18 teams, the weird 2 groups of 9 teams fixture (much like Sep/2007, Dec/2007, and Mar/2008) still allowed all teams getting their total 7 games play-time during the half-day.
The Group Stage games saw interesting matchups right from the get-go! For example:
At the end of the Group Stage, group toppers were Harrow Cooks and Yingcharoen-Red (no surprise there). The real surprise was British Club sneaking by as the 4th ranking team in Group-A, leaving Anatolia in their dust as 5th. And, same exact thing happening in Group-B, with Campioni getting just by (once mighty!) Cosmos that could end up only 5th, unseenly losing twice during the Group Stage, to Campioni and Yingcharoen (Red).
Down at the bottom end, Germans (with 0 point) and Team-X (with 1 point) firmly anchored themselves to group last spots, eagerly awaiting their BadCup! Grand Final. And, narrowly escaping the BadCup! Grand Final were BSL Veterans and Yingcharoen-Pink.
The Knockout Stage saw the slightly stronger teams on the day passing the QFs round, and finding themselves in the Cup Division SFs — Harrow Cooks, New Wave, Ying-Red (on penalty-shootout), LeCoq. Thus, the Plate Division was seeded with Cup Division QFs losers — Campioni, Eton, British Club, Customs.
In the Shield Division, containing Cosmos, Anatolia and Swiss this month, action was also hot. It was so hot, noone wanted to believe Group-A's 8th ranking team, minnows BSL could go up against mighty Cosmos in the QFs, and would take them down with a 2-0 score, at which point Cosmos lads was in so much disbelief, they just wanted to forget this month's whole tournament and just get out of there, and go home. By sheer case of luck, we were able to convince them to stay and play out the rest of their 2 remaining games. Although they fought hard every time they took to the pitch, with their worst-ever, 14th overall, finish in the Vets League (topping their 13th place finish in Dec/2007), this just might be a celestial sign that their star maybe fading in the Vets . . . . . or they might just be getting older by the minute (just like most of us ! )
Back in the Cup Division, there was no stopping Harrow Cooks juggernaut, who quickly ran to the Top Cup this month, with 2-0, 2-0 and 3-0 scores in the QFs, SFs and the GF against Campioni, New Wave, and Yingcharoen-Red respectively, leaving everyone in their wake. Another strong run from the powerful New Wave, only to be stopped by the eventual Champ! Harrow Cooks at the SFs.
The Plate Division was carried by an always determined Campioni Italians (5th overall), and the Shield Division were left to, still the most underachievers of Vets League, Anatolian Turks (9th overall).
And, for the BadCup! Grand Final, as the wait was too long for the Germans, they opted to head for the beers, and conceit the game to by-now non-existent Team-X, happily bringing home the BadCup! once again.
At the end of the day, the following were the full list of rankings, the winners joyful in their well-earned trophies, and the losers enjoying their hard-fought beer-bucket coupons from our sponsor, DownUnder Sports Bistro in Sukhumvit Soi 23.
1) Harrow Cooks
3) LeCoq French
4) New Wave
5) Campioni Italians
6) Customs Officers
7) British Club
8) Eton Rifles
9) Anatolian Turks
10) Swiss United
11) Amnuaysilp Grads
12) BSL Veterans
14) Bangkok Cosmos
15) BU Japan
16) Harrow Teachers
As I said, once again, a very enjoyable afternoon among the many friends who we have gotten accustomed to seeing every month, and not one single incident of violence or disrespectful act (except for New Wave's Paul's unpredictably random temper tantrums !). Despite 1 or 2 wrong calls from the Referees in a total of 61 matches, it was wonderful to see the "Vets Spirit" being embraced by all throughout the day.
As for me, I am really enjoying playing in these monthly Vets League competitions, whenever I find a few minutes here-&-there. In addition to helping British Club win the Shield! last month, this month, it was Anatolia's turn to receive my good blesssings. A blazing Maradona-like run (and I mean in all aspects — including the weight and the shape!) against the Germans in the Group Stage, and another easy tap-in goal against the Swiss in the Shield! Grand Final, clearly meant that, after almost a year, my Ronaldinho-10 wheels are fully warmed in the Vets !
In conclusion, many thanks to Gonzague (LeCoq), Graham (Yingcharoen-Pink on the day!), Sirichai (Yingcharoen-Red), Vern (British Club), Philippe (LeCoq), Nebojsa (New Wave), Halit (Anatolia), and numerous others who lent a helping hand during the day, as well as those rejected souls who steered the Team-X another non-BadCup! (17th place, Bowl Division Champion) finish !
And, one last, but most important, thanks to Kh. Patrick at ThaiBev and their tasty Chang Draft beer, which hits the right spot right at the right time every time (i.e, at the day-end trophy presentation ceremony).
Congratulations to Harrow Cooks for a 3rd championship this season, which will go a long way in getting them closer to Season Championship trophy to be handout over in December!
Looking forward to the 2008 season-ending edition on Dec/14th.
Picture 1 — The customary beginning-of-the-day Captains Briefing photo with all the Team Captains to start the proceedings.
Picture 2 — British Club and their faithful supporters guarding all the many trophies on offer this month.
Picture 3 — This month's Team-X fought hard not to get that revered BadCup!
Picture 4 — Anatolia's Japan import for the day, Beyhan, ploughing the midfield, keeping the ball possession from the shirtless Germans.
Picture 5 — LeCoq French wishing they could get the Veterans World Cup trophy one day.
Picture 6 — The indomitable Harrow Cooks caught in the frame with their Thomas Cook shirts.
Picture 7 — The real champion of the day couldn't keep his eyes off the World Cup.
Picture 8 — British Club's Graham (with Yingcharoen-Pink on the day) cooking the books with match scores.
Picture 9 — Eton Rifles enjoyed another good run on the day, as always, finishing 8th overall.
Picture 10 — Anatolian Turks, with their strong squad, are always a dangerous team to reckon with.
Picture 11 — Amnuaysilp Grads and BSL Veterans posed together following their friendly 11th place ranking encounter (winner . . . . . irrelevant!).
Picture 12 — Yingcharoen-Red and Harrow Cooks posed together following their Grand Final encounter (winner . . . . . Harrow Cooks!).
Picture 13 — All the silverware, and more, raring to go!
Picture 14 — Germans's legendary Fahri can't resist a shot with Formula-1 Trophy Girls.
Picture 15 — Members of the British Club Masters (today, playing for various teams) are recognized, and duly enjoying the spotlight, as the 2nd Annual "Veterans Futsal Championship" champions from a week ago.
Picture 16 — Campioni's French Manager, Jerome, fittingly awarding this month's BadCup! to Germans's Fabian.
Picture 17 — Members of this month's Team-X satisfied with their Bowl! (17th overall) finish, while Preben is caught making his trademark move.
Picture 18 — Anatolia's Shield! (9th overall) trophy is awarded to Alcan and his younger and fitter father by Campioni's Bulgarian playmaker, Antonov.
Picture 19 — The entire Campioni Italians invade the stage to show off their Plate! (5th overall) finish.
Picture 20 — The FairPlay! (4th overall) trophy goes to New Wave this month, and in their absence, LeCoq's Eric is more than happy to get a shot with the Formula-1 Trophy Girls.
Picture 21 — Surprising 3rd place finishers, LeCoq French, grab the free beer-bucket coupon, and run with it.
Picture 22 — This month's tournament Runners-up (2nd overall) trophy ends up in the hands of Yingcharoen-Red Captain, Sirichai.
Picture 23 — Another month, and another championship for Kh. Somboon and his Harrow Cooks gang.
Picture 24 — A pretty Vets League family portrait at the end of the day.
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From: Team: Date:
From: Team: Date:
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