Bangkok Veterans League
Season #5, Month #3
05/Apr/2009 • Harrow School

Blue Lightning bolt away the Apr/2009 Vets League Top Trophy

Date: 08/Apr/2009
Vets League continued its successful organization with another perfect 16-team tournament in this month. No new teams were added to the roster of teams, but better yet, thanks to Niclas, we were delighted to welcome back Scandinavian Vikings — one of the original Founding Father teams of the Vets League (summary and pictures from the very original Feb/2005 tournament), AND hold the most consecutive wins record of all time (4-in-a-row during Mar-June/2006) [Someone call Anders!].

And, in another "first-ever" for Vets League, the Vikings also had a FIFA World Cup player on their side this month — Niclas Nyhlen who played for Sweden in World Cup 1990 in Italy. Frankly speaking, he still had the moves!

This month, following the usual administrative Captains Briefing, with 16 teams, the perfect 4 groups of 4 teams fixture (much like Dec/2006, Apr/2007, and Oct/2008) allowed all teams getting their total 6 games of 15-20 min football during the half-day.

The Group Stage games saw interesting matchups right from the get-go! For example:

Scandinavian Vikings 0 - 0 Harrow Cooks
Cricketing Southerner 1 - 2 British Club
Southern Cross 3 - 0 Los Latinos
Harrow Cooks 3 - 1 British Club
Blue Lightning 1 - 0 Southern Cross
LeCoq French 2 - 0 Los Latinos
Scandinavian Vikings 1 - 0 British Club
Harrow Cooks 2 - 0 Cricketing Southerner
LeCoq French 3 - 0 Southern Cross
Campioni Italians 0 - 3 Anatolian Turks

Anatolian Turks breezed through their group with their 3 of 4-pointer wins. Blue Lightning and Sunbelt United joined the fray with their 3 wins as well. And, Harrow Cooks barely managing Group Topper finish, just 1 point above the the fighting Vikings.

The stiff end of the stick was left to the British Club, the defending Champ! Southern Cross, and Campioni Italians, only managing 3rd in their respective groups. Although welcoming back mighty Bruce, but with their depleted squad this month, missing 6 key players from last month's champion squad, Southern Cross had a rough ride throughout the day, at one point losing to LeCoq French with a clear 3-0 scoreline.

And, each group's Wooden Spoon went to Southerners, BSL Veterans, and Los Latinos with their impeccable zero (0) point finish, while JFC Penguins scrapping 1 point off of Campioni Italians.

As we kicked off the Knockout Stage, typical Bangkok tropical rain clouds slowly started moving in, when some of us thought the Rain God may only half-open the tap. Well, the Rain God had a different idea, at first half-opening the tap, then later letting it all pour out. We barely finished the Shield Division QF games, and then went in a anxious wait — whether we'll get the chance to finish the day or not. In 5 years of Vets League history, we only had 1 "full" cancellation of a monthly tournament in May/2007, and if we cancelled this one, it would count as the first-ever "half" cancellation.

Well, the Rain God listened to our prayers and considered our collective good deeds in life, and turned off the tap after a 45 min wait, and we were back in action right away.

In the Shield Division, British Club, overcoming all opposition of all nationalities (Southerners, Southern Cross, and Campioni Italian), concluded the day triumphant as the Shield! winner, i.e., 9th overall on the day.

The battle in the Cup Division was heating up, with all 4 Group Toppers finding themselves in the SFs, getting one step closer to the Top Trophy. In a action-packed game between Harrow Cooks and Blue Lightning there were no goals in the 20 min regulation time, but there were 15 goals in the penalty-shootout — 8 for Blue Lightning and 7 for Harrow Cooks.

At the same time, in the Cup SF2, Anatolian Turks made easy work out of highly ambitious Sunbelt United with a clear 2-0 score.

Down at the bottom end, we found Los Latinos and BSL Veterans contesting for the prestigious BadCup! in a game with 20 min of play-time produced 7 goals — 6 of them for BSL Veterans. With this fine result, Los Latinos, with a "catenaccio" defence managed by a fine young 19-year-old lady player on the day, pick up their 2nd BadCup! in the 3rd Vets League they participated so far. Congratulations!

And, at the other end of the spectrum, in a very interesting Grand Final, yet in their 3rd participation as well, Blue Lightning grabbed a narrow 1-0 victory over the Vets League's underachievers, Anatolian Turks, and put their names on the list of Season Champion contender teams for 2009, joining Customs Officers and Southern Cross. Congratulations!

Once again, I thank all the teams and all the players (and the large crowds of spectators :) for finding time to get out there once a month, and have a thoroughly enjoyable day among friends. Let's hope we can keep the "Vets Spirit" alive like this for many months to come.

In conclusion, many thanks to Gonzague (LeCoq), and especially to the lads from BSL Veterans and British Club and Southerners for helping with moving the goals at the beginning of the day. Much appreciated!

And, one last, but most important, many thanks to Kh. Apiwat 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).

Looking forward to next month's edition on May/3rd.


Kind regards,
-Eralp


Website: http://www.vetsleague.com/
Community: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vetsleague/


 
Photos:


Picture 1 — The customary beginning-of-the-day Captains Briefing photo with all the Team Captains to start the proceedings.


Picture 2 — We were delighted to see Niclas bring back one of the original Founding Father teams, Scandinavian Vikings, back to the Vets League after a more than 2-year absence.


Picture 3 — British Club enjoying the day as always.


Picture 4 — Graham's son, Dylan, is also enjoying his apple pie lunch dad served him.


Picture 5 — Anatolian Turks looked formidable on the day.


Picture 6 — Southerners, with a bit of help from Pickled Liver, went through the day at their own pace.


Picture 7 — Los Latinos's goalkeeper, Jorge, getting an impromptu treatment on his banged-up knee.


Picture 8 — Los Latinos's replacement Italian goalkeeper, Alex, had a few words of advice (and proposition!) for his defensive line, lead by the lady footballer on the day.


Picture 9 — And then, the Rain God turns on the tap.


Picture 10 — Following their Grand Final appearance last month, JFC Bears had another successful run this month, finishing 6th overall.


Picture 11 — BadCup! finalists, Los Latinos and BSL Veterans, rather jubilant of their finish on the day.


Picture 12 — Campioni Italians and Southern Cross caught in the spotlight following their 11th place bout.


Picture 13 — Anatolia's Halit in close check from Sunbelt's Timothy in the 2nd Semi Final of the Cup Division.


Picture 14 — Harrow Cooks and Blue Lightning stop for a pose after their grueling 7-8 penalty-shootout.


Picture 15 — Blue Lightning's Nebojsa working on advancing the ball against Anatolian Turks in the days Grand Final.


Picture 16 — Blue Lightning and Anatolian Turks in the frame after their very exciting Grand Final.


Picture 17 — Sunbelt's Chris and LeCoq's Keith waiting in line to get their delicious Chang draft beer.


Picture 18 — All the silverware, and more, raring to go right before the presentation ceremony.


Picture 19 — Shield! (9th overall) winners, British Club, enjoying their 15-seconds-of-shame.


Picture 20 — Surrounded by Formula-1 Trophy Girls, we honoured LeCoq French's Keith for his 60th birthday in life, and 5th year in football.


Picture 21 — Eralp the Organizer presents Anatolian Turks's Captain, Yilmaz, their 2nd place trophy.


Picture 22 — Surrounded by Formula-1 Trophy Girls, we honoured Southern Cross's Bruce for his many contributions to the Vets League.


Picture 23 — The champions on the day, Blue Lightning, lift the Top Cup on their 3rd participation in the Vets League.


Picture 24 — A pretty Vets League family portrait at the end of the day.


Picture 25 — And, one last shot of the Blue Lightning (and their immaculate crowd) for the road.


 
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05/Apr/2009 Results
Teams                          Group Points       Final Standings   
 • Blue Lightning 11 (1C) Champ!
 • Anatolia 12 (1D) 2nd
 • Sunbelt 10 (1B) 3rd
 • Harrow Cooks 8 (1A) 4th
 • LeCoq 7 (2C) Plate!
 • JFC Bears 5 (2B) 6th
 • Team-X 6 (2D) 7th
 • Vikings 7 (2A) 8th
 • British Club 3 (3A) Shield!
 • Southerners 0 (4A) 10th
 • Campioni 1 (3D) 11th
 • Southern Cross 4 (3C) 12th
 • Yingcharoen 4 (3B) 13th
 • JFC Penguins 1 (4D) 14th
 • BSL 0 (4B) 15th
 • Latinos 0 (4C) BadCup!
Note: "(3B)" means finished 3rd in Group-B.