Bangkok Veterans League
Season #3, Event #1
— Annual Traditional Friendly Derby Match —
• Inaugural "Bangkok Veterans -vs- Thailand Seniors" •
07/Mar/2007 • Phasakan Sports

Veterans League Stars take on Thailand Seniors in the inaugural annual traditional match

Date: 16/Apr/2007
In Mar/2007, the Veterans League was invited by Kh. Thepitak, President of Thailand Senior Footballers Association, to play a game against curent "World Champions" Thailand Senior National team. This was intended as the buildup match for the 2nd edition of the Seniors World Cup that Kh. Thepitak was successful to get started last year.

In its 2nd year, the Seniors World Cup has attracted former-stars, now playing for their country's senior national teams from Germany, Iran, Australia, UAE, Taiwan, S. Korea, and the hosts and defending champions, Thailand.

A quick e-mail went out to all the Vets League team captains, and in a flash, we had a team:
    • Veterans League
        - Eralp (M)
    • British Club
        - Peter
        - Martin
    • BSL Veterans
        - Roland
        - Frank
    • BU Japan
        - Mori
    • Bangkok Cosmos
        - Chris
    • Harrow Teachers
        - Steve
        - Mike
    • Irish Xchange
        - Eric
    • LeCoq French
        - Eric
    • Sunbelt United
        - Keith
    • Scandinavian Vikings
        - Keld
        - Anders
        - Neil
    • Winking Frog
        - Derek
        - Steve (C)
        - Graham

Overall, a very nice welcome by our hosts, and a good friendly outing in general. Brief portions of the game (particularly showing Anders's masterful header) was televised shortly after on Thai TV Chanel-9 and Chanel-11, which I hope to post the footage on this page in a few days. So, watch this space!

My thanks to everyone who found time to join up on a midweek afternoon and made this Inaugural "Bangkok Veterans -vs- Thailand Senior National" friendly possible. We hope to continue the tradition in the upcoming years.

Also thanks to Graham from Winking Frog for the insightful write-up down below.

Best of luck to Thailand Senior National team defending their title in the Seniors World Cup in Chonburi during 23-28/Apr/2007.


Kind regards,
-Eralp


 
Photos:


Picture 1 — The presss conference gets underway.


Picture 2 — Kh. Thepitak, flanked by the Italian Ambassador, His Excellency, Sig. Ignazio, explaining the details of upcoming "Seniors World Cup". [picture courtesy of Phasakan Sports website]


Picture 3 — Audience is listening intently.


Picture 4 — Pre-game friendly photo at the end of the press conference. [picture courtesy of Phasakan Sports website]


Picture 5 — Inaugural match trophies, in appropriate proportions, raring to go!


Picture 6 — Veterans League Stars in pre-game strategy discussions.


Picture 7 — Thailand Seniors in their warm-up routines.


Picture 8 — Thailand Seniors ready to take on (any) opposition.


Picture 9 — Bangkok Veterans brimming with confidence.


Picture 10 — Thailand "Team-A" takes the field.


Picture 11 — 1, 2, 3, "Whiskey".


Picture 12 — And, the big moment — the Veterans take the field amongst much cheer and hoopla.


Picture 13 — The inaugural match gets the kickoff.


Picture 14 — It's a heated battle for the midfield.


Picture 15 — Substitute Vets in awe of the thick of the action.


Picture 16 — Mori San quick on putting the ball in play in the 2nd Half.


Picture 17 — Midfield battle goes on relentlessly.


Picture 18 — Thai team senior captain, Kh. Cherdsak, presenting the runners-up trophy to Eralp.


Picture 19 — Eralp is meticulously explaining Thailand's "Team-A", "Team-B", . . . . . , and way in the back, "Team-C" to Thai team Manager Kh. Thepitak and Captain Kh. Cherdsak.


Picture 20 — Eralp presenting the winners trophy to an elated Kh. Cherdsak under the watchful eyes of Kh. Thepitak.


Picture 21 — A nice photo with the inaugural match winners trophy.


Picture 22 — End-of-day joint-photo of the 2 friendly teams.


Picture 23 — Steve, Graham, Derek, Steve, Keith and Eric enjoying the delicious "green tea" in each others's company.


Picture 24 — One final photo of the day with Sirichai, Kh. Thepitak and Eralp.


 
Links:
    • Page at Phasakan Sports website
    • Seniors World Cup website


 
Summary:
From: Graham
Team: Winking Frog
Date: 17/Mar/2007


It is one of the privileges of expatriate life to have the opportunity to experience events and occasions that would not normally present themselves in our home countries. Mar/7th’s fixture for a combined Bangkok Veterans League representative squad was a case in point.

Thailand Senior Footballers Association is hosting in April, for the 2nd year, a "World Cup" event for footballers over 40 years old at Chonburi. To promote this, a press conference was held at Phasakan Sports to which we were invited, not only to fill seats but also to then participate in a warm-up game against the defending champions, Thailand!

The tireless and imperturbable EG organized a squad of 17 players coming from 11 teams that regularly turn out in the monthly Veterans League, and the players duly turned up at the Phasakan Sports in Laadpraw Soi 101. The squad was made very welcome by the Thai hosts, and we all enjoyed the press briefing that preceded, as well as the opportunity to pose with our esteemed opposition. The press conference revealed that a Germany side including some former World Cup stars and UAE’s 1990 FIFA World Cup team will be taking part, and there is hope that Denmark will participate. The great Peter Schmeichel may even be amongst the participants.

Finally, the time came for the teams to take the pitch. Actually, with two teams already on the pitch, a 3rd also took up position on the sidelines. The Thais were fielding a "Team-A" and a "Team-B" side (for both halves), and had 30 players at their disposal! More about that later!

The 1st Half started with the Farang lining up in a familiar 4-4-2 formation, with EG and Anders leading the attack. The team gelled well (and, even after the match, our Thai counterparts had to be convinced that the team had never played together as a single outfit before). Such was the dominance of the Veterans League Stars in the first passages of play. The Thais closed down quickly, but the Vets were able to move the ball around, and look to Anders as an outlet. The Vets surprised everyone (including themselves probably) by taking the lead. A freekick out on the right was swung into the Thai penalty-box. The goalkeeper flapped at it (perhaps blinded by a setting sun), and ball ended up at EG's feet. Without hesitation, EG slotted it back into an unguarded net (a "remarkable strike") to put the Vets 1-nil up.

The Thais included within their ranks 7 players that had represented their country earlier in their careers, and with class like that, it was predictable that they began to make some headway. Several clever through balls gave the Thais chances to take the lead, but some wayward finishing and some excellent goalkeeping from Man of the Match, Derek the Frog, denied the Thais. Derek pulled off 3 excellent saves in the 1st Half that kept the Vets in the game. I won't go into too much detail here, but if you want a full account (plus a little embellishment), feel free to buy a drink at The Winking Frog, and ask him about the game!

Somewhat against the run of play, but still deserving of the goalkeeping heroics being performed at the other end, the Vets took a 2-0 lead with Anders masterfully heading in from a corner on the left. With about 5 minutes to go in the 1st Half, there then followed an onslaught from the Thais and the Vets reverted to a rather unusual 8-0-2 formation — as much a factor of tiredness as the pressing Thais. Wave after wave of attacks produced 2 goals for the Thais, and so the first period ended at 2-2, a score line that the Vets can be very proud of.

A weary and somewhat exhausted Vets team trudged back on the pitch for a 2nd Half against the "Team-B"! The Thais brought in a whole fresh team full of running and enterprise. Even with frequent substitutions, the Vets found it extremely hard to keep up with the nimble and quick Thais. On the occasions when the Vets could muster an attack, Keith missed an excellent chance, prodding the ball back to the Thai goalkeeper instead of busting the net. Shortly after, Anders took full advantage of a shove in the back to win a penalty which he took with aplomb.

Meanwhile, the Thais were putting together strings of attacks, scoring 5 in the process including one penalty after Martin majestically scythed a player down for having the audacity to "beat" the offside trap. Typical for most Thai-Farang matches, there was some doubt expressed by the Farangs about the impartiality of the officials with one particular Linesman getting some tutoring in both the offside rule and strong language. All part of the fun and games!

So, the Thais ran out 7-3 winners that left the Vets not licking their wounds but wanting more!, and it is hoped that a return fixture can be arranged in the near future.

Honourable mentions for Steve and Eric in defence, the tireless Chris in midfield, and the wonderfully selfish Anders upfront.

To cap off the night, our hosts put on a wonderful Thai dinner, and our new friendship with the Thailand Senior Footballers Association was cemented. Long may it continue!


Graham


 

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.

 




 
 
 
 
 


 


 

Thailand Seniors -vs- Veterans
Eralp 1 - 0
Anders 2 - 0
2 - 1 [?]
2 - 2 [?]
    -HT-    
2 - 3 [?]
Anders(P) 3 - 3
3 - 4 [?]
3 - 5 [?]
3 - 6 [?]
3 - 7 [?]
    =FT=    
3 - 7
Legend:
    • HT: Half Time
    • FT: Full Time
    • (P): penalty