Football! Football! Football!
against the Malawi national football team More...
Fraü Hoener Saves Day!
My (Half-time) Rant
Fishermen's Tales (II)
football stories! More...
Did I tell you about the day I played
5 hours of football, non-stop? Did I tell you how we came
back from 7-1 down to win 8-7? Or what about the day we beat
the Malawi national team 6-5?
Football Fantasies and Other Fisherman's Tales
THE TEAM I played for
was called Merlin Wizards. The team we were playing was simply called
Malawi; that is, the Malawi national team. Yes, believe it or not,
on Saturday 18th May I actually played against Malawi. So I suppose
you want to know how we fared...
...Well, whilst we stretched
our muscles or jumped on the spot, they limbered up in synchrony.
Whilst our ages ranged from 19 to 50 plus, they were all early 20s.
Whilst the butterflies feasted on all our bellies, they prepared
for a 'run-about'. (You want more?)
...We were inept (or
made to look so), and they just couldn't score goals! Every time
we neared our opponents, the ball repelled away. And every time
we passed the ball, it was feebly given back to them! Never have
I ball-watched so avidly, or chased shadows with such vigour! (Surely,
you get the picture?)
...They had time, and
we had hustle. They had space, and we had overcrowding. In football
parlance: we were outplayed in every department! (Our goalkeeper
played a blinder, though!)
So how did we get on?
(You're an insistent one aren't you?) Well, we didn't beat them
6-5! We didn't actually beat them. We didn't actually score! Okay,
we lost 5-0! (It just sounded as if we beat them 6-5, afterwards
at the bar!) Anyway, five-nil is not so bad, against the national
I didn't enjoy myself,
however! An occasion to cherish, became an embarrassment of ineptitude!
I think I beat a player twice, and fired a single 'shot' at goal.
(Still, it gave their goalkeeper something to do for a few minutes!)
And still, it's something
to write home about (as you now know). 2 weeks later, I don't feel
quite so depressed! After all, what do you expect from a team called
Fraü Hoener Saves the Day
AS A postscript to the
tale above, let me introduce Fraü Hoener. She is the wife of
Herr Hoener, the technical football coach to Malawi. (It was he
who had allowed our football match to happen.) It was she who had
come to watch us.
Imagine her shock then,
to be told that the game had been cancelled. Only hours earlier
- and with Herr Hoener a thousand miles away - the Malawi players
had decided instead to attend a wedding. (But could they still come
for their free meal - promised them for after the game!!)
Disappointment and shrugged
shoulders were our responses. Fraü Hoener, however - a formidable
Fraü - stormed out in search of a football team. They had promised
to play, so they would play!
Now in Malawi, it is
very easy for something not to get done. Earnest intentions are
so easily disturbed by any number of obstacles (never mind the intentions
of the insincere, or the 'do it later' brigade). As far as I was
concerned, no team so no game!
Call it German Efficiency,
or a refusal to take nonsense, but the girl Hoener done good! She
rounded them up - the Malawi national team - and delivered them
to us, on time. And we smiled, and we laughed. (And then we got
soundly thrashed, but that's not the point!)
It was something to behold,
I can tell you.
(My) Half-time Rant
DON'T laugh at me when I walk beside you!
Don't giggle at the freak!
And please stop staring
at my pale and sallow cheek.
DON'T ask me how I am, or even talk to me!
Don't prod me with your "Hello!"
And don't call me Bwana
- I'm not your boss, y'know.
DON'T ask me for 'my money', or for anything!
Don't ask the millionaire!
And please don't charge me so much
for your avocado pears!
(A list of things that
irritate would not be complete without my commenting on Malawian
males' propensity to pee anywhere BUT a toilet. And I really hate
it when I get mistaken for someone that looks completely different
to me, apart from the colour of their skin!
Obviously, there are
lots of positive aspects to life in Malawi; but right now, I just
don't want to talk about them.)
Fisherman's Tales (II)
WE PLAYED nearly two
hours of intense five-a-side football, on a baking day! We had no
substitutes. We just had seven teams to play, and seven teams to
beat! If we got tired, tough! - play on! If we got sore, tough!
- rub down! If we got angry, tough! - it's just a game (and she's
not a footballer!).
Just a fun Saturday,
of mixed 5-a-side!
And Sunday we played
against Liwonde -11-a-side, no substitutes. We had leaden legs.
We had fatigue in our blood! We had to win! (We were 3-1 down at
half-time.) WE HAD TO STOP MISSING SUCH GLARING CHANCES. We did.
We scored. We scored again, and again. We won 4-3 (but we still
got angry, and our opponents were footballers). We had some beers,
then straight to bed.
Just a fun Sunday of
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