Week 26 – How to be a footballer: Step Four

Play football in a football tournament!

I’ve done it! I’ve made it to Prague with my football kit packed, some practice under my belt and the tournament to look forward to 🙂

ahem, we interrupt this transmission to once again apologise for the tardiness of this post! As you can see it was begun on time (30 June), but between then and now I’ve had 2 holidays in 3 weeks, catching up at work, truckloads of new stuff to do at work and am still trying to find the surface… I’m getting there 🙂

So, yes, I did make it to Prague and I had the best time in the tournament!

Of course, I wasn’t there to actually play football, but I did get to dress the part on the first day at the pitch

and then on the second day, once the results were pretty much settled, I got to muck about a bit too – unfortunately no photos were taken of me playing this time, but I can tell you that I saved all 3 goals that came my way – even after a fair few beers under my belt, and I was dressed as a nurse 😳

Where do I start?

This trip was one of the best holidays of my life – I spent 4 days laughing non-stop, did a bit of sightseeing, enjoyed delicious beers, spent time with great friends, sat in the sun all day, napped in the afternoons, partied hard at night, and even got some good photo opportunities! I think I was born to attend tournaments like this 😉

The girls were excellent in their games – sadly only playing 3 over the 2 days due to the lack of women’s teams, but they won all three games and therefore won the trophy once again!

Our first day there was spent being ‘touristy’ but because the first few of us who got there had all been to Prague before, we weren’t too stressed about seeing too much – our priorities were to find somewhere to sit, and start drinking beer! (You’ll notice that there is a LOT of beer drunk over these 4 days…. it was all included in the package price we paid for the trip! Winning!)

The next day, Thursday, was to be the first event dinner where we got to meet many of the other teams – divided into 2 time slots, we got the later shift so by the time we’d spent the day enjoying a few beers and then eventually got to dinner after the first shift, well… it’s needless to say that it was LOUD! It was fun!

Friday arrived – the first day of the tournament. I cannot tell you how some people manage to get up in the morning and head to the pitch, and then play football in the blistering sun, after the parties that go on the night before… but, there everyone was, some taking naps, some taking it seriously, but everyone on the pitch(es), having the best time!

Friday night all teams board a ferry-type thing and we head out for a dinner cruise… madness follows!

Once again, Saturday morning rolls around and it’s back off to the pitches – this time being tougher than Friday morning as many people partied way harder than on Thursday night 😉 But, once again, everyone is there, putting in all the effort they can muster up, and having a great time!

Saturday night and all good things must come to an end… it’s the farewell dinner and prize-giving, which once again equals MADNESS! But once again, such fun… especially when it started raining and we got to dance in the rain 🙂

And on Sunday we all dragged our sorry selves to breakfast, packed up, and flew home!

Hope to see you next year, Prague’s Barrel Tournament!

How to be a footballer: Step Three

Go to a football tournament!

That’s right – I’m heading off to Prague tomorrow for a whole weekend full of football, playing football, drinking beer, more football, a lot more beer, a bit of sightseeing and a whole whack of footballers around me!

JPEG and her football team went to this last year and they won the girls tournament – so they decided to head back this year and defend their title… and I decided to join in on the fun.

So, the last few weeks have been all about getting me up to speed on football – of course I’m surrounded by football talk day in and day out since my housemates, JPEG & Roomie, are both footballers, and most of my friends are footballers.

Last week saw me head out onto the pitch for the first time ever – a scary experience to say the least… but after surviving it, I know I’ll be ok to muck about a bit in Prague. I won’t be playing any serious games as the girls are there to win, but I’ll definitely be getting out there and having a bit of fun with the hundreds of other players around us 🙂

With that said, I’ll be offline for a few days while I try survive the few days in Prague!

Week 24 – How to be a footballer: Step Two

Get out on the pitch!

When wanting to learn how to play football, or become a footballer, probably the most important thing to do is to get out on the pitch! Duh 😉

So, in preparation for my big debut when we head off to Prague next week (more on that to follow in upcoming posts – watch this space!), JPEG put me on a team in a friendly match (so that if they lost it didn’t matter 😉 ) and gave me a chance to get a feel for what it’s like between those 2 posts… the goal posts!

In my dreamworld I figured that I’d be subbed on towards the end for just a few minutes, but then the team lists were sent out – nope, there I was on the team for the whole game, with no subs to mention o_O

I’ve got this!

Right before the game started, I practiced a whopping 3 shots – 2 saved, 1 in. OK. Now for the real thing…

To say I was nervous would be an understatement – these girls can seriously kick a ball! I had visions of the thing smashing into my face every time it came near me, but I had a very good defense team and they stopped most of the balls from coming anywhere near me.

And then there were the ones that they didn’t stop.

My first few attempts were really good – I saved 3 shots in a row! Then a couple were let through.

I then stupidly kicked the ball straight to one of the opposing team members and she took a shot at goal and of course, straight to the back of the net it went!

A couple more saved here and there, a bunch more let through… but overall I didn’t do too bad of a job for a first time. And when the opposing team learned that not only was this my first time in goal, but my first time even playing football, they were well impressed! And my team were happy enough with me (or so they say 😉 ) so it was a successful attempt at learning to be a footballer!

The indoor sports world at Dubai World Trade Centre

The indoor sports world at Dubai World Trade Centre