Arrived in BKK on what looked like any other Friday, but then of course BKK had never experienced Saigon Hotshots before… After a short trip through customs and then cutting the cell phone line to get working phones, we found our Team Bus. The Driver, having massive speakers in the back, only really had Thai music, so we detoured to the minimart for much needed refreshments before making the drive over to the hotel…
Once arriving at the hotel, we found that the hotel had no record of the booking, but this was quickly corrected by the staff and we were soon in our rooms. While most of us went to sleep, there were a few that most likely found their way into some good times that night… All of which i know nothing about.
Saturday morning!! We get to the pitch and everyone meets our joining squad and sees the new kits. Excitement is not enough to say what Kevin was feeling upon seeing the Purple Tottenham Away kits. As we take to the fields for our warm up, the announces notes to the rest of the tournament how organized and well disciplined we all are. As we laugh to ourselves, the other team all realize that we came to play!
The first game was not some of our best football but we push through and win 1-0 against the Tournament Hosts BKK German Allstars. Our second game,saw us play Farangutans FC, a bunch of hooligans who would prove to have drank too much the night before, and we ended the game 2-1 ( I think ).
The third game of the day saw us against rivals Olympique de Saigon, and as always they played well. Jordy somehow broke through our defense and was able to slide one past our keeper for our only goal against of the day…. In the second half we answered back, making it a 1-1 finish. Finally we played the German Allstars Singapore team, not much to write home about here, a nice way to end the day feeling good with a 3-0 win. This saw us at the top of our group, and going into Sunday as the top ranked team.
Saturday night like all things, started off so promising. We went and watched the Saigon Heat win against the BKK team, and went to dinner in a couple groups. 1 of these groups went home after dinner, 1 did not. Im sure this worked out for everyone, including those who stayed in the lobby. But by the end of the night it was clear that we should have gone to bed earlier….
Sunday morning and Hotshots with a few less players than the day before, and some changes to the line up. These players were sorely missed. We started out the day playing the German Allstars team. They had qualified as the last team to stay in the cup competition by beating Raiders earlier in the morning. We played hard, but not good football really, and 1 kick from 35-40 yards was able to bounce and go over our goalie’s head. We were eliminated from a top finish just like that. Our second game saw us playing the Champions from both 2011 and 2010, we actually played football in this one, and ended up winning 3-1 against a team that also could have won again. Finally our last game and everyone had been well into drinking beers at this point. We played, went to penalty kicks and then ended up finishing 6th. Olympique ended up playing and beating the German Alsstars in the final 1-0, bringing the CUP to Saigon for what I believe is the first time ever!
That night we hit the town in style and I can say that I think we all had a good Sunday night and Monday morning. The team paid for dinner for the team, Kevin passed out in the taxi on the way there, and might be legally married to a “shexy lady boy” now. After dinner some of found Insomnia, and met with players from other teams, before meeting lots and lots more “shexy ladies”. McDonalds was key in helping hangovers, and lots of water was in order for most of us for at least the next 24 hours. Making the trip back is never as fun, and work was the last thing we all wanted to do on Tuesday, but I am sure we will be back next year. This truly is one of the best organized tournaments in Asia!
Thanks again to everyone that was able to join this tournament and team outing. I think everyone had a great time and hopefully next year we will take the Cup home!
A few special mentions to:
Kevin – took Goal Scorer of the Tournament, 4 goals.
Ryan – Fell through the bleachers and busted up his ankle.
Philipe – Scored a nice bender!
Laurent – Will be practicing penalties for a bit 😉
Paul – Did a great job in D all weekend!
Loic – Is the most in shape person for his age on our team!
Raph – Eats more food than anyone I know.
Antoine – Is the most in shape person to hurt himself in the first game.
All in all a great time, and great effort by all players on and off the pitch!!! Really good work for our first tournament!!!
Our Sponsor and Anatolia BKK for helping make it happen.
Looking forward to seeing our full team in Cambodia at the beginning of June for the Bayon Tournament!
I also have not have a chance yet, but I should have some footage from the tournament. I will try to do a little editing this weekend, time permitting.
See everyone Sunday!!!