Brief Hiatus

Alright lads! Sorry for the short hiatus. Me and Foodie has been busy the past week and have been going home tired. Her from her office, and me from footy practice. I was given a trial for Atletico de Negros and it turned out good. Hoping I still get selected for the squad despite my old age.

Also busy with coaching the kids for their NOPSSCEA games. Practice on weekdays, game days on weekends. It has been eating a lot of my time and I haven’t been writing much due to this.

Also visited the home ground as they have just mowed half of the pitch. My other club, NGC United will be practicing there soon.

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Home turf has been mowed. NGC here we come!!

I will be posting more again since I managed to find more time these days, so keep posted!

Once again, this is Footy, and you guys stay cheeky! Cheers!

When boredom strikes!

Hello lads! I just want to share a photo I took while waiting for the lads last time for the footie practice. This was taken at Pana-ad Park and Stadium, where our national team, the Philippine Azkals, plays sometimes. And also, it’s the home ground of Ceres-La Salle FC, a club that plays in the UFL, a domestic football league in the Philippines.

It was a beautiful day that  time and I was right underneath  the stadium. I set my cleats on the bannister and decided to snap a photo. Didn’t expect it would come out this way, since I was only using my phone camera that time.

Once again, this is Footy, and you guys stay cheeky! Cheers!

 

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Beautiful day at Pana-ad

Dying moments…

Alright lads! I wasn’t able to post the match recap from yesterday as promised since I was sooo tired after the game. Plus, I had to sleep early since the game today was played in the morning. But I’m gonna do a double post today, yesterday and today’s game. Let’s start.

The game started earlier than the given schedule. As in 45 minutes too early. So I arrived 10 minutes “late”. Ms. Silva, the team’s manager, saw me arrive at the pitch, approached me right away and said, “Coach, the guys are 2 goals down”. I told her that it’s ok, it’s only the first half, and the lads could pull it back in the second half. I kinda moved away from her a bit since she was flailing her arms around. She gets excited whenever we have the ball, or exasparated when we lose the ball. But hey, I can’t blame her for that. I actually admire her passion, I just don’t wanna get hit.

The referree blew the whistle to signify the end of first half. I was racking my brain on how to pull it back. How to break our silence and have the boys keep the goals flowing. What I did was a very big risk, I changed tactics. I knew, if we wanted to be successful, we had to play aggressive. So I instructed my back three, to start moving up. I told Sam, the primary striker, to play as a false 9 again. I instructed Rubika to poach for goals. Same order I gave to Kim. I told Ryan, and Ralph,to take as many long shots as they could, since we could poach for goals anyway.

The whistle signified the start of the second half. The lads slowly walked up to the pitch. From the sidelines, I took the spot, together with the rest of the team, and started analyzing the game. How the players moved, my team and the opponents. I kinda pride myself as to be overly critical, and tend to analyze every single movement of the players, giving me a full scope and an idea in my head what they’re gonna do next.

I had an excellent vantage post at the sideline, the best seats in the house. As I watch the game unfold, I started my own battle in my head. Call it a chess game of sorts. I started barking orders to my team, not because I wasn’t confident, but because inside the pitch, you wont be able to see the whole game. There will always be something that will obstruct your view, be it a teammate or an opponent.

And the moment I’ve been for has arrived. Our first goal. It was nothing short of magnificent, how it happened. It was a lovely through ball by Kim inside the box. Sam was already there but he was crowded by defenders.So he flicked the ball over to Rubika, who slotted it to the top left of the box. It was the goalkeeper’s weak spot. At this point the floodgate has opened.

Second goal came by a free kick, just outside the box. Goal went in the same side. At the top left corner. Everyone was happy! I even took a little celebratory leap, a Neymar-esque leap. There is a feeling of elation at this point within the team, pulling back 2 goals in quick succession after a very hard first half, against the last year’s champs! It was like champagne was raining from the sky, that kind of feeling.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a game on our hands! We were clearing all the the balls left and right. Playing a magnificent defensive play. And you guys were thinking we were parking the bus? Hell no! We had 2 at the back at this point. We were all out attack, gunning for the win.

Then, something ominous happened. An unintentional foul. Ball in hand to the opposing team. And it was in the penalty spot! Jemar, the goalkeeper and the kick taker from the opponent were sizing up each other. It was like a Battle of Waterloo at that point. You could cut the tension in the air like a knife, like how you would cut butter with a warm butter knife. Then the referee whistled. Kick taker took it to the top left, Jemar went for it on the same direction, only he dove in the bottom left.

The opponents pulled a score for them, 3-2. Deadlock was broken. I told myself, we still had time. I wasn’t watching my watch at this point, just fueled by emotion as well. But then alas. The referee blew the whistle to end the game. We conceded a goal, at the dying moments of a game.

The guys hung their head low, I tried to cheer em up. Told them it was ok. I’m still proud of them, especially after that result. Others would wither at a task that big. These lads, I can’t think of a phrase to properly describe it, so I’m gonna borrow it from the late, great Jimi Hendrix, as it perfectly describes the scenario. Here it goes, these lads “stood up next to a mountain, and chopped it down with the edge of their hands”.

Absolutely perfect. Nicely done Mr. Hendrix, nicely done.

 

Alright that’s it for today lads!! Pictures will be edited in as soon as I get them! And once again, this is Footy, and you guys stay cheeky! Cheers!!

The First Win!

Alright lads! I told Foodie that I would sleep but I still can’t sleep, so here I am, writing a new blog.

So earlier today, I was out with the lads, (the highschool team I’m coaching) on their first football game. I was on the sidelines yelling orders while warming up the back-up goalkeeper Lexus. The game was intense. It was back and forth at first, and then something magical happened. Rubika, scored his first goal of the match!  It was a beautiful curling shot to the top left corner of the goal. Then the half continued for about 5 more minutes, then the ref blew the whistle.

My observations on the first half was, the opponents were bigger (they were playing against a college team), and more physical. So what I did is, I made adjustments to the positions of the players, and had Sam play as a false 9 because he was getting wrecked in the box. I wanted the kid to drop back and make passes since the opponents usually crowd to him when he is inside the box.

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The Team. Standing left to right; Rubika, Arielle, Sam, Kim, Marc, Sean, Ralph, Jemar, Ryan. Sitting, left to right; Rieben, Lexus, Gerald, Kyle, Kenichi, Owen.

 

Second half resumed, and I was closely watching the ball, I then yelled an order to the defender, Arielle, to move forward a little bit and man-mark their striker. Which he did so with good effect. I took Owen out and let Rieben take his slot in the right back position, took Ryan out and put in Marc, since the opponent was playing long balls. The decision paid off since the opponent stopped playing long balls, which was their forte.

They started making errors on the short passing which my team capitalized. Sam managed to intercept the ball, which he then pinged over to the right wing. Kim, who was on the wing, dribbled the ball which drew an extra defender to him then dropped the ball to Rubika.

At that point, everything was in slow motion. Rubika feigned right, and the first defender went off balance. He then did a step over to confuse the second defender then megged him. He then positioned himself, took a shot at the goalkeeper and beat him in the far post! That was his second goal, and the second goal of the game!!

Everything returned to normal after that sequence. With the clock dwindling down, I called for another substitution, and put in Kyle,Ryan and Gerald since I need fresh legs for tomorrow’s game. Jemar, the goal keeper played exceptional in this game. Stopping a lot of chances the opposing team made.

Tomorrow, we will be playing against Arfien, another college team. We will keep the ball rolling and the wins coming in with tactical playing, good decision making, and most important of all, playing football and keeping it fun!

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Two of my attackers. Sam (left) and Kim (right) and yours truly in the middle.

And that’s it for today lads! Once again, this is Footy, and you guys stay cheeky. Cheers!