Sunday, 30 August 2015

We aren't the champions.

2015 marked my debut with the Macquarie University AA15s soccer team. To put it bluntly, it was a challenging season. We were the "defeated" champions of the competition. Now when I say defeated, I am of course referring to the opposite of "undefeated". Yes, we were unable to win a single game and make a numerical stain on the leader board, unless you count the games where other teams forfeited. 

Before I come across as a negative, grumpy midfielder (if it isn't too late), I want to say that we definitely didn't do as badly as this all sounds. There were countless instances of missed penalties (*facepalm*, my bad guys...and Steve's), close shots, injuries, banter, tied matches and friendly fire (*kamikaze*, not sorry Lachy). Not to mention that time that we didn't wash the jerseys, and the other team complained that we reeked of fermented beef stroganoff the whole game. 

Our team's mutually agreed excuse is that it just came down to bad luck... but from a statistical perspective, I would argue that this is definitely hard to justify! It was truly an awesome experience to be thrown into a brand new team, it always takes time for new players to settle, find their position and build a match personality. It's unfortunate that we only just seemed to sort ourselves out by the end of the season, as we definitely had potential! (These seasons aren't long enough when you account for the mid February, Sydney monsoon season!). I'm truly grateful to Bryce for the management of the team, and of course to my wooden spoon wielding squad who plan on losing those damned utensils for next season! I've definitely made some lifelong mates through this ordeal. 

For the previous 3 seasons I have represented the 20+ years running team: The AA21 Epping YMCA "Buffaloes". This squad was originally conceived by my dad and a group of his university mates while he was in his early 20's. Over the life of the team, countless players have come and gone, I was part of the overlapping, second generation players. In 2012, dad and myself ("the young bloke") were able to share a grand final victory together. We thought this was pretty cool. I had been attending his soccer games since I was a newborn, and many of the players had known me my whole life. It was unreal to finally get onto the field and outrun the old blokes (tongue in cheek).

Last night was the annual end of season pub crawl for the Macquarie University soccer teams. This was our opportunity to gain retribution for an anticlimactic season. Every missed goal, conceded goal, yellow card, foul throw-in and offside was to be vindicated. 

We started in The Rocks, and stampeded our way towards the inner city. Victimizing any pub that was foolish enough to allow entry. I struggle to remember the exact details (or maybe they aren't quite appropriate for this blog). So, insert rowdy, sloshed anecdote that concludes at 5:00 am here:


8:30pm and Max Power realises he forgot to bring his wallet. Later on, after a covert wallet retrieval operation, at 2:30 am he is banished from the pub for "inebriation". I provide assurance that it is just because he is a terrible dancer.

The ecstatic face of a man who wasn't denied access to a pub while friends sit outside enviously.

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