Bangkok Veterans League Season #5, Event #10 — Annual Traditional Friendly Derby Match — • Inaugural "Bangkok Veterans -vs- Muubaan Kumar" • 28/Jun/2009 • Chonburi
Muubaan Kumar pull off a narrow late victory
For the "first-ever" time, Bangkok Veterans decided to get on the road and make a trip to nearby Chonburi, visiting authoritative Referee Kumar's village, and playing against his Muubaan Kumar village elders.
Participating Veterans were: • Veterans League
- Eralp (M) • LeCoq French
- Marc (+sons)
- Dominique (+family)
- Eric (+family) • Southern Cross
- Bruce • BSL Veterans
- Stefan • British Club
- Peter (+betterhalf) • BU Japan
- Wakana (+family) • Sunbelt United
- Neil (+family)
- Chris (+betterhalf)
The meeting point was major South Sathorn-Naratiwat intersection, and everyone pretty much showed up on time. We were 6 min late leaving the appointment time, when those who didn't fully ready the earlier planning emails thought we were 36 min late ).
We left as a 4 car convoy (Eralp, Dominique, Peter, Chris), met one more (Marc) on the Motorway, found another one (Wakana) at the lunch restaurant, and another one (Neil) somehow managed to find the his way to the restaurant.
The Motorway rest area stop was brief and sweet — some of us opted for Starbucks, and some of us dove into some snacks at the 7-Eleven.
After a bit of looking around and a couple of U-turns (where all directions on all intersections go to Bangkok), we were able to find the restaurant and Kumar waiting for us.
After a very "light" Thai lunch at a beautiful lakeside restaurant, good conversation, and a few pictures, we were heavy and ready for the epic match.
At lunch, following a headcount, we found out that this was a true melting pot of people, totally indicative of Bangkok Veterans.
- New Zealander
- Turkish Cypriot
We arrived to a rapturous welcome at the temple school in Muubaan Kumar, and felt touched by the attention and the "Bangkok Veterans League" welcome banners.
Immediately after, we started inspecting the pitch and the facilities, and thought that "Yes, this could do!"
A quick juggling act among those who made the trip, we found that were exactly 11 players, and all of us had to play the full 90 min without the possibility of being substituted to take a rest. At which time, we discovered the 2 sons of Dominique and the 2 sons of Marc were our hidden treasures to take their place on the substitutes bench, eager to replace their Oldmen as and when needed.
We decided to go with an attacking midfield 4-4-2 formation, thinking that Muubaan Kumar elders would be an easy opposition.
The Starting-11 was decided as follows:
After the initial pleasantries, handshakes and photo-shoots, the game kicked off to a fast start, with attacks starting to flow both ways. The Veterans trusted their goal to the indomitable Eralp, and he kept a clean-sheet in Period-1.
Chris managed to put Eric in 2 scoring positions, who hit the first one over the goal, over the wall and over the road into the rice fields, and the second one right into the guts of the hapless goalkeeper.
• First Break ==> Veterans 0 - 0 Muubaan Kumar
Period-2 was a mirror image of Period-1, when the Veterans were able to find more scoring chances, in one of which Eralp's (now playing infield) well calculated long-range shot bounced back from the top-right corner, and Chris kept pounding the goal from all directions.
This was another successful period, where are aging-by-the-minute fullbacks — Peter and Keith, and the nimble and agile center castles — Neil and Marc, allowed no chances to Muubaan Kumar forwards at all, Kiwi Bruce stood confidently between the posts.
• Second Break ==> Veterans 0 - 0 Muubaan Kumar
Veterans started Period-3 in the attack again with Chris spraying the Muubaan Kumar goal from all angles, and Bruce and the Awesome Foursome substitute Kids causing mayhem whenever they were on the pitch. Sebastian, and his older brother Etienne, really got close to scoring a number of times.
Unfortunately, half way into the period, in one of those rare Muubaan Kumar attacks from their right wing, they were able to bring the ball all the way to the corner line, and with a perfect cross into the 6-yard-box, their striker was ready to head the ball in into open net easily. [Score: 0-1]
In the remaining few minutes of the period and the match, Veterans worked hard to get an equalizer, but the Muubaan Kumar goalkeeper was totally up to the challenge, and did not allow any in.
• Full Time ==> Veterans 0 - 1 Muubaan Kumar
Plenty of handshakes pats-on-the-back to finish a truly fair and friendly match.
After a quick "French" shower (i.e., heavy doses of deodorant spray). we headed over to Kumar's California style country mansion.
At the mansion, a feast for kings were waiting for us, where we had a great dinner all together, with laughs, beers and trophies.
Overall, many thanks to Kumar for organizing the nitty-gritty details and hosting us, as well as all the Vets and their families who decided to be part of this unique new Vets League annual event, and made it possible.
We managed to pull off a terrific day of sightseeing, football and drinks on this trip to Chonburi, executing the plan perfectly without a hitch or mishap
Despite the 1-0 loss (in the last 15 min when the opposition brought in reinforcements from surrounding villages in the last period ) in a high-tempo seesaw game, it was a truly a great day in festive spirit
At the end of the day, we all were very proud to give something back to the community on our own capacity by raising a total of 15,050.- Baht in donations. Thank you all!
Once again, biggest thanks go to Kumar who hosted us graciously, and made us feel comfortable in his home. It's a trip we shall be repeating (to reclaim the trophy) in 2010.
Eagerly looking forward to the 2010 derby!
PS: On the way back to Bangkok, the torrential rain was something unseen ever, which forced me to put the windshield wiper fuse back on (Bruce, Stefan and Keith can explain ).
Picture 1 — Stefan, Kumar, Eralp in their intensive prematch planning meeting at Silom Dimsam restaurant.
Picture 2 — Vets taking a well-deserved rest area stop on the Motorway.
Picture 3 — Eric and Eric "Jr." enjoying what 7-Eleven has to offer.
Picture 4 — This looks like lunch gathering of a Sicilian Mafia family.
Picture 5 — Kids appear happy in the playground.
Picture 6 — Wakana San giving his newborn daughter her first walking lessons.
Picture 7 — The Vets and spectators settle in right before the game.
Picture 8 — Bangkok Veterans and all their followers in the prematch family photo. Pictured are: Standing: Kumar, Celine, Dominique, Wakana, Bruce, Keith, Neil, Peter, Stefan, Chris, Marc, Maxon, Sebastian Front: Eric's Betterhalf, Erik's Daughter, Wakana's Betterhalf, Wakana's Daughter, Maria, Eric's Son (with the ball), Neil's Daughter, Neil's Betterhalf, Chris's Betterhalf, Jane, Etienne, Eralp
Picture 9 — The 2 teams take the opportunity to get a shot in together.
Picture 10 — Dominique presenting a small gifts from Vets to Muubaan Kumar Captain.
Picture 11 — Eralp taking a goalkick in Period-1.
Picture 12 — Maxon fiercely attacking the Muubaan Kumar in Period-2.
Picture 13 — The Vets pressuring Muubaan Kumar goal in Period-3.
Picture 14 — As Stefan watches in amazement, Marc is giving Eric a post-match washdown.
Picture 15 — Eric being Eric.
Picture 16 — Kumar's California style mansion.
Picture 17 — Eralp kicks off the trophies ceremony with an explanation of the Runners-up trophy.
Picture 18 — Kumar presenting Vets Captain on the day, Dominique, with the Runners-up trophy.
Picture 19 — Eralp presenting the Goal of the Day trophy to the match Referee, as the Muubaan Kumar goalscorer has already been signed up by Real Madrid, and is on his way to La Liga.
Picture 20 — The Winners trophy goes to the Muubaan Kumar Captain.
Picture 21 — To end the trophy presentations, Eralp presents the collected donations on the day to the village hospital chief doctor.
Picture 22 — The Vets are reviewing the day in heavy and endless debates.
Picture 23 — Bruce, Stefan, Eralp and Keith get their last one-for-the road with Kumar, before they head back to Bangkok.
From: Keith Team: LeCoq French Date: 02/Jul/2009
Great bunch of lads, with a convoy of cars, excellent food at a lakeside restaurant (good choice EG), well spirited game.
Then, walk to Kumar's Californian style bungalow, played footy in his spacious garden (the kids still had energy to burn).
Then, EG's car (the "Mobile Museum") had to turn into a submarine to get us home.
Pity those who missed it (felt like I was in another country).
Can we do it again next week?
Feel free to e-mail to me if you would like to voice your take on the above summary, or would like to obtain the original resolution pictures.
• FB: First Break
• SB: Second Break
• FT: Full Time