Far East Bangkok Tournament 2007 Small


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Far East Bangkok Tournament 2007 Small

  1. 1. Far East Bangkok Tournament Just like so many previous years the Wanderers decided to participate in the Far East Football Tournament in Bangkok on 7 and 8 of April 2007. In the beginning many players expressed their intention to participate, though when your truly was overseeing his soldiers on Saturday morning 7th of April, he only discovered just 11 valuable players. Because of all kind of different reasons several players were not able to make the trip at the very last moment. Even we had to leave Lee back in the hotel, as she was sick the whole Friday-night. It was therefore not a huge puzzle to set up the starting line-up for the first game against the Peking Strollers. The hopeful Bayon team on Saturday The draw looked this year in favor of the Bayon players, as they were due their first match at 12 o'clock noon instead of our quot;normalquot; time of 8 or 9 am. Also the opponents were supposed not that strong. The result in the first match however showed that the Bayon team was still asleep. We were not sharp at all from the start of the game, though Chhay created two beautiful chances in a row in the first five minutes with some individual actions. This was immediately punished by the centre defender of the Strollers, as he intimidated Chhay with his third ball contact by pushing Chhay violently in the back and from that moment we have hardly seen Chhay during the games either on Saturday or Sunday. With only Elisa and an invisible Chhay as attackers, we lacked the power and speed to go forwards. Jesse and Lilo tried in vain to step in to the attack with the consequences that the Strollers with every attack could find a free player in midfield. It was half way the first half that a cross from our right side, Marcos was not yet top at that time, finally ended in the feet of the right Stroller-midfielder who was allowed to run free without any intervention from Jesse (who started on the left midfield position), and he showed no mercy for Laurent by scoring the opening goal of the match. In reaction
  2. 2. Lilo cut through the midfield and defense of the Strollers, though he was pushed to the left side of the goal and only managed to kick the ball wide. The break came with 1-0 on the sheets. Chhay asking quot;where am I?quot; Your truly tried to change the tide by asking Lilo and Jesse not to attack too much and if they did, come back to help in midfield and defense. The second half didn't start too bad, though at a goal kick Laurent made a mistake by kicking the ball straight in the feet of one of the Stroller attackers, who accepted this present with both feet to score the 2-0. If it wasn't enough, the Strollers cut through midfield in a nice one-two and out sprinted both Stuart and your truly for the 3-0. What a disastrous start to this tournament!! Never had I experienced this kind of start in the Bangkok Tournament. The second match was scheduled for 2 pm. against the London Pink Panthers. After a thoroughly warm-up, the Bayon players showed a different face during the match. There was more discipline from Lilo and Jesse, as they kept their position occupied and were passing the ball neatly around in midfield. Then half way the first half, disaster hit again. An innocent collision between Laurent and Govert left Govert screaming from pain in the goal, while raising his left leg holding on his calf. All Bayon players shouted to the Panthers players to kick the ball out, though instead the Panthers brought the ball back from the corner flag into the 18-yards box and without any strong resistance could score for 1-0. At least that provided First Aid to attend Govert, who was transported to the hospital. We only saw him back on Sunday morning, walking into the hotel on crutches with his left leg in a cast to wish us success for that day.
  3. 3. Sonya and Govert wishing the team success on Sunday He had torn his ligaments. It is all part of the game. quot;Lucky Govertquot; could now spend the Sunday with his favorite hobby, shopping. Loosing Govert cut the number of players to ten, though fortunately the Reunited Vietnam Team had many players and good old Gopi (who played for three years for the Bayon team during the nineties, was allowed to join the Bayon Wanderers. Once a Wanderer, always a Wanderer!!! Gopi took the left defense position and Dore moved to the centre defense! Of course the Bayon players were upset by the unfair attitude of the Panther players and upon hearing them calling to each other to score now at least three goals, the Bayon players found the motivation to continue the football they are used to play. Passing the ball around and then moving forwards at the right moments. I believe it was the best match of the tournament for the Bayon team. The Panther players were not able to get to the ball and should praise themselves lucky not to loose. Elisa had the un-grateful task to stay up in front as the deepest attacker and Chhay was supposed to fall back to pick up the ball or to start sprinting deep if we were in ball possession. Chhay got again kicked on his legs and was not able to show his talents, so intimidated he was. Elisa did what she could, though against these physical strong and
  4. 4. tall London players, it was very difficult to even touch the ball. The score didn't change anymore and the final whistle sounded with the 1-0 on the sheets. Gopi and Laurent getting ready for the third match Two defeats in a row and one group-game to go on Saturday. It was difficult to re-group the players and get the fighting spirit in the team. The next match would bring us the Reunited Vietnam Team as the opponents. From Gopi we learned that it was a very organized team and they showed this to us during the game. With nice passing football and physical fitness they kept possession of the ball. During the first half they managed to score the first for 1-0, followed by a second one in the beginning of the second half. Though finally the Bayon team managed to get on the score sheet after hitting the cross bar two or three times in a row during the same situation. I believed it was first Jesse, then Chhay and third Elisa who each kicked the ball against the bar and finally it was Lilo who put the ball into the net. The first day of the tournament ended as it started with a defeat, 2-1. Que sera, sera………..
  5. 5. Sunday would start 9 am. for the fourth group match of the Bayon team, though it was already certain that we would finish last in the group, as the result in the other matches indicated. Bayon players dressing up Sunday morning when nobody else is there The Singapore Latino's Team was the opponent and they had won all their previous matches the day before. Their fourth match was just the same against the Bayon Team. This day however, we were able to have one substitute because Lee was that much recovered from a whole day sleeping that she could take up the right defense position. This meant that Marcos could move to an unfamiliar position for him, the sweeper position and he didn't perform badly at all. Your truly took this game as an opportunity to observe more and to coach better. It didn't work out that much better with the coach on the sideline, as the first half was enough for the Latino's to score two times. The Bayon players didn't play that bad and were never outplayed. It is just that physical strength that is missing. The match ended in a 2-0 score for the Latino's. The total lack of winning a game during the group stage condemned the Bayon Wanderers to play for the Bowl competition. Our first match was against Hollandaise Singapore, a team we met on several occasions during several tournaments, though never played. It would be a real challenge to beat them.
  6. 6. Team captains agreed on the outcome of the game before it started If the Bayon really wanted to return to Phnom Penh, then this was an opportunity. Playing in the Bowl is not that bad if you can achieve first place. You are going home with a nice Bowl. The match kicked off at 11 am. and the Bayon players were all over their opponents. Jesse started well this game and after a nice pass from Marcos, he could sprint along the line, cut inside to pass the ball to Chhay, who was left completely free and it was not that difficult to score the first goal of this game, 1-0. Jesse was now released from what-ever lashes and relentless he went along the left side providing Elisa two beautiful chances. However, Elisa managed to miss on both occasions. Then it was the turn to Lilo. Breaking through on a nice pass from Francois, he scored the second goal for the Bayon team. However, the Hollandaise tried their best to find the goal and Laurent had to do an appeal on all his talents to keep the zero in the first half. Laurent jumps enormously high for the ball, while everybody watch in amazement
  7. 7. The second half was an image of the first, though it was difficult to come out of defense, as the wind was assisting the Hollandaise to build up the pressure. Once out under this pressure, there were still nice opportunities for the Bayon team, though our players were not able to convert these opportunities into goals. It was on the contrary the Hollandaise which was rewarded for their pressure. The centre attacker rounded your truly too easy to score for 2-1. It didn't go any further fortunately for the Bayon team, even the pressure became sometimes tremendously. Corner for Hollandaise The victory meant that we had to play two matches more: the semi-final and then maybe the final or the match for 3rd or 4th place. The opponent waiting for us in the semi-final was the Hong Kong Spartans team. On the way to the semi-final we lost Gopi, as I already suspected it on Saturday. He has a bad knee and after every game he had to nurse his knee. During the Hollandaise match he needed substitution with a swollen knee. Again the coach only had eleven players to choose from, which made it easy for him. The Spartans don't deserve to be in the Bowl competition, as it is a strong team. Physical fit and with tall players who have the experience, it would be difficult for the eleven Bayon warriors. Kick off was at 1 pm. and the match went ahead as planned. Play went from one side to the other and though the Bayon attackers were never dangerous, the team as a whole was never outplayed. For a long period the Bayon team was able to keep the zero, though finally had to surrender and the result was 1-0 for the Spartans.
  8. 8. Picture during the semi-final Semi-final lost, though still the honor is in play. The Khana O'Malley's team from Phuket was waiting to win third place. Everybody was tired and the heat was swallowing every bit of energy left in these tired, sweating bodies. The Bayon warriors didn't give in and it was Chhay on a deep pass from Lilo who managed to score the first goal of the match. Khana didn't wait too long to score the equalizer in the second half and the Bayon team was hanging on. Trying with fast breaks to score the winning goal Bayon players gave everything they had, though without success. The match ended in a draw 1-1. The draw meant of course a penalty shoot-out to find out who would finish third in the Bowl competition. On Tuesday all Bangkok players had to take five penalties as practice and this paid off. Dore, Francois, Stuart, Jesse, Billy and Lilo didn't miss (sometimes not without fortune) and the Bayon Wanderers conquered third place in the Bowl competition. With a nice cup and a match ball the Bayon players could go home.
  9. 9. Elisa with cup and team photo Laurent and Lilo with cup Coach remarks As usual I like to mention some other facts. The journey by road to Bangkok was a very long one. Leaving Phnom Penh around 6.30 am. and arriving finally in Bangkok around 10 pm. while not yet at the hotel is exhausting. Also the trip back to Phnom Penh took twelve hours, leaving Bangkok at 3 am. and arriving in Phnom Penh around 3 pm. For the last part from the border to Phnom Penh sitting with six players and the driver in a Camry is not advisable. What can you do otherwise, when the ticket seller at the bus station refuse to sell tickets to you? However, as long as the smile is there, we can survive! It is ultimately an adventure!! Look just at these pictures.
  10. 10. Elisa getting in the bus during a stop Lilo and Jesse during a stop Chhay and Billy during the stop The hotel is not that bad and getting some discount was a friendly gesture from the hotel owners. Breakfast was simple, though it filled at least the stomachs.
  11. 11. I like to add some judgments about the performance of the players. I will give them a figure from 0 to 10. As a coach I am entitled to do so. So, let's started with it. Laurent as our goalie was playing on his normal level, like we all know him to do. He made a small mistake now and then and indeed the goal kick in the third match shouldn't have been taken by him, as we know that he is not that well in kicking the ball far away. Laurent had some good saves, even to his left weak side. Overall performance would be for me a 7. Laurent with the cup in his hand Marcos started on Saturday on the right defense position and moved for one match to the sweeper position, and then again later he went to the left defense position. In that sense he was multi-functional. Marcos started weak during the first match, as he was recovering from the jetlag most probably. He improved during the day and was back on his normal level in the other games. As a sweeper he performed reasonable and as a left defender he did his best and was often the starting point of several attacks. Sometimes he went too far in front, though at certain moments this is necessary to give support to midfield and attack. However, it is also needed that you back in position when the opponents are attacking. This didn't happen now and then. Overall performance 7.
  12. 12. Marcos in action Dore started as the left defender, though moved to the centre defender after Govert's injury. As usual he did well. Only his position play should improve, as well his ability to read the game. The first goal in the first match was typically such situation, that when you read the match well, he would have intercepted the cross. As stopper he was outstanding during most of the games. He also gave stimulation to attacks and was valuable for the defensive midfielder. Overall performance 8. Dore takes a nap on Sunday Govert had only one match and part of one half to judge. So, it is very difficult to tell something about his performance. However, from the minutes he played, I got the impression that he was not that match fit. Govert didn't play too many matches in the recent past, as he was often abroad during the weekends. He suffered from flu too and sometimes he was too eager to do too much. No figure could be given.
  13. 13. When Govert was still there Lee played right defense on Sunday and was not too bad. She played with the hand-break on, as she is just returning from a sprain ankle. During the first game on Sunday she should have headed the ball away instead to let it bounce, which could have prevented the Latino's to score. However, her total performance was okay. She only has to learn NOT to walk away with her back to the ball. Too often Lee is doing some good work and then she stops playing or involving her immediately further in the play. Her performance I would figure on 6.5. Lee in action Gopi was very valuable for the team, as he was that extra player we needed during the first day after Govert was carried off. He did well at the left defense position and he showed that he is still reading the game, even with the limitations of his bad knee. However, he is not that fast anymore and it was a long time ago since he played for the
  14. 14. Bayon team. He is not used to the way we are playing now, although his collaboration with Francois and Jesse was by moments excellent. For the games he played I would quote him a 7. Lee and Gopi getting ready for the next match Stuart as the most defensive midfielder showed his normal level during the whole tournament. Reading the game well and then acting is still a problem, though he is showing some improvements. He would do much better if Stuart was holding position at certain situations. It is also clear when observing him, that his knees are limiting his acceleration abilities. With the third goal during in the first match he was out sprinted by his opponent during the one-two, just because Stuart is not able to accelerate. His best game was against the Hong Kong Spartans on Sunday. During that game he was outstanding. Based on all games I would quote his performance 7.5. Stuart trying to pass the ball to Chhay
  15. 15. Lilo played first right midfield and some games as attacker. Lilo needs to be physical fit if he really wants to have an impact in the game and this weekend he was not that fit, after a long stay back in France. Lilo is a physical strong player and can dribble with the ball or hold it. During the tournament he showed furthermore that he is more an attacker than a midfielder. This broke us up as he was not able to come back to in time to assist Stuart in midfield and the defense. If he is fit though, he would be a formidable force for the team. Overall performance 6.5. Lilo in action against Hollandaise Singapore Jesse played the whole tournament on the left midfield position. Though he believes that this is his favorite position, as a coach I only can say that he is more efficient on the right side. Jesse played sometimes too much for himself and should understand that football is a team game. Also reading the game is a problem for him if he only storms forwards without an eye for other team mates. With his physical fitness he should be able to go forwards to then to be back in time to assist midfield and defense. Too often he allowed his direct opponent the freedom to run forwards without any interference from Jesse. It is like he is dreaming on the field. The first goal during the first match on Sunday he was also walking with his back to the ball, when the free kick was taken, surprising him completely. The free kick went in. I would rate his performance 6.
  16. 16. Showing off during the match would be better Francois was the most attacking midfielder and he was also recovering from sickness he suffered a couple of weeks ago. There were moments during the matches that he was more a spectator as an active player. He tried many times to show himself for a combination or went into a combination, expecting the ball back, though for nothing. Also Francois was sometimes surprised by the aggressive sliding-tackles on his legs and stopped playing waiting for the whistle, which didn't come. I am convinced that with his qualities, he can show more than he did. Overall performance 7. Francois in action against Hollandaise Elisa was the deepest attacker and this was a very difficult position for her. She gave her best for the team, though I have to admit that she cannot challenge the tall defenders, who without mercy used their physical strength to overpower Elisa. Elisa had two beautiful chances, though both were for her right foot and that right leg is only for standing on. Her
  17. 17. input into the team and sacrificing attitude was enough to reward her with the quot;Most Valuable Playerquot; award, as she received most of the votes of the Bayon players. Well done, Elisa and we hope that you will return to Cambodia to join the Wanderers again! Elisa with the ball Chhay completed the attacking force of the Bayon team. He is only 17 years old and this was his first experience in such setting. This was clearly visible during the weekend. In the first match he created two nice chances though once the opponent-defense was warned, they took measurements and intimidated him with some nasty challenges. This was too much for Chhay and he hided himself more than he showed his capabilities. He was not himself anymore and even the simplest pass over three to five meters went wrong. Chhay no doubt has certain qualities, though he should become stronger, physically and for sure mentally, and not act anymore like a pussy. I hope that he has learned from this tournament and stop complaining that his opponents were that tall and merciless. Based on the qualities he has, I rate his performance 4.
  18. 18. Chhay intimidated try to find a whole in the grass Your truly played almost all the games, like all other players and it was clear that he was playing with the hand break on, being careful for his broken ribs, which are still hurting him. Defensive he was not that bad, though he was guilty on the goal Hollandaise scored. Attacking-wise he didn't contribute that much or better said nothing like he is used to do in Bangkok. His position play saved him from real embarrassment being the oldest player in the team. Overall performance would be rated on 5.5.
  19. 19. Your truly with his eternal cigarette Last remark: it was very regretful that only 12 players could make the trip, while in the beginning so many players were intending to play in Bangkok. If everybody would have shown up, the result would have been different. It is also very clear that although the quality of the play is not improving, the physical fitness of the other teams is raising over the years. It is much harder to develop the passing game, as other teams will try to prevent this kind of play with hard tackles and even mean play. I am still convinced that we would be able to win this tournament if the right players would participate and if we are well prepared to the physical challenges, which we hardly meet in Cambodia. I am looking forwards to that moment of holding the real CUP!! Billy Barnaart Coach-player