Posted by: TheAuthor | 08/06/2011

Pre-Season In Canmore: Episode 1

After playing football for fun over the winter period, came the opportunity to play for a team for the summer. Why not, what more could I ask for? To play a game I throughly enjoy playing.

So, playing for Boston Pizza, I attended a tournament that was spread over two days hosted by the town of Canmore. Due to work, I missed out on the first two games of the four to be held over the weekend. One of which we won, the other was a loss. The game for which I was coming in for was against a strong side from Calgary, playing specially for the tournament. They looked sharp, passing the ball around all in one complete kit. I put on our/my shirt (as fate would have it for those that know me, the colours are red and white vertical stripes). I was to start as centre back, a position I haven’t played for at least 15 years. I didn’t mind, I was starting and I was in good shape.

For the first half, we were pinned in our own half. Battling to defend our goal as ball after ball was neatly threaded through our players. It was easy to tell we were not as fit and had played more games than our adversaries. I was at the back, as I had fresh legs and had pace to keep up with the onslaught. Shot after shot was aimed at our net, with substitute goalkeeper between the posts. At the other end, we had very little impact on the opposition goal and few shots were attempted as final balls were poor or were just over hit.

Throughout, we had two substitutes to rotate as freely as necessary whereas our opponents had many more and casually swapped to keep everyone fit and efficient. A heavy burden was born over the half but the score remained a resound 0-0, a testament to the defensiveness for Boston Pizza.

The second half was brutal. The assault began in earnest as the opposition pushed and stretched the tired Boston Pizza team. Four forwards circled the back four of BP, I was having a hard time deciding whether to move to assist a beleaguered left/right back or remain central. In short succession, we conceded two goals. Both consisted of short neat passes to split our defenders and slot home a tame tap in, infuriating.

I was beginning to see that I had more stamina in my tanks than a few other players, if the opportunity was to rise then I decided I would take it and run with the ball. Before long, I had my chance. An interception near the halfway line, a side step around a flailing leg from a midfielder and pace to beat another before racing down the right-wing to have a decent cross into the box. Nothing came from it, I was fouled by the touch-line and trotted back to the halfway line to cover. I now knew that I could beat the opponents in front of me. So I tried again, this time heading down the centre with acres of space and went for a shot on goal. My attempt was poor, even for me, and calmly went to sit in the keepers arms before being hoofed back towards my goal.

The game was almost done before a rash challenge and an eager forward collided at the edge of our box and a penalty kit was awarded – and duly converted making the final score 3-0.

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