Sunday (Dec. 1) was a very strange day I thought worthy of a blog.
It was an early start as we competed in the SEAYD development league at The Camp on Sundays. That day our U6s were scheduled at 8am and U8s at 2pm. Couldn’t have the kids waiting for so long in between, it’s also a long way to have a jeep go back and forth, so we decided to commute the teams separately. So we set off from Payatas at 6:30am with the U6s to commute to the camp (means a jeepney ride to Commonwealth Avenue, a jeepney ride to the MRT, MRT to Magallanes, walk a little bit, then a jeepney ride to the camp). It’s Sunday morning traffic so it’s pretty clear and we arrive slightly late.
We’re playing FC Leveriza, who have frequently not shown up for games and tournaments (twice with my own tournaments), usually turn up late if they do show up, and then often field very overage players who hit the other kids (they’ve hit two of my players in games before and I’ve seen their kids hit players in other teams). So naturally we were wary about them not showing up at all in the first place (more about that below) but for U6 they were just 50 minutes late so wasn’t too bad :p The game itself was really good though. Both teams really enjoyed the games and at that age that’s the most important thing. Leveriza eventually won 4-3, we hit the post with the last kick of the game, but again both teams came off really happy having enjoyed a good match. At that age no importance should be put on being competitive and winning, it’s all about learning to play and enjoying the experience. So… success.
The kids went back to Payatas (thanks to Zargy and Juliana for taking them) and I stayed behind as I had a meeting with one of the sponsors for the Street Child World Cup team. Find out more about that project here: http://fairplayforall.weebly.com/scwc-overview.html The meeting went well and there’s a pledge of a main sponsorship for the girls’ team to send the U17 girls to Rio to compete in the Street Child World Cup. So… success.
After lunch I head back to The Camp. Naomi is bringing the U8s and they arrive on time. Just before I get there I get a text saying that the coach of FC Leveriza just cancelled. Now the coach knew we were playing a game that day, I’d texted him earlier in the week to confirm their U8s would be there, spoken to their newer coach who was with the U6s, and they both said yes they would be there. Yet, they waited instead until right before the game to cancel knowing that we were coming from Payatas and knowing we will have gone all that way just to hear the game was cancelled. The excuse was that they had no transport as they were at a tournament with their U16s. But if they had no transport just before the match they knew they had no transport the whole day. In other words, they purposely waited until right before kick-off to cancel the match when the other team (us in this case, as it’s happened many times before) had just arrived after travelling a long distance to play them. For comparison, Payatas is about an hour and a half drive away with no traffic (2 hours commuting). Leveriza is about 15 minutes away commuting. And the coach didn’t even apologise to us.
The U6s was the good part of FC Leveriza, their other coach was nice with the kids and the game was great. They work with underprivileged kids which is a noble cause, but naturally gives no excuse for their usual attitudes. That’s the bad of their team, their typical lateness, cancelling on the day or just not telling anyone, regularly fielding overage players, and their attitudes starting fights, etc. when they do finally play (on at least one occasion they got money for transport and didn’t show up, just kept the money). And I’m sure you can guess who I think is the ugly part. A couple of their kids at U16 level had made the Manila selection for the Street Child World Cup. however now I’m seriously reconsidering them being a part of anything because of the coach. So… epic fail.
Fortunately for us, there was a team there called Advanced United. They and Naomi arranged a friendly match between our kids and their U10s just before I arrived, and one of their parents played in goal for us. It worked out well though as the kids got a better match than they would have anyway, got longer time on the pitch, and really enjoyed it. Their parents even cheered for Payatas sometimes as it was just a brilliantly cute match and so friendly. They were really well natured and a huge thanks to Advanced Utd and the parents for staying behind to play the friendly and being so kind. So… success.
And finally this is where I get around to the sprained ankle. Given the cancellation we could use the pitch for a bit longer so on the smaller pitch we did a 5v5 where Naomi, Zargy, and I joined in. Naomi and Zargy were captains and the teams were split. It was fun with most of the kids still having the energy to run round the entire time and Marcos, who just turned 8 a couple of months ago, still running the entire game for his team (on Naomi’s side, I was on the other team). So at one point he dribbles past me and with no-one left I decided to run back. This is when my foot turned over and I went over on it, hearing two cracks and immediate pain. I sat down and within a minute Naomi had somehow found ice from somewhere and put it on my ankle. Zargy went out for water and an energy drink for some sugar, and I my leg was raised on the bench. Apparently I was “deathly pale” once it’d had happened and having heard the cracks and seeing the huge swelling I thought it best to head to the hospital and get an x-ray. And for those of you who enjoy the pictures of injuries (we know who you are) check out the ankle below. Just to explain as it may not look too bad there, but all of that bump is the swelling, the ankle is below that.
So a lengthy taxi ride later (somehow didn’t feel like commuting) we arrived at the Orthopedic Hospital along Banawe Street. We register, head to the x-ray, get an x-ray, get the results, get the diagnosis, get the bandages, get it wrapped up, and hop out of the hospital in less than an hour. At P350 for the x-rays and P100 for the bandages the taxi rides to the hospital and back to Payatas cost more and took more time than getting treated at the hospital. So big thanks to everyone there who professionally went about
everything and were always surprised I could speak Tagalog. I was surprised that it wasn’t fractured also given the swelling and hearing the cracks, so that was good news. Just gotta rest it for a couple of weeks now and should be fine.
And here ends the intrepid tale of our
foolish brave and wimpy courageous idiot hero. I sprained my ankle chasing an 8 year old who dribbled past me. Because that’s how I roll (around in pain). This is the same kid who nutmegged me once before in training, and starred in this feature playing against Azkal defender Juani Guriado: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNqCNbPecmQ And apparently I’m his coach :p
So before I leave you for some more meds and to play as the Icelandic National Team Manager in Football Manager, thanks again to:
- SEAYD for organising the league,
- to the SCWC sponsors I met for lunch
- to Advanced United for the friendly match and being so nice
- to Zargy for taking me to and from the hospital
- the hospital staff for quickly and professionally sorting me out
- and to Naomi for taking care of the kids
Also, as the final note on this, Naomi’s reward for taking the kids back alone was to get thrown up on by two of the kids who got travel sick on the bus ride back. She woke them up at PhilCOA and Carlo (sitting on her knee kandong style) immediately threw up on her. Smelling this, Jacko threw up as well, and so Naomi was sat there from PhilCOA to Payatas (about 30 minutes) with sick on her. And no-one offered them any tissues either :p Brilliant. Oh and I mean that in the best possible way, considering that for the next few days I’ll have to rely on Naomi bringing me food and water. Admittedly that’s no different to what normally happens anyway but still.
To find out more about the foundation and the football, education, and nutrition programs we run (a lot more professionally than I run this blog), check out our website at: www.fairplayforall.weebly.com
Now please excuse me, I have to go hop down the stairs, or if that’s too painful, pee in a cup.
Update: I peed in a cup. Two cups actually as it would have overflowed.