Tuesday, May 26, 2009


The British Artists' Football Tournament:

Saturday, 23rd May, 2009.

We played well - won 4, drew 0, lost 2, during first phase of the tournament. Both defeats were to the eventual finalists, 0-1 and 0-1. The wins were 3-1, 2-1, 6-3 and 3-2. I scored twice (one back heel, one outrageous first-time lash - following good team play down the left and a quick squared cross). Largely, though, I played a defensive, sweeperish role. In the semi-final, we drew 0-0 against Eastside Projects (Birmingham), then lost on penalties (*whispers* though I scored mine - hard and low). And so we were knocked out. We call that an honourable exit - for self and team (AirSpace). It was pleasing to hear newfound and amusing support from the sidelines. As with all teams and most players, our attitude was good, '...appreciate the effort that others have put in to making the day happen, now get on with it and play fair'. The tournament was won by another Birmingham team, 'Jibbering' - a collective of street artists and DJs - they played well, and used their squad intelligently. As we drove back up the M6, the mood was good - we'd done ourselves justice.

Number of teams who participated: 7
Number of teams who failed to show: 3
Number of instances of dissent / bad attitude: 2
Number of my legs experiencing thigh strain (Sunday - Tuesday): 2
Best kit design of the tournament: AC Tortured Birmingham (white polos, with AC-style logo)
Best team name of the tournament: Real Worcester
Number of natural left-footers in our team: 2
Number of miles to venue: 42.7
Mark out of 10 for satisfaction with the day: 10
Minutes delayed in getting to venue (Bank Holiday traffic): 20
Number of people who've seemed interested in my in-person reportage: 3
Number who haven't...: 3

There was a photographer on site for the whole tournament, though I have yet to get access to their handiwork. Thus, you'll have to imagine it... no no no, more attractive than that, surely.

Embodied by self, Saturday was a good day for north east football(ers in exile).

Sunday wasn't.

[ - Photographs may follow - ]


Huw said...

Are you one of the left-footers? You've always struck me as a cultured left-footed sweeper type.

Shane said...

Huw, you are special, for you chose to humour me... I'm not one of the natural left-footers, though I'll play with both feet. And yes, cultured sweeper type - a defensive valve, an eye for the smart pass, intelligent positioning - that's me. With sore thighs.

Meanwhile... said...

Glad it went ok...

Still. Sunderland, Boro and the Barcodes never did win much anyway.

There is some merit to keeping it real in unending cycles of fatalism, stoicism and same-old.

We savour every last drop of QT in our nine-tenths empty stadia.

Meanwhile, Huw's comment calls to mind another example of the cultured left-footed sweeper type (albeit a kind of warped sub-genre):