The guys from Buller organized a football match last Wednesday after work. Although it was 3am and I was dead tired from class and work I couldn’t turn down the invitation.
This was the second time I’ve played soccer since I’ve been down here and my skills haven’t improved a bit. I consider myself a role-player. A whatever-it-takes kinda guy who hustles for everything and yells a lot. Kind of like my ice hockey “career”. Inevitably, they stuck me on defense to guard the cherry pickers.
It was the kitchen vs. waiters/bartenders. We closed up the bar at about 2:30am to play in a 3am game at an outdoor field (gancha) about 20 minutes away. It ended up being 7 vs. 7 and the competition was tough. The teams mostly consisted of Argentine guys from both Buller locations but there was also an Italian, an Uruguayan, my Colombian roommate Sergio, and I (poorly) represented the USA.
Besides the other time playing with Sergio and his team I haven’t played since middle school. Even then, I only played in the third quarter when all the scrubs went in. Coach said I played too much basketball… I had a lot of handballs and was a little too “aggressive”.
There is one other time I played since then and its a pretty random story… I went to visit my sister when she was a snowboard instructor in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The first night I was there we were out to dinner with some of her friends and one of the guys who worked in a ski shop said he needed a soccer goalie for that night’s game in his adult coed league. Long story short… I went, we lost 15 to 11 but I ended up getting free rentals for an entire week! Sweet.
Anyway, that experience didn’t help me at all for the game the other night. I played defense the other night so I didn’t score any goals, but I got a few long distance bombs on net. Otherwise, I didn’t do too bad except a couple of handballs and a few “unintentional” knockdowns.
Needless to say I wasn’t very productive in class the next morning after finishing the game around 5:30am. But it was worth it. I had a blast and I guess I played well enough to get invited back because they told me they want to start playing every Wednesday… I gotta go watch Bend it Like Beckham.
Checkout photos from me playing football in Argentina