Friday, June 22, 2012

Marcus plays even more soccer, in sun and rain

Marcus played in the Devonport Cup regional soccer tournament on Saturday and Sunday, with his team representing Central Region - chosen from under 10s around the city of Hobart. They had five games over the two days, and won them all, and the tournament! Sadly there was no "cup" as such but they were all given medallions and were praised by everyone for their high standard. (They scored 36 goals to seven over the 2 days).

We drove as far as Launceston on Friday evening, where we stayed with Lynn and Scott and their kids Isobel and Tom. We only catch up properly every couple of years but the kids always pick up right where they left off. They all disappeared off into the house with pillows, and then all we heard were distant shrieks. The dynamic between the children is fascinating - Isobel is in Grade 7 this year, and Lynn was interested to see if she would choose to to be a "kid" or a "adult" when it came to seating arrangements for dinner. She chose kid.

Scott is now teaching at a "Big Picture" system high school. It was interesting hearing about how all that works, since Marcus is now only 18 months away from high school. The aim is to tailor learning to the child's own interests from a much earlier age than is customary. It sounds good in theory.

In the morning we had to break up the kid's fun to get on the road, as we were needed in Devonport at ten. We had to park some distance away from the sports grounds, as the traffic was incredible. There were actually 59 teams competing in the one place! It was really quite huge. Amazingly the toilet facilities consisted of one team changeroom each for Ladies and Gents. The Gents featured a 3-person urinal, three showers and one (1) sit-down toilet. I am told the Ladies had 2 toilets but the queues were long.

It was a pretty miserable morning, and it got worse, with steady rain right through the day. My umbrella went inside-out three times, and is now a bit of a wreck. Every time Marcus took something off, Michael put it on, and in the end he was almost unrecognisable. Michael is always terrific about tagging along to Marcus's soccer things. He doesn't ever watch the game, and long ago made it clear that he would not be cheering in a pink fit. But he was keen to hear the scores and very pleased for Marcus that they did so well.

Central Supporter #1
On Saturday night we took the easy option and went 2 blocks to KFC for dinner. The boys had never been and neither of us had for years so that was it. And it was horrible. We ordered a Family Nosebag or whatever it's called, with lots of pieces of chicken, a large tub of coleslaw and a large tub of instant-spuds-n-gravy. No plates, just plastic spoons. "When you finish digging through the coleslaw with your licky germy spoon, can you pass it to me so I can do the same?" Ugh. Also had not really noticed before how 8/10 pieces of secret spices chicken have recognisable anatomy (I am fine with this) but all advertising images of pieces show something like a big golden crispy nugget. It occurred to me as we sat there grimly ploughing through it all, that when you order anything other than nuggets or burgers, the "eat-in or take-away?" question is just redundant. With no plates or decent cutlery you cannot eat-in in a civilized way - so why even suggest it?

That night we arrayed all our damp clothes about the cottage and hoped for the best. All slept better than Friday night, in proper beds.

Sunday morning was actually sunny, and everything had dried out. We went to Bella's down by the river for breakfast, which was pretty good. The soccer tournament was a big enough deal that we kept seeing other participants all over town. After breakfast we had to get to the ground for the muster for Game 3.

This is as good as my action shots get.
As this is a reliable blog of record, I shall set down all the scores for future reference.
  • Central d Northern Suburbs (of Hobart) 11-0
  • Central d NTJSA (Launceston) 4-2
  • Central d WSSA (North West Coast) 8-0
  • Central d Devonport 6-3
  • Central d Eastern Region (of Hobart) 7-0

The paparazzi descend after the fifth win from five.
Marcus played very well. He started as a pure defender, then was given a license to go forward more in the later games. He would have loved to score a goal but that just wasn't his job. He made some marvellous tackles and always looked confident and calm when he had the ball. He encouraged his team-mates, and amazingly kept up his concentration through all five games, right to the end. Near the end of the final game when the coach, Atef, was calling him to come off, Marcus didn't respond until the third yell. He got the biggest laugh of the weekend when he yelled back to Atef "I thought you were just waving to me!" Atef replied "Yes Marcus, I was just missing you".

Sunday stayed sunny all day. I took Michael down to the nearby beachside playground, and he had a great time on an interesting roundabout/netting pyramid contraption, while I sat on a hill and soaked up the rays. Michael told a couple of dozen other children about centrifugal force. "Some of them didn't really take it in, Dad". Some of the looks he was getting from teenage soccer girls were priceless, yet uncategoriseable.

The champions

Looking the part
After Game 5 we had time to dash back to the cottage, give Marcus a shower and put him into a clean version of his uniform, then whizz back for the presentation of medals. It was all done very well, and we managed to be on the road home by about 4.30. There was a small team re-union at Zeps at Campbell Town (had a small garlicy tomato pizza that was delightful) but apart from that the ride home was ... uneventful.

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