They say it never rains but it pours and my current situation may be one of the few times that maxim is apt for Indonesia, a country where it both rains and pours regularly, as a missing wallet has a joined a broken laptop on the disaster list! Yes, after a late kick off on Sunday afternoon I returned to the ISCI granstand to discover a bag minus a wallet and a sudden sense of panic as I realised how screwed that left me, a feeling which has now largely subsided due to a series of generous loans from the kind and noble Robbie Dudley esq., an emergency transfer of some funds and the lucky coincidence that, with my drivers license, Uni ID and most other cards dissapearing with my previous wallet in the winter of 2011 there wasnt actually all too much of any importance left to lose.
Anyway, enough of that, where were we? After blogging on Saturday afternoon Robbie and I headed off to ISCI to watch, or so we thought, the play-off final before the champions league with the rest of the coaches. Unfortunately after arriving an hour and a half early especially we discovered they wouldn’t be showing the game. a frustration only soothed by discovering Scooby Doo was on once we were given control of the remote. After watching the gang solve the, mildly racist, problem of the dragon attacking a scottish medeival fair, we were joined by some of the other SSI coaches, starting with Coach Amir and his friend, and fellow Iranian pro-footballer, Majid swiftly followed by the owner of SSI- who immediately got us taking advantage of the drinks he was paying for- Coach George, Reza, Irfan, members of the Indonesian Arsenal supporters club and, eventually, the boss, Simon. Along with free drinks the owner also put on a BBQ topped off with free magnums. After the food and a couple of pre-game wagers the match finally kicked off at 1.45 am Jakarta time, with everyone supporting Bayern apart from Simon we were obviously horrified at the finishing- especially the missed pen which, at 2-1, wouldve seen me collect at cheeky 100k (Indonesian obviously, about a fiver) off Reza. By the end though we just wanted somebody to win as it was well past 4 and we were struggling, it’s also difficult to be annoyed at a result that sees Tottenhams’ ‘best squad in years’ consigned to another year of Thursday night channel 5 anonymity whilst an Arsenal squad who lost Cesc, were without any full-backs for months and were beaten 8-2 at the start of the season will have yet another year at Europe’s top table (albeit be it one sullied by a team as poor as Chelsea winning it)… Mind the Gap.
The night was topped off by Amier, who was so keen on betting prior to the game, refusing to take the 100k winning he earned for backing Chelsea dismissing the bet as all fun…..Obviously has Bayern won I would have been walking away with a sweet five pound profit in my pocket, fun or not.. ha.
After returning home at 5am we were very glad of a lie-in on Sunday, even more so when we arrived at ISCI and saw Reza who told us he hadn’t slept before his 8am session! There was no real coaching this week as it was the MAy round of SSI’s monthly 3 on 3 tournament and so our day was spent reffing, totting up the scores and attempting tricks that we have nowhere near the technical ability to pull off. After our allocated four games Robbie and I headed home, although mine was only a brief visit to pick up some clothes before making my debut for the ISCI football team. Playing in a side largely made up of ex-pats against a local team I started in centre midfield alongside Coach Sunday and Majid who played Centre Back and Forward respectively. Despite the youthful vigour and eager running of the opposition I started the game well and we went ahead after about half an hour, in part due to a howler from the Ref- one of the many errors from the officials throughout the game with the linesmen in particular verging on the hilariously bad. We held this lead until the second half when the conditions started to catch up with me and my game became as series of sporadic 3 minute periods of activity interspersed with larger periods of not moving very much. Despite this, and the opposition drawing level from a penalty earned with an outrageous dive which saw one of my French team-mates chase the offender around the pitch for about 30 seconds before banishing him to the stands, we manged to secure the win with a precise- Rory McIlroy-esque- chip over the keeper by the Skipper with about 10 minutes to go. When talking to Simon about the game the next day he told me the key to playing in Indonesia was ‘stretching out’ a performance over 90 minutes- I.E if youve got a good half an hour in you don’t use it all at once! I think my second half performance may have illustrated this slightly too literally but all in all I was happy with a debut which was fuelled entirely by a 5k packet of crisps and a powerade.
On Monday we attended a coaching meeting called by Simon to discuss the type of sessions we are putting on and how it would be possible to improve them. As SSI is a soccer open to anyone who pays the entry fee we deal with players from a wide-range of ability levels and the start of the meeting was all about keeping sessions fun for those players who are just starting out, particularly in the younger age groups. After a quick talk we headed out onto the field where he ran through a number of games, some we had done with John back in London but a few, particularly ‘Doctor/Doctor’ were definitely a welcome addition to the repertoire. The second part of the meeting was about structuring sessions for the next ability level up, after another quick talk we were back on the pitch where we were shown a number of really good small sided games for L.2 groups. As a coach you can obviously never have too many drills and being given some that have been used by international football teams was obviously brilliant!
After the meeting we headed over to the pool at Citos, a place readers of Robbie’s blog will have seen being referred to as our ‘haven’- a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with- although it has been beset of late by underlying tensions of late between the ‘lengthers’ (featuring myself and Robbie) and the ‘widthers’- the people who go to and swim widths of the pool thus interrupting the people trying to do lengths What’s that about! I mean who over the age of 12 does that, I’m sure you can sense the hate just reading this blog and i’ll try to keep you updated on what i’m sure will descend into a vicious turf-war.
On Tuesday it was, of course, back to school in Kemang, a day we were particularly excited about as we were scheduled to give a talk to the 1st Graders about England, after much
wikipedia preparation we split our talk into different sections covering; London, English Food, Music, Transport, Buildings, The Royal Family and whatever else came into our heads. Although their excitement sometimes led to them just shouting out whatever they knew about England leading to answers such as ‘What kind of transport is there in England: UNITED KINGDOM’ or ‘Does anyone know any English foods: LIVERPOOL!’ the talk was really enjoyable and the kids were really excited by playing the royal family and hearing about how Saint George killed a dragon! After the presentation we gave them a choice of handouts we had prepared earlier which let them colour in the queen, Tower Bridge, Big Ben or Wembley before patting ourselves on the back for doing ‘proper teaching’! The next day our success of the day before had obviously gotten around the school as we were immediately asked to take the 3rd grade class in the morning, luckily as ‘proper teachers’ we were obviously prepared and played a game in which the kids were placed in groups and had to think of a word beginning with a specific letter to fit into various categories (Famous Person, Animal, Food etc.) It’s safe to say the game was a popular one as ‘Team Tammy’, ‘RPG’ , Paparazzi, Armour and ‘Hot Jalapenos’ nearly deafened Robbie every time he asked if they were ready for a new letter. Amongst the excitement we were really impressed with their level of English with RPG particularly impressed when they produced ‘Narwhal’ for their Animal on N after Robbie and I had been proud of Newt! After the success of this game with the 3rd Graders we were asked to take it again, slightly modified, next lesson with the year below, given slightly easier letters this group also took to the game brilliantly and, despite not quite coming up with anything to rival the sheer brilliance of Narwhal team ‘Galaxy’ did manage to produce one brilliant answer for their Famous Person. Struggling on the letter A I though i’d offer some advice by telling them to think about my name expecting them to come up with Adam Levigne or the, apparently famous, Adam Lambert, they chose not to go that way, instead giving me as an which was largely found not to be sufficient…apparently 980 blog views doesnt count as ‘famous’….
As I re-read this, and the rest, of my posts from Indonesia so far I realise it’s beginning to sound more like a diary than the football coaching blog you logged on to read (although I like to think it’s really for my wit and natty sentence structures). Although i’ll try and remedy this in the future the main reason behind this is that, apart from the last few days, due to public holidays and various match-days we haven’t done that much coaching of late. That’s not to say there hasn’t been any, the last three days have seen us take three very different sessions, two at ISCI and one at JIS. On Tuesday we were each given at group of, mostly, u-14s with Robbie taking a touch session whilst I worked on running with the ball. Although there was nothing wrong with either session we both felt there wasn’t anything particularly good about them either as it seemed to be hard work to get the kids talking again, with the races and competition that proved so popular in the UK or India not seeming to have the same affect here resulting in another quiet session, definitely something to work on! Back at ISCI on wednesday we were given control of a group of 20 u-12s and decided to work on possession, movement and communication. This session was by far the most enjoyable at ISCI so far, conscious of how quiet the previous groups had been we opened the session by pairing the kids up and getting them to shout their partners name as loud as they could. This set the tone for the session as the ever popular ‘Arsenal hand-ball’ game was accompanied by a soundtrack of shouts which was exactly what we wanted! After a number of progressions we ended with a big game on the floor where four teams were playing across each other at the same time, carnage! Finally, today we had our last session with the u-6 group at JIS, with whom noise has never been a problem! After a ‘quick Robin Hood’ warm up we finished with matches during which im pretty sure Robbie, Lobry and I used as much energy sorting out who was in goal, chasing kids who had wandered off and dealing with injuries as they did playing up the game. For any prospective coaches reading this, u-6; great fun, but total madness!
Anyway, I’ve spent far too long in the internet cafe writing this post – i’m now worried im either gonna fall a victim of identity theft or get a world or warcraft account- two scenarios im sure you agree would be awful, so i’d better be off. I’ll try and get some pictures up soon!