Futsal Gossip X : The Gold Coast Edition
The Gold Coast tournament weekend had a somewhat shaky lead up, with a few players pulling out at the last second; however the final squad of 7 managed to pull together and fly over with high hopes. The trip started off beautifully when we arrived at our 2 million dollar mansion. With a nice grassy front area to kick around on, a 3 (tight fit mind you) person indoor spa bath, a pool overlooking the canals a 50” HD TV with Foxtel, a beautiful kitchen(until we started cooking) and more than enough beds for a full team of 10 let alone 7. The Weekend was off to a great start. Thursday was spent resting and preparing, with a few players having a bit of a kick and run to get the blood pumping. Jeevan cooked some fried rice for dinner (which was great) to start the carb loading early, and the first night ended in high spirits.
The next day saw everyone preparing their food, and again relaxing in nervous preparation for the first game which was only at 8.30pm… We check out the facilities during the day(which turn out to be quite small), and have a quick look at Surfers Paradise before returning with lunch at 4pm. Leaving early to watch a couple games before ours, we’re prepared for a solid finish, and expect good results from our matches.
The first game we start a little shaky, but by half time, we have things under control. Ensuring we don’t tire ourselves out in preparation for the next 6 games, we take the foot off the pedal in the second half, and finish out the game 10-2. Stand outs were Danny scoring 3 goals, and Jeevan and Luke getting 2 each. After a strong start, we head home in good spirits, and once a quick meal is had, we head to bed around 11.30pm. Our next game is 10am and we try to get some rest before 3 games the next day.
Ready for an early start we get and prepare for a big game. Possibly one of the better teams in our group we prepare well, and are eager for another win. We get on the field psyched and ready to play. The first half is ALL ours. We put the pedal down and all play well. At half time we decide we need to slow down, and conserve our energy for the rest of the day. We let in some easy goals, but finish out confidently with an 8-3 win. Heading home for a quick bite to eat and recovery, we have two hours before our next game.
Returning to play another strong team, one of the Vanuatu teams representing their country we are confident of yet another win. That confidence was shot pretty quickly. They get out to a great start, and throw us off our game, with some physical play. Arguably LETTING them beat us, we have a pretty poor start to the match. 3-1 down at half time. After some half time discussions, we lift our heads and get back into the game. Grinding out a win with a goal in the last few minutes, we take it away 6-5. A great game here by Nestor scoring 4 of the 6 goals, Luke and Davor scoring a goal each.
This game really kicked us in the nuts, and we realized that we have to lift our game to ensure an undefeated record in the group matches. However, we knew we had an easy match that night, and thankfully it turned out that way. Beating JJ’s team 22-1. Stand out’s here being Danny scoring 10, & Shirash scoring 5.
A great end to the day, and a rewarding chicken burger and Spinach salad for all, cooked by Brad. We were in good spirits, and rewarded ourselves with a swim in the freezing cold “ice pool” as it became known, and a hot spa. We got a good rest that night and Brad moved outside to the day bed and slept there. Beautiful view of the night sky and the canals.
Sunday, the final day saw us with an early start again. A 9am game that we were eager to win. A close game, but a good game, saw us round out the group games undefeated with a 4-2 win.
It was apparent at this point, that the changes we’d made to out play style was certainly working in our favour, and despite having only 7 players we managed to maintain a fast rotational play style that a lot of teams were struggling to defend against. We knew we had to maintain it for the finals, and after a 3 hours rest including a quick swim in the ice pool again, we were back and ready for the semi’s. Facing the youth QLD team, and quite a strong side indeed, we prepared for a big match.
The first half saw a strong showing from us, with solid defensive pressure, and a strong performance from Brad kept the QLD boys a little demoralized at half time, with no goals against. We took the foot off the pedal a little in the second half, to conserve some energy for the final match, and won 5-3. Perhaps a little close for comfort, but a win none-the less and a strong performance again.
After returning home, we prepared ourselves for an inevitable final between ourselves and our rival’s QLD. With a much bigger squad, and the home field advantage (not to mention the always one-sided referees) we knew we had a big game ahead. We also knew we could take them. Our faster style of play was picking teams apart, and we knew we could pick apart QLD as well. After our pre-game discussion, our tactics were clear. Be patient in offense, and put on full pressure in defence. We arrive at the game psyched up and ready to go.
The first 10 minutes of this game were a dream. With almost 90% possession, and plenty of shots on goal, it looked like we could take it away. However, QLD’s typical never give up attitude, and accurate shooting, resulted in the first goal going to them. We did not give up however, and continued to press them. The referees saw in their great wisdom to give a yellow card to Nestor for “diving” after he got tripped by Daniel Liddy. Brad retaliated as soon as given an opportunity with a hip and shoulder and a slide tackle on the same the player, resulting in Brad and Daniel receiving yellows. The first half ending after some heated moments with us down.
After digging deep at half time, we come out strong again, however, a few too many opportunities given to QLD results in some easy goals despite 4 x 1 on 1 opportunities saved by Brad, the accuracy of QLD resulted in a final score of 5-1. The score not really reflecting the game, and we were left wondering at the end what we did wrong. Possession was certainly in our favour, we had plenty of shots despite the QLD keeper having a great game (man of the match performance), defensively, we forced QLD to reset the play with a long ball, or simply kicking the ball out on MULTIPLE occasions. Whatever the result, we now know that we are closer than ever to beating them, and with a full squad we are certain to be putting even more pressure on them next time.
One thing is for sure, we came to play Futsal, and good Futsal we played.
Well done to all the boys for a memorable trip. Hard to believe we played 6 hours of Futsal with only 7 players, within a 45 hour period. A great feat. Special congrats to Danny, not only popping his cherry this trip, but also taking away the top Goal Scorer award. Well done. Also a special thanks to Luke for being the Captain, and keeping us level headed.
WA Pumas Squad
Luke Tidy (C)
Daniel Carnevaro…em Capenllaro…em Conllenarpo…em Cappellaro??? D10!!