No, Maikel was not in the Alumni team. Betray! (Did anyone spotted how I mispelt Alumni as 'Almunia' in the previous entry?). Anyway, as requested, I'll do the best possible to blog about last Sunday's Warwick Games.
Firstly, I would like to express my gratitude to the Alumni team for making my debut for the Malaysian Games something to talk about. Find it awkward initially as together with Fit, we were the few 'veterans' who played for the football team after Mozac (although 2 years younger) went AWOL that morning.
I had to stay over in Fit's place the night before so that I wouldn't miss the 6.00 a.m bus to Coventry. I called Azlan Helmy and his wife to make sure they were awake. Well, you know how married people's biological clock differs from us bachelors'. Oh wait, maybe it's just Lan. I remember how it was a challenge for him to wake up even if the handphone alarm sets out just 2 centimeters away from his gegendang telinga (ear drums) back then in KMYS.
Luckily, they were already waiting for the bus to the station when I called. Then we met up in the station. I handed Shu the printed bus ticket for 4 adults since she was walking ahead of us. I didn't want to gamble on leaving my bag in the luggage area because it contained valuables like my dirty underwear, for instance. Then, we saw more Malaysians boarding the bus, and Aida was one of them. Surely it must be the KMYS netball team. I was kinda tired so I chose to sleep while waiting for the 2 hour journey to end. Half asleep, I spotted a piece of paper under Shu's seat. I ignored it since I thought somebody must have thrown that rubbish away.
Grand! The second time I glanced at that piece of paper and my mind was telling me to pick it up although I dont see myself as makcik cleaner. I was a bit dazed at that time but slowly I managed to grab on that 'worthless' piece of paper and suddenly I had a gush of anxiety through my medula oblongata! It's our ticket! And without it, we surely couldn't go back to London! Grand!
We had to take the taxi upon reaching the coventry's bus station. The Warwick organisers should have told us there were no bus from the station to the university until only at 10.00 a.m. Grand! How could they ignore this crucial information, misleading us who are economists and actuaries? Of course every penny counts. Fortunately, Lopes/Basyar suggested we take the taxi and would be exempted from paying 3 pounds compulsory fee. Talk about saved by the bell. This is a good start, a quite impressive decision from the KMYS Alumni team!
On the way to the Coventry University fields, we were talking about the supossed immigrant taxi driver's nationality. Fit suggested he was probably Indian. Lan had another idea. Not wanting the driver knew that we were talking about him, Lan spelt his nationality in Jawi (Arabic) instead:
Lan: Pa-wau-lam-nun-dal (gaya budak sekolah agama)
Fit: Pu.... wait2 I can do this!!
Jeg: Bu...?? (Burundi? Burkina Faso?? - cakap dalam hati takut salah)
Fit: Pu.... ooo okok.. paham dah
Jeg: (what the hell? Buat2 paham je lah...)
Shu: Patut ah diorg tak paham.. bahasa jawi manaleh eja "PO".. patutnya Pa-alif-wau bunyi "PO"
Lan: Hahaha! Lagi ah salah!! Itu apa.. Pau??? Haha!
At this point, aku still blur... but minutes after that, barulah aku tau apa yang diorg dok eja... Poland rupanya... Grand! Mentang-mentang aku sekolah KYS (Kapir Yahudi School).
Minutes and 10.20 pounds later, we reached the playing fields. Not many had turn up at that time. I felt a bit anxious since it would be my first time playing padang besar since the stadium merdeka against PNB staff. That was like almost a year ago. Ah, what the hell. I just wanted to have fun. And fun I had.
We met the rest of the team inside a canteen and I had a mouthful of banana before the game. There were Lopes, Basyar, Lomon, Awi, Aen, Ajak, Iedil, Shahbi, Chibli and Amir PC representing the KYUEM Alumni Team, notably as KYUEM Nasties. Hrmm dodgy name. Here's the team photograph:
We didn't get our touch in the first game but we gradually improved after each game en route to the semis. We surrendered one unlucky goal to Warwick when Ajak's clearance was defelected into our own net. But the lanky Michael Ballack lookalike bounced back with a thunderous header for our first goal of the tournament. I didn't play that well with a miscued long pass to the evergreen Azlan Helmy and tumbling all over the field. Well, I havent played that much of football since arriving here but Jeg, that's not an excuse. You think we all play frequent football nowadays?
The most memorable event was when had to settle for a penalty shootout when Ajak's top notched header cancelled out Kicker's penalty kick. It was a harsh decision by Mr Shake-a-lot that sonnuva gun referee after the opposition striker was adjudged to be pushed by one of our impressive defenders.
Shahbi, Amir PC and Fit were our first 3 penalty takers followed by Lan. Amir PC with a strike but he missed it! I dont quite remember the sequence of the shoot-out but Shahbi cooly slotted in the ball while our captain Fit who was caught on camera (see below) endangering the life of a tree with his body fluid rattled the post, almost too perfectly putting the ball at the top corner of the net. Then we all thought it was all over when suddenly the opposition team blasted the ball over almost reaching the orbit. Ajak later converted the penalty putting it in on the left side of the goal. He's got a nerve of steel.
The Captain, provoking environmentalists
Then it's Lan's turn... Please Lan, please do not repeat missing the penalty like last time. (macam ah aku ada time Chot, Haniz, Lan etc missed penalty dulu2). It was a weak shot by him which is quite understandable for a married man but we sounded an enormous sigh of relief when luckily, the ball fumbled off the keeper's touch, hitting the post and got in! Woo hooo!! A glimmer of hope!
Then it's their turn, their final kick. Like a fairty tale movie, he blasted it over the bar in similar fashion as his teammate. So someone has got to take the decisive penalty. Lopes was so up for it with the support of the rest of the team. I couldn't take any kicks since I didn't start in the game. Now Lopes with the penalty kick... confidently he scored driving the ball home with power! We are in the semi-finals!!!
Against Scotland, comprising of Fairus Nasir and Hazem (both former KYSian), I started the game but showed only a shadow of my KMYS-Sapphire-performance-self years ago. Yeah I had the best of football at that time but not anymore. I keep wondering why I wanted to play padang besar nowadays. I voluntarily substituted in half time but only 1 minute into the second half, the Scots scored a wonderful individual goal. I couldn't see who was that guy with explosive pace probably it was Hazem Eslah. Finally, we were beaten 1-0 with that goal. We ended our campaign with our heads high and this is one tournament to talk about by KYUEM members for many years.
Meanwhile, 7 Kings was knocked out by Notthingham in the semis but they didn't want to play in the 3rd/4th placing. I remember watching 7 Kings played earlier and I must say, that number 13 guy took things a bit too seriously having a swipe at his own keeper. I told you this kinda things will happen. Maybe because they took it too seriously and didn't get to the final. Hyuk yuk!
Speaking of 7 Kings, 'whats-wrong-with-that-guy' guy pulled out his hand to shake mine in the spirit of the game but I refused. He ended up poking my belly instead! Grand. Berdendam juger Jerui ni. "Aku tak dendam... tapi aku ingat..." Hahaha!
Other things that happened in Warwick Games... of course the invaluable experience lepakking with Jonet, Dug, Shu, Sab and other KMYS friends. We had mee goreng and popiah for lunch while enjoying the netball game. I managed to understand the game and as usual, Sab's Nottingham Team bolot lagi. Oh didn't I tell you that we were checking on this one particular lady from the netball team?
Control yourself Jeg.
While waiting for our bus back home we killed time by borak-borak in the canteen. Fit was busy menggayut and one by one jokes and other discussions were blurted out. From Asarura's classic Physics class joke to how actuaries and QS working together. I happened to bring out the spelling of the word Poland case as we had earlier and argued it shouldn't be spelt as "Pa-Wau-Lam-Alif-Nun-Dal."
Jeg: Would that not sound as "Pulanad"? Bukan eja betul Pa-Wau-Lam-Nun-Dal ke? (as usual, Jeg nak betul gak)
Hahah! It's true what. It's Pulanad! And what the hell is Pulanad? Grand! Lan explained that it should be spelt that way because that would sound better for Poland.
Jeg: What, you mean.... Polan? (rhymes with 'si-polan'). Hahaha! Betul lah tu eja Pa-Wau-Lam-Nun-Dal baru bunyik Polend.
Note: I'm sorry if anyone didn't get the joke. Probably you are having trouble with Jawi as well.
We headed home and I had Nasik Lemak for dinner. It was so-so.
Anyway. I might not be blogging for a long time after this because I realise I have to take things more seriously. Ya I know, like the Seven Kings team. But this is about career. Which is obviously important. I will try my best to stay away from procrastinating.
Before I end, thanks for supporting my blog, till we meet again after 4th May?
Retired tired striker,
Ruud van Nisjerooy