FC Irlande 2nds
Hibernation is characterised by a state of depressed metabolic activity developed by certain species of mammals as an evolutionary adaption to surviving extreme weather. Most people think that bears also hibernate, but this is, in fact, a common misconception. These majestic Ursine creatures instead go into what biologists call a torpor. During a torpor, the bear also enters a condition of physiological inactivity, but the prime difference is that hibernating animals cannot be awoken by sudden movements or loud noises. The bear, instead, is always on guard and easily brought out of it’s comfy slumber. So tread carefully, when you enter the Grizzly Bear’s den.
Much like the ferocious Grizzly Bear, FCI II awoke from their seasonal hiatus with the voracious appetite of an apex predator, eager to devour the first three points. Fiercely territorial, FCI II were ready to zealously defend their home against any intruders who dared think they could come to Fortress Nossegem, wake up the Grizzly Bear and not expect a mauling.
FCI II’s own torpor was certainly not uneventful. In Malaga, the team pushed the boundaries of grooming by inventing an entirely new category of personal hygiene, which can only be described as “assisted manscaping”. In Germany, things took a more metaphysical turn as the team explored the philosophical contours of the Faustian bargain. In the legend, Faust sells his soul to the devil in return for limitless knowledge. In the FCI II version, the boys were asked to sell something radically different but only for a 3 minute period…
FCI II started the game on the front foot, pressing the opposition high up the pitch and connecting well in the final third. At the back, the combined experience (ahem, age) of captain Ale, Dr Thomas Earl and Antonio, garrisoned the net expertly. On the left of defense, the ever versatile (and well hydrated) Mattias/Mathias/Matthias Neelen slotted in capably and on the right, the marauding Secret Agent Clement Dilles ran for longer than a Duracell bunny. The Frankish duo of Matthias (our other chieftain) and Damien ‘3 minutes’ Lerisson marshalled the midfield masterfully, while Gabriel ‘the Manscape Artist’ Jacqmin had a field day with the opposition full back and John-Simon ‘the white Moussa Sissoko’ Sparks pilloried his counterpart. Dastan and 38 million Euro summer signing Lorenz provided the frontal assault. Neil puppeteered the lads expertly from the sideline, providing a calming influence and wise words to the team.
After only a few minutes, the team showed their intent when the ball broke to Dastan on the left inside the opposition box, his effort, however, went off the keeper and out wide. The ensuing corner found Gabi at the far post. Gabi smacked the ball at the keeper and it somehow went over the bar. Battle lines had been drawn. A few minutes later, Lorenz headed the ball on to the post from another corner. FCI II kept prodding and probing and midway through the first half, Mat Neelen humped the ball aimlessly forward (or, one might argue, he ‘nicely diced’ the ball). It managed to evade both opposing centre halves, Lorenz snuck in between them and deftly poked the ball past the on-rushing keeper. 1-0 FC Irlande II and Lorenz had opened his account for his new team… Sean who?
Union JP, however, steadily grew into the game and began to pressure FC Irlande II. After Antonio made a good save in a one on one towards the end of the first half, they began threatening again with a quick succession of corners. One corner was whizzed in and after a pinball-esque ricochet in the box, the ball landed kindly at the feet of one of their players who thumped it into the net. 1-1.
In the second half, the captains made a series of changes and reshuffled the team. Hadri replaced captain Gineste in midfield and didn’t stop running for the entire half. Benjamin came on for Gab on the left and continued to dazzle the full backs. After recovering from a long term injury, the team was happy to see Alex G back fit. He came on for Dastan and played on the right of midfield. The final change saw Nate Dogg slot in at left back for Mat Neelen.
FCI II started the second half a bit sluggishly as Union JP took control of matters. There were warning signs early on, as they created a number of clear cut opportunities. Antonio made a heroic save from a long rage effort, clawing the ball wide when a goal seemed inevitable. Antonio continued to dominate his area and made another superb save from a cross that almost ended up in the far corner. Union JP threatened once again as Ale pulled down their striker, just on the edge of the box when it looked like he could have gone through on goal. But after a rocky start, FCI II asserted themselves once again as Ale and Dr Thomas Earl settled the teams nerves. Hadri and Damien began pulling strings in midfield and Clement kept roaming forward from full back, combining well with Alex, Lorenz and John-Simon up front. On the left, Nate and Benjamin whipped in some good crosses into the box. As the team began taking control of proceedings, the ball found its way to Benjamin on the left who quickly cut inside the full back and let rip a shot, which stung the paws of the keeper and ricocheted back in the box. Lorenz picked up the loose ball and just before he could pull the trigger, he was summarily brought down by an opposition defender. Penalty FC Irlande II. Lorenz dusted himself off, and emphatically thundered the ball into the back of the net. 2-1 FC Irlande II.
The remaining 10 minutes of the game seemed like it lasted an eternity. Union JP threatened again and again, but thanks to some heroic efforts and last ditch tackles from Ale, Nate and Dr Thomas Earl, FC Irlande II held on to the victory.
And so the inaugural home game of the new season was consecrated with victory and an important 3 points. The star striker got off to a flying start and the goalkeeper produced a man of the match performance.
But most importantly, the Grizzly Bear is wide awake and prowling the forest. Its claws are sharpened, its teeth are primed, and its ready to hunt for its next prey.
Come on Ireland!
All fixtures and results
FC Irlande 2nds
- Captains : Ale Arditi , Mathias Gineste
Top goals scorers
- Lorenz Blanco 3
Top goals assists
- Mathias Neelen 1
- Thomas Earl 1