FC Irlande Vets 1
On a sunny Saturday in September, vets 1 ventured into the heart of Molenbeek to take on the mighty Mutuel. It’s probably fair to say that this was not the strongest vets1 team ever assembled: It was a bare 11 including Alan drafted in from vets 2 but strengthened by the recall of Walter from semi-retirement and Daragh making a rare appearance outfield. In fact this was a kind of a homecoming for Walter who had played for the legendary “Racing, White, Daring Molenbeek” back in their glory days [1950s?] .
David managed to instil a bit of belief before the game, convincing us that if we could do the simple things right, avoid silly mistakes, work hard and stick to strict man-marking, we could cause an upset. The 11 that took to the field were (from front to back):
Emmanuel Sacha Daragh
David-R Walter Gregorio Alan
with new guy Michael giving up his Saturday morning to do Delegue.
So we took to the field with David’s words ringing in our ears and our tails up.
The mood of optimism and belief lasted about 4 minutes. Somebody had forgotten Davids advice and made a mistake giving the ball away in a dangerous position, and Mutuelle strolled through the centre. As the defense were closing in, the Mutuelle striker, still 20 metres from goal, sent a low shot with pin-point accuracy just inside the post. Paul was at full stretch but couldn’t reach it. A few minutes later Mutuelle scored again, again capitalising on a mistake, again looking like they weren’t trying too hard.
In fairness to Ireland, we didn’t collapse. Not yet anyway. We fought back, with Daragh and Emmanuel causing trouble on the flanks, Sasha finding some gaps in the middle, Ollie hustling up front, both Davids and John-O managing to support the attacks. Paul made a few good saves to keep us in it, and the defense, although nervous and a bit overwhelmed, appeared to almost be coping, with Gregorio and Walter making a number of important tackles and interceptions and managing to relaunch attacks.
After 10 minutes or so, this Ireland pressure paid off. Some good work by David and Emmanuel on our left led to us winning a corner, which Sasha dispatched expertly to the back post where big Walter was lurking. Walter nodded it back to Emmanuel, who twisted acrobatically in the air and got his head to it an steered it into the net.
So, 20 minutes played and Ireland were only 2 – 1 down against a Mutuelle side, that were, in all honesty, vastly superior to us.
But that was as good as it got. Irlande did manage to create a few chances, with Daragh and Ollie unlucky a couple of times, but for the most part, Mutuelle ran us ragged. Their movement was excellent. Man-marking them just meant that they dragged you out of position leaving holes for unmarked payers to arrive into in numbers. One-on-one they were excellent. They could knock the ball past you with their first touch, then accelerate away and pick out a pin-point pass long before you could catch them. Every mistake was punished, and we made a lot of mistakes.
So they scored lots of goals without looking like they were even trying that hard. The final score was 9 – 1. Irlande left the pitch mentally and physical frazzled. Had it not been for some excellent saves from Paul, and some heroic tackles from Walter and Greg, it could have been a lot worse.
The MOTM vote reflected the fact that the defense was kind of busy. Goalkeeper Paul, who is now heading off for two weeks off debauchery prior to his wedding, came second. Centre back Walter had to buy the drinks.
There were flashes of good play from Irlande. In between all the awfulness, it was clear, to this reporter anyway, that this vets1 team it stronger than it was last season and will do well.
Fc Irlande Vets1 V Brussels LTC 5
The auld lads of Fc Irlande returned to action after a long hot summer of beaches, beers, cocktails, concerts, dancing, dining, repairing classic motor bikes, vodka, and vino. Many countries were visited, good times were had and all sorts of images appeared on the WhatsApp group.
We all know what is ahead of us this season having danced with relegation annually for the craic to keep things interesting. Azur our old foes have decided to drop out of the league so no more battles with the terrible twins. They always reminded me of the character in the cartoon The Perils of Penelope Pits stop from The Ant Hill Mop. The British are back. First up LTC who we spanked 1-7 on the 2nd last game last season to keep our place in the division and then we duly lost 1-2 to them the following week.
It was a beautiful day in Nossegem to get things started for the season, the pitch looked good if not a little dry and hard. Vets 1 had 3 new players to the team, Luuk and Karl making their first appearance for Vets1 and Michael his first appearance for the club. El Capitan had talked about being a bit more attacking this year playing a system of 4-2-3-1 rather than the 5 in the middle that we usually play. I was very happy to hear that. We had no official ref so 1 of the LTC lads agreed to the job. The team lined up as.
Fede Kark Luuk David R
David M John O
Ollie Sasha Emanuel
Before kick-off the ref had asked for patience as he’s not really a ref and had promised to be as impartial as humanly possible, it would not take too long to see if he was true to his word or full of the proverbial. We had plenty of the ball in the early stages and dominated play especially with some great play coming on our left side. Luuk and Karl were handling everything coming their way with the latter show his playing ability taking the ball up the pitch and linking play with midfield. Carlos had 2 lovely chances the 2nd of which I’m not sure if he wanted to tango the ball into the net after dancing through 2 defenders he then seemed surprised to find himself in front of goal or maybe he just ran out of steam and passed the ball to the keeper. David M was getting shots in, Emanuel causing problems, I skied one over the bar. John O and Sasha seeing plenty of the ball. Fede had a chance arriving at the back post but couldn’t keep it down. The decisive moment came after 15 minutes. Emanuel swung a beautiful dropping ball into the back post from the left, I managed to get on the end and square it to Sasha who had a tap in only for the retreating defender to stick his arm out and knock the ball out. Screams of penalty, defiance from the defence and silence from the ref. My mind immediately goes back to Azur last season in what was an identical situation. Their ref, blatant hand ball and no penalty with the score 0-0. I turn around the ref is walking towards the box, he seems hesitant people are looking at him he slowly raises the whistle and blows penalty. A man of his word, faith restored in humanity and belief in the integrity of Abssa. LTC bitch a little to him but he returns a stare as if to say cop the fuck on it was that blatant that he’d have to be as blind as King Lear to let that go. Up steps David M rolls it in the corner. 1nil thank you very much. Side note, you hit the post with 1 penalty and NEVER get to take them again, not fair. Throughout the 1st half LTC caused us no real problems, the lads at the back had a solid performance and Karl dealing with everything that came his way. Half time 1 nil but we all agreed we should have had a few more in the bag.
Ben and our coach Liam, I think that name should stick for the season, were very positive on the bench telling us to keep doing what we doing and the 3 points would be ours. 1 change Michael on right of mid for Carlos and I moved up front.
The 2nd continued the same as the first. We had plenty of the ball and some really nice sequences of play, David R and Emanuel working well down the left, John O had a crack from outside the box but couldn’t work the keeper. At different stages we broke on the counter and had good opportunities but our last ball and decision making just didn’t really click today. Comic moment of the day provided by David M midway through the 2nd half while disputing an offside decision with the ref running backwards towards his own goal. He trips ups falls flat on his ass the dust rises from the ground to form a cloud. Legs and his ass appear from the cloud as David gracefully continues his backwards roll like a gymnast in one smooth flow up onto his feet. 10 out of 10.
With 15 minutes or so to go most of us were running out of juice if not completely empty, tired legs and some late tackles. With about 5 left on the clock LTC worked the ball down their left side with a few quick passes, Fede got a little pulled out of position they got into the box and with a very tidy shot scored in the top corner. 1-1 final score.
A little disappointed but we played some nice ball at times and for the first game of the season many positives to be taken from it. Some really good individual performance throughout the team and MOM performance from Karl in his first Vets game. He played a blinder!!!!!!!
Vets lost their second test match against our good old rivals Royal Brussels British with a clear 4-0 score. In perfect conditions, we lined up a mixed Vets 1/2 team to play the Brits who have just gone up again into division 6A.
Paul – Luuk, Greg, Fede, Pietro – Ben, Jacob, Joris, Pascal (Bart) – Ollie, Manu
We started into the match by giving a ball straight to the opposition to go down in minute 1… but then found into the match and created good chances for Jacob, Manu and Ollie so it felt like a balanced game at halftime. In the second, unfortunately, out concentration went down a bit and we gave our opponents more chances, which they took without mercy. We were barely able to create good opportunities ourselves and didn’t test the keeper much.
Luckily, this was only a test and we will be ready to give them a tougher game come December, in the league. We finished the day in style with a couple of points in the sun, as usual.
All fixtures and results
FC Irlande Vets 1
- Team Captain : David Martin Garcia
- Vice Captain : Ben Nupnau
- Coach/Delegate : Liam Durack
Top goals scorers
- David M. Garcia 1
- Emanuel 1
Top goals assists
- Walter 1