|Aiden's first soccer match!|
After just three weeks of soccer classes, Aiden's coach approached us (more like ran after us as we were already walking out of the class) to offer Aiden a spot in the upcoming EPS Soccer Cup. We said yes immediately, as we were quite eager to let Aiden experience playing soccer on a real soccer field. Hubby was most excited, he spent half hour every night training Aiden (indoors, mind you - oh my furniture!) and went shopping for shin guards and field boots.
The day finally arrived, and I was running around like a headless chicken trying to get everyone ready (the maid was on leave, hence the panic manic Mummy mode). Finally we got everyone bundled up in the car and arrived just 5 minutes after the stipulated arrival time. I dragged Aiden out to register while Hubby worked on parking the car. The field was full with cute kids (and enthusiastic parents) wearing their Erika Peres yellow jersey and blue shorts.
The event kicked off promptly at 9am with Erika herself giving a short and sweet welcome speech. Then everything went slightly downhill as they tried to split the kids into their respective teams. I waited for them to call out Aiden's team... and waited... and waited, until I got so impatient that I walked up to the coach to ask. Even his coach didn't know which team Aiden was supposed to go into (but at least he made an effort to try), and finally he managed to merge Aiden and a couple of other equally lost boys, into one team.I didn't recognize even a single boy in Aiden's team - none of them were from his class. But at least one of them was wearing goal keeper's gloves - so at least that boy knows what position he was going to play! Aiden on the other hand, didn't even know his role - striker, defender, midfield?
|Spot me trying to get Aiden into the correct team.|
|Girl soccer players! So charming!|
|Aiden and his teammates for the day.|
|Us camping in the hot sun.|
|Ian the boss had his own chair. I fed him with plenty of chips, which kept him occupied for quite awhile!|
Anyway, here are my observations and short anecdotes from watching Aiden play:
- He is super scared of confrontations! He knows that he needs to get the ball, but if the ball is already surrounded by 5-6 boys wrestling over it, he would prefer to stand back.
- Like his mummy, he hates the sun. Even with a cap, he was perspiring heavily, and soon he took his cap off and shoved it to me in frustration.
- Given his recent weight gain, he was heavy on his feet and had a low stamina. By the mid of the match he was already tired and soon gave up running and started walking after the ball! *grins*
- Probably since he had attended only three classes prior to the match, Aiden didn't seem to understand the importance of getting the ball. Sometimes his focus would drift and he wouldn't even bother looking for the ball, preferring to look over to us and sometimes even wave! *ish ish ish*
- Passionate coaches! Aiden's coach kept a great balance of telling them off when they were slacking, but also encouraged them to do better and praised them when they did well.
- Competitive kids - a kid actually screamed at Aiden "Are you sleeping!" because he missed blocking a ball that came his way. Aiden being the panas baran, actually pulled the boy's shirt in retaliation *shakes head*
- Competitive parents too! Okay enough said!
- During his last match, his coach asked him to become the goalkeeper (because the boy who was the goalkeeper then, burst into tears when he missed saving a goal... awwww...). Boy oh boy, Hubby and I were super stressed standing behind the goal post, reminding him to focus and look at the ball. We kept shouting at him to focus, till one point he turned and said "Stop talking, Mummy!"... and by the time he turned back, he missed saving a goal! *smacks head* I had to stop myself and remind myself that it is just a kids' soccer game! #competitiveasianmummy
|Aiden and his lucky #5 bib.|
|Aiden keeping his distance from the group of kids wrestling for the ball *chuckles*|
|Expect falls, minor cuts and bruises on the field.|
|Knowing Aiden, he was probably shouting "Get the ball!" from afar!|
|Our very capable goalkeeper saving a goal.|
|Loads of action happening in front of the goal.|
|Aiden taking a free kick!|
|Check out the distance between Aiden and the ball!|
|Aiden in action!|
|Celebrating their win at the penalty kick!|
Despite Aiden's lack of experience, I guess beginners luck shone his way - because his team won third overall placing! We were already packing our things to go home when suddenly his coach told us that the team qualified for semi-finals. They then won the semi-finals by penalty (the losing team actually cried at their lost - see competitive kids above) and went on to the finals, where they lost to a very very strong team. My logic tells me that since they lost at the finals they should have gotten second placing, so I don't know what league scoring system they used to award Aiden's team third placement instead. Oh well, what's important is that Aiden and his team mates enjoyed themselves, and Aiden learned a lot through his experience on the field.
Overall, we were quite happy with the event, and hope that more events like this are organized in the future. Kudos Erika Peres Soccer! (I just need to make sure I slather on the sun block, and be mentally prepared to be three shades darker by the end of the match... *grin*)
|Waiting in line for the prize giving ceremony.|
|The coveted trophies.|
|Congratulations and well done, Aiden!|