Waitakere United 3, WaiBOP United 0
Fred Taylor Park, Auckland, December 14 2013
As I sort of predicted two weeks ago, WaiBOP United beat Southern last week with me not in attendance, and then proceeded to fall 3-0 to Waitakere United today, despite not really deserving to, with me there. This means of course that “Enzo’s Curse” may actually be a thing now. Stats with me not watching: Won 2, drawn 0, lost 0. Stats with me getting my loser juice all over the team: Won 0, drawn 1, lost 2.
To be fair, I’ve seen them play and lose to the two best teams in the league. Clubs that Waikato teams have also lost to on pretty much every other occasion over the years, whether I’ve been there or not. But still, this is clutching at straws really. They’ve been good enough to win both of those games this year, and in addition the Wanderers game was also all theirs until it all went pear shaped in second half injury time. There can be little doubt that the problem is me.
My fate will potentially be decided once and for all when they play Team Wellington next weekend. Lose, and I’m probably just the victim of a bit of random bad luck. Win, and my media pass may well be revoked. Visions of Dwayne Barlow prowling the perimeter of John Kerkhof Park ensuring I am unable to find an opening to sneak through will haunt my every waking nightmare.
For better or worse though, in the games I have attended, there has been both pain and peace of mind for all to see. Today for example, while WaiBOP didn’t deserve to lose this 3-0, and could have come away with a win on a different day, Waitakere in my view were still the better side. It was a bit like a little kid in the playground who throws a tanty at an older kid with longer arms. The older kid simply places a hand on his young assailant’s head, letting him swing wildly to his heart’s content connecting with little but thin air. WaiBOP had plenty of possession and came close to scoring a few times in the first half. But Waitakere sat back, waited for their opportunities, and when they came they made sure to take them.
The thing that sets this WaiBOP side apart from previous Waikato FC seasons though, is the fact that they are ultra-competitive. The results aren’t coming yet, but it’s very much a “yet”. Unlike in the past when I’ve watched them thinking there is little hope of a win and the players all look like they know it, this season a great aura of confidence surrounds the team and everyone involved in the club. They will get results. They are playing well enough, they just need to find the back of the net.
I only have one other thing I really want to say about this game, and it’s completely unrelated to anything else above. It’s late, so please forgive the lack of any attempt at segue. My question is this: Am I the only person who really enjoys hanging out behind Waitakere’s goal at games and just listening to keeper Danny Robinson talk to his defence? I’d describe it but I could never do it justice. He’s a great source of entertainment all of his own. One of these days I’m going to go to a game and just film the whole thing with the camera trained on him for 90 minutes. Then I’ll enter the video in the Cannes Film Festival and I reckon a Palme d’Or will be coming my way for realsies.
After a quick count, this was my 52nd live football game of the year, not counting double headers. Exactly one per week on average seems like a good place to finish and take a break for a few weeks before the National Youth League gets underway and the ASB Premiership resumes on January 11. I’ll be posting various ramblings on various football things between now and then of course but, aside from that, this ends my local football coverage for 2013. Thanks for tuning in.
Categories: NZ Men's National League
A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.