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Minor mishaps and perfectly valid choices

Glenfield Rovers 2, Claudelands Rovers 1
McFetridge Park, Auckland, July 26 2015

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After a game like this, I often tell myself to take a few deep breaths and open a bottle of red wine before writing my blog post. That way I am much less likely to unnecessarily upset readers with my half-baked thoughts on a topic I’m hardly a Rhodes Scholar in. After taking these simple steps I have usually found that things look quite different. Disasters are downgraded to minor mishaps. Idiotic decisions by coaches, players or officials can be revised to ‘not what I would have done but perfectly valid choices none the less’. And I am usually much more inclined to focus as much as possible on the positives while glossing over the negatives a little bit. That way, everyone is still talking to me when I turn up on their side-line next week.

So when I got home after today’s game, I took all sensible precautions. I put on some Puccini, poured myself a Primativo, and reflected for a while on a lovely sporting encounter between two top sides who did themselves and their clubs proud with lovely fluffy bunnies hopping merrily through the fields flanked by rainbows and magical fairy dust…

Then I started thinking about the actual game I just watched and %^&#*@#^+ $@)&! ARGHHHHHH GADDAMMIT!!!!!!!!!

Translation: This result was a minor mishap.

Beforehand, everything was lovely. Claudelands were on top of the league with a two point lead over Forrest Hill Milford and a five point buffer over today’s opponents. With a win today they could have been well on course for the title, but instead they have fallen behind FHM and now have Glenfield breathing down their necks for second.

Both sides had some notable absences from their starting line-ups. Glenfield had their prima punta Katie Rood on the bench and there was no sign of Belinda Van Noorden. Claudelands were missing key players such as the likes of Kylie Jens and Tayla Christiensen. But both sides still had quality right across the park and despite those losses it still had all the makings of a great battle.

Claudelands struck early when Pam Yates blundered, did something I wouldn’t have done but it was still a perfectly valid choice, by coming out of her area and chesting a ball down into the clutches of Helen Collins, who took it around the Glenfield keeper and slotted an easy goal.

The team in red dominated the first half quite strongly after that. I was particularly impressed with Paige Satchell who has been coming along in leaps and bounds. Boy is she quick! She was chasing after balls that looked well out of her reach and latching onto them with ease. She was really dynamic too showing great skill and agility. She would have had a goal but for some very good keeping by Yates to make up for her earlier lapse. The ball bounced off her from a Satchell strike and back into the path of Michaela Foster who took a second bite only for it to be cleared off the line by a Glenfield defender. That, and another sharp save by Yates off a thundering shot by Collins, ensured that 0-1 was the extent of the damage for Glenfield at half time.

In the second stanza, the home side seemed to have sorted themselves out a bit better and very quickly looked a lot more dangerous than they had in the first. They slowly built up the pressure to the point where their first goal felt like it had been coming for a bit. Estelle Harrison was the scorer with a semi long range effort that was lofted over the outstretched hand of Jeanette Adams. From that point on it always looked as though Glenfield were much more likely to get the winner than Claudelands. Eventually it came via a dinky little looping header by Katie Rood, who had come on as a second half substitute.

My major post-Primativo grizzle goes to the Glenfield Rovers club. Good on them for making today a double header with the men’s team playing a top half of the table clash with Eastern Suburbs right after the Women’s Prem game. It was good to see the attempt made to have some of the buzz around the club that the men bring, present for their women’s team. But as I was considering whether or not to stay on for the men’s game, my decision was made for me by the ground announcer who piped up for the very first time today after the final whistle in the women’s game. He welcomed everyone to McFetridge Park, apologized for the delay caused by the pesky women (I’m paraphrasing obviously) and proceeded to read out the starting line-ups for the men.

If you’re going to have a double header, you need to treat both games with equal respect. A ground announcer should be there for either both or neither. In the absence of that it might have been an idea to mention that some of us had been here for two hours already, we hadn’t just turned up for the blokes, and actually, ‘yay our Premier women who just claimed a major scalp – let’s all give them a big round of applause???’ Nope, nothing like that. That was something I wouldn’t have done, but it was a perfectly valid choice none the less really shitty.

So off I went.

Congratulations to the Glenfield women on a very good and well deserved win. I’ll see you in the KO Cup!!

[EDIT: A quick note to say that I have deleted a paragraph from this post because it obviously caused upset to the player mentioned. Sometimes it’s hard to tread the fine line between being honest and being popular. All bloggers want and need to be liked by the communities they serve but at the same time I think it’s important to be critical at times and not make things out to be all sweetness and light. The price you pay for that is sometimes you piss people off.

I should emphasis that no request was made to edit the post. I did it off my own accord, not because I don’t stand by what I wrote, but rather because I know what it’s like to have something you hate that has been written about you come up in Google searches and I’m not an asshole. You can’t please everyone but I’m doing my best here on a volunteer basis and I’m sorry if by doing so I upset people from time to time. Obviously that is never my intention.]

Categories: NZ Northern Women's Premier

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Enzo Giordani

A grassroots sports photography enthusiast based in Auckland, New Zealand, and a fan of the most magnificent football club on earth - A.S. Roma.

1 reply

  1. Hi Enzo, if players can’t take independent media comment on the chin and feel the need to be insulated from it, they probably also need to consider playing at a level more suited to their tender sensibilities – ie. one where they won’t attract such scrutiny.

    Keep up the good work.

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