Waitakere United 4, Wellington Phoenix 1
North Harbour Stadium, Auckland, January 17 2016
I did a lot of umming and ahing about whether or not to attend this particular fixture.
It seemed like a great idea in my head when I was thinking “Fred Taylor Park – five minute drive” but then you do that crazy amateur bozo thing where you check the… The whatchamacallit… Ummmmmm… What’s it called again? Ah yes, the schedule thingee, and then you realise that the game is actually over at North Harbour Stadium!
The cons of attending were that it promised to be a lower mid-table affair between two sides I have a little bit but not a great deal of affinity with.
I like the idea of Waitakere, but as a WaiBOP loyalist I am honour bound to think of them as my sworn enemy. And I like the Phoenix as an A-League team, but from a fan’s perspective I’m still not sure about their youth side being in the ASB Premiership – I mean, I understand and support why they are there, I just don’t see a reason to be excited about it.
On the other hand, the pros were the fact that it’s a game of football… And… Well… Do there ever need to be any other pros?
In the end though, it came down to one critical factor – I’m a sad bastard and I really had nothing better to do. So over to the Shore I trotted!
It paid off though! The light was nice for photography so I got a few nice shots, I caught up with some cool football people, there were some great moments and some funny moments to observe from up close, (cue mysterious background music) I received a stonking good invitation that I’ll reveal all about in a later post… (cut mysterious background music), and this being a televised game I also got Facebook DMed an embarrassing picture of myself looking bored on TV! What more could you ask for from a day at the footy?
What’s that you say? You could ask for good game of footy?? Oh, I suppose you could.
So what were these great and funny moments? Well, the great moments you can watch on the highlights video so there’s little value in me wasting time on them here so I’ll concentrate on the funny moments. These were largely brought about by banter between the players that you might only overhear when you are standing up close. In light of Tracey’s post yesterday about players swearing, I was keeping a special ear out to see how much I could pick up. It’s one of those things I must admit I don’t really notice unless I’m listening out for it which is probably a sad indictment on me and how much swearing is part of my everyday life!
And it was one of those games where there were a lot of tanties. Goalkeepers having tanties at defenders. Defenders having tanties at goalkeepers. Attackers having tanties at officials… A lot of them brought a smile to my face as they were more comical than anything. Nothing worth repeating. Just grown men losing their rag. And we all know that toy throws can be amusing! But that last category of abuse, the stuff directed at officials, is never funny. And that is where I am wondering if I should start doing a bit of naming and shaming as a way of taking a bit of a stand against abuse in the game…
What do you think? Should I start posting quotes of the abuse I hear directed at officials and naming the players responsible? I can see some downsides. It could make me some enemies. It might lead to players not wanting me at their games. But maybe it would dissuade some of the worst behaviour in our beautiful game, and maybe that would be worth it…
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.