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Things change

Wellington Girls College 1, Heretaunga College 1
Wakefield Park, Wellington, June 15 2016

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So I’m in Wellington for two days at a national staff meeting for work. No plans exist for football to play any part in my life while I’m here, apart from a bite to eat for dinner with some of the Wellington based contributors to this blog. I get in from the airport, walk into our union’s Wellington Office meeting room, dump my bag on a seat, and the first person I say hello to is one of my colleagues who does the same job as me but in Wellington. And she says “hey, do you want to come and watch my daughter play football tonight?” I pause for about three fifths of a nanosecond and say “YEAH!!!!!!!” nodding vigorously.

The next thing I do is curse the fact that I didn’t bring my camera with me. I go on Twitter to vent my frustration. Then about 60 seconds later Michael Welsh replies and offers to drop a camera and a monopod off to me at Wakefield Park right before the game.

And before I know it, I’m blogging football in Wellington!

My colleague told me not to expect a great game. This was supposed to be a mismatch. Wellington Girls, I was told, are a superior side on paper to their opponents from the Hutt Valley and this should be an easy win for the team in black and gold.

But it was the more unfancied side that scored first via a goalkeeping howler against the run of play early in the first half. Wellington Girls continued to pile on the pressure after that and were able to pull things back to all square before the break. But despite their dominance they weren’t able to pull off a win, even with a penalty awarded in their favour that was unfortunately blazed over the bar. At the final whistle, Heretaunga were jubilant having caused a great shock to the natural order.

Last time I watched a football game at Wakefield Park, there was a wind-chill factor of about minus a thousand. So I must report that tonight it was a positively balmy winter’s evening in the capital. Talk about pleasant.

And I have to admit too, being a Sony devotee through and through, the Canon that I had at my disposal tonight was an absolute blast to use. Regular readers will know how much I moan about trying to photograph football under floodlights. I’ve always wondered what the secret is to getting good shots in such dark conditions. It turns out, it’s about $7,000 worth of kit, which is the approximate value of the lens and body I shot this game with. Man… I need to start saving because I took more usable shots in an hour tonight that the rest of my life under lights combined.

All in all a great evening for football, but a terrible night for my retirement plans. Looks like I’ll have to work until I’m 70 now just to be able to afford the photography gear I’m going to be needing to stay happy in my dotage…

Categories: NZ School Football

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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.

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