Bangkok Veterans League
Season #5, Month #7
02/Aug/2009 • City Ground

Anatolian Turks finally kick the monkey off their back in Aug/2009 Vets League

Date: 09/Sep/2009
The "August edition" of the Vets League has always been awkward in many ways. Being the middle of summer when everyone is away for their holidays, August produces strange results year-in-year-out (do have a read through the previous Augusts: Anglo-Franco Alliance in Aug/2006, British-Frog in Aug/2007, New Wave in Aug/2008). And, this August was no exception.

The strangest absurdity of this year's August competition was the fact that the long time "Omnipresent" of the Vets League, a team that showed up in every single Vets League competition month-after-month since from its inception in Feb/2005, the British Club, failed to raise a team for the "first-ever" time, and demoted themselves to "Everpresent" !

On the other hand, again unusual for an August, a total of 16 teams turned up for a "perfect fixture", and this is despite being the middle of summer AND holding the tournament at a new venue, the City Ground.

Another strangeness of the August competition, we even had LeCoq French amongst us chasing their elusive championship. The globalization effect is affecting even the French to stay and work in Bangkok in August, instead of donning the beaches back in Riviera.

This August, we hit a new record mark with having a total of 5 Japanese teams in the fray, and this is in comparison to 2 Thai teams from the local scene (looking around with blank gazes for Harrow Cooks, Red Navy, Amnuaysilp Grads, Customs Officers, Nextstep Steppers, Medical Gear, Enfant Teenagers, Jewelry Makers, Debsirin Grads, Samart United, Referees United, Bangkok Governors).

And, one of those Japanese teams, the only 1 new team in the Vets League this month, Manow Japan, was also unique to August, and carried, a record, 3 Lady players in their squad, only the 3rd time in the history of the Vets League since Apr/2005 (view Picture-3 and Picture-10), and then in Apr/2009 (view Picture-8 and Picture-11).

Seeing the Ladies move the ball so efficiently was an impressive display of football. And, in fact, couple of times, when they hit with deadly but beautiful precision to win their games against Crossbar Southerners and Los Latinos in the Knockout Stage, the crowd's roar could be heard at the parking lot, all the way on the other side the venue.

As a results, Manow Japan finished a respectable 13th, above Los Latinos, JFC Penguins and Crossbar Southerners — the undisputed BadCup! winners on the day.

As I mentioned above, August tournaments always produce unusual champions (as evident in the past 3 Augusts). This August, not having defending champions Harrow Cooks and always strong Bangkok Cosmos amongst us led most us to look towards Sunbelt United and Blue Lighting.

Yet, there was one other team in the mix this month, (to everyone acknowledgment) the penultimate underachiever of all the teams that have ever competed in the Vets League, a team that has placed in Top-4 many times and finished Runners-up twice, the Anatolian Turks. They were back in it again, chasing their "first-ever" championship.

And, this time they brought an immaculate squad: both B.Yilmaz and K.Yilmaz and Alcan (back after a long absence), plus experienced-hands Sunai in the goals, and also many of their usual Thai contingent. They were not leaving anything to chance.

Well, one risky move Captain K.Yilmaz made was to invite "moi" to play in the team during the Group Stage against the championship thirsty Blue Lightning. That, of course, lost this "Early Final" and caused Anatolia to finish 2nd in the group, while Blue Lightning ended at the top.

Coming 2nd in the Group-B meant that they would have to go up against another championship thirsty team, Sunbelt United in the Quarter Finals. In this another "Early Final", Anatolia scraped through on a penalty-shootout, leaving Sunbelt to win the Plate Division rather easily.

In the Semi Finals, the opposition was JFC Bears, a team that always brings a strong squad each month. Yet, Anatolia was upto the challenge, and put themselves in the Grand Final with a casual 2-0 victory.

And, yes, to noone's surprise, the other Grand Finalist was the Blue Lightning. In a very high-tempo exciting game, Anatolia finally reached the top of their history with a tough 1-0 win.

Congratulations!

This win is double-sweet for Anatolia, since they consider the City Ground as their "home field" calling it "Bizim Mahalle" (i.e., "Our Neighbourhood"), and the team could ironically hand a Vets championship trophy to B.Yilmaz on his very last tournament in the Vets League, as he is preparing to re-settle in his new assignment in Burma.

With this championship, Anatolia breaks the leg of the money that has been on their back since they first competed in Dec/2006, delighted in knowing that they can do it.

In terms of the venue, the Vets gave their thumps-up and said would be Ok to be back at the City Ground, as the Harrow School's main pitch goes through its much-needed maintenance until the end of October.

The convenience to get there via the Expressway and the Rama-2 Road, with the closeness of the pitches in about a 25m radius and good quality grass, we enjoyed this "first-ever" time we held the Vets League away from Harrow School, since the last time we held it at Patana School in Oct/2006.

Our thanks go to Kh. Doi, the Manager of the City Ground, who set up everything quite nicely for us.

We all know it needs improvements in terms of toilet/shower facilities and a dire need for a PA announcing system, we hope, in time, the management can improve the venue.

And, one more upside, having done the Vets League in another spot than Harrow School gave us the experience and knowledge to be able to hold our usually large tournaments in different venues in town

Next stop ==> Vets League @Pataya  

Watch this space!

See you at the October Vets League on Oct/18th.


Kind regards,
-Eralp


Website: http://www.vetsleague.com/
Community: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/vetsleague/


 
Photos:


Picture 1 — The crowd is slowly gathering at the City Ground.


Picture 2 — The customary beginning-of-the-day Captains Briefing photo with all the Team Captains to start the proceedings.


Picture 3 — Teams are waiting for their turn under our sponsor Chang banner.


Picture 4 — Los Latinos, with Chinese Ali in their goal this month, taking the tournament in their own stride.


Picture 5 — Thanks to "Real" Tim, Scandinavian Vikings are now a more regular fixture in the Vets League.


Picture 6 — Anatolian Turks, with Head Referee Kumar in the lineup, appear disciplined starting from the beginning of the day.


Picture 7 — Crossbar Southerners showing their true selves with plenty of smiles.


Picture 8 — Kenji San and his debutantes Manow Japan, with 3 Lady players in their ranks.


Picture 9 — Southern Cross had a respectable outing after a few months of absence.


Picture 10 — The Omnipresent British Club were present (in spirit) by their former stalwarts, Eralp (in Anatolian Turks), Vern (in LeCoq French) and John (in Scandinavian Vikings) on the day.


Picture 11 — LeCoq French's Laurent testing Sunbelt's goal in the Group Stage, with the league's ball sponsor, adidas, banner barely in the frame.


Picture 12 — Sunbelt's Anders cooly converts his penalty, but still loses to Anatolia in the Cup Division Quarter Final of the day.


Picture 13 — LeCoq French's Marc trying his best to get to Manow Japan's untouchable Ladies.


Picture 14 — The crowd is enjoying the day under the comfortable tents in between Pitch-1 and Pitch-2.


Picture 15 — THAIcrew United and Yingcharoen Standbys in a happy joint-photo at the end of their 7th-8th place game.


Picture 16 — THAIcrew United find time to get one more shot in for Vets League's official cameras.


Picture 17 — Never shy to take one more picture with the Formula-1 Trophy Girls.


Picture 18 — Not to be underdone, Yingcharoen Standbys also get one more shot in with the Formula-1 Trophy Girls.


Picture 19 — Los Latinos fully satisfied with their non-BadCup! 14th place finish on the day (not sure what goalkeeper Ali is aiming to grab :)


Picture 20 — Southern Cross stop to take one more shot with the Formula-1 Trophy Girls as well.


Picture 21 — The more casual, JFC Penguins, finish the day silverwareless, having won the BadCup! final against Crossbar Southerners.


Picture 22 — LeCoq French's Eric always has beautiful following wherever he goes.


Picture 23 — Anatolia's "ballboy" Ilker getting a "side-thumb" from the Formula-1 Trophy Girls (is that good or bad? :)


Picture 24 — This time in their traditional crimson reds, Anatolian Turks never miss a shot with the Formula-1 Trophy Girls.


Picture 25 — Germans are always a cohesive unit under much discipline.


Picture 26 — A rare joint-photo of JFC Bears (serious) and JFC Penguins (casual) teams.


Picture 27 — Happy to see Japan Allstars back in the Vets League regularly again after some time of absence.


Picture 28 — Why do the kids always get all the warm hugs? (and little Taizo savouring the moment :)


Picture 29 — The crowd gather back at the club house for the beers and trophies.


Picture 30 — Yes, some of us would be puzzled with this much close attention.


Picture 31 — Beer Chang Draft stand is always well-visited and popular spot.


Picture 32 — Teams take a moment of break in the pleasant August afternoon.


Picture 33 — LeCoq French are glad they have made it to the end of the day.


Picture 34 — Scandinavian Vikings and Sunbelt United comparing notes of their outing today at the Vets (naaa, they're just toasting for a good day of football).


Picture 35 — Germans's table is also full of Chang Draft, ready for consumption.


Picture 36 — Japan Allstars and Manow Japan form an alliance . . . to consume more beers.


Picture 37 — All the silverware (and more!), raring to go!


Picture 38 — Crossbar Southerners, under the leadership of Craig, well-deserving and easily brought home the BadCup! on the day.


Picture 39 — Shield! (9th overall) trophy goes to Southern Cross.


Picture 40 — Sunbelt United appear somber, missing out on the championship today, but still getting the Plate! (5th overall) trophy.


Picture 41 — For their 3rd overall placing, JFC Bears win this month's free beers coupon at the Crossbar.


Picture 42 — The whole Blue Lightning crew stay till the end to get their picture in for their Runners-up ranking.


Picture 43 — Anatolian Turks, led by B.Yilmaz in his very last Vets League competition, joyous to pick up their "first-ever" Vets League championship trophy.

 
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Feel free to e-mail to me if you would like to voice your take on the above summary, or would like to obtain the original resolution pictures.

 




 
 
 
 
 


 


 

02/Aug/2009 Results
Teams                          Group Points       Final Standings   
 • Anatolia 7 (2B) Champ!
 • Blue Lightning 10 (2B) 2nd
 • JFC Bears 8 (1C) 3rd
 • Vikings 10 (1D) 4th
 • Sunbelt 7 (1A) Plate!
 • Japan AS 6 (2A) 6th
 • THAIcrew 5 (2C) 7th
 • Yingcharoen 6 (2D) 8th
 • Southern Cross 3 (3D) Shield!
 • LeCoq French 3 (7A) 10th
 • BU Japan 3 (3B) 11th
 • Germans 2 (3C) 12th
 • Manow Japan 1 (4C) 13th
 • Los Latinos 0 (4B) 14th
 • JFC Penguins 0 (4D) 15th
 • Crossbar South. 1 (4A) BadCup!
Note: "(3B)" means finished 3rd in Group-B.