Blighters Blog - Part 1
It has been a whirlwind 2 weeks since I arrived in Cardiff. The amount of things to do in this city never ceases to amaze me. Once again we were fortunate enough to see some world-class soccer thanks to the Football Association of Wales, FAW, last night with Wales playing Serbia. We decided to make it a team event because we thought it would be a good opportunity to get all of the guys out to a sporting event and also to see the world’s most expensive footballer in Gareth Bale. There was some doubt as to whether or not he would play, as he has to play for his new team Real Madrid this weekend. Fortunately for us he subbed in for the last 30 minutes and put on a spectacular show considering he has not played in months.
Bale has become my favourite player to watch and I feel like a bit of a “fan” writing this but his story has been quite interesting to follow this past year. I had the opportunity to watch him play against Scotland last year when I first arrived in Cardiff. It was my first taste of U.K. soccer and it did not disappoint, well not entirely anyway. I remember watching and asking one of my British teammates who all the players were and where they played. I noticed Bale looked much better than most of the players out there and my friend mentioned to me he was an up and coming young player with Tottenham. He, and I don’t think anyone else realized what would lie ahead for Bale that season.
The game was quite defensive with Scotland winning 1-0 for most of the game. Bale scored on a penalty shot with about 7 minutes remaining, if my memory serves me correct, in the pouring rain. The weather, packed stadium and tight defensive play made us decide to leave early, something we would instantly regret. As we were walking out we heard the roar of the crowd as Bale scored an incredible goal on the net that we were sitting behind and even “superman” slid right to where we should have been sitting. I will never leave another sporting event early to beat traffic for as long as I live after missing that!
The support from other teams in this city has been great since I arrived in Cardiff. We have been fortunate enough to see the Rugby, Football and Netball last season with many of those athletes also coming to support us at the BBT.
I’m excited about our team this year despite the result on Sunday. I think Sunday could have gone either way. It was a tough weekend for us but we learned a lot. Losing our starting goalie again to an injury is a tough blow for our team to take right now and we wish him a speedy recovery. One thing that I learned last year about our team is that we are resilient. The guys played their hearts out last year when we lost some of our top players to injury and suspension for the last 20 games and were able to take a young team right into championship weekend in Nottingham. I know the guys will be ready to go this weekend regardless of the situation and that we all have faith in Myers in net as well. I thought he played well Sunday and gave us a chance to win the game, which is all you can ask any goalie.
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