MYFCs Merlins have won the North Wilts Youth Winter CupYoung footballers from Marlborough have some silverware for their trophy cabinet after winning the North Wilts Youth Winter Cup.
Marlborough Youth Football Club’s U10 Merlins squad beat Purton by four goals to one, to take home the cup.
And each of the players were awarded a trophy to take home.
Along with the Colts, the Merlins are one of two U10 squads fielded by Marlborough Youth Football Club, which was last year named Sports Club of the Year at the Wiltshire Sports Awards for its work with 240 children in Marlborough.
The youngsters have been playing together since the formed the U6 squad.
To find out more about youth football in Marlborough, log on to www.myfc.me.uk
Click to enlargeThey stayed on for a while after their Friday evening training session on the College’s astroturf to be joined by Marlborough’s Mayor, Marian Hannaford-Dobson for some celebration photographs – and a lot of happy cheering.
Last month they were named Wiltshire’s sports club of the year in Wiltshire Council’s annual sports awards. And they were up against some tough opposition from well-established and very grown-up clubs – including Trowbridge Rugby Club.
MYFC Chairman Jon Davidson organised a sea of excited orange vests into a group around one of the goals with the Mayor in the middle and the coaching team on the wings.
Somewhere in the midst of it all was the treasured certificate, which makes the award official - and visible.
As the Mayor said as we waited for the training session to finish, winning this award was a great achievement. And someone standing nearby said: “I had no idea we had so many young children in the town – isn’t this just great?”
MYFC AngelsThere was a special team photograph for the Angels. They are the Club’s first girls team – the under-twelves. They are being sponsored by the Marlborough based Slater Music School. The Angels have already come top in a tournament hosted by Swindon Town FC.
Wiltshire Sports Club of the Year Certificate being proudly displayed by Natalie Davidson, who with her friend Zara came up with the idea for the Angels
Jon Davidson is now on the look out for sponsors for more girls teams. They have 65 girls in the section – and that is very nearly six teams worth of eager talent. Any new players or coaches who would like to get involved with Marlborough Youth Football Club contact Jon Davidson, contact details below. Also, they are looking to start a 'Walking Football' group - no running allowed(!), thus looking to attract participants from the other end of the age spectrum!
Nice way to see the gameI arrived into São Paulo and was picked up by my friend Luiz. I was staying at his house in the Vila Madalena area of the city. I slept and awoke for judgement day... England versus Uruguay.
I had managed to score a full corporate hospitality ticket for the game through a business contact in the UK. I made my way over to meet Benni to get the ticket and grab a ride over to the stadium.
I must admit i felt pretty nervous about the game considering the Italy performance but held it in.
Benni and I drove over to the stadium and entered. The energy of the place was amazing and the tension palpable. We found our entrance and went in.
Wow,this was pretty plush, I thought: a sushi bar, salmon and chicken bar, full bar and comfy seating with an entrance onto our seating block. We had a few drinks and took our seats.
A packed stadiumThe teams came out and simply put it felt like we were going to war as the noise from the Uruguay fans was immense and the English fans, I am afraid, were drowned out. Simply put, it felt like the Uruguay fans wanted it more and had the bigger heart for this game.
Maybe us English have had too many disappointments over the years at major tournaments and its quietened our voice. The game started well and was pretty balanced and Rooney looked nearly at full fitness and again Jagielka looked a yard short, it was really worrying.
It was about three minutes or so to half time and you just sensed that something bad was going to happen.
Just as I thought please don't let them score before half time, 20 seconds later Suarez lost his man (Jagielka) and rifled it in. My heart dropped but it had been coming this goal for a while.
Half time and we were in the bar and I was trying to put a brave face on it but I was feeling hollow and hoping that England could get back into this game.
The second half started and the stadium was rocking and the Uruguay fans were stamping their feet making the whole stadium rumble. It felt like the final, and not a group game, such was the intensity in the place.
Five minutes before the end Rooney scored his first World Cup goal by bundling a cross in on the goal mouth. I must have cheered at the top of voice for about a minute. Then the English defence crumbled again as the Uruguay goal keeper kicked a ball that was allowed to carry all the way down to Suarez who made no mistake in securing his second goal of the night and ultimately confirmed England's demise.
Justin Benni and friendsI made my way back to the bar and met with Benni and some of his friends. They were very sweet and supportive as I think they must of sensed I was gutted. We said our goodbyes and I made my way to the Metro outside the stadium. I felt turned inside out and so down.
It was over and although a slim chance remained, that light was extinguished when Costa Rica beat Italy on Friday.
I want to dedicate this blog to the fans who made it out to Brazil and the effort they made in their costumes and good will towards all the different footballing nations and their fans, it made me really proud even after the game how they hung out and took photos with the young kids from Brazil and Uruguay and this really made me feel good.
I even met one guy from Manchester who had broken his hand a week before he was due to fly out and had major surgery pinning his hand together and still made it out. I asked him if his hand hurt and he relied yes but it was worth it - total dedication.
Torn to ribbonsConcerning the English team we have a great pool of talent in Barkley, Chamberlain, Sterling, Sturridge and Shaw. Jones, Cahill, Jagielka, Rooney, Gerrard however are past their peak and need to be replaced.
I am glad I came and witnessed the occasion, as its been great. Not sure if I am heading down to the final England game as I just don’t have the heart and would rather head back up to Bahia to the sun and ocean as it is very cold and rainy down here in São Paulo.
Thanks for following my blog and I hope it gave you a sense of Brazil and its people and places.
The English Lion in the metro station outside São Paulo stadium The English Knights in ManausBeefeater
Justin Andrea Marina at Barra GrandeAs I sit here in the hammock looking out onto the Atlantic Ocean remembering the last three days I realised I have to write about my thoughts and experiences as Bahia is like another world compared to São Paulo or Rio and has more in common with Manaus really.
The North of Brazil is so different to the south, mostly to do with the Indian cultural influence I think. The uniformity of the buildings however across Brazil are very similar and this is because of its colonial past mainly Portuguese, but French and Dutch also.
So after spending three days on the island of Itaparica (one hour from Salvador by ferry)at Marcio's house on Barra Grande, I have got a tan and feel really relaxed. I spent the first day on the island walking round the place and soaking up the vibe. It is a very relaxed island and very local.
Marcio's house is directly on the beach and it is a traditional and simple beach house. My room is facing the sea and every night I go to sleep to the rhythm of the waves and am awoken the same way. It is incredibly relaxing here and the pace of life is muito tranquillo(very calm).
They have traditional fishing techniques here and some that are not so traditional. The not-so-traditional methods include throwing dynamite into the water to blow the fish up and wait for them to float on the top, this is obviously a disaster for the other fisherman who use traditional techniques and damages the eco system of the sea and ruins it for everyone. This will continue as there seems to be no enforcement on stopping it.
There are lots of good beach bars with full internet on the other side of the island located at Ponta De Areia and I would recommend Mike's bar as the fish and lobster are great at a very reasonable price. I fear that the island will change once the bridge is completed to join it to the mainland of Salvador. They have just started construction on a bridge that will take a good five years to build and so I would definetely recommend a visit here before that work is complete.
Spending time with Marcio and Paulino's daughter Andrea Marina has been wonderful. I stated earlier that I was going to teach Andrea English, but it has actually worked in the reverse and she has been teaching the gringo to speak Portuguese. She is is only three but bright as a button and took delight in telling me that if I had one flower in my hand it was not "flores" as I spoke but "Flor" as there was only one flower. Brilliant and, as I said, bright as a button.
The Germans in Barra GrandeI watched the Germany versus Portugal game at Mike’s bar on Monday, and Pepe was a complete fool for head butting his opponent. Watching Germany take Portugal apart was a sight to see and the reality of the massive hill that Ronaldo and his team now have to climb was evident all over Ronaldo’s face.
In the evening I watched the USA versus Ghana game and USA played great with total heart and desire. Dempsey scored within 30 seconds of the games start and Brooks slotted in his first international goal to put the game to bed. The USA deserved the win without a doubt.
Marcio and I watched the USA game in town in a little roadside bar over a couple of bottles of Skol. We met two sweet kids there who were staying with their grandmother on the island who came from the Salvador suburbs and the little girl told me that she liked staying with her grandmother as she could not sleep at night at home due to all the gun fire at night outside her house. This made me feel quite sad for her but she had a great enthusiasm for life and God willing, she will work hard at school and get a good job and one day have a quiet neighbourhood to call home.
On Tuesday Marcio and I decided to goto Salvador to his friend’s restaurant, Recanto Da Lua Cheia, and watch the Brazil versus Mexico game. So after slightly toasting myself on the beach we made our way to town to catch the ferry. We watched the Belgium versus Algeria game. After a shock penalty for Algeria Fellaini was brought on and the whole game changed instantly. Fellaini equalised with a trademark Afro header and then on a counter attack Mertens put the game to bed. I think Belgium look really good and I think will get better and better as the tournament proceeds.
We arrived at the mainland and headed for the restaurant located at Praia da Pedra Furada. It was a beautiful restaurant with an amazing view onto the Todo os Santos (all saints) and the sunset was beautiful.
We settled down to watch the Brazil versus Mexico game with some fish and beer. The Mexicans were totally fearless and their goalkeeper Ochoa gave the best goalie performance of the tournament so far. He was simply breathtaking and it was not long until Marcelo and Neymar were arguing like kids. Mexico must of had eight or nine attempts on goal in the second half against Brazil's 3. Brazil do not look like winning this tournament right now after an unconvincing 0-0 draw against Mexico.
Juracy, Justin and MarcioAfter the game I went over to Marcio and his friend's table. I met a great guy called Juracy Junior who goes to the same university at Marcio. Juracy came from a military and police family and had joined the police force from a very young age. He was now at the rank of Captain aged 35. He is now in an administration role at the headquarters of the force. He had done his service on the streets and his last assignment before moving upstairs had been the pacification of Salvador flavelas.
I asked him how he felt doing this final assignment. He said he felt conflicted as he had grown up with the same people he had to pacify and in some ways this had changed his mindset about things. We spoke about the GIGS regiment in Manaus and he confirmed that only two policeman from the Bahia region had actually ever passed the CIGS jungle survival test and it was considered incredibly hard. The police in Brazil allow their officers to attend University while in service and after the Word Cup the police were paying for Juracy to take his helicopter pilot license. Juracy is a very interesting character and I look forward to seeing how his life develops.
Juracy suggested that he wanted to show me the old historical town of Salvador, known as Pelourinho. I gladly accepted and Marcio, myself, Juracy and his lady all jumped into the car and drove to the old town.
On Tuesday nights the old town jumps into life with a massive party called Escadaria do Passo with Geronimo where it just goes off. In the main square there are stages they play traditional music and lots of street food stands. The culture of Bahia is not to really go clubbing but instead turn the street into the club and it just turns into a massive block party. Everyone is out and looking for fun. The energy is astounding and the primal heart beat is loud.
Escadaria do Passa with Geronimo in Salvador Old CityGeronimo puts a free live music gig on for the people of the town every Tuesday night for the last the years. The musical flavour is Afro-Caribbean and is just awesome. It would be great to get them to next years Marlborough Jazz Festival. Geronimo plays with his band at the bottom of this massive stairway with all the people lines up in their hundreds all the way up the stairs. It really was an full sensual overload and I think I will return here before I come home as it needs more investigation.
We all decided to make our way back to the car so Marcio and I could catch the last ferry back to Itaparica. As we walked up another side street the sound of drums came booming towards us. Ha! Another street party this time with the music being supplied by Olodum drum school. These guys were incredible and the whole street was just rocking. Women dancing down the line and going crazy in front of the drum line dancing furiously.
It was like a scene out of Angel Heart, honestly I have never experienced anything like this evening before and the fact is happens every Tuesday night is amazing and I would really encourage anyone coming to Brazil you must head up to Salvador and check this out. Salvador reminds me most of Kingston, Jamaica with it's beating Afro Caribbean heart.
I am now going to take a last swim in the ocean and try not to burn myself to a crisp before I prepare for departing vibrant and amazing Salvador. My good friend Marcio has been really kind letting me into his house and allowing me the privilege to hang out with Andrea Marina for a few days. I am very lucky to know this wonderful family.
Last thought... Rooney back in middle, Sterling back on wing. Got to be, right ?