Monday, August 24, 2009

Cribo Plays Soccer: Richmond All Stars FC - 0, Wonderboom Farm - 1

Played my first game for All Stars FC, the awesome local team that Saddam (one of the GRS directors in Richmond) plays for. We had to drive 45 minutes out into the middle of the desert, way off the beaten track, to get to Wonderboom (pronounced Von-Dar-Buem by the Afrikanners) Farm. The farm is a huge complex where the workers and their families actually live there, and they're actually one of the best teams in the area. The coach of the All Stars, Mandla, is now a construction boss in Richmond but is a former professional player himself, for a few years as a goalkeeper with one of the best pro teams in South Africa, the Orlando Pirates. So we're having our team talk before the game on the side of the field (another dirt pitch, but this one at least had some patches of grass) and Mandla is going over the starting roster for the game, and he just looks at me and says, "Cribo, attacking center midfielder."

Now, it's important to note that not only have I never played center midfielder in my entire life, but that I don't know the names of 75% of the guys on the All Stars (and wouldn't be able to pronounce them if I did) nor am I able to communicate with them in any means other than screaming noises and grunts. But I did start at center midfield, and had a great time playing in a position that is admittedly a lot more fun than defense, where I've played my entire life.

Games played for cash can get pretty tense, and a fight almost broke out when one of our players and a Wonderboom guy got into a fistfight before the sides broke it up and they were both sent off with redcards. Things settled down after that, Wonderboom got a lucky goal, and we missed a ton of great chances to win. I played 60 minutes before getting subbed, and the All Stars account is less 500 Rand. Can't wait to keep practicing and playing with these guys though.

In other news, Anna and I moved into our house today. This will be our permanent residence in Richmond so we were excited to finally "be home." We still need to personalize it and make it a bit more comfy, but its a cool place in the middle of the village and we're both really happy with how everything looks. Since we now have a kitchen, we cooked dinner for the first time in 3 weeks. More accurately, Anna cooked dinner; I badly need to learn some culinary skills put I think this year will be a good one in my development on that front.

Another big week of work in front of us. I'll post pictures when I get a chance.

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