Saturday, 3 August 2013

Interview of Luke Radziminski

Can you introduce yourself as a player? When did you start playing?

My name is Luke Radziminski and I am from Melbourne, Australia. The day I started playing subbuteo was roughly around the time I was turning 18 last year in November. The way I became interested in subbuteo in the first place was during a lengthy period of the off-season of football while I was an active member on the Melbourne Heart forum and one member started a thread on Subbuteo around April 2012. Others have contributed sharing their memories when they were kids with their dad’s introducing them to the game, and others posting pictures of different stadiums that subbuteo enthusiasts posted on the internet. I was not only astounded by the amount of effort put into those particular stadiums but finding out that a strategy-like table top game that is based on football has really caught my attention.

After researching for a couple of months about subbuteo, watching numerous video clips of game plays and learning the rules, I was very ambitious to invest in my first subbuteo set and managed to during the week of my 18th birthday.

I started to play with friends to experiment its mechanics but my first ever tournament I attended was around the month of April which was also the first ever tournament in Melbourne.

Why do you like subbuteo table football?

I am a fan of strategy games and table top games as well a passionate football fan (my primary sport) and I must say subbuteo does create a very good mixture for my enjoyment. The game is underrated and underestimated with the enjoyment and competition it provides and the fact that it can substitute snooker/pool in your home. Not only that, I am not a good footballer myself and only found to be more skilled in field hockey that’s why I played it for 6 seasons (and probably more), I have 2 younger brothers that play high division football in their age group and the youngest one is representing his state! Feeling a bit left out, however, with subbuteo in my household, the game allows me to be part of the footballing culture and maintain my love for the game.

What are your greatest achievements in the game?

In terms of playing? Attending the second tournament and finishing on top of other players who were new to subbuteo as much as me but finishing outside of the top 4 which consisted of players who had many years of experience, but it did provide a massive confidence boost.

Off-field achievements? To start off, I am a Melbourne Heart supporter and also part of their active group “Yarraside”. I am not your “Ultras/hooligan” type I am just an individual who loves the club and community and to maximise my enjoyment I would join in this group to provide my vocal support throughout the 90 minutes. To show my appreciation to Yarraside, I have committed myself to a mini-project where I bought piece of a terrace stadium and hand painted every single spectator, applied legitimate Yarraside banners and flag, past and present. (Was fortunate enough through a friend who has happy to email me pdf files of these so I could print them off). From there, I took photos and managed to have them displayed on the Yarraside Facebook page which received well over 100 likes, and introduced subbuteo to many who have not heard of it, from there I upgraded the terrace to a grandstand dedicated to Yarraside.

Also, during the month of December, this was the period where I have started collecting teams, the start of my project and other forum members sharing their subbuteo journey through purchasing their own starters kit. Somewhere also were inspired to create their own stadiums and supporters after they viewed my photos of my own stadia. The subbuteo thread on the Melbourne Heart forum was very active following with the producer of the Melbourne Heart match day magazine: Schip Happens! To write an article about Subbuteo and how it was being revived here in Australia and give a slight hint of the current activity reviving the game here in Melbourne which arguably started from the forum. The revival of the game here in Victoria was inevitable and I was honoured to take part in the first Melbourne tournament with 3 Yarraside members (including myself) contributing to make this tournament happen under the WASPA banner.

For the record, this isn’t an exclusive, Melbourne heart supporter’s only club. Any person is invited, victory supporters or neutral.

If you had to improve something in table football tournaments, what would it be?

Although the 2 successful tournaments had past, Weare in the talks of expanding and re-adjusting future subbuteo sessions. Quoting Carl Young from the Subbuteo Melbourne Facebook group: "Hi everyone, after the success of our recent get togethers and I have been asked what is next for Melbourne Subbuteo and any chances of more games? 

Therefore, could you let us know by July 22nd if you would be up for playing in a local league. Don't worry about the format and how many times we'd meet just let us know if you are interested for now.

Also, who would be interested in helping to run/organise the league/club? The more the merrier.

Finally,  and I are looking into running a full weekend tournament at sometime in the future. On the Sat we'd have an individual comp followed by a team comp on the Sunday. This in the hope we'd get players from interstate and even Singapore (I've already contact my Subbuteo mate Den in Singapore who might be interested). We'd be able to have Melbourne A, B, C teams if we had enough local players."

What are your thoughts about WASPA? Why do you like (or dislike) it?

I love the fact that WASPA exists which enables all players to communicate and form a strong connection and provide the ability to advertise future tournaments to increase participation rates.
Nothing wrong with WASPA but I just hope someday more businesses in Australia would make investments on the subbuteo product and hopefully people would catch on and follow up on WASPA and join the association and willing to participate in tournaments.

The only thing about WASPA (from what I experienced here in Australia) is that I only heard about them once I started collecting subbuteo equipment and a mention of it on the Heart forum, courtesy of Vincent Coppenolle himself. Perhaps there could be ways of WASPA or 3rd parties reaching out to football communities and mention something about Subbuteo just like the magazine Schip Happens? Follow the link if interested.

Luke and his teams

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