Thursday 26 October 2023

John Moore and Nik Dimitriadis winners in Sydney

Adrian, Steve, John, David and Eliot

We are excited to receive reports from the "Western Sydney Subbuteo Club". Excellent stories have been written by Adrian Elmer and that's the great to see John Moore visiting from ireland as well as new players involved!

John Moore Challenge WASPA tournament

The President of the Table Football Association of Ireland had contacted the club a week before this event, seeing if there was any Subbuteo action to be had as he visited for a week in his role as an official at the Power Chair World Cup being held at Olympic Park. There had originally been some League fixtures programmed for Wednesday evening, but some late unavailabilities meant the night was now free for a small WASPA tournament to be held in John's honour. John was joined by David R and Adrian from Western Sydney Subbuteo, and Steve and Eliot for Northern Falcons TFC for the occasion. 

After meeting, greeting and chatting for a little while, a straight 5 player league was settled upon as the format. John had clearly come to play and etched out tight but deserved 1-0 victories against both Steve and Adrian in the opening rounds. Steve caused a minor upset with a 2-1 victory over Eliot which really opened the filed up. Dave was, by far, the least experienced player in the field but was putting up a great show. At one stage he even led 1-0 over John until John's experience helped him take control of the match. All Dave's fixtures ended with just the odd goal here and there in each match being the difference. In the biggest win of the evening, Eliot dispatched Adrian 3-0, though Adrian was able to retain some respectability with a scoreless draw against Steve.

Results meant that the final round match-up between John and Eliot would determine the winner of the tournament. Eliot needed a win to go ahead based on the head-to-head result, while John just needed the draw to guarantee him the points to stand alone at the summit. An intriguing match ensued in which both players had chances, both players hit the woodwork, both players made saves...and neither player could score. A real arm wrestle of a game which was completely in keeping with the occasion. He came, he saw, he conquered - John had sealed his status as the winner of the tournament convened in his honour.

A great evening of Subbuteo with close fought games all around, an excellent camaraderie and a chance for connections to be made around the globe. One of the greatest beauties of the game is this opportunity to pull into places on the other side of the world, send out a call and get to meet and make new friends. This was certainly what happened this evening. Many thanks to John for joining us!

New players WASPA tournament

The premises of Fit District gym in Bella Vista were transformed into a table football hothouse on a glorious Spring Sunday morning as club member (and Fit District's head honcho), Ray ran an introductory session and tournament for a bunch of new players. 6 turned out to be coached by Ray and Adrian for an hour or so before those who were able to hang around pitted their new skills against each other in a tournament.

The early session featured lots of coaching, the game played slightly slo-mo with a wait for blocking flicks following every attacking flick. But the players quickly picked up the basics and were enjoying themselves greatly, with lots of "Why have I never seen this game before?!!" comments. Once everyone had a degree of comfort in what they were doing (and a couple of players had to head off for work), the remaining four new players - Nik, Xander, Chris & Jack,  progressed into a tournament. With the wait for blocking flicks removed, the speed of the games picked up noticeably, the four becoming more comfortable with their flicking techniques.

General table football play is one thing. Scoring a goal in table football is another! The first two rounds of games saw some great build up, even a shot or two hitting the woodwork, but all four games ended in goalless draws. In the final round game, Nik finally threw down the gauntlet, claiming the first competitive goal, against Chris. This was enough to fire him to the top of the table and a place in the grand final. With the other game between Xander and Jack finishing goalless, a shootout was required to find the other finalist. While the shots were quite accurate, neither player could get past their opposing 'keepers during the first 5 shots, sending the shootout to sudden death. 

Just before Xander's 7th shot of the shootout (!) a vital piece of information was casually discovered. While all the players had been carefully spending the morning keeping their hands still while flicking, as required by the laws of the game, all had struggled to get any power in their shots. It was then pointed out that using the pitch as a spring, allows a shot to have far more power. This meant that Xander was able to blast his shot into the goal and take the victory, with Jack rightfully feeling hard done by at this advice not being made earlier!

The final between Xander and Nik showed that the players had quickly picked up how to play, considering they'd never even seen a Subbuteo figure a couple of hours earlier! While half chances were created at either end, neither player could create the decisive moment and so the final itself finished in need of another shootout. With both players now in possession of the vital flicking information, it was Nik who was able to harness it best in a much improved shootout. Leading 2-0 at one stage, Xander gave himself a hope with a sneaky low shot into the near side of the goal for his 4th shot, then saving Nik's 5th. However, Nik was able to cut out the angles and save Xander's 5th, to take the game, and the tournament, with a 2-1 shots victory.

Ray and Adrian then played a quickfire demonstration game at the request of the new players, to give them an idea of what to aim for (though, hopefully, they can aim higher than that!!). Ray scored a goal midway through after a stranded traveling 'keeper error from Adrian and, while Adrian spent the rest of the game peppering Ray's goal, nothing was getting past his brand new 'keeper, giving Ray the victory.

A most excellent morning of Subbuteo table football and, hopefully, the beginning of some more regular fixtures at Fit District and the continued growth of Western Sydney Subbuteo.

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