Tuesday, 26 October 2010

No Sleep Till Trencin.

AS Trencin v FC Petrzalka
Saturday 23 October 2010
Slovak First League
Štadión na Sihoti, Trencin
Attendance 832


FC Spartak Trnava v FC ViOn Zlaté Moravce
Saturday 23 October 2010
Corgon Liga
Štadión Antona Malatinského
Attendance 4637

EFW Oktoberfest Day One - I really really really wanna Zalaegerszeg

Day Two of the EFW Oktoberfest and an epic trip into deepest Slovakia for the 2nd (second) division match between AS Trencin v FC Petrzalka (formerly Artmedia Bratislava) and more fun with the good folk of Miti Busz Travel. This time we were treated to not one (one), but two (two) drivers, lets call one of them Tibor (as that was his name) and the other one Tibor II (which probably wasn't his name) and the hostess with the most-est, the lovely Maria.

Maria started the trip with a guide to Budapest, it's history and the demographics of the wider Budapest area before giving up and realising the hungover football fan audience wasn't really interested in her best Micheal Palin impression and would rather that she read out the phone number of her daughter, who we had the pleasure of meeting the day before. Maria redeemed herself later however with a shot of Palinka for all and by organising a spot of bingo on the coach. Who doesnt like a bit of bingo? *raises hand* - Fair point. However with prizes such as a pen, a minature bottle of brandy a doily, a mobile phone holder, a tea towel and a pill box on offer competition was understandably fierce.

Crazy, crazy times

The journey to Trencin was seemingly never ending, with a slight delay caused by dogs loose on the road, however on arrival in Trencin the sight of some classic Eastern European floodlights in the distance caused most of us to do a little sex wee and made the journey worthwhile. After the usual parking issues we piled into the ground for the bargainous price of €10 - including a beer and scarf. €10 (ten!). Trencin won the match 2-1 and the match will live long in the memory for the chorizo style sausage I devoured in record time and not a lot else. Oh, there was a nice medieval castle overlooking the ground, I was more interested in the floodlights to be honest - mmm, floodlights.

An architectural wonder and some medievel castle nonsense.

Token match shot

Back on the bus and off to Trnava and what's the Maria you've prepared us all some food? OK, thanks but you don't seem to have any cooking facilities on board? Anyway, what have you rustled up then? A hearty traditional Hungarian goulash perhaps? Oh. 87 Frankfurter sausages in a giant bowl. Oh. Thanks, you shouldn't have. Don't suppose you've got any brown sauce? Daddies? HP? Forget it love and tell Tibor II to get his foot down.

Red sauce? Yellow sauce? White sauce? Or no sauce at all.

Should have gone to Miti Busz Travel. Ramshackle.

Tibor II did get his foot on the volocitator and we were parked up in good time for the match, sadly we hadn't factored in that most of the crowd had turned up just before kick off and were all trying to enter through the one working turnstile. As a result we missed the start of the match, sadly missing scenes like these. The Trnava fans were fantastic and it was agreed that this was the best atmosphere of the weekend, with some amazing choreography from the Kapo, his 2 drummers, his mate and his mates infant child all leading the singing, dancing, flag waving and throwing of rolls of paper that we all wanted to see and all secretly wished we'd see at English matches.

Big flag and flares.

The match itself was carnage. No fluid passing, long balls from the goalkeeper, no positional sense, scoreless, and players chasing the ball round in packs like school kids and some absolutely brutal two footed tackles that went unchallenged from the re....ok, this wasn't the actual match and there was no ref and they were school kids. For fifteen minutes we had some respite from the professional match and were entertained to some football hilarity from Trnava's new breed of hatchetmen, who seemed intent on kicking each other back to the communist era. This match was the talk of the journey home, probably a more civilised conversation than necrophilia I guess, as the actual match had been a dire 0-0, enlivened only in the last minute by the Moravce sub talking himself into a sending off before actually entering the pitch.

Token match shot. Small. Far away.

After the obligatory post match pitch invasion and storming of the post match interviews it was back on the bus and another football ground stop off at ETO Park, home of Hungarian Premier league side Győri ETO FC.

The Hungarian coach drivers fear of the car parking space kicked in again just outside ETO Park. Despite the ground being joined to seemingly Hungary's biggest shopping mall, and now empty car park, one of the Tibor's decided that there wasn't space to park the coach, despite circling the car park twice just to make sure. So we had to make do with a view of a floodlight from the coach window, whilst circling the deserted car park for a third time.

Maria concluded the trip home with a speech thanking us for using Miti Busz Travel and that she hoped she'd exceeded our expectations (Palinka, disgusting sausages and bingo...expectations exceeded) and a cheeky plug for their Facebook fan site, which we all made a mental note off in the hope it would be the start of a warm trail that would lead back to the Facebook page of her daughter.

I really really really wanna Zalaegerszeg.

Zalaegerszegi Torna Egylet v Vasas SC
Friday 22 October 2010
Soproni League
ZTE Arena, Zalaegerszeg
Attendance: 2756

"so this weekend you're going to Budapest, with a load of people you've never met, to watch Hungarian and Slovakian football?"

Pretty much every conversation I'd had about the European Football Weekends Oktoberfest ended with this bemused conclusion and a shake of the head from those unfamiliar with the good work of Danny Last's excellent website and part time travel agency. 30 football fans, on a bus stocked with beer, watching obscure football - I couldn't think of a better weekend.*

First up a trip to Zalaegerszeg, to watch their match against, Budapest side, Vasas SC, but before the football a spot of culture and a trip to Siofok to see Lake Balaton, the largest lake in central Europe apparently.

The 220km+ journey was made with the good people of Miti Busz Travel and their band of parking space adverse drivers, today's driver being Stephen. Stephen maintained the good tradition of Miti Busz Travel by shunning designated car parking areas and circled the town centre of Siofok twice before parking across about 8 car parking spaces and blocking 5 cars in. Not for him the empty car park next to Lake Balaton, the place we'd stopped to look at, oh no. You want to hear more about the lake, well I'm sure google will tell you - it looked massive, I retired to McDonalds for a bit of traditional Hungarian cuisine.

A bit more of the Hungarian culture was sampled back on the bus with the formation of one of them human chains that the army usually deploy to shift sandbags in a flood disaster zone, we put ours to a much more useful purpose and 60 (sixty) cans of beer were quickly ferried onto the obstructively parked coach for the remainder of the journey to Zigazigah.

We arrived at the ZTE Arena shortly before kick off, we would have arrived sooner but Stephen's fear of a car park kicked in again. He decided to complete a lap of the plentiful car park and drop us at the turnstiles, only to be turned back to the car park - leaving a coach full of souvenir seeking passengers stuck on the bus while he reversed back to the car park.

Textbook eastern European mullet in progress.

"Popcorn! Trill!" No thanks mate. Lager, yes. Bird seed, no. Keep bird seed out of football.

Finally in the ground we besieged the Zig and Zag club shop (table) and provided them with untold riches in return for a selection of scarfs and other such tat. Scarfs on, beers purchased, popcorn and various bird seed based snacks shunned and we're ready for the match and boy did it disappoint. Absolutely woeful. Zubizaretta won 2-1 with a last minute, last touch of the game goal against a stubborn, and shit, Vasas team to leave the locals to file out of the ground to go dancing on the streets of downtown Zalaegerszeg and turn the memories of the last minute winner into the stuff of legend that will go on to be referred to as "that magical night in Zalaegerszeg" - or not.

These dugouts have won the award for Europe's thinnest dugouts for 4 years running.

Token match shot.

Not such a distinguished night for the Zalaegerszeg Ultras, who could quite rightly go on to refer to the night as "that confusing night in Zalaegerszeg. where we tried to be proper nawty and charged a bus of what we thought were Vasas fans but turned out to be a bunch of people from different countries enjoying a few beers and watching football who then, to a man, pissed themselves laughing at the sight of us Danny Dyer wannabes offering out their coach of football tourists". Good work Ultras. You proper mugs!

Celebrating the end of the match.

The journey home was memorable for stories of Belgian necrophilia, and a hearty rendition of a Bavarian folk song, seemingly with the chorus of "what is on your arse"? Not entirely what was advertised in the tour brochure but piss funny nonetheless. A doth of the cap in the direction of Hans and Stoffers. Good work fellas.

For a more professional review of the match have a look at Chris Mills' report over at European Football Weekends.

* I could - but now's not the time or blogplace.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Up sick Creek.

Bristol Manor Farm v Wells City
Saturday 2 October 2010
Toolstation Western Premier Division
The Creek, Sea Mills, Bristol
Attendance: 35(ish)

Dear reader,

There will be no match report today as AiTinpot was ill due to an excess of beer and vodka the previous night. You will appreciate that my sole focus was on not being violently ill in the toilets of low level non league football ground, which surely would have been a nadir in my life.

Feel cheated about the lack of Bristol Manor Farm action? Go here and here for your kicks. Now, have a look at some pictures and please drink responsibly.

Yours sincerly,

PS - Wells won 2-0.

Sea Mills Dock with The Creek in the background. Give yourself a Bristol history lesson here, go on, learn something from this blog.

Doesn't look like Jack has much choice to be honest.

The best seat in the house (ground).

The second best seat in the house (ground).

Of course coloured goal nets....of course.

Yer booked!!