27 May 2013

Ebbsfleet United v Forest Green Rovers

The following is the article I wrote for the home game against Forest Green Rovers at the end of March:

The last couple of weeks have certainly been crazy to say the least.  The lads had a fantastic 4-1 victory over Southport and were 10 minutes away from a stunning away win at Cambridge United.  However, in the scheme of things a draw was a very creditable result.

Then came the wasted journey to the North West of England to Barrow.  The heavy snow meant that the game was called off.  The players then had to face a long journey back to Kent with the prospect of a future Thursday night game against Barrow, to be followed less than 48 hours later with another game!  As our International goalkeeper, Preston Edwards, stated on Twitter that surely now the Football Authorities should consider extending the season by a week.

This view took on further credence following the postponement of the mid-week away game at Luton Town.  This time due to a waterlogged and frozen pitch.  Hopefully today’s game against Forest Green Rovers will go ahead as scheduled! One thing is certain though.  There will be a lot of football played between now and the end of the season.

Given the recent spate of bad weather I thought that I would not mention that finally in Sydney we are experiencing a period of hot and humid weather.  I thought that for this article I would take the opportunity to try and describe what it is like to play football Down Under in temperatures far different to what are experienced in England.

Aside from the A League (the Premier League equivalent) which is played throughout summer, most football is played from March until Late August.  The friendlies and the first handful of league games are played in temperatures ranging from 26C up to 36C with high humidity.  Needless to say that after 15 minutes or so the game has to be played at a slower pace, due to the energy sapping heat.  After a season or two, expats, like myself, learn to adapt to the conditions.

The weather generally stays warm around the 20C mark until June.  Then for the last few weeks of the season the temperature drops to the mid-teens, and that is when playing the Beautiful Game becomes enjoyable. The pitch conditions can vary too.  From rock hard, where the ball at times bounces around like a beach ball, to soft and wet.  I should say that one of the main issues playing here is the occasional artificial cricket pitch located in the centre circle! Sometimes when the ball hits the edge of the pitch it can go in any direction! 

So as you can see, playing football Down Under is a different experience to that played in the Old Country.
Today we take on Forest Green Rovers who are having a great season and are just outside the play off zone.  It should certainly be a great game today as both teams will be going all out to win and gain those precious three points.  Hopefully, from our point of view, we experience a home win and a step closer to safety.

This weekend is also the Easter long weekend.  Aside from the religious aspect, Easter is also a time for a family get together and chocolate! I hope that you all have a great time and don’t feel guilty about eating too many chocolate eggs!  For myself, I will settle for 2 Ebbsfleet victories and a Cadbury Crème Egg! 
Enjoy the game and remember to sing your hearts out for the lads.


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