Saturday, 5 April 2014

Less than a month to the Marathon; Football season

On the 27th of April I'll be running my first ever marathon. The training has been going well, an 8.5km run on Sunday was followed by a tough 28km run on Monday and a 10km run on Wednesday. Of course, if somebody was just training for a marathon they'd take Tuesday and Thursday off but football commitments meant I had training on both days. 
No serious injuries thankfully, a few sore muscles in the legs the day after running but that's the worst of it.

We're into the last two months of the football season aswell. The first team have drawn 3 and lost 1 since the winter break which is not ideal, we'll finish in mid-table which is decent for a promoted side. 
Our second team are doing great, we've won 5 from 5 since the winter break and haven't conceded a goal in 4 games. We're joint top with a game in hand and have six games left. It would be great to win the league with the second team and would mean much more to me than winning the league with the firsts last season as I'm captain of the seconds this year. 

Tomorrow is arguably our biggest game of the season away to the 3rd placed team, with the team in 2nd not playing then a win tomorrow will put huge pressure on them to stay in touch. 

I scored my 5th penalty of the season 2 weeks ago in a 1-0 win. One of the lads got a video of the goal. It was an extremely tough away game and thankfully the goal came with 10 minutes to go.

Staying with football, it has been a below par performance from the Champions of Ireland to date. We've won 1 drawn 3 and lost 1. The loss came last night at home to Dundalk, losing 4-1. Need to get our act together before the summer because that's when the fixtures will start to congest with our Champion's League Qualifier.

I got to a Bundesliga game a few weeks ago aswell, Frankfurt losing 4-1 at home to Freiburg. (What is it and 4-1 home losses)
Showing off the Supersaints scarf in the CommerzBank Arena

I have 2 months left now in Bad Kissingen before my teaching course starts in Dublin. Still very curious as to what country I'll be living in next year. On the internet I've been looking up different places to teach, they vary from Brazil to the Middle-East to Germany and Spain. It's a real pity there's not an established English speaking school here in Bad Kissingen. But I suppose the reason I have to leave is because it's too small and the reason I love it here is because it's too small.

Anyway I'm still accepting Donations for the Marathon.

The Donations are for the following charity that I chose: They are a great charity and do some really important work around Ireland, so any Donations they get the better.
Having a Paddy's Day pint after a long run to get the Iron into me

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Karneval, Football and Training for the Marathon

Finally the weather is starting to get warm again, as we get closer to Paddy's Day, which isn't celebrated very much in Deutschland, unlike Karneval or Mardi Gras as it's known in other countries.

The party started on the Thursday evening where I was dressed as a woman. The evening went well except for my wallet being stolen (they always pick on the women). Thankfully my cards were found but no wallet. The big party was on the Saturday and was organised by our football club. 7 of us from the team performed a dance to "Call On Me". We'd been practising for 4 weeks and we had all the moves in place and learned by the time the actual dance came along. There were some great costumes on show, and the dance went so well that we had to perform it for a second time.

Sunday evening was the last party, again I was in the same costume, dressed as a woman. (The costume was wrecked at this stage). It was in a huge hall 20 minutes walking from my apartment (40 mins n the way back). 
Monday was a day of recovery and time to start proper training for a marathon that I'm doing at the end of April, so I'm off the drink until then. 

The marathon course

The marathon is in Würzburg, and I've been slowly building up the kilometres, doing just over 16km yesterday. A long way away from the 42km that I'll be doing on the day. I'll be building the training up by 3km a week, eventually getting to 32km 2 weeks before the race. It's very hard to know what time I will do as I've never done a marathon before, don't know the course and don't know what the weather will be like. It's usually very warm over here at the end of April, well into the mid-20s. I'll be doing the marathon for charity. The Charity I have chosen is Pieta House - The Centre for the Prevention of Self-Harm or Suicide. Donations are very much appreciated for such a great cause and any donation no matter how small will help them greatly.
Just click on the following link to sponsor my run:

Before the football season started back we had our annual football team Ski/Snowboard holiday in Austria. The snow was brilliant and the slopes were empty. We were staying in a hut on the mountain so we could literally get straight out of bed and onto the slopes. One of the days after we had finished we stayed in a bar a bit up the mountain from where we were staying. Of course the only way down to our hut was to ski/snowboard, and after one too many and visibility at "poor" it took ages.
Not feeling the best the next morning
We got a half day skiing in before  a 4 hour drive back to Bad Kissingen. Thankfully there were no injuries this year unlike last.
Last week the competitive football season started back. We had a 3 day training camp in a hotel two weeks ago to finish off our preparations and had our first league game of 2014 on the weekend. The first team drew 2-2 thanks to a 90th minute equaliser and the second team won 4-3 away thanks to a 93rd minute winner to really keep us in contention for promotion. (3 points off the top with a game in hand). Still a long way to go and we have to play both teams above us again in the league

At the moment I'm still doing the roofing and also studying for a CELTA teaching course that I will be doing in Dublin in June. I will be leaving here two and a half years after arriving in September 2011 and who knows where I will be this time next year. After doing the course, I'd like to teach in South America or Asia for a few years, and learn a new language, with Germany always there as an option if other continents don't work out.  So next year you will probably be reading the "Robbie in (insert country name here)" blog. After the month's course I'll be in Dublin for the summer following the Champions of Ireland try and win back to back league titles. The first two games that I will be back for are away to the Scum and away to Bohs! Two Dublin Derbys against mid-table opposition and hopefully a few more Keith Fahey wonderstrikes like his goal versus Sligo last week 

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

New Year New Me!!!!!

I hate when people say "New Year New Me". Nothing has changed except the calendar year.

That was a quality Christmas. Meeting old friends, going out celebrating the festive season most days and eating crap food everyday. The partys started in Germany just before my flight back to Ireland. We had our work Christmas party on the Friday evening and my flight back was Saturday morning. As I said in my last blog, I would be cutting it tight to make this flight. I was still in my town 2 hours after I was supposed to leave for the airport but made the flight thanks to a delay.

After arriving back it was straight out on the town with the 12 pubs in my squirrel jumper. To be honest most of the nights out are just one big blur so I don't know which was which.
I did the GOAL mile on Christmas Day which I've been doing for years, and did a respectable time of 5:40, which was good considering I was out in Dalkey the night before. I was so surprised with my Christmas present! A Pats jersey! Who would have thought!

The best part of the 2 weeks back in Éire was the trip to Kerry for the New Year's with the lads. A very well organised firework display (it was shite) got 2014 underway and we did a phantom countdown aswell.

The next night out in Dingle was good fun but I didn't know what was going on the next morning when I woke up with a sheep in my bedroom, on the 2nd floor. Don't worry though, he was brought back to the field he belonged to. I reckon that was the weirdest start to the year that the sheep had ever had. He was just a shadow of a sheep.

One bad thing about Dingle that is still annoying me is that the nightclub closed at 2:15 in the middle of a song. Don't know if that's a culchie thing or what.

I am now dying with a cold and have been for 3 days after one too any Bulmer's over the Christmas. They don't do Bulmer's over here so had to get them in while I had the chance. Still felt a bit jet-lagged on Sunday, I usually get up at 12 on Sundays but got up at 1 there the other day.

It was back to the norm though, with an U9 tournament on the Monday bank holiday. We finished a respectable 4th from 10 teams

Christmas: It's the thought that counts

Sunday, 10 November 2013

My first blog in ages

The last time I wrote  a piece for my blog on this Sligo Rovers were the Champions of Ireland, Shelbourne were a Premier Division team, Rovers were a mid-table team, I had just moved into a new apartment and the weather was roasting. It's now November and everything has changed except for the part about Rovers.

The league title is back in Inchicore, and I was there to witness the Saints lift the trophy vs Derry City. I flew to Dublin on the Friday morning and flew back to Deutschland on the Monday. The celebrations went on throughout the night in the Red Cow Hotel with the players and fans and then to top it all off a match against a team with the biggest budget and worst manager in the league - the Scum.

I've been living in my new apartment since August now and we had the biggest party in the history of parties a few weeks ago just for people from our football team. Walls vibrating from the music, people climbing on top of shelves, people passed out on the couch/floor etc etc. The only downside was that someone got sick on our astro-turf bathroom floor. We're having a football team Christmas Party aswell at our place which promises to be bigger and better

Football for the first and second team has been going well also, I've scored three second team goals and one first team goal and managed to miss an 88th minute penalty in the Derby last week. We have a few more weeks of games and training before the Winter break when all the pitches our frozen over (astro turf bathroom will come in handy for Winter training) The league season will start back in March and there's talk of a training camp in Turkey in February which would be quality, if it works out to be too expensive we'll have another camp somewhere in Germany like last season.
My U9 team have finished playing matches for the Winter. We won 5 and lost 3 games and train in the hall now once a week. Our league and tournaments will start back again in January and hopefully the kids keep enjoying their football regardless of the result.

My next trip to Éire will be at Christmas, I have a 10am flight from Frankfurt the night after our work Christmas party which has a free bar. This will be a very very hard challenge to make this flight, first of all I have to make the train on time, secondly I won't be able to sleep on aformentioned train because I have to changeover at least twice, thirdly I won't be able to sleep on the flight because there's always a crying baby or someone at the window seat that has to go to the jacks every half an hour.

Until the next blog,
Champions of Ireland

Oh ye, I forgot to add, I went to Ireland vs Germany in Köln in October, a respectable performance saw the Irish lose 3-0, to all but end our slim chances of qualifying for the World Cup next year in Brazil.

Monday, 26 August 2013

New Apartment, New Football Season, Ireland & Summer

Since my last post in June alot has happened in 2 months. I've moved apartment, been to Ireland twice on holiday and the new football season is underway.
Me and Dec at a Pegasus match
I now live in an apartment in the centre of the town, not fully complete yet but livable. We have an astro turf bathroom, can it get any better than that? My room is finished, new sockets put in, and a few Pats posters and scarves on the wall to make it a Saints room. There's an Irish flag hanging high above the town on our rooftop terrace aswell.

As I said I went to Ireland twice, in June and in August. Firstly with some German friends for a holiday and the second time for my Granny's 80th, to see the Saints beat relegation candidates Shelbourne and to improve my pitch & putt skills.

In June I did some touristy things that I would have never thought of doing before. I went to the Jameson Brewery for the first time which was good and went to a few bars in Temple Bar where I was the only Irish person in the place.

Pitch and Putt

August was a surprise visit for my granny's 80th party. I didn't tell many people I was flying back and then turned up at the front door.All my relations were home, an uncle, 2 auntys and a cousin from Australia and an Uncle and cousin from America. I was home for 5 days and during the that time we got a game of cricket in and a few practise innings in the back garden and two games of Pitch & Putt. My Tee shot let me down but my putting kept me in contention until a disaster on the 16th hole where I lost 2 balls off the tee. I wasn't much better at the Cricket, as a batsman I did ok but I'm a poor Wicketkeeper. There was a few nights in Dalkey with the family and I had three chippers when I was back because they don't do them over here, had a big fuck off roll aswell because also like chippers they don't do them here and brought back 8 cans of Bulmers because they don't do them over here. I left the halldoor wide open one night aswell, but sure look, I was on holidays.
FC06 Bad Kissingen 2013/14

The new football season is back under way.We have a signed a good few new players and one player has left. Our first team have done well since being promoted, winning all our three away games and at home drawing twice and losing once. The second team have won 9-3 and 4-0 and are hoping to get promoted this season.

It was good to get a Saints game in when I was back in Dublin. The Supersaints won 1-0 with a goal from Stephen Maher and luck from the lucky Gerbil. Still top of the league and going for the title

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

May: Champions

What a great month football-wise. FC06 won the league by 5 points, the Supersaints are top of the league and I got my new Patselona jersey.

So it's the Bezirksliga next season for FC06. We drew our second last game of the season at home to FC Thulba and thought we'd thrown it away, to find out that second place had lost so we went into the final game of the season 2 points clear. The final game was away to last place Burgwallbach. After a nervous opening we finally took the league, doubling it minutes later. They pulled one back and it was 2-1 at half time only for us to stretch our lead back to 2 goals straight after the interval. They pulled one back again 3-2 and once again we stretched our lead to two goals. Final score 4-2. As the final whistle went our Promotion t-shirts were given out, Champagne and Beer was brought onto the pitch by fans and the Promotion Party had started,with photographers getting photos for the next day's newspaper.

Our record at the end of the season was - Played: 28 Won: 17 Drew:7 Lost:4 Scored:67 Conceded 28 Points: 58

We have our official Championship Party this coming Saturday with fans, players and committee members.

2 days before claiming the league title it was my 25th birthday, and there's no better present than a 2-0 win away to Bohs. The Saints are top of the league and playing brilliant football. Not only have Barcelona copied our footballing style but they also stole the design of our Patselona jersey which has been re-launched since we first saw it in 2007. The draw for the Europa League is soon and once again I'm wondering where UEFA will send me, Hannover away last year was ideal. Would be great to win a trophy this season and I think it could happen with the likes of Lionel Forrester and Xavi Bolger in midfield. Don't worry Bohs, $hels and Scum fans, we'll send you a postcard from Europe.

Away from football, (at last says you), at the start of July I'll be moving into a new house with a friend from the football team, we were suppossed to move in a few weeks ago but it got delayed. The house is huge, 3 storeys high and will include a roof-top terrace and an astro-turf room in the basement to play football in Winter. It's right in the middle of the town and at the moment we're cleaning it up a bit and getting a new kitchen & bathroom built in.Hopefully the weather picks up and it will be BBQ's on the roof every evening.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

The days are getting longer and so is my beard

Story horse. Finally after 5 months of snow it's warm and sunny again. No more heavy jackets, hats and scarves while walking to school, just a shirt and a Saints jersey.

In the last blog I wrote, at the end of March, my football team were three points off the league leaders. Now we are in a better position 1 point off the leaders and 2nd place with two games in hand with the team in 4th place right behind us, so the table is as tight as a camel's arse in a sandstorm. After good wins away to FC Thulba, Stadt Bischofsheim and Eichenhausen and a 2-2 draw at home after coming from 2 goals down confidence is high going in to the final month of games. Our manager keeps reminding us to take one game at a time but it's very hard to not ignore the overall picture and our last game on May 26th. Oh yeah and I've  vowed to grow my beard until I score a goal, as you can see from the photo I haven't scored yet. If I don't score by the end of this season I can see if they are making a new Castaway film and need a new star.

The season with my U9s started back last week after a long winter break. A 7-1 home win last week was followed up by another 7-1 win and a closely fought 5-3 victory . What was unusual about the second win was that we had 7 different goalscorers, which doesn't usually happen in 7-a-side football.

I'm moving into a new apartment in a few weeks with a friend that's on the football team. The apartment is right in the centre of a town, 30 seconds away from my favourite pub. It has a rooftop terrace and two spare rooms,  which we are going to convert into a living room and a bar, and it's 3 storeys. A house warming/birthday/end of season party is planned. I'm finishing my teaching in the school at the end of May so I'll be able to do a few more days roofing, like last summer, in over 35C, while looking for a new job in BK. Something to do with languages like translating or languages. I'm looking into eventually opening an Irish bar but that's more of a dream than a plan to be honest.

I still haven't planned a Summer holiday yet, probably like every year, Europa League with the Supersaints, and maybe a week in Éire. Speaking of the Saints, it was a good 2-0 win down in Cork yesterday, which can be a tricky place to go. The league is starting to take shape now with the teams that are in Europe occupying the top three while the relegation candidates such as Shelbourne, Bray and Shamrock Rovers in the bottom half with a third of the season gone.

Sticking with football, it's great to see two German teams in the final of the Champion's League. Everyone will be packed into the pubs watching the two best teams in Germany (behind FC06). Very hard to call who's going to win it, both teams have world class players and in a final it's so hard to predict.

On another note, hard to believe it's almost 20 months since I moved to Bad Kissingen. Time flies when you're having fun. Here's to the next 20.