A fabulously successful sunny Sunday senior soccer match was played at the Lord’s Grounds on Sunday 17 November. After the positive and rewarding junior multicultural gala day earlier this season, Mansfield Soccer Club, the Mansfield chapter of Rural Australians for Refugees (RAR) and the Ethnic Council of Shepparton collaborated again to host a friendly senior soccer match.
Undaunted, the Mansfield crew, including a code-crossing rookie, lined up to face the young group which apparently included Afghani national-team level skills. No surprise, the visitors were the first to score, but Mansfield’s strong defence and break-out forward line put together an equaliser. Throughout the first period, the quality of soccer was amazing; Shepparton demonstrating tight foot-work and ball-control with quality passing and Mansfield (plus one Benalla player) responding with patient defence and immediately gelling as a group to find forward space and scoring opportunities.
By the end of the first 20 minutes, the score was an equal pair, and most importantly the two main aims of the day were already achieved -a quality soccer match and fun for everyone involved. If there was any doubt fun was trumping fatigue, this was pretty much put to rest by the loud laughing of one the Mansfield defender/attackers -heard after most plays. Post-match commentary was that by the end he was too tired to run but also couldn’t stop because it was so fun. That is Soccer. That is the world game.
At the final whistle after the third 20, there were calls for the game to go on, with some Shepparton players swapping bibs for a mix-match in extra time. The youngsters could have played on, but honestly the more senior players were by then ready for lunch, and the game was called.
Post-game, a fantastic BBQ was shared with the visitors, including, for any foodies, an Afghani-style BBQ meal of turmeric-marinated chicken, mint-chilli-garlic yoghurt and salads wrapped in flatbread. (Heads up to any local sports clubs looking to diversify your activities… collaborate with Shepparton Ethnic Council and RAR and you are bound to have a fabulous post-game feed on top of quality sport and a very enjoyable day.)
Thank you so much to Andrew Murley from the Shepparton Ethnic Council -boundless in his enthusiasm, and also to Mansfield Soccer Club and Mansfield RAR for all their support, involvement and provision of afternoon tea. Thank you to the young men from Shepparton, it was a privilege to host you and see you play. Finally to the Mansfield team, a big thank you for your part in putting on a hugely entertaining soccer match. And thanks to Foodworks, for their sponsorship of the Mansfield Soccer Club part of the feast!
If you are interested to join Mansfield Soccer for Adults over the Summer -please contact Erik Suggate on firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest. Mobile 0417 156 317