Shanghai Tour 2017
The eagerly awaited Shanghai Tour had finally arrived. Players – check, Opponents – check, Pitch – check, Kits – check, Travel Bags – check, Booked Flights – check, Boarding pass – check…….lift off….ahhh not quite. While half the team had arrived safely to Shanghai earlier in the day the other remaining players where stuck at the airport hall for 4 hours with Randy using his negotiation skills to get people on some kind of plane.
The power of the Randy was able to get 5 players on board however nothing he could do to get the plane to take off as a staggering 9 hours on the tarmac awaited the guys, twice the time it takes to fly to Shanghai. Apparently Chinese Military had taken over the air space and control was well out of Cathay Pacific hands. In the process people started getting sick and the Police, Ambulance service and Doctors all appeared on board the plane which still hadn’t taken off from HK.
In the end the players like Kefee where all kitted up ready to go but just couldn’t get to mystical land called Shanghai and headed back home to get some much needed sleep!!!
The other half of the team including an injured Rick Man had arrived earlier in the day and where happy to sample the Shanghai nightlife especially the magical Kingdom abbreviated as K…T….V. Some blurry eyes in the morning breakfast as the team came to realization that 11 aside game would be turned into an 8 aside match instead with our opponents providing us a few extra players to cover the Tarmac Trauma!!!
So all six of us headed to the playing grounds via the bus our terrific hosts the Shanghai Voodoos had provided along with a few extra playing numbers and tinny cans for pre-match beers.
The ground itself was in pretty good nick although we ended up playing on the much harder artificial surface that didn’t quite take football studs all that well. But as Freddie Mercury once said the Show Must Go On and we trudged off with borrowed kits as well to play some footie.
The earlier exchanges we could clearly see who was the gun player some messiah called Jesus, apparently a Jordie from Newcastle who looked like he had several gears of speed to the rest of us mere mortals. It wasn’t long before he scored a brace and we were looking at a proper shellacking. To our credit we bounced back with Yannick scoring a nice goal.
Half time and tin-cans of beer optional they gave us Jesus it was like all our prayers had been answered. However for some reason he couldn’t score for us although he did create a lot. In the end they scored a few more and we scored one more for 2-4 loss.
After the match Voodoo invited us back to their very impressive Sponsors bar The Camel which had Damo written all over it with XXXX beer on tap. A small presentation made to the Voodoo chairman before we all settled down to watch the Lions play against All Blacks.
Lots of food and many drinks later we thanked our gracious hosts for their warm hospitality and ventured off to the Shanghai night were all was forgotten and remains a total blur.