Today is Saturday. And a GLORIOUS Saturday it has decided to be. Which, unfortunately, means a lot of weed pulling. But it also meant a youth soccer tournament between Walnut Creek Soccer Club (my son's local club) and youth teams from Sheffield Wednesday. No ash clouds in sight (or any other clouds for that matter.)
Wednesday arrived Thursday to play Saturday. They may also be playing Sunday, but they won't be playing my son's team. My son is on the second flight team, and only the top flight are in the tournament. I don't have any idea what the results were, but judging from the American parents' comments, it seems Wednesday schooled our boys pretty good.
But what was fun for my son was a coaching "clinic" the Sheffield coaches put on today. Essentially it was four weeks of practice squeezed into sixty minutes. They asked my son's team to be the practice squad, so a few of the boys and a few younger ones were run through a frantic but professional set of drills. It was great to see the demeanor and action of the coaches, watch how they ran the drills. I didn't take any notes at all because, thank God, I don't have to coach this year. Hooray for me! Yay!
The best part of the day was the language barrier. The boys had no idea that "in ya come" means "stop the drill and come listen to me." They had no idea that "have a breather" meant "stop the drill and take a rest." One boy said that the main coach (who had a wee hint of Scottish brogue) was completely unintelligible, and not a single word was understood.
Here are some more of the photos. Sorry they stink. They were taken on my blackberry. My son is #61, the one clearly exhausted after the first drill. (Apple doesn't fall far from tree.)
Here, Sam is successfully dispossessing one of his good friends. A natural defender, my boy. Again, apples and trees, limited distance relationship.
Final wrap-up before quitting. No breaks for an hour--the boys did a terrific job keeping after it and represented their club well. Very coachable set of boys, those.