Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Offsides in Jakobstad

February 15:

My first League Cup match with Jaro was today.  I played the second half, which is understandable since I have only just arrived last night.  I didn’t play great, and I was extremely tired for the last twenty minutes.  Every time I’d look at the clock, only two minutes would go by.  I’d say to myself, “wait ten minutes this time,” then I’d look up again and it’d be another two minutes.  It was terrible.  Yesterday I had two training sessions with Haka.  At the end of the first session, Sami kept a few of us behind to do about 45 minutes worth of finishing crosses.  That required quite a bit of running.  The second session was pretty rigorous itself, and then after it was over we ran fitness.  The fitness was 5x4minute runs.  This would be simple if you did it by yourself, but in a group setting you can’t allow yourself to fall behind and the last 90 seconds of each run is just awful.  My point is that I wasn’t tired in the match tonight because I’m lazy or out of shape, but rather because I did running yesterday that I would never have been asked to do if the match tonight had been on my schedule yesterday.
Despite this, in the first 20-25 minutes I was in the game, we played great and scored two good goals.  That took the score from 1-1 to 3-1.  I didn't score, but I still played ok and in the end I helped the team on both ends of the field.  I doubt I showed enough from my performance tonight to win a contract, but I did show some important attributes.  I showed off my speed, though I was called offside a lot.  Part of that was me mistiming my runs, part was my teammates not yet realizing how fast I am and part of it was the assistant referee getting a decision or two wrong.  I also worked my tail off, and even when I was obviously very tired I still chased when I was supposed to and generally gave every ounce of energy I had for the team.  I think the coach acknowledged and respected that.  Of course, working hard doesn’t get you a professional contract, so in the upcoming trainings and match I’ll need to show a bit of skill and earn a job!

One cool thing about Jaro that is different from Haka is the media attention.  Maybe it was because our matches were on the road, but no reporters spoke with any of the Haka players after our two League Cup matches.  After playing one half with Jaro though, I had three reporters asking me questions.  It wasn't big time or anything, but it always makes you feel good when people want to interview you.  Anyway, I found this picture from the match so here it is:

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