It’s been a few days now since our draw with HJK. Things have been going well with me, as this game was something of a coming out party for me. For the first time since I got to Finland I’m starting to be known a bit. Of course I’m by no means an established player in this league, but I can guarantee that our next opponents know my name now. Another cool thing is that I was interviewed for a magazine that covers the league (I’m not 100% sure of the name so I won’t put it just yet). It’s always nice to be appreciated. Between the trust that the coach showed me, the appreciation from the fans during the match and now some media attention, I’m quite happy with how the last week has gone. I’m too cool for school now. I’ll be walking around Valkeakoski with sunglasses even if it’s raining! J
A few days ago the team was tasked with running a clinic for local children. Since I don’t speak a word of Finnish, I was teamed up with Santu (one of my teammates) and given the easiest station which was just letting the kids play a regular match. The kids were great and didn’t cause any problems. Some couldn’t have been less interested, but it was still fun for all involved I think.
|A few of the stations from the clinic.|
|New goalkeeping style|
After the clinic we had training which was just a football tennis tournament and some stretching. Me and my teammate Obi were the worst team. We lost every game. To be more precise, I am the worst football tennis player of all time apparently. I couldn’t even get my serves in by the end of our last game. All I can say is that Obi lost the football tennis player lottery when he got paired with me.
Another thing that happened at that training was that I was given a new nickname by the coach. I’m a bit reluctant to reveal what it is because over the years I’ve been given many nicknames and come to hate all of them. The only nickname I’ve ever liked it “GITS” and I gave that to myself so it doesn’t count. Also, GITS means “Give it to Seabrook” so it’s not so much a nickname as a catchphrase. Anyway, the nickname the coach gave me is “Forest Gump”, or “FG” for short, because I just run run run! Some might take offense to having a nickname that only mentions running in a team game with a ball, but I don’t mind at all. I mean, it is true that when I play I do a lot of running, so why not embrace it? No team would want a winger nicknamed “Garfield” or “Sloth”!
|Notice the right winger?|
I’ve also started betting again and I’m once again cementing my status as worst bettor of all time. At this point, I’m close to making bets that I think will lose just to keep my losing streak going. Then I would be able to have great stories about how terrible I am at betting and be able to laugh about. Ironically though if I try to pick loser, then I’ll likely win a bunch of bets but probably not a lot of money. Then I won’t have either a good story OR much tangible winnings. As you can see, I have a life full of real problems… ;)
As for the next game against KuPS, I don’t know how things will go. I think I will start, but I’m not sure. That decision is up to the coaching staff. It might depend as much on how we think they’ll play as how we want to play. At our club we really are a bit spoiled for choice at the winger position, so we can tailor our flank players to succeed against just about any setup the opposing team throws at us. We have pacey wingers, technical winger, wingers who come inside and wingers who stay wide. We have wingers that score goals and wingers that make assists so every week it’s a battle to win or keep your spot. Since I’ve been here, we haven’t started the same two wingers in back-to-back games, so that tells you a lot about the competition for the position.
I don’t know anything about KuPS except that they play in Koupio (sp), wear yellow and have an American central defender, though I don’t know him. If I play I’m sure we’ll know each other by the final whistle. We have today off, but tomorrow the preparation for our next game gets serious. It’s really a must-win for us so the stakes are high! I’m ready!