Wednesday May 30th the Middle School and the High School students from the International School Eastern Seaboard (ISE) conducted a community service by picking up trash and cleaning a large section of Jomtien Beach.
ISE students and the PSC - making the world a better place
Twenty-five students from the ISE volunteered their time and energy for the betterment of Pattaya. Michael Tang from grade eleven at ISE organized the students, their transportation, and permission for this community project.
These students started from the top end of Jomtien Beach and worked their way south down the beach for over two hours and a total distance of more than two kilometres. Along the way they filled more than thirty large trash bags with rubbish from the beach.
I’ve got it! No, you take it!
At the end of the beach clean up, plenty of cold drinks, hot dogs, hamburgers, and vegetarian food was served to all the hot and tired students by members of the Pattaya Sports Club. Ken Crow and Carl Engel, both members of the PSC, were on hand to prepare and serve the food and drinks for the students.
The Pattaya Sports Club, a Thai government registered non-profit association, and the International School Eastern Seaboard joined together to provide this community service.
France beating Brazil, 1998; Wimbledon besting Liverpool, 1989; even Denmark, Euro Champs 1992 - every (under) dog has its day but this was too much, even for Hollywood.
The build-up to the tournament had been downbeat - could we get a full squad? The entrance fee was a lot if we were only in it for fun; and would the new kit look silly? Ipswich have their ‘Tractor Boys’ but the Garden International School staff football team are known as ‘The Gardeners’ (GIS for short) and it was the basic desire for a run-around on the pristine ISR football pitch and thus warm-up for the FA Cup Final that evening, that had led to our entering the Regents’ 7-a-side competition boasting sixteen teams and seeming rather serious.
Captain Sue Burke receives the trophy on behalf of the GIS team
Well, the new kit was an immediate hit with the players, the yellow and green of Brazil trimming an all-white strip, but we still took the field against UCU Alliance cautiously wondering if we were in for a whacking.
They were a typical Thai team, very quick with great ball control, but the defence of club captain Steve Turner and veteran left-back Alan Dighton held firm and the midfield were able to push on. A corner resulted, flighted beautifully by Preston-born Mark Harrison and met emphatically by the glowing pate of Ken Sullivan. The net bulged and the crowd went wild!
UCU responded vigorously, but Harrison rattled the goal frame with three further efforts and with the other squad members providing reinforcements GIS were deserved 1-0 winners.
The second match was against the aptly named Franchise, who combined gallic flair and garlic to provide a bristling contest, which seemed destined for deadlock until Turner strode forward, Beckanbauer-like, to fire in the clinching goal - 1-0 again.
The third match went smoothly, the strong defence and hard work in midfield laying the platform for some promising attacks and the inevitable goal followed.
Turner now really started to make his mark on the tournament, surging from defence, playing a lovely one-two and kicking the ball into the far corner across the despairing goalkeeper. 1-0.
With the game entering its final minute tragedy struck, however. Hitherto relaxed and confident GIS’s Russian goalkeeper, Gueorgui ‘Yashin’ Sitnikov, had fielded the ball with ease; deftly saving the odd goal bound shot. As the ball rolled towards his area and with no opponents in sight, George (as he is affectionately-known) strode to meet it, but was met with a barrage of advice from his colleagues - "clear it/pass/welly it!" Panic gripped him and he picked the ball up, a meter outside his area!
This brought some derision from the team, a direct kick resulting, but accompanying this (HORROR) a red card! Perhaps a FIFA World Cup rule, but in the ISR 7-a-sides? George trudged off, but before the kick could be taken, the full time whistle. So, bittersweet was the feeling, the team undefeated group winners but now without their teenage prodigy in goal.
While the team stewed on its quarterfinal selection, the remaining places were filled. The Pattaya Panthers were effective, if agricultural; the GM sides contrasting - the ‘management’ controlled ‘strollers’ in the best traditions of George Graham, the ‘workers’ sharp and incisive (was there a ‘bung’ in their group match?); Green Valley and Daramasalat looked skilful and attack-minded; the German All Stars ominously efficient, but the hosts, ISR, had surprisingly crashed out.
GIS would play Foster Wheeler, and Ken Sull had volunteered as custodian. Adversity can spawn greatness and destiny throws up some unlikely heroes (and heroines). Garden was the only co-ed team and Sue Burke and Leah Daniels had been rotating and performing very effectively in their wide positions.
The Quarterfinal began tentatively, mainly midfield skirmishing featuring the livewire Somchai, but the first rasping shot from Harrison was spilled and the predatory Burke was sniffing, swooping and lashing the ball into the net like her fellow blonde, Butragueno-the Vulture.
FW replied energetically, bolstered by a large Scottish support, and also had their chances. Sull was inspirational, however, elastically limboing the ball off the line at one point and Burke was irrepressible, a hammer strike but her brace denied only by the ‘hand of God’ - or at least the FW defenders. Harrison coolly stroked the penalty and it was 2-0.
Now defence was the key, FW pulling a goal back through the sharp Bev, but nerves and the goal ultimately remained intact, GIS through 2-1.
The Semi-final was against the Panthers, euphoric winners of a penalty shoot-out, but further drama as Sull had broken his arm! Mercifully, Matron Priddle was on hand, one of a team of enthusiastic cheerleaders keenly organized by design guru Sue Block, so a dehydrated Sullivan returned, Van der kickoff-like, to the outfield with the stalwart left back, Dighton, taking the gloves.
GIS had by now clearly identified its strengths: a rock-solid defence marshalled by Turner, the midfield orchestrated by Harrison, and goals coming from the one or two chances presented per game.
The Panthers, big, butch rugby boys embodied by blonde bombshell Hays, had augmented their side with three highly skilled Thai windsurfers, and they basically controlled the game, while not finishing the Gardeners off with a killer strike. So, penalties again and the Panthers’ hero Sparrow stood firm to beat out Harrison’s opener, but a new hero would emerge, Dighton parrying all efforts, while he, Daniels and Somchai scored to set up a Turner winner (4-3).
GIS dedicated the Final, against Dalamasirat, to George but the depleted squad of nine was now approaching exhaustion. Battlers to the last, they received the vital fillip of an early goal, Sull’s perceptive through ball (scuffed shot?) sending the ice-cool Harrison in to net.
Over the next fifteen minutes a virtual siege descended on the GIS goal, the midfield of Somchai and Daniels running themselves into the ground; the ball shipped to the willing Burke or tireless Holgado to eat up some more time; Turner rock-like in defence and Dighton producing several memorable stops (the best a carbon copy of Gordon Banks’ from Pele, except it was a shot not header, and to his left not right and...anyway).
The fairer Daniels, Leah, could have made it 2 but her swept effort at a corner went agonizingly wide. As wave after wave of attacks foundered, the ball hitting posts, backsides or thighs it seemed Bobby Moore and the other footballing gods had made their minds up and inevitably GIS held out for the victory.
Beaming Captain Burke received the winners’ prize (10,000 baht) to generous applause. Thanks go to Dale for organizing the tournament, Dave Williams for running it; all of the refs for tackling the most thankless task in football; and the ISR support staff for providing an enjoyable and memorable day. Taking part might be the most important, but winning is pretty nice too!
Copyright 2001 Pattaya Mail Publishing Co.Ltd.