Having Fun Everywhere They Go!
Richmond Park FC was formed in 2014 with one boys' team but then grew the following summer to include three girls' teams. Currently the club has nine teams, drawing players from the Richmond Park area in South West London.
The chairman, James Tavendale, smiled when asked what the club’s aim was for the competition this year and said ‘First and foremost to enjoy the company of the football family here at Dana Cup! We try to make friends wherever we go and every year at Dana Cup one of the greatest pleasures is meeting people again that we’ve met at previous tournaments’. He went on to say ‘Sporting-wise our goal is always to be playing on Friday but as long as everyone is enjoying their experience that’s the most important thing’.
In addition, when talking about the tournament itself he said that the ’weather is Amazing! We love Dana Cup and love posting pictures on our Instagram ‘@richmondparkfc’.
Football in the Caribbean on the Right Track
In 2011, Kim Collins ran 100 meters in 10.09 seconds. This made him the third fastest man in the world, and the performance is a good picture of where the sporting focus is in the Caribbean and, thus, also in the little independent island state Saint Kitts & Nevis – which, in reality, is composed of two islands, that is, Saint Kitts and Nevis.
‘Athletics is very popular in Saint Kitts & Nevis and the Caribbean islands, but football is clearly a growing sport.’
Last year teams from the nearby island of St. Croix participated. This year St. Croix is also a part of the Dana Cup and, as a result, the area is well represented at the big football tournament. From 1871-1956 Saint Kitts & Nevis was part of the Leeward Islands Federation, from 1958-1962 the West Indies Federation.
In 1967, Saint Kitts & Nevis Saint was granted autonomy with Anguilla, but disagreements led in 1971 to Anguilla again coming under direct British control. However, Saint Kitts & Nevis with just 40,000 inhabitants achieved full independence from Britain in 1983.
Breaks his Own Rule to Return
’I have a rule that I never referee twice at the same tournament. This year it is the first time I participate in the Dana Cup, and I have already decided to break my own rule and return next year.’
Tristley Bassue smiles. He is 32 years old and comes from the small-island state Saint Kitts & Nevis in the Caribbean.
’This year I’m on a month long trip in my holiday as a teacher. I began at Helsinki Cup in Finland. Moved on to Gothia Cup in Sweden. Now I’m in Denmark at the Dana Cup, and then I’ll finish at a tournament in China, and I have only experienced that the conditions have improved.’
’At the Dana Cup I notice that the referees are being taken care of. Everything is well-organized and we quickly become part of a social and professional community, which I have not experienced anywhere else,’ Tristley Bassue says.
He has been a referee for seven years and through hard work he now works at FIFA level and referees both in his home country and within CONCACAF, which is similar to UEFA and includes national football federations from an area of North America, Central America and the Caribbean.
Appreciate Fair Play at Dana Cup
In the USA it is not common for players to shake hands and wish everybody a good game before the referee whistles for the first time. Furthermore, it is not normal at all that coaches subsequently thank the referee after a game.
That is what we do at the Dana Cup since Fair Play is a part of the tournament. Blair Sibley wants to bring that tradition with him to the USA. He is at the Dana Cup for the first time, and it will not be the last time he participates.
‘I think that the Dana Cup is a fantastic tournament, and I would like to return,’ stresses the lawyer from New York, who, on the other hand, has his own way of tackling the games. And that is a way that often surprises the coaches.
‘Before the game I go and greet the coaches. I briefly talk about the most important rules and, thus, knowing me makes it harder for them to get angry,’ he smiles.
However, the American lawyer must confess that his approach is not always received well in his home country, where he sometimes has to call the police, who then take him safely to his car.
‘I have overheard coaches, parents and players say that they would be willing to pay $50 to anyone brave enough to hit the referee. For the same reason, I always keep an iron pipe in the car for self-defence but, luckily, I have never had to use it,’ the lawyer from New York says.
‘I grew up in an area in the USA in which soccer is very popular, so that’s my sport. I have never played American football. On the other hand, I played soccer until I turned 50 years old and for the last 10 years I have refereed at small and big games in the USA. For me it’s a natural development from active player to referee.’
Blair Sinclair referees from February to Thanks Giving, and when winter starts in upstate New York, he moves south and referees at two Disney tournaments in Florida around Christmas. The girls play before Christmas and the boys after Christmas. Between the games there is free admission to Disney world for the referee, who has run his own law firm for several years but, today, he is part of a larger law firm focusing on buying and selling of companies on behalf of clients.
‘Nevertheless, I am still a lawyer for some hard criminals, who committed acts of violence in the 1980s. However, the more you work with criminals the more you become like them, so I prefer working with business law,’ Blair Sibley stresses.
Tough group for Internacional, onto the B finals
Internacional have had a difficult start to this year’s Dana Cup. Losing their first game 2-1 and their second 2-0 to two experienced Norwegian sides. However, as the players, Liam and Attila, of the team emphasize there is always ‘100% Respect’ for the other team and for each other.
Yesterday, at 3:30 in the afternoon, the team played against Hisøy IL from Arendal in Norway. To gain a more favorable position going into the B finals we had to win the game. And with an excellent display of skill and determination the team managed to win convincingly 7-0, with a star performance from Sam who scored most of the 7 goals.
In the next round the boys and I will play the winner of Re FK vs. Nord SK at 7:25 this evening on pitch 42. Hopefully, we have luck on our side.
To be continued…
Fun in the sun for the parents
Sun and fun is what you can expect most of the time here at Dana Cup, this means that for the parents they have a great experience.
When Anita Maaland, a parent of one of the FK Vidar G15/16 players, was asked why she was at Dana Cup she said ‘I’m here to support my oldest daughter who is 15 years old’.
Anita also was asked what kind of accommodation she was staying in, to which she responded ‘Me and some of my friends are staying in a cabin in Lonstrup, It’s our 3rd year here and so we are always staying in the same area because it’s a nice area with lots of restaurants’
Finally, Anita was asked if she was enjoying the tournament so far, she said ‘Yes, everything is so good, especially with the weather, but this is also the highlight of the year for these girls, so it’s so perfect’
At Dana Cup with the Help of a Star
For most Danish football fans, Daniel Agger is one of the greatest defenders of all time. For Daniel Agger, Rosenhøj Boldklub was the springboard that led him first to Brøndby IF and the Danish national team and from there to Liverpool FC, where he played 232 matches from 2008 to 2014 – a number that might have been higher if he had not had any injuries.
‘Rosenhøj Boldklub is still close to Daniel Aggers’ heart and his kids play at our club. That’s why, through his Agger Foundation, Daniel wanted to help us participate in the Dana Cup,’ explains Preben Hansen, who has been an active part of Rosenhøj Boldklub for almost 50 years. Preben Hansen mentions several other Danish football legends, who have their roots in the club in Hvidovre, where everybody is welcome.
‘The purpose of the Agger Foundation is to help children who have in some way been in trouble. As such, the children in B14 and G16 are not problematic children, but we live in a densely populated area and, through the years, we have helped when parents have been in difficulties,’ Preben Hansen says.
‘I think that Daniel both wanted to appreciate the social work that Rosenhøj Boldklub has indeed taken on and, at the same time, say thanks for his time at the club as a child,’ Preben Hansen adds.
Impressive Football by Minsk FC
This morning one would have been able to watch a very well-played match between Minsk FC from Belarus and Korsvoll IL from Norway in class G13. The skilled players from Minsk FC deservedly won the game 6-0.
‘Countrywide there are approx. 50 teams. We are the leading team in Belarus. In fact, we are almost a kind of national team in our age class. This also explains why there is so much difference between us and our opponents in the group stage. Later in the tournament it will be a completely different case,’ explains coach Andréi Makhnach after the impressive match.
This is the second time FC Minsk participates in the Dana Cup. They are happy to have the opportunity to test their abilities against international opponents.
‘At international level, Norway, Sweden and Denmark are leaders in women's football. The difference is that there are many thousands of players in the Nordic countries while we only have FC Minsk. So I get players from all over the country. While in Norway there are maybe 500 players aged 15 to 16 years, we have less,’ coach Andréi Makhnach adds.
In addition, coach Andréi Makhnach underlines that ‘it is a pleasure to be here since the tournament is well-organised and people are smiling.’
Prestigious High School at Dana Cup
Taichung Municipal First High School is one of the country’s most prestigious and recognised schools. As a matter of fact, Taichung is the third largest city in Taiwan with 2.7 million inhabitants. The admission requirements for the school are extremely high, and therefore only about one percent of the applicants are accepted. A large part of the students, who leave the school after graduation, attend some of Taiwan’s most famous universities, plus many choose to study abroad, for instance, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and University of California, Berkeley.
In addition, many of the students are selected to represent Taiwan at international science and math competitions like the International Mathematics Olympiad, the International Geography Olympiad, the International Physics Olympiad, the International Biology Olympiad, the Intel Science Fair, the International Chemistry Olympia and the International Earth Science Olympiad.
Football in Taiwan in Tough Competition
Football is not a particularly popular sport in Taiwan. Here, especially handball, hockey and basketball are well-liked and have the audience's attention. The girls from Taichung Municipal WuChuan Junior High School know that. Three years ago the school created a football team for girls who have since participated in tournaments in both Japan and Thailand.
‘Last week we participated in Gothia Cup in Sweden and this week in Dana Cup, so it is a great experience for the girls, who have not been to Europe before,’ smiles the head of the delegation Lau, Jung Kuang.
‘Dana Cup is a fine tournament, but it is very hot,’ Lau, Jung Kuang adds.
Taichung Municipal WuChuan Junior High School drew 1-1 against Norwegian Trott in the first match. However, today the girls played well and beat Sørumsand from Norway 3-1.
Pros teaching PES
At this year’s Dana Cup we are lucky enough to be able to have the ultimate PES experience at the PES tent – located in the event area. Not only that, we also have a professional player such as Alex Alguacil or ‘AlexAlguacil_8’ as he is also known.
When Alex was asked if he was enjoying the event so far he responded saying ‘It’s a cool week’ he smiles, ‘It’s so cool here what Konami have here for all the children’. He also expressed that he hasn’t ‘been lucky enough to play here as a child’, however, he did state that ‘now that I’m here I’m so happy because you can see on all the players’ faces that they are enjoying the game’. He even said that some players spend ‘practically the whole day playing the game, because they love it’.
Alex was also asked what it was like teaching the kids how to play, to which he said ‘they are getting better and better, I really love to play with them and show them really cool tricks and how I play’. Perhaps one of the best things about Dana Cup that Alex outlined was that ‘It’s a really big opportunity, especially since the only place you can play PES 2019 is here’.