The more traveling I do, the more wise I become (gerbie) wrote,
The more traveling I do, the more wise I become
gerbie

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Campeone, campeone, ole ole ole...

Sunday morning. Slowly I can feel that I am a tad more nervous than for a normal match. The highlight of my playing career is due. For an amateur a championship is something special. It will be my first, 15 years after my debut in the first team. It will be my last as well. Next week will be my last match in the first team.

Sunday afternoon. 1pm. We are at the pitch, the first fans were already there. Banners appear, buses full of youth players, all in red and black arrive. The musicians follow, playing famous football songs, a great atmosphere.

2pm. Warming up. Hundreds of people are there, nearly all of them our supporters, even though this is an away match.

2.30pm. The match is due to start, fireworks have made half of the pitch invisible. A couple of minutes later we play anyway. It's a bad match, as these things go. We score one fairly soon. In the second half we score a second, they are down to ten men. I miss a good chance, we still score our third a bit later.

4.15pm. We're champions. The pitch is invaded. Grown men cry. We all get scarves that say 'G.F.C. kampioen'. Flowers. Pictures. Music. Champagne.

Sunday evening. We arrive back at our home park. Hundreds are waiting for us, again there's fireworks, music. And more tears. I'm glad I don't have to say anything, I wouldn't have been able to talk at that moment. A huge party in our clubhouse follows. Free booze for all.

9pm. It's nearly dark, but our main stand (we only have one actually) fills up and over 200 hardcore fans salute us players, we get called out one after each other. Several of my teammates cry. We all realise how unique this club is. The club I have been playing for since 26 years now. I saw the last championship in 1982 as a little boy, I was there in my mother's womb when my dad played in the championship team of 1969. We missed promotion after the 1952 championship, hence missing out on professional football two years later. I'm glad it never happened. We are an amateur team in everything. It's my club.

Sunday night. More booze. More party. It was late.

Monday morning. 10am. After-party for the players, wifes, girlfriends, some friends, some of the board, some others. Huge drinking session in the local pub. The first wodka takes effort before 11am. After lunch one coke to have a bit of a break, but wodka-orange for the rest of the afternoon. After the evening meal was delivered and found it's way to our stomachs, the first few leave. No more energy left. I do well, drink faster than I have all day and manage closing time. Great party.

Tuesday. The queens birthday, everybody has another day off. We're back in the pub for brunch and a few bevvies. In the evening we visit the camp with our youth players, who always go for a couple of days in this school holidays. We join in on a game of autograph hunt.

Wednesday. Life is getting back to normal. I read the pieces in the papers, discover myself on one of the pictures. I know my dream has come true. Since I started playing again in august I told everyone that there was only one reason I was playing. Now we've achieved this. What a season.
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