American Michael offers a another slant on last weekend’s Swannies’ tour to KL
Posted by Vietnam Swans on April 1, 2013
American and Swannie, Michael Weissbluth, travelled to KL last weekend with the Vietnam Swans as we took on the Malaysian Warriors in our second round of the EAAFL.
Below is his report on the weekend.
The tour began in odd circumstances for me. Ever the optimist, Billy Crang arrived at HCMC Airport 30 minutes before his flight and realized the line up through customs was too long.
“We’re not late enough for the flight attendants to let us jump the queue”, Billy angrily complained at the customs line.
“I’m going to get food!”
Sure enough, he came back 15 minutes later with a flight attendant who allowed him to go directly to the front of the queue and straight onto his flight. We were off to Kuala Lumpur.
This tour showed true grit. In our shoes, some other clubs may have found their morale low. There were, maybe, half a dozen key players who couldn’t join us. There were restrictions and discouragements for pre-game libations. There was tour bus failure on the way to the game… Lesser folk have given into negativity and a loss of confidence… But not the Swannies.
I sincerely believed the seeds for our grit were planted in last week’s training. The mentality with which we took our coach’s words and put them into action during our drill session paid off handsomely. We knew what time it was!
Saturday morning we limbered up with a nice walk over to the park beneath the world’s nearly tallest towers, Petronas Towers, where we also did some stretching. During this time we reviewed our strengths and strategies. Newly appointed National Coach, Andy Glendinning, spoke a few words to get our minds on the game.
We boarded our game day bus but, alas, 4kms down the road, the bus broke down.
Seven taxis later, the team arrived at the Nexus International School campus – the ground for our match. We did some drills and huddled up for a pow-wow with our illustrious coach whose passionate words left us all inspired. “Play-by-play” we would contest everything.
My favorite part of his message was, “My regret is I didn’t play with all my heart when I had the chance.” Tassie Josh, perhaps motivated by the spirit of his Nan’, for whom the team wore black armbands, got right into the mix of it and managed to tackle two at the same time.
Though we lost, I feel we are more integrated as a team. I am confident our squad is still one to be reckoned with.