Reds in Riesa
After accepting an invite to take part in the High Profile Riesa Tournament, FC United were looking forward to gaining invaluable experience when paired against two full time professional clubs, namely, Energie Cotbuss of Bundesliga 1, and Fc Erzgebirge Aue of Bundesliga 2.
With the exception of Phil Priestly, the average age of the squad was 21 years of age, certainly, the youngest team in the tournament.
Ably cheered on by the 40 or so FC Supporters which made the trip to Riesa, and the 2000 supporters of LOK Locomotive Leipzig, the lads took to the field for their first fixture against Energie Cotbus. Energie wasted no time in opening the scoring, showing the young FC United team how clinical Professional Football can be. Despite the early setback, FC coped well and shown good individual skill and composure when in possession.
Cotbus, using all there 5 a side experience, continued to out score FC eventually extending the lead to 5-0. With the LOK and FC fans cheering every touch by an FC player, Rory Patterson rewarded the crowd scoring FC’s first and only goal of the game. The game finished 6-1, but considering both the inexperience of 5 a side competition and the 8 league difference between the two teams, FC gave there best. FC was rewarded by a chant of U-NI-TED, from the whole arena, as they made there way to the dressing room after the game.
With very little rest, FC started to prepare for there second fixture against FC Erzgebirge Aue. This game took a very similar pattern to the first, with FC Erzgebirge taking a very early lead. With the score at 2-0 Jerome Wright scored FC’s only goal of the game, and with the score at 3-1, Jerome also hit a fierce shot after a great run, to hit the underside of the bar. Should that shot have gone in, it would have been the goal of the tournament. With tired legs and the eagerness to try and get back into the game, FC ended up on the end of an 8-1 defeat.
Again the marvellous LOK and FC fans applauded the lads off the pitch. An organiser of the tournament commented that, any of our players could easily fit into any of the other teams that were taking part. However, the German teams had the greater experience at 5 a side and the difference was purely in the finishing.
FC United, were out but they still had one fixture to go, a fans game v LOK. The organisers stipulated that we must have at least three first team players in our squad of ten, so ably assisting the fans that were plucked out of the crowd, were Margy, Nicky Platt and Bradley Howard.
Despite LOK being out of the tournament also at this stage, each supporter stayed on to enjoy a very competitive fixture.
The game finished 2-2, with Margy and Nicky Platt scoring for FC, but the fans that played, thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and received the same amount of support the first team had previously.
Incidentally, our two opponents faired very well in the tournament, with Erzgebirge finishing 3rd and Cotbus finishing runners up.
All in all, it was a very successful and enjoyable experience.
07-01-2008 at 12:50