In a bid to get in some essential practice before the annual MBA Tournament at HEC in Paris (and not to mention a weekend without having to think about assignments and school work), we (SBS MBA Football team) accepted an invitation from Manchester Business School for a four school football tournament (also comprising London Business School and Lancaster Business School). 16 Oxford MBA students (including yours truly) rented three cars and made the three hour trip to Manchester, stopping only at Burger King to improve our fitness levels with a few juicy, cholesterol filled burgers.
We arrived Manchester in good spirits (of course welcomed by non-stop rainfall) and headed to the Manchester Business School to meet our gracious hosts and catch a glimpse of the trophy (while also trying to look as scary and unbeatable as possible to hide the fact that we had never played together as a team).
Next stop? A sports bar in Manchester called footage and trained for our big game against LBS the only way we really know how.....eating kebabs and playing foosball...
Our first game was against our 'bitter' rivals...LBS. We absolutely couldn't lose this game...we would have been happy to lose 10-0 to everyone else as long as we gave LBS a good hiding. I was detailed as the lone striker but with plenty of attacking support from midfield...and the pitch was absolutely horrible, feeling the effects of the incessant rain. The game started off slowly with our Captain Alejandro bossing the midfield and our central defensive pairing of David Wong and Juan taking no prisoners. I had hardly had a sniff of the ball when I received a pass from midfield...I was one on one with the defender and started running towards him. I successfully dribbled him (thanks in part to the slippery conditions as he fell when I changed the direction of the ball). I was one on one with the keeper....do I try to dribble him, or just try to score from here? Time appeared to stand still in that moment as I felt the three other defenders closing in on me. Make up your mind! Screamed my legs as my brain decided to draw a decision tree....next thing I knew, all my team mates were running towards me with smiles on their faces....turns out my legs had hit the ball and scored....shrugs. We went on to win the game with me scoring a second identical goal (I had enough time to draw a decision tree on this one, so my brain takes the credit) and Jon (Horbinho) Horbaly scoring the third. We also beat Manchester Business School 3-1 and drew with Lancaster Business School 1-1 to qualify for the finals.
|Yes we're one big happy family but don't mess with my food! |
Given the obvious correlation between alcohol and football performance, we stepped up our training regimen for the finals.
Now we were ready....we had played Lancaster earlier in the tournament and drew with them. We kicked off and David 'Jennetrator' Jennison calmed our nerves with two awesome headed goals off corner kicks. We could relax and play our game! I scored two more and Guillaime 'Napoleon' Borda grabbed a fifth...we were champions!
Up next? LBS hosts its own football tournament in two weeks, with a slightly expanded cast, including some Spanish schools...and we all know the Spanish are the kings of football....let's hope they have Kebabs in London....