After something like 2.75 years in Vietnam, I'm taking the low road back to civilisation.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

#2 Saigon Raiders

Saigon Raiders could well dominate this list, predominantly because every Sunday up until I started breaking my leg and several occasions afterwards was a tremendously enjoyable parallel to a working week where I was putting myself in front of uninspiring students all for what was certainly one of the lowest ex-pat salaries in the city... especially when I was afforded the chance to become a first choice midfielder in a competitive 11's team for the first time since my reproductive system had kicked into gear. (Why I am rambling about my balls at this point I'm not quite sure...) However, tours were the highlights of my time with Saigon Raiders and those were not Saigon based memories, so I will omit those. I could name my record breaking goal after only 8 seconds against LDC. And for a shameless plug, I will. If you haven't heard of or were privileged enough to have seen that goal, then watch Tshabalala's goal for South Africa against Mexico and you will see a pretty close approximation of the only competitive goal of my Raiders career. Except mine was a sweeter strike since the ball was a few yards outside the box, and he’s probably a bit better with his left foot than I. (I went on to score a handful, but as Facebook shows, those were hardly on a par with the (ultimately meaningless) goal against LDC). We lost 2-1.

So what memory am I going for? Due to injuries, it’s been such a long time since I played seriously in Vietnam that I'm struggling here. This is the first of the ten memories I have written at length about and I have already chosen this as number 2 without having decided on a memory!

However Saigon Raiders 20th anniversary weekend was a suitably appropriate farewell for me, combining an awards night, the Champions league final and a challenge match made up of My Whites against Miquels Reds with around 30 Raiders past and present participating. Had I not picked up an award on the Saturday night and captained my team to a 5-1 victory against Miquel, then there's a chance I would have picked another memory. Not so.

If I never again turn out in the red and white then I will be astonished – Unless that is because Fraser succeeds in changing the kit colour to black and white stripes - I fully expect to feature for them once again in the future, most likely on tour in Thailand.

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