Chad Wright gives his impressions of his first FISTF tournament:
My first experience playing in an International Open came at the Glasgow IO in mid February. Having only started playing in the Glasgow Club the previous summer it was an event I had been really looking forward to and it didn’t fail to excite and entertain.
I was impressed with how well the event was organised and run and even more impressed with the level of skill in the players present: watching guys like Chris Thomas and Chris Short who make the game look so easy and up and coming stars like under 16’s Ruby Matthews who left a trail of very good players in her wake as she progressed to the team finals with Wobbly Hobby A team.
My own personal highlight, however, was playing in my first game on the Saturday in the individuals against Lawrence Watson from Derry City. For those who don’t know, Lawrence has a youtube channel (Watsies Subbuteo Art) promoting entertaining off-the-cuff videos on our beautiful miniature game and the players involved.
I came off the better in the game managing to keep a clean sheet in the process. But Lawrence was full of anticipation for the coming matches and was excited for the rest of the event. Our paths met again, however, as I was drawn to referee his last match in the Sunday team event Derry City V Edinburgh’s Golazzo. He was a near broken man, exclaiming he had played so badly and hadn’t even managed to score a single goal. Things weren’t getting any better! By half time he was 4-0 down to Marco Bevilacqua. His mood dropped further, intimating that he was going to give up the game as he was so bad (Obviously Lawrence’s words were a bit more colourful!). I said in passing to just keep trying, get a goal before he goes, a highlight to take away!! His team were shouting over encouragement too.
10 minutes into the second half Lawrence was now 6-0 down. It was looking like he was leaving Glasgow goalless! But a missed flick by Marco with 3 minutes to go gave Lawrence possession just on the halfway line. He worked it up the pitch and passed the ball through Marco’s defence to the 18-yard line. Marco got a great blocking flick from a wide player, goal side of the ball. Lawrence measured the shot and executed the flick… The ball hit the defender and lifted into the air, over the keeper and under the crossbar…. YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!! Even as the referee I let out a cheer, Marco too, high fives all round. Just that one goal is all it takes to keep you coming back!!!’