Lions, now it’s party time!!!
We have achieved what no other team or club has achieved before as we won both leagues in Shanghai the SPL and the SIFL ! Before the start of the season we could only dream of it but once the season progressed we saw more and more motivated Lions. Our trainings under the great supervision of Azz and Simon were well attended even last week we had 30 Lions showing up ! No other teams in Shanghai are having such well organized trainings and have so many motivated players.
As the Saturdays Lions were off to their best start ever in the SIFL it motivated the Sunday Lions to catch up in the SPL. Turning point to me for the SPL was in December when we lost 4-3 versus the Marlins. Extremely frustrated all the players stayed back after the game to have a few beers and we talked about the rest of the season. Ironically we said if we win all our games we will be Champions ! Exactly that’s what happened we locked our defense and started to score goals like a machine ! A long the way our closest opponent started to feel the pressure. Especially against Gremio we played our best game of the season on all aspects of the game were better and the result was a 6-0 victory ! Next up were the Cowboys last week and again it was our fitness and good balance in the team of course helped by our team spirit that brought us the title.
Gremio yesterday lost against the Cowboys so before we started versus the Marlins we were officially SPL Champions. The first 45 minutes we adapted to the Marlins style of football with long balls skipping our midfield. Thanks to Jack we got at least something to fight for in this game as they Marlins took the lead 1-0. The second half we wanted to win the game under the Captaincy of Joel we started to show our teeth. His brilliant cross reached Benji who was running faster than the Maglev train and he made no mistake in front of the Marlins Keeper 1-1 ! The joy of playing started to come back and before we knew it we scored the winner 2-1 an easy tip in for Joel. After that it was time for the substitutes to come in and our goal was to keep the lead. Credit to the Marlins who kept on fighting until the last minute and kept our defenders very busy on the day.
After the game it was time for the Champagne (yes they have some good things in France….) Final result this season 17 wins + 2 losses + 1 draw scored 94 goals and conceded only 18 goals (this is our secret asset a solid non French Defense !)
On Saturday we had our last league game versus the Shooters ! First half we were not playing well partly because there was nothing at stake anymore. Yes we hit the post and the cross bar but couldn’t find the net ! In the second half we showed that our fitness level is much better than the Shooters and started to dominate the game. Two good combinations ended at the feet of Antony Nobile who scored both goals. It could have been 3-0 if Simon scored his penalty. Its was my mistake to let him take the spot kick as I should have known that he wanted to keep his record of no goals scored for the whole season. Well done Simon ! You might be up for a reward here !
SIFL season we ended with 16 wins + 1 loss + 1 draw and we scored 87 goals and conceded 20 ! We ended the season 19 points ahead of the Shooters !
Thomas flew all the way from Sydney to play the last 5 minutes of our game versus the Shooters so that he would be entitled the Championships medal ! At least he got a taste of winning as since he left Shanghai last year we only lost one game… coincidence???
We have the SIFL Semi Cup final ahead of us this coming Saturday and we are going to put a very strong Lions team versus the Shooters ! So please all come to the training !
On June 8th, we will hold our official Lions Champion(s) Party! We expect everybody to come and make this a memorable event !
To all the Lions who have contributed to the success this season I like to say a very big THANK YOU ! Incredible ! I am proud to be a Lion !
Double Happy Freek