[SPL News] Century Park FC the team to beat in the SPL !

Amigo’s and Amiga’s,

Last weekend some teams took part in the Shanghai Masters. A great veteran tournament organized by Super 48 ! It was won by Emerald FC who beat Japan 1-0 in the final and the Lions Legends ended third after they lost the semi’s against Japan on penalty. For this reason we had only one game on Sunday !

Century Park FC 1–0 ERS

It was a great setting on a great pitch with the two teams in form battling it out. ERS started better and got opportunities esp Ondrej came close as well ERS felt they deserved a penalty when he was tackled from behind. After a while Century Park came over their nerves and took more possession and control of the game. They tried to score by counters but Shingi and Max rushed too much and missed the targets. In the second half Century Park started better fully focused and it lead to the opening goal great run and pass fm Daniel Kim to Fafa who scored the 1-0. Now ERS had to come and they tried it with long balls and on the other side Century Park tried to break on counters and came close a few times ! It stayed 1-0 and Sam of ERS said after the game “ It was a great game of football but in this game both sides didn’t deserve to lose” !

This weekend we will have three games in the SPL!

  • 1230 -1430 Krauts vs MMFC @ Jinqiao
  • 1430-1630 Lions – ERS @ Jinqiao
  • 1400-1600 Century Park FC – Marlins

Temperatures are hitting winter levels so let the games be excellent warming up games for the upcoming Santa Cup hopefully played in the snow !

Cheers
Freek / Yamada

[SPL News] SPL is back on track !

Amigo’s and Amiga’s,

October weather is always good in Shanghai and last Sunday the playing condition were excellent 25 degrees and green grass at SCSC. Jinqiao finally had their family day last weekend as it caused some trouble to us due to their postponement by a week. Century Park will be back this weekend after winter grass seeding and will be in top notch conditions !
Peter Rosselli of the Marlins is writing interesting articles about Chinese football on the website of Wild East Football. Its definitely worth a look and a read ! The Chinese never ending Football Story is going on and on and the amounts being paid for foreign coaches nowadays are completely out of this world we will have to worry that one of these days Bilgin or Steve Fishwick will be no longer in the SPL but in the CSL. Rumors are going around that Steve will succeed Erikson at SIPG but the contract is still pending on some undisclosed minor details…..!

ERS 5–0 Krauts

Bilgin finally was back and the had 11 players on the pitch as the week before they won with 9 players ! ERS is the team in form at the moment one good point about them is that they play with the same team and formation week after week. It showed as they scored after 40 seconds after Gonzalo the Krauts defender thought he was Maradonna in their own box ! The second goal was an easy catch for the Krauts goalie but maybe he got nervous by Bilings presence and let the ball fly in the goal 2-0. If that was not enough the 3-0 was another gift too early for Christmas. Stas arrived only in the second half and the Krauts started to play better with him but another gift made it 4-0 and the final gift was from the linesmen to make it 5-0. If that was not enough for the Krauts Bilgin missed a penalty to make the misery complete ! Good result for ERS and the Krauts will bounce back against Century Park in two weeks !

Lions 2–2 Japan

Japan is always able to give the opponents a hard time due to their fast play and good fitness level. This time it was not any difference as they took the lead the Lions goalie didn’t clear a cross in properly. Japan was faster and quicker in the beginning of the game and the Lions could only stop them by making some fouls. They got some chances as well and a long strike of Tomas ended in the top corner. Soon after it was Felix who finished well after a quick counter. While the Lions were celebrating Japan was ready for the kick off and Nakano-san the Japanese striker had other ideas as he shot a thunderbolt over the Lions defense and also over our helpless looking Dim, …..2-2 ! In the second half the Lions played much better and more serious as they knew a draw would not be good enough. They created plenty of opportunities but either they shot just wide or the Japanese goal keeper saved their efforts. At the final end Japan even got a chance for the winner but they hit the post and saw Dim putting out a ball at the very last moment. Compliments to Japan who indeed gave the Lions a hard time !

Marlins 12–0 Galacticos

This time it was harder for the Galacticos as the Marlins are also in fine form they couldn’t find the net on the otherside the Marlins scored thu Jamie Lally 3 x Wilson 2 x Gui 1x (left a hole in the net) Tony 2x Pete 1 x Steve 1 x and Mossy 2x. The big question left is why Dale was not on the Marlins goal sheet…..?

We are very pleased to have the Century Park field back in action this Sunday with two games !

  • 1300 Century Park FC – MM FC
  • 1500 ERS – Galacticos

Enjoy the games as winter will arrive soon in Shanghai and they predict much cooler temperatures than normal which is great for the SANTA CUP !

Cheers
Freek / Yamada

[SPL News] 10th season is over

Amigo’sand Amiga’s,

All good things come to an end. The SPL season is no exception ! We had three games to play before we could evaluate the final ranking and performances of the teams. The weather was good and this season we have been lucky with the weather ! No complaints to the weather gods from our side !

  • Flamenkos 1-1 ERS

There was nothing at stake anymore in this game and the atmosphere was very friendly. Leftovers from Frederik’s goodbye Shanghai Party were shared between the teams and the referees. ERS scored first and after that it was a festival of missing opportunities for the Flamenkos. Sharing the points and the friendship was a good way to  end the season for our number 5th and 6th of the SPL !

  • Galacticos 0-17 Marlins

Despite the high score line the game was always good in sport and credit to the Galacticos who never gave up to try and score a goal. Marlins were happy with the result and ended up drinking away the Shanghai Beer Stock in Blue Marlin after the game.  Banksy in person closed down the establishment in the dark hours of the night !

  • Shanghai 2000 1-9 Cowboys

It was hard for the Shanghai 2000 players to stop Zhuang our SPL top scorer ! He just never stops scoring goals. First half it was 0-5 and luckily Shanghai 2000 could score a goal in the second half as they missed a few opportunities in the first.

 

Looking back it was an amazing season with hardly any incidents. I think that’s a great achievement of all the managers and players of the SPL !  Of course the Referees and the Grass-masters have done a fantastic job every week ! Its the confirmation that we are on the right track in the SPL. In the SPL we all respect our opponents and we respect the game of football and yes we battle for 90 minutes but afterwards we shake hands and have a chat or a beer to talk about the game.

We played a record 110 games at the three best locations in Shanghai  ! Total goals scored 698 !

We will wait until the 16th of June at our end of the season party to put everybody in the spotlight. There will be plenty of awards to give away ! Don’t miss the party.

A Quick recap of the ranking :

  • 11th Galacticos – Difficult season for them as they struggled to have a solid team base after a few key players left last season. What stood out for me was their spirit and the love for the sport. Losing almost every week is hard for any team, but the Galacticos never ever gave up and still managed to have fun during the games.  If they can get a solid base group of players together next season they can be back at their best !
  • 10th Super 48 – Despite ending close to the bottom of the SPL Super 48 had their best seasons ever. They gave many teams a lot of trouble and the highlight for them was their victory over the cowboys. If every game was only 45 minutes long they would end up in the Top 6 of the SPL no doubt about that. They are a big contender for the Fairplay  Cup this season. As well its rumored they will change their name to Super 38 next season !
  • 9th Pistolera Bulls – Looking at the performance of the Bulls this season it’s obvious that with 91 goals conceded they had their problems in the defense. I have seen games where Bilgin opted for a one man defense, most of the time himself. In this way he could collect more yellow cards and in that sense the strategy worked. Overall fitness level is another point of concern for the Bulls as they are not getting any younger and some of their players need to carry the extra kilos. Bilgin is working on a mega deal with the largest fitness center operator in Shanghai to get his player back to their old level. Scoring is no problem for the Bulls with over two goals per game on average !
  • 8th Japan – This will be the lowest ranking for Japan in the SPL. One of the problems is that their top striker only scored 8 goals. If they could have scored more than their 46 goals they would easily have ranked 6th place or better. Of course their season had  highlights as well a come back to clinch a draw versus the Flamenkos after being down 5-0 will be remembered far beyond Tokyo ! A draw versus the Lions as well as its not easy to take points from them. We expect a better performance from Japan next season !
  • 7th Shanghai 2000 – Our rooky of the year ! Playing on the super pitch at Century Park as their home ground we can conclude that they had a decent first year in the SPL. Too bad that their top goals scorer Hugo had to leave China half way through the season but still they managed to score 63 goals. Shanghai 2000 are a team with experienced players and a good disciplinary record. In China that’s a good asset to own besides many properties !
  • 6th Flamenkos – If only everybody would have come to each game they promised to come they would have been in the top of the SPL.  A mix of Champions League games / Formula 1 / El Classico’s resulted in a small squad. If everybody was present they were a hard team to beat. With only 53 goals scored it as well were the missed opportunities that kept them out of the title race this season !
  • 5th ERS – A few very good players left at the end of last season. It resulted in a difficult first half of the season. It was their teams spirit that kept them alive and after Chinese New Year they had a very good run of results. Scoring goals was their problem you cannot blame their strikers as together they scored 50 pct of ERS’s total of 44 goals. A good scoring midfielder will surely send them in the top the SPL next season. ERS scouts are already searching the globe ! Fifth place out of 11 teams is not a bad result !
  • 4th Marlins – Before the start of the season Steve disclosed to me that their strategy was to win the SPL on goal difference in the final game of the season. For very long it seemed to be the right choice. They ended up scoring an all time SPL record of 123 goals ! Helped by goal scoring machines like Kevin and Fedja and Gui who together scored 63 pct of their total. However in the final games of the season they let the title slip out of their hands or feet…or heads. ! Having scored the most goals this season and having the second best defensive record in the league might leave you with the question why they only ended on the 4th place !
  • 3th Gremio – Very solid team performance until the very end of the season. First year to operate under the Gremio name and despite losing the title they can look back at a successful season. They had a solid defense the third best in the league but scored  a bit less goals compared to the other top 4 teams, 83 goals ! However some of those goals surely belong to the SPL “Best Goals of the Season” !
  • 2nd Cowboys – To say that the Cowboys were the surprise factor of the season is an understatement ! We never knew that Cowboys could play football ! They had a super season ending only 5 points behind the Lions. Their strength was their attacking duo Zhuang and Chen KL. Zhuang became the SPL top scorer with 40 goals ! The cowboys reached over 100 goals for the season in their last game. Defense was not as strong conceding 43 goals but overall a fantastic result for them !
  • 1st Lions – The Lions thought they had lost it when in the last game of 2012 they lost against the Marlins 4-3. However after the game all players stayed back for a few beers to heal the pain as team ! It helps to always be positive and the conclusion of the day was that they needed to win all the games left for the season in order the be Champions ! This is exactly what happened. The secret of their success was by all means their defense as they conceded only 2 goals in the rest of the season and 18 in total. By beating their closest rivals in the last games of the season we can say that they deserved the Championship !

 

Let’s all celebrate the good end of the season tournament on the 16th of June followed by the SPL Party and the SPL awards Ceremony !

Thank you for being part of the SPL. You all made the SPL Special !

 

Cheers
Happy Freek – SPL President on behalf of the SPL Committee

A studious weekend for the Lions

Lions,

[ Friendly ] Lions 7-0 Gremio (26 Jan 2013)

On Saturday we played a friendly as we wanted to stay focus for the title race! The opponent the Hawks/Gremio from the SPL were chosen in order to be well prepared to play versus DIB next month. We were goalie-less as Dim pulled out last moment but we discovered hidden goalie talent, especially Gwen and Allan were impressive to say the least. It was great to see Chris S back on the pitch after his long lasting injury. We were definitely not goal-less we won 7-0 and even the President himself netted a goal (penalty) !

[ SPL ] Century Park FC 0-3 Shanghai Lions (27 Jan 2013)

On Sunday it was a serious game versus Shanghai 2000. We knew we had to play better than last week in order to stay in the title race. However Simon together with co-coach Gwen tried to sabotage the team by not announcing the line-up on the website. God bless everybody was motivated including Jeff’s beautiful twin girls as they were dancing around on the field during the warm up.

We started very well and played good football. The reward came within 5 minutes by a good header from Adam, soon after Joel found the net and after that Terao-san blasted home the third !

Second half Amine was very unlucky to dislocate his shoulder but his shoulder is back in place after a visit to the hospital. We should have scored at least four more goals but failed to hit on target so we won 3-0 instead of 7-0.

Something for the next training to work on is to finish in front of an open goal ! One more high-light was Michael’s performance as at the half time break he looked pale as a ghost blaming it on his food in take the day before but our suspicion was that it was an dangerous alcohol mix combined with potato chips. Ten minutes before the end of the game our man form Kansas went down screaming with pain as he got cramp in both legs ! It was also good to see Matze back with his Starbucks in his hand this time as supporter!

 

Both days I was very pleased with the team spirit of the Lions. It’s a real joy to work with all of you and I hope this spirit will lead us to many trophies !

We have a good week ahead of us this Thursday the Sports Awards at the Camel Bar. We expect all the Lions to come for a beer and support the Shanghai Sports Community! Saturday we will play the Beavers and hope that DIB will slip up a second time versus Re-United and on Sunday we will play the French ERS and we don’t need motivation for this game as everybody like to kill the French Fries!

 

Enjoy Life Enjoy being a Lion!

 

Cheers
Freek

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