Gold Ball

So with the prospect of my first double international break weekend (Hungary has now rescheduled all games on the weekend preceding an international break – the only country in Europe to do so) precluding any first tier domestic football for a little while longer, I did what I wish I had not and ventured down to the Budapest League (the equivalent of the fourth tier) for a Friday night fixture.

I originally started writing this blog for a variety of reasons.  One of these reasons was to put a little bit of me into writing for any of my descendants to read a little bit about who I am/was.  It was never supposed to go this far.  But it has.  Forgive me grandchildren…

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Two pitches.  One confused man.

Tonight’s fixture at least had something of an interesting back story.  One of the teams was Inter CDF, a team established in 2006 as a rallying point for the African community in Budapest and environs, but now broadening its initiatives.  The team has more or less shot up through the lower leagues of Hungarian football despite some draconian, one-off punishments handed down by MLSZ for various misdemenaours regarding player registrations.  For a couple of seasons now, it has been flirting with promotion from the top tier of the Budapest league and into the giddy heights of Nemzeti Bajnoksag III and ‘the league proper’.  The club provides football for all ages in a manner that very few others do in this country.

Inter CDF were nominally the away team, but Goldball Park plays host to numerous fixtures across the Budapest leagues due to its weatherproof 3G pitches and floodlights.  There are actually two pitches running aside one another, which provides the casual spectator (me) the opportunity to watch two game concurrently.  Winner.  A small (c. 150 person) stand sits next to the pitch (with another one for the other pitch) although no more than 30 people (family and friends) had come out for this one.  I thought this was a bit disappointing.  Inter CDF have a reputation as a club for the African expat community so  I was expecting a few more bodies.  Goldball Park has a bar at one end, which sold beer for an excellent HUF 350 (EUR 1.1) although my excitement was tempered by the dreaded toilet key behind the bar situation.

Facilities

The game was not great and I probably enjoyed basking in the last of this year’s evening warmth than I did the game itself.  Opponents, Hegyvidek (Hill Country) were probably not expecting too much from this tie against a team with eyes further up the table.  You would not have guessed from the first half.  Inter CDF were slow out of the blocks and slowed down.  A rasping drive against the cross-bar was all they had to show as the midfield was overrun/kept giving the ball away and the lone striker found himself too isolated.  It was sloppy.  Hegyvidek (although not blessed with quality) looked lively and were unlucky to only go in 1-0.  Some more composure in front of goal and they could have put the game out of sight.

Inter CDF came out after a flea in their ear.  I knew that they had had a flea in their ear because they took the half time break on the sidelines.  They certainly looked to push the game more in the second half, but to be honest struggled to create many chances.  By this time, a group of five to ten rowdy Hungarians took up position in the stand next to me replete with palinka.  Cries of ‘Csak a feher’ were not pretty and breaking one of the little stand’s seats after Inter CDF equalized all seemed very unnecessary and uncivilized for an otherwise pleasant Friday evening.  So 1-1.

I will probably not rush back especially as the cold tentacles of winter appear, but once Spring appears and the game mean a little more, I could think of worse ways to enjoy the end of a week of work.

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