After moving away from my old football team, I couldn’t wait to start playing again elsewhere; so much that I stalked their Facebook page and considered messaging them before I arrived. I wanted to make sure I could start playing straight away. It had been 3 months after all…
I was slightly afraid that football at university wouldn’t be taken as seriously. Everyone around me said it’d probably be a drinking team and I guess that’s true, but it is as much of a football team! Our name for superteams (I’ll explain superteams in a future post) was: ‘Our drinking team has a football problem,’ but I think it might work better as: ‘Our football team has a drinking problem,’ because even though the team loves to get absolutely smashed at least once a week, we’re not supposed to drink on a night before a match… meaning the football bit is slightly more important, right?
In the beginning of the academic year, we started out with 2 football practices a week which later became 3 and then fell back to just one. We play matches on Wednesday (Bucs: British universities & college sport) and Sundays. The Bucs games tend to be harder and are considered to be more important.
The first match of the season was an away game on a Sunday. One noticeable difference between away matches over here and in the Netherlands is that no matter where we go, traveling time is always over 45 minutes and for the away games on Wednesdays it’s not unusual to travel for 3 hours.
The fields are different over here. For one, we have only played on one 3G pitch in this entire season; the rest has been grass (and because it is grass and in a rainy country it’s troublesome to even keep on standing half of the time.) Secondly, the fields are smaller or I remember them to seem smaller when I first got here. However, there is no shortage of fields unless they are so soaked with water they are unable to be played on.
I first and foremost joined the team to play football, but AUWFC is a lot more than that. Frankly, I was terrified at first. Even though I was very involved in the football aspect from the start, it took me a bit longer to get into the social side of it. Sports teams of the university have socials every Wednesday. The socials have themes (we basically have carnival every week) and they include a lot of alcohol.
As a part of being a member of the club, we had initiations too. One for Bucs away games of which I mainly remember the raw onion that we had to eat and another one for just team initiations which was more alcohol oriented. For Bucs away games, the club also has the tradition of having to down a bottle of Lambrini in under 15 minutes on the bus and I gotta say that I’m not a fan of that. Actually, no one seems to be but you know… traditions.
The great thing about the club or university or the combination of the two is that we also take part in superteams and rugby 7’s. We also don’t just see each other on the football field (socials, duh), but also elsewhere for either other sport related activities or not.
Over time, eventually I stopped being scared and as the team stayed open and welcoming, it all sort of worked out. I can honestly say that being a part of this club is one of the best experiences I got out of university so far even if I am slightly less of a drinker than the rest of the club. There are things I miss from my old club and AUWFC might be a tad crazy, but it’s great.