However, on this occasion it was the BISS Puxi staff football team who were dusting off their boots and making the trek to Pudong early Saturday morning.
Once again the British Chamber of Commerce had organised a 7-a-side tournament hosted at Wellington School. This time last year I had the privilege of reporting on one of the personal highlights of my footballing career (there aren’t many) which was winning the 7-a-side Plate.
After a quick snap with Peppa Pig we trotted over to take part in the 20 team event and our first of four group games. There was no pigging around as we took an early 2-0 win followed by a decisive 5-0 battering of the second opponents. The third game saw us get our snouts in front early, only to be pegged back to a 1-1. Worst was yet to come, a late winner from the opposition saw us head off the field with our tail between our legs. Had we left ourselves in muddy waters? It was quite straight forward; we had to make sure we won the final two games to qualify for the next round. And qualify we did. The whole team mucked in and picked up a further 5-0 and a 3-0 victory!
We finished second in the group (to the eventual winners) which meant we were off to the semi-finals of the Plate. Familiar territory. We were tiring by this point but managed to drag our bellies across the finish line with a solid 3-0 win. To the final we went, after 6 hours of football and looking very pink-faced a mere 20 minutes lay been failure or success.
It was a tight affair with goalkeeper Mr Housham saving our bacon on more than one occasion. A gruelling 20 minutes wasn’t enough to separate either team. It was on to the dreaded penalty shoot-out and for all those that follow the English national team…well, it went according to plan, we lost. Disappointment all around.
Sadly, on this occasion, we couldn’t return to school with the Plate. A notable nod to Mr Dunphy and Mr Hudspith too, they’d left goalkeepers squealing with 6 and 7 goals to their name across the day. But on a brighter note, I won the overall player of the tournament… well, pigs might fly!
Adam Webb, Year 1 Class Teacher