Sunday , December 6 2020

Freedom Through Football

Republica Internationale, UK

There have been some exciting times over the last couple of months for some members of Republica Internationale, unfortunately not many of them on the football pitch, at least not in the UK (more of this to follow later in the report!)

The men’s team started October with a 5-2 loss in Seacroft, the fact that they play an overly-aggressive and whinging game on a junior-sized pitch should not be held up as an excuse but let’s just say when we played them more recently on our ‘full’ sized pitch they couldn’t handle us and we eased to a 3-1 victory; man of the match Seamus. Goals came from Sai, Big Pat and Luis. After a 3-1 loss to last year’s champions, Commercial, we were at Seacroft again. Same pitch, different team, same outcome. This time the score line of 7-1 probably flattered the opposition but only time will tell if we can turn them over in the same fashion as we did their Seacroft ‘cousins’. October is not a month to dwell on.
Moving into November, right to the back end of November before our only game of the month which was the home victory against Seacroft.
This weekend we played a young, fairly fit bunch of lads going under the name of Elford FC. With 6 losses to their name and just one win we fancied our chances, at least we did until about an hour before kick-off. Events transpired against us and players were dropping like flies. At one point it looked like we would have only 9 players, even players who had been drafted in to ease the situation were being forced to pull out because of illness and other matters. Not to be deterred we went on the hunt for extra players and after dragging Sai from his bed we started the game with 11 and, after 15 mins, even had a substitute. Just in time, as it happens. Seamus hobbled off with an injury and on came Sai 25 mins in. It was just the tonic we needed as it was Sai who scored the opening goal. Playing possession football and driving the opposition to fighting amongst themselves an understrength Republica held a 1-0 lead at half time. The second half could have seen us destroy them, but not being able to curtail the enthusiasm to score meant we were caught offside too often. We did manage another couple, Ricky’s header from a Luis freekick justifying his decision to start while injured. Cedric went on a mazy run from left back and finished it with a strong strike at the second time of asking for the game’s best goal. Elford managed a consolation goal late on but never looked like troubling a resurgent Republica. Tom drew with Cedric as man of the match in a closely fought contest but plenty of others deserve a mention too.
So, as we all know, football results are not the be-all and end-all, it is more important what we can achieve through the game. This was ably shown by a group of women comprising members of Republica and Easton Cowgirls recently. Under the banner of FREEDOM THROUGH FOOTBALL, a tour of  Palestine in support of their freedom took place. The tour included a match against the Palestine national team, reported in the Jerusalem Post. There will be a more detailed report on this event soon, hopefully. The Republica women involved have done a radio talk show about their experiences of the trip and are preparing a talk to present their experiences to the club in the New Year.
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