A Football Match: WYKAAO vs. WYCHKOAA, July 1, 1999
Click here for a short video of the game.
Captains Raymond Chan and Tim Kwan reminisce the event.
That’s the year my twin girls were born. Knowing lot of twins were born prematurely, I was kind of worried that I had to leave while playing and take my wife to the hospital. Finally, they were born full term on Halloween day.
R: On that day, we had the following players:
Pat Lai (’72, WYK soccer team captain, excellent 2 way player)
Wong Wen (’73 was very good, with style like ‘Wong Tat Choy’, but hampered by injuries)
Jim Fung (’73 another solid center defender, I used to call him ‘Ku Lim Kuen’, gained lots of weight and relied on his savvy)
Joe Cheng (‘78, excellent sweeper, kept himself in top shape)
Stephen Fung (‘77, skillful midfield)
David Lai (’90, our quickest player, but out of soccer for a while)
Tony Wan (’91, our youngest player, technically a bit green but played defense with big heart)
Dermot Chan (’65, with gloried past, slowed down a lot these days)
Joe Wong (‘67, defense, still played tough and provided good leadership)
Fred Yip (‘71, defense)
Tony Chiu (‘68, had good speed)
Peter Au (‘66 goalie, surprisingly still had good reflex: He now lives in HK)
Cedric Ko (‘94, ‘young’ goalkeeper to share the goal keeping duty with Au)
We also had Simon Ho ‘77, Kaiser Chan ’78, and Bill Ip ’77, all solid players, but not in top shape due to busy work.
And then we have you, Tim, a smart player with good soccer sense and good shot.
T: Ray, that is too much praise! I remember those were the players who came to 1 or 2 practices. Do you remember a few who just showed up on game day?
R: Yes, we also had Bosco Leung ’74 from Waterloo and another from out of town to come all the way to participate in the tournament.
Overall our team consisted of good, experienced players, but our times were behind us; we had to rely on our experience and soccer savvy. Our average age was over 45, I believe. Only had 3 players were under 39 and a few were over 50. I was 43.
T: I was 48 then. Other than the practice, do you remember the two of us going to the game field that week to try some shots?
R: Yes…as you know, both my ligaments, the ACL and MCL, around my right knee were completely torn and nothing holds the bones besides the muscle. And it was you who suggested that I needed to strengthen my tight muscle. So a few days before the game, we went to the same field at Unionville High, and took shots after shots from the 2 sides of the goal area. We took quite a few, 30, 40 shots maybe… It was very tiring but I guess it worked; my knee surprisingly held for the whole game.
T: yes, I remembered your knee used to ‘buckle’ in the middle of those ‘inter catholic school soccer league’ games, you had to crawl out of the field, but few minutes later, you got back on and played again, scoring a goal or two…
R: Guess I was a bit crazy at the time….
T: There was some confusion about which fields to use on that morning too. Can you elaborate?
R. On the game day, when we got to Unionville High School, we anticipated old teams like ours and WYHK, and figured the smaller field would demand less running for both teams. We set up all the nets and corner poles on that field facing Warden Ave. Moments later, WYHK team showed up, surprisingly their team basically made up with all young men in their 20s; and they asked us to move to the huge field on the other side of the school. Our president at the time agreed without talking to the soccer team, so we just took everything off from that smaller field and set them up again on the bigger field.
T: Do you think they wanted to take advantage of the field being bigger?
R: Don’t want to comment on that, but the fact is bigger fields favor the faster and attacking team.
T: WYHK had about 80% control in the first 20 minutes or so until your goal. You were playing right forward and I was left midfield but mostly defending, far back from you. Tell us about that goal.
R: At the time, the ball was put up field innocently with clearing attempt from us, maybe only the 2nd time that the ball was on their side up to that point. It was on our right side, close to the side line and about 35 yards from their goal line. I tried to do fore check, but seeing that their left defense seemed to have full control, I sort of stopped running while I was about 5 yards away from him.
T: Then what happened?
R: Instead of clearing the ball one-time, the left defense stopped the ball, wanted to play the ball and made some nice little pass in their back court. Seeing that, I sped up, ran to him and fought for the ball; he panicked and tried to just kick the ball away. The ball bounced off my feet and landed about 3 yards to my left, while this guy was on my right. I chased after the loose ball, took a peek at the same time and saw their goalie quickly left his goal area and came out 15, 16 yards to try to stop my break away. I did not waste time to find out where the goal mouth was, but I knew the goalie would come out to cut the shooting angle down, and if I lined a straight line between the ball and the goalie the goal mouth would be behind time. So without even stopping the ball, using my left foot, I lobbed the ball softly over the goalie’s head, and with a bounce or two, it went in. The goalie turned back and tried desperately to chase after the ball, but not in time.
T: This is the time that I can say something about your ability to make an opportunity from nothing, and then score on it. Wonderful!
T: In such a tight game, why did we substitute players?
R: When the WYK team played in the Catholic School League, we always played everyone who came, so despite the difficult situation, we managed to play everybody,
T: What do you think about the play of WYHK at that time?
R: They played well and hard, had overall possession about 90% of the game. They were energetic and fast. We had expected some young players but not that many. I am not sure if they all attended WYHK, whereas the WYKAAO team was all old (I mean ‘OLD’) boys from Waterloo Road.
T: I felt the same way too. But there was no time to get into that. We just had to play our best, and hope to win,
R: In the second half, we defended beautifully. There were a few key saves by our defenders and the goalie. Au Wai Lam made a great dive to save a goal; Pat Lai, Joe Cheng, Bill and Stephen clogged and suffocated their attacks from the middle.
T: Yes, I still remember Joe Wong heading out a ball from the goal line behind me, and lots of action in front of our goal. Once I stole the ball in midfield and pass it to make a breakaway with 2 of our teammates against their goalie, but no score.
R: Yes, that was an excellent pass with good vision; it would be nice if we could get an insurance goal at the time, would make the game so much easier. We didn’t even get a shot on goal, or a corner, on that play.
T: Even when the game was very tight, we played our out of town players to make it a true WYK alumni team. You were worried?!
R: Like you said, we tried to play everyone that showed up. Yes, I was worried since we never played with some of them before, so I switched position with one player, asked him to play upfront, and I played midfield, assisting the defense. Everyone was playing so hard, and I would like to maintain the score to reward everyone’s hard work. Overall, everyone played a little bit so that was good.
T: We participated with sportsmanship, in the spirit of WYKAAO, and won.
R: Exactly, sportsmanship and the WYK spirit was the most important. Winning was good added bonus.