[Photos will be uploaded later today, but you can view KNO's here]
When we started out with Mighty Ducks in February 2007, one of the things we wanted to achieve was to give tournament experience to the boys. I guess my side has conflicting objectives with Badut’s/technical coaches’ objectives – while they were interested to upgrade the boys’ skills and opportunities to play against better teams, I was more interested in giving them the experience to bond as a team; because that memories will ensure they will come back one day to continue this.
Luckily despite the differences, actually the objectives were one of the same. And all the objectives were met during the last tournament.
It was certainly the most expensive games that we had to pay; averaging about RM800 per game (which reminds me I have not close the accounts so expect some Ah-Longs going around asking for money after this). What made it expensive was the fact we had to pay for everything – from the accommodation, food, their tickets to KK (and one guy was flown from Sarawak as we decided we should not discriminate the boy just because he happens to be a Sarawakian), the transportation from KK to Penang and back, their meal allowance and all other incidental expenses along the way. This included Panadol, Eno, mineral water, drinks etc.
But going through the cost-benefit analysis; I personally thought it was worth it though it is very difficult to quantity/monetize trust, good relationship and most importantly love. I certainly got what I thought we invested for – the kids’ trust and love; and that’s worth more than any money we can find (OK this is my personal opinion which others certainly do not share).
I spent a considerable time with Class of 2009 players because they were the most distant from the coaches previously. Lo and behold I actually settled for the hostel with the communal shower etc. in spite of the history of abandoning Safari Resort in 2004 during batch reunion 2004 for a better room elsewhere! But I thought it was worth doing – because this was the only window I had to break through with the boys before they go back to koleq. And I thought we did quite a splendid job at it – 2008 can just be focused on training with little soft issues to navigate; unlike 2007!
Wong had been in USM from Tuesday onwards and were there to receive the boys when they arrived on Thursday night. Badut and KNO drove together on the same day; Joe drove separately. My flight from KK touched down on Thursday night and I had to drive straight to Penang at midnight with Canoe, Anding and K (Class of 2008) [Correction: Canoe did most of the driving since I nearly killed all of us sleeping at the wheel while the car was put on a cruise and fast catching up on a petrol tanker!].
Again and again I cannot describe the feeling of togetherness with Badut, KNO, Wong, Joe and Canoe each time we do this. As if all the problems go away – that all that mattered to us during that short 3 days was the boys and all of us shared the same pride, we spoke the same thing about how this so and so was so good; about how that boy had such a flair at playing hockey, about how Holland had become so tembam – is one of the things I really cannot quantify and describe. But when everything else fails, so far Mighty Ducks and being on the field always managed to cheer us up; it is escapism at its best.
As for the results; well it’s a different story altogether. After all we never expected the boys to progress beyond the first round!
CANDID 1 – KENA SAMAN JADI?
Wong, Badut and KNO conspired to steal my car sticker for 10-Year Reunion in 2004 and put it on the college bus! You’ll see a Class of 94’s sticker on MCKK bus from now onwards.
CANDID 2 – DRAMA QUEEN
The first team was late for the match against Anderson (which they lost and sent us packing home), so they couldn’t do a proper warm up before the game (mostly were still sleeping zombies as the game was at 8 am).
Joe as the coach for the team really went off the roof. After the game we had a long maki hamun session to the boys and threatened to leave them high and dry; unless they maintain high discipline throughout.
But none of what any other coaches did matched Joe’s “drama queen of the year”:
Dengan muka bengis, macam keluar asap dari hidup, dan hampir membaling clip board after sejam maki hamun, dia cakap kat budak-budak – “Korang pikir2 lah korang nak menang ngan Clifford tak next year. Korang pikir la masak2” sambil berjalan meninggalkan padang ala-ala merajuk besar, macam nak quit.
Padahal we all know dia lapar and bini dia kat apartment dah summon dia balik ha ha ha
CANDID 3 – KUEY TEOW LONGKANG
The night before the final game, we thought we brought the kids out for a meal. Since Wong is the only person who knows Penang inside out, so we asked him to pick the place.
He said he was going to bring the kids to eat the best kuey teow in Penang, it’s called “kuey teow longkang”. Of course we were accustomed to weird names for good food e.g. mee racun, so no question was asked why it was called “kuey teow longkang”.
Lo and behold, an hour later – we realized why it’s called as such.
It’s a small gerai tepi longkang, and from the look of it kuey teow tu memang masak ngan air longkang tu pun!
Recurring mistake and lessons never learnt – Do not trust Wong when you expect good things from your accommodation or food. Wong is your Brokeback guy, only does it the Brokeback way (ha ha).
MCKK A (U-18) - lost to Anderson Tiger at 2nd round (knock-off): 4-0
MCKK B (u-18) and MCKK Jr (u-15) - lost both games at 1st round
2) All save one boy (latest update) of the hockey boys got 8As in the recent PMR. There were a series of SMS, so finally I asked what treat did they expect from us. This one is the sweetest reply from one of the boys:"Kitrg xnk pe2 cuma nk jumpa abg2 blik cpt2. X sabar nk jumpa blik n training. Ble nk blik koleq lg?"
Oooooooooo..... (as in the "ooooo" in the sitcom when sweet moments happen)