On Sunday 9th July in the early hours of the morning a mix of the regular BEFC team and the new BEFC soon to enter TML Division 3 converged on Redsland in Saitama for a friendly with Club East Blue. The match kicked off at 9am but most of the players had started out about 6am in order to get to the pitch on time. For those who did it was a moral victory.
The idea behind the early kick off was to try and avoid the coming Summer heat, which from experience is almost impossible to play anything that resembles football in (nod to future WC). And despite maybe gaining a reprive of 2 celsius for the first hour it didn't really provide an answer. Over 2 hours BEFC played 4 x 18 minute matches against Club East Blue and Club Arachalcho (2 per club). Trying out some new players and some new positions with frequent subs it was the familiar story of getting to know your team mates with the new players showing out well and things looking bright for the new team -- despite everyone having the inability to finish that day. We can put that down to the heat.
One player who needed no help with earning their most valuable player award was Donald Freeke, the sentinel of defence. To be fair poor Freeke was the only regular center back with captain Ben Palmer having to perform goalkeeper duty, which also gave him the sun-tan inducing challenge of having to play all matches and no subs. However this seemed to only make him shine as Freeke repeatedly stood out as the mountain, 'thou shalt not pass'. Hunting down the pacey wingers who had got the better of the fullbacks, Freeke was there to clean up. Crush anyone silly enough to try and come down the middle, Freeke was there. Long ball into deep midfield... nope, headed out by Freeke. Strikers looking to get shots off around the edge of the box, sorry... Donald isn't having it, you are not only getting blocked but robbed of the ball too. With patented Donald Freeke gravity operating at levels that Scotty's Starship Enterprise 'could not take anymore of', any ball that bobbled in a challenge or block was only coming out on the boots of one man, and then to just in case anyone thought center backs only stopped entire offences scoring these days, Freeke would bring the ball back out into general play and roll out a pleasant pass for the waiting midfielder to initiate the attacking build-up, before well probably losing it again and re-starting the whole process.
For some exceptional stand out defending, calm build up play, having to defend with a very irregular back-line and not collasping with heat exhaustion Donald Freeke is the Adecco BEFC Most Valuable Players versus Club East Blue.