Thursday, 7th July, 2005
Today, we began the fourth day of the Tournament. We met at the hotel at 7.30am and set of for the Mitchelton Soccer Club. At this stage of the tournament we were beginning to get tired but we were still enjoying it and the atmosphere was 100 percent. It was also great that all the other teams took so much interest in us because we had come from so far away.
On this Thursday we were to play two games. The first at 9.15am against Katikati College from New Zealand - a team which we had become really good friends with. When we had a game at different times we would always be there supporting each other and they also lent us players as we were short players. We won the game 3 - 0 but I think everybody really enjoyed it as it did not feel as competitive as some of the other games as we were playing against people who we had become quite close to.
Our next game was against Carey Baptist but this game was not until 2.00pm. So we had about two hours to spare. So we headed off to the local shopping centre for lunch and some shopping as promised by our manager and coach if we won the match and kept a clean sheet. So this made us all very determined to win the match as we grabbed every chance to go shopping. In our second game we were all very tired but we fought hard to win the match 5 - 0.
My 2005 Australian Tour Highlights
There were so many highlights that it is hard to pick out just one.
Day 10: 7th July
This was a day of mixed emotions for the hockey squad! We were revitalised after our day off on Wednesday and the sore muscles had eased slightly. Our first match was a close one but unfortunately we lost the match 1 - 0.
It being the hottest day of the tournament, we found it difficult to acclimatise to the heat and our afternoon opposition were too strong. The deadly heat of 23 degrees Celcius led to an 8 - 0 defeat but spirits were still high. We left the pitch with our heads held high and had a loud sing song in the courtyard of the grounds as a large crowd gathered around us.
We certainly brought something new and fresh to an otherwise serious competition and even made one lady cry (not in a bad way) which was unintentional but satisfying.
After a tiring day we held a BBQ for our billeting families in Forest Lake College which enabled us to meet other families and socialise as a group. I was told to make a speech approximately two minutes beforehand which probably meant it was a shambles but I meant every word - we were all really thankful to have experienced Australian life and nobody wanted to leave Forest Lake. After the BBQ some of us went to the cinema but it was an early night for everyone after an exhausting day.
My 2005 Australian Tour Highlight
Choosing a single favourite memory is difficult but one that stands out above all others is Day Four of the tournament when despite an 8 - 0 defeat we left the pitch chanting as a team and showing the others what Irish Spirit truly is. We even got a mention in the awards presentation on the Friday for having such fearsome team spirit and I feel that this was a point of the tour where I truly felt proud to be captain of the Manor House School Senior Hockey Team
Rosie and dolphin
Claire in action