Five Dragons made the trip over to Holland for the recent gay games with Murray, Jason and
John A competing in the Football Competition and Dave A and John B travelling to support. It was
a great experience for us all despite being a tiring few days.
There were over 20 sports taking place throughout Rotterdam with the football played over 3
days with each team having 11 games. The games totalled a whopping 365 minutes of football
equivalent to over 4 full 90 minute matches for those who did not have the luxury of being
substituted! The venue was a smart one on the outskirts of Rotterdam with the men’s divisions
played on smart 3G type astroturf pitches.
The competition consisted of 12 teams of which 9 were from Great Britain. There were a few
absentees which was disappointing but the standard of football was very good throughout.
Manchester 2 for whom Murray was playing were unlucky not to qualify from their opening group
with 2 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat from their 5 games conceding just 2 goals. Leftfooters for
whom myself and John A played were competing in the same group and also did not qualify
but put in some good performances including a 0-0 draw with Manchester 2. This meant both
teams went into the second division and Manchester 2 again faired well topping the group and
then winning their position play off 1-0 against Stonewall 2 to finish 7th take the gold medal in
the division. They conceded just 3 goals in their 11 games. Leftfooters finished 5th in the group
and also won their positional play off 2-1 to finish 11th. Amos and John B came along to support
donned in their Dragons polo shirts and our presence was noticed by many during the week .
Away from the football Rotterdam was a friendly but unusual city having been much rebuilt
following the second world war. The main part of the city consisted of many large high rise
business headquarters and when built what was Europe’s first large all pedestrianised shopping
complex. Further into the city there was the large harbour area and a good number of restaurants
and gay bars and cafes. Amos and John B managed to go on some day trips to Amsterdam and
also to Utrecht where I joined them. Utrecht was an interesting cultural town and we took a trip
down the canal to see a lot of it. The 5 of us also met up on the Friday for a group ‘Dragons’ meal
which was a nice evening before we all made our various ways back home to Wales.