On the 24-27th of March XMIFC Men & Women went to Sanya, Hainan
A nice group with a total of 25 players of XMIFC Men & Women Team combined made their way to Sanya in Hainan Province the weekend of the 24-27th of March to play a friendly tournament VS two local teams.
Meeting point at Xiamen Airport before the 4PM flight – Coffee for everyone, and then heading to Sanya!!
Upon arrival we embarked in what was going to be our weekend mini bus. We went straight to our dinner restaurant to have our first Sanya meal along with some typical dances before the food arrived – Checho was already warming up for the night to come it seems!
Straight to the hotel in our mini bus after dinner — everyone checked in and shared some beers in the lobby with some music before going to the Dolphin Bar – where some stayed only a little bit and others quite a while!
Morning: Football Tournament @ Field
8:00 a.m. Departure to the field for the morning games! Not easy to wake up for everyone – Nevertheless everyone made it to the field somehow. Warm up, Stretching, Ready, Go!
The Men Team was definitely warmed up and ready for their first game, Victory 2-0! They then played their second game and lost 2-1. Their third and last game was a victory with a nice 5-0! The Men Team is definitely experienced in playing together and this shows in most of their games – the Women Team were cheering hard as you can hear from the videos. A special shout out to Defender Brett for one of the most beautiful saves towards the end, as shown on the video, and to Marianne, from the Women Team, who helped the Men team in the first half of their first game because they were lacking a player!
The Women Team played against one of the local teams in their first 11 aside field and combination but lost the game. The opposite men team was stronger and the women lacked 11 a side field experience – However for a first 11 a side game they were strong and didn’t back down!
The second and last game of the tournament was played by the Women Team – This time, the field got changed to 9 a side game and the team played very well. Many opportunities were created, the offence and defence were strong, and 3 goals were scored by the girls ! It was definitely a much better game and everyone was happy.
Afternoon: Beach Football Coconut Cup
Directly after the games, XMIFC was off in their mini bus to the WOS Bar for a nice lunch with pizzas, salad, fries and fresh beers! The WOS Bar is absolutely amazing, right on the beach with their own parasols and long chairs lying in the white sand.
Some players relaxed and took a little nap, others went to the sea and enjoyed a swim and after a few hours of relaxing the COCONUT CUP finally started!
A draw of 6 teams, 3 persons per team with sometimes 1 sub and 8-minute games.
It lasted the whole afternoon and was a lot of fun – Some small accidents did happen like Broder hitting Lo Lo Lo Lo Lola in the head with a strong kick, but everyone got back up and kept enjoying the rest of the afternoon!
Finally, it was time for the winning Team to receive their trophy: A Coconut filled with coconut juice and a strong alcohol chosen by the bartender! Needless to say they were euphoric and after the reward ceremony and many, many photos, the group started moving slowly by feet back to the hotel to get ready for the evening meal.
Evening: Dinner & Party
The dinner was at Dolphin Bar and was offering amazing burgers with chips and beer. XMIFC occupied the central two biggest tables, but the dinner slowly turned into drinking and dancing on the dance floor or stage – one table did remain XMIFC’s until the end of the evening: Card players and tired from dancing alike reunited there.
It was overall a fun evening, and some even made it to a beach party before hitting the sack.
Sleep, sleep and sleep.
Meeting at WOS Bar for Brunch at 1PM for coffee, burgers, fries and salad, and off with the mini bus to a surprise destination organised by Captain Brett!
The bus took the teams in the middle of jungly mountains – XMIFC was about to have their first Hash as a team with the help of the group of Sanya Hashers.
Instructions were very clear: “Don’t go into the water.” “If you do, get out” “No, really. Don’t get into the water”. “Because It’s raining, it will be slippery”. “Monkeys might come out – You don’t want that” “If you get bitten by a snake it’s most likely poisonous” “Don’t fall down. If you do, get back up”.
The scenery was gorgeous and it was a real experience for everyone. The pictures describe it the best, so do check out the link to the photos! The Sanya Hashers were very nice and generous and introduced us to the after-hash ritual which punished some hashers according to categories by making them sit on ice and drink some beers. Many songs were sung. Most of the XMIFC players got into it at one point, but the light windy rain combined with sweat and beer slowly lead most to feel rather cold. A typical Chinese dinner at an outside venue didn’t help the cold and uncomfort that most were feeling and to avoid getting a cold most players went back to the hotel to shower before their last night out! A special thanks to Brett for organising this event for us, it was really enjoyable! The evening was a simple one at Dolphin Bar where everyone enjoyed their last night in Sanya.
9:30am, Check out from the hotel and off to Sanya Phoenix Airport. It went smoothly. Everyone was absolutely nackered from this physical weekend and I believe most went for an early night sleep once back in Xiamen.
Special Thank You
A very big thank you to Danilo, WOS & Apple, Brett, Sercan and, finally, all the players who have made this weekend possible. XMIFC Family is growing day by day and the memories will always remain. XIAMEN, WE PLAY FOR IFC! lololololooolaaa.