Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Luxembourg tryout

Me under the Luxembourg flag...

So last week I visited a club that I have been in contact with since last summer, BBC US Heffingen located in Heffingen Luxembourg. They had been following me and watching how I'd been playing all season with the Crusaders and invited to pay for me to come out for a tryout with the team for next season. They had their final game on the 10th and asked me to come out to practice with the team a couple times prior to their final game. So I made it out there on the 7th and stayed until the 11th. We practiced twice and I was able to participate in the whole practice and help them prepare for the game. I played very well (even if it was only practice) and seemed to fit it just right with the other guys. It was surprising to me that everyone spoke English during practice, and very well might I add. Everyone I might in Luxembourg spoke about 4 languages, which made me feel dumb for only really knowing 1... BUT because of the location of Luxembourg they pretty much know 3-4 to survive and get solid work. They spoke French, Luxembourgish, German and usually English.

They ended up losing their game on Saturday even though it was close one. The crowd was crazy with their drums and other noise makers and it seemed like the whole town was there in support(I'd say 800-1,000 fans). Afterwards everyone stuck around the gym to talk/visit and drink :) They have their own full bar right outside the gym in the main entry way and that's where everyone congregated for the rest of the night. Since this was the last game of the season all the important sponsors and committee members were in attendance, which meant I was schmoooozzzed and got the VIP treatment all night with champagne :). My flight was to leave the next morning at 4AM and I ended up staying at the gym until 3:30AM having a good old time with the other 30 or so people left, dancing, drinking a little bit and just getting to know each other. I think I'd fit in quite well there.

My contact from the team there is a guy named Jose. I got to know him through an old summer coach in Seattle. Jose played for Heffingen for 15 years and now is a member of the committee. He is the one that set up the whole trip for me.

I ended up staying with his parents Domingo and Julia while I was there and it was quite interesting because they are originally from Portugal and speak either Portuguese, French, little Spanish or Luxembourgish (the native Luxembourg language). NO ENGLISH. Seeing as though I don't speak much else other than English (little bit of Spanish in high school and a little bit of Portuguese when I played there) I knew this would be a fun experience! It was great and I had a blast trying to communicate with them about everything and anything. We were using hand language and movements (like pictionary haha) to try to explain what we were talking about. I ended up spending quite a bit of time there at their house when we weren't at the gym practicing and I found myself spending the whole time with them rather than by myself or watching TV. I was treated and taken care of incredibly and the hospitality I received was almost like none I've ever experienced.

As soon as I woke up Julia had my place set up at the table for breakfast, ready to go. Every meal was cooked and absolutely delicious. As soon as I got back from practice she was taking my dirty clothes to wash them for me, and also had my plate of food ready to be consumed. It was quite humbling to be served like that. I tried numerous times to do the dishes or help with something for dinner, but all i would get is a "Naaa Naaa" and a point to the chair for me to sit down Hahah.

This is a short video I took of Domingo and I on one of our tours through some small towns. You can hear from the video that he's trying to explain the country side to me in Portuguese.

This was a video from our other trip into Luxembourg city, downtown.

Domingo was awesome and we had a blast together. One day he took me through a couple different smaller towns surrounding the main city, then another day he took me to Luxembourg city and we walked around looking at the beautiful building and different statues and structures. Luxembourg is a beautiful little country with a ton of farm land and numerous little towns, but because it's soooo close to a couple different countries it would be very easy to travel and see some sights. The trip went very well and it was my first time getting a tryout overseas with a team rather than just dealing with teams through emails and phone calls from the States. It was quite the experience and I am blessed to be able to travel and see so many beautiful parts of this incredible world because of a sport where you put a ball through a ring... Life is crazy.

So the team has asked me to come back next week and practice a few more times with the team and also play in some scrimmage games against other teams so that all the committee memebers can watch me play and decide if they want to sign me for next season. I am leaving on the 19th and staying until the 25th. This will give me more time to see how I feel about this team imparticularly and also for them to see more of how I can play. Ulitmately it would be great to have a contract prior to the summertime and coming home! Less worry and stress of not knowing when and where I would end up going, but that's the business baby! Gotta love it. Life is good, GOD is great!

Until tomorrow...
"make it happen"

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