I was thinking about the getting blown up thing whilst going to or watching a football match, or indeed dying anywhere I suppose. Now dying is not something I often think about nor is it something that scares me. I accept that it will happen. What matters is what I do with my life whilst I am here.
Now I am a pretty anal person sometimes and I like to be organised. (Just ask Veronica). What I thought about today was about what music will be played at my funeral, and I figured I wanted a say in it. So I started to think about what music I would want at my funeral.
I figured that 4 songs would suffice, so here in no particular order is my preference.
I had a conversation this morning with a mate who asked if I was tripping anywhere to watch “Soccer” again. I told him of the coming matches in June, which include away matches in Dubai and Qatar. His immediate answer was “F^%& that, I wouldn’t go there with all those terrorists, I’d be scared of being blown up.”
Now I know we live in a different world today and there is trouble in that region, but I personally can’t come at lumping all Muslims into the Terrorist basket. When I think about football or indeed any sport that is played at an international level, I think how great it is that people from different nations, race, religion etc can get together and “play a game”. At Aussies On Tour we have done this twice and are organising 2 more matches in Australia for June, one of them against a team of Iraqi supporters.
A mate of mine and his wife are traveling to the Middle East to follow the Socceroos and do some sight seeing along the way. I have not once had any conversation or hint from them that “the threat of terrorism” is even an issue.
The fact is we are not playing in Iraq or Afghanistanwhere the real threat to safety is. We are playing Iraq in Dubai, one of the most advanced Arab countries in the region and Qatar in Qatar. Most people have never heard of this.
I think the real football terrorists are people with narrow minds and the media who beat up tensions between nations where no tension needs to exist.
I believe my wife, Veronica, is the Luckiest wife on the planet.
On Sunday I caught up with a mate of mine from Sydney who is up here on the Gold Coast playing Golf for a whole week. It is an annual pilgrimage that he has started to make with a group of old blokes led by his father in law. Last year he was granted an invite after 16 years of marriage to his daughter.
As happens in a bar after 1 beer, we entered into a deep philosophical discussion about life, in particular about enjoying life. We were talking in particular about an old neighbour of mine that died earlier this year at the age of 39 from Melanoma. I relayed some stories about how much he actually fitted into his short life. He had no idea when he was 20 he only had 19 years to live. But he had some wonderful experiences that he just took a hold of.
Now Bozo has always been a keen golfer and has had his fare share of golf weekends away with the boys. When I played Football with him back in the Stone Age, we had an annual end of season trip to play Golf in Bowral. Bozo said that he was going to take every opportunity to live his life to the fullest, and a week of Golf every year is part of that.
I have mentioned here before about the people I have met travelling around following the Socceroos. There is a group of us who have known each other for nearly 2 years now. We first met each other in the flesh at the Australia v Japan match in Kaiserslautern in Germany.
Prior to that, we were all cyber friends at AussiesOnTour06.com.aunow kickoff.com.au. On this forum we organised ourselves into a Football team and arranged a match with some German Supporters with the help of a German member of the forum. We met up the day before Australia played Brazil in a town called Ingolstadt north of Munchen.
I personally arrived about 15 minutes before kickoff and met most of my team mates for the first time. What happened that day will live with all of us for a long time. We won one and lost one, but we gained some very good friendships with each other as well as the German Supporters. Since then we have played against 4 A-League supporters groups here in Aus and against a team of ex pats in Bangkok last July.
We are currently organising matches against an Iraqi supporters group in Brisbane and a Chinese group in Sydney prior to the main game. I have posted on an Iraqi forum and have received very good response and they have a full team 36 days out. I am trying to organise a venue in Brisbane near Suncorp for us to play.
Aussies On Tour FC is a fantastic supporters warm up for us prior to the main game. We will work up a thirst and then head straight to the pub and share some cold ones with our new found friends from Iraq and China.
Aussies On Tour FC, the social football team comprising of members of the ‘Football Fans Australia’ community of www.kickoff.com.au To tell a long story short, we are passionate Socceroo supporters who travelled to Germany for the World Cup 06, and arranged meet ups before and after the Australian matches. A couple of dedicated people from Australia and Germany organised two games for our supporters to play German teams in Ingolstadt on June 17. On that day AOT-FC was born.
I will keep you updated on the progress of this match. You can also read about it at Aussie On Tour FC Blog as well as read more about our previous matches.
Australia plays Iraq on June 7 in Dubai and Qatar in Doha on June 14. This is only 7 weeks away. If you haven’t already booked or planned your trip then you must like living on the edge and leaving things till the last minute. Or you are just plain lazy.
This itinerary lends itself to a Middle East tour to take in some sights of the region as well as watch some Football. I have a mate and his wife who are going as are a number of Green and Gold Army members.
To help you with your planning I suggest you read some of the posts on the Green and Gold Army Forum as I don’t have the time to do any research for someone as lazy as you. Or does that make me the lazy one??
I have inadvertently overlooked this game so far. OK, so I forgot. But it is an important match in the lead up to our World Cup Qualifiers. The Socceroos will be playing 5 matches in 4 weeks.
May 23 v Ghana in Sydney – Friendly
June 1 v Iraq in Brisbane
June 7 v Iraq in Dubai
June 14 v Qatar in Qatar
June 22 v China in Sydney
We expect all our European stars to be available with the exception of Tim Cahill (Broken Foot) and Mark Viduka (Old and Weary body) the only 2 so far who will not attend. It is also important to remember that these guys have not had an off season to themselves, I think since 2004.
We last played Ghana in November 2006 at Loftus road in London where we drew 1-1. They are currently ranked 14th in the World, so should give us a good hit out prior to the Qualifiers.
I don’t know how many people will be travelling to this match from interstate considering the travelling to be done for the WC qualifiers in the coming weeks. So it is up to you Sydney, to turn up in droves and give the boys some loud support. Fire Up. Tickets are on sale now from Ticketek
Just had a look at Flight Centre for flights to Sydney from ALL Capitals. Of course look out for further sales and get on to the Virgin Happy hour between 12pm and 1pm EST, each day as well. Also consider signing up and subscribe to all the airlines newsletters. You will get early notification of their Sales.
I have based these on Fly in Saturday June 21st and Return home Monday June 23rd. Prices are the cheapest available at this point in time.
For those of us traveling to Sydney to watch this match we will need some accommodation. I have chosen half dozen Hotels in the Sydney CBD for between $80 and $129 per night Double room. I have chosen Sydney CBD as there is very little at the stadium besides the Novotel at $179 per night and Ibis at $110 per night. These will probably go quick as well. These hotels are also within easy walking distance of either Central Station or a Station on the City Circle.
There are many ways to book your accommodation, and you should choose the best way that suits you. I have used Not 1 Night to obtain these prices but you could use many other sites to do this or wait until close to the game and see the options that Wotif.com comes up with.
For all of you who joined the My Football Family before April 8 will know that the China Tickets are available already as part of a double ticket package in Sydney for the friendly v Ghana on May 23 and v China on June 22. For those of you who did not take up the double ticket package, the China tickets will be available on Monday May 5th for members and Wed May 7th for general public. Tickets available at Ticketek.
Prices are the same for this match as the Iraq game