After a season off, we returned to the Waste World Cup this year with a team of keen and talented athletes. Sadly, having valiantly powered through to the knock-outs, glory wasn’t to be Eunomian this year. But, with a lot of money raised for WasteAid and a promise to come back stronger next year, a great day out was had by all.
In what had been labelled as the highlight of the sporting summer, last Friday saw over 200 footballing waste professionals gather together at a sunny Brackley Leisure Centre. Some were seasoned semi-professional sportsmen and women, some were making their footballing debuts. All had one goal; to win the coveted title of Waste World Champions.
We pooled talent from across our UK offices to assemble a team: Laura Williams (C), Joss Winter, Alice Johnson, Sarah Kemp, Sean Hollowed, and Tanguy Tomes. We were placed in Group F, facing some tough opponents including a sharp-looking outfit from Acumen and defending champions Mick George.
It’s fair to say that we grew into the tournament, with flashes of bright orange brilliance lighting up each of our matches with increasing frequency. The highlight of the group stage was without a doubt the last match against Biffa. Here, everything seemed to fall into place. A composed and impermeable defence, supported by some fantastic shot-stopping from goalkeeper Sarah Kemp, allowed the talent and creativity of our forward line-up to flourish. Some fantastic, if somewhat unconventional, link-up play between forwards Laura Williams and Joss Winter led to an incredible goal which was enough to take the victory. Overall, the greater experience of the other teams meant we weren’t challenging for the title, but that win was enough to carry us through to the knock-outs for the Vase.
Unfortunately, having picked up a couple of injuries in the match against Biffa, we were perhaps inevitably eliminated in the quarter-finals by the fresh legs and slick passing of Kenny Waste Management. Congratulations to Kenny, who ended up winning the Vase, and also to Mick George, who successfully defended their title for another year.
We finished the day battered and bruised, a little sunburnt, but with smiles on our faces. Having raised a good amount of money for WasteAid, there’s no doubt we’ll be back next year!