The Words of the Guignard Family

Report about EuroPhoenix Easter WS

Rafael Guignard
May 10, 2007

This time we decided to do a 7 day Football WS in a different nation and we went to Seebenstein, Austria because we could combine it with 2 Friendship Games. It was again an opportunity for new people to join EuroPhoenix but also an opportunity to come to play together as a team in order to prepare well for IPSF 2007. The WS was held from the 12th to the 20th of April and again it didnít fit to everybodyís vacation. We only had 4 participants for the whole week. But many different people came, especially on the weekend when we had the 2 friendship games.

We started with 6 people on the 1st day. We had 2 times training and the spirit was quite high. As usual we started every training with a prayer and finish it with 3 cheers of Eog-Mansei!!!

Then on Friday night and Saturday Morning 6 other people joined. We had only a small training in the morning. Then we introduced ourselves to each other before Dieter Schuler our coach talked about our positions and tactic for the afternoon game against the local club FC Seebenstein. Then I gave a presentation of the whole EuroPhoenix Football Project, the IPSF (Inter-religious Peace Sports Festival) and Core Values. We took a small rest to prepare ourselves for the afternoon game.

We were only 11 players and had 2 injured people so we decided to play 9 against 9 especially because the field was a bit smaller then usually. The game was not so easy because we were all playing for the first time together and the other team played already several years together. They were physically quite strong and the game was quite intense.

We could create more opportunities and put then more under pressure until one moment the goal keeper came out and Jonathan Brunnbauer from Austria took a shot which a field player from FC Seebenstein stopped with the hand. Of course it was a penalty kick for us and Simon Hutzfeld from Germany who was for the first time participating an EuroPhoenix WS could score just before the end of the first half.

We could finish well the first half-time by scoring this goal. We could take some time to rest and recover but most importantly we received new directions from our Dieter Schuler who asked us to focus on defending and letting the opponent come to us. Dieter was making sure during the game and at the half time that everybody is very disciplined about keeping his position and especially about passing the ball.

At the beginning of the 2nd half our defense was very solid but then towards the end we got more and more under pressure and FC Seebenstein had several opportunities to score. Dieter kept shouting the whole game through to make sure that we keep our focus and have a solid defense. During the 2nd half Simon Hutzfeld, our scorer of the got injured and had to leave the field.

Finally by fighting until the end we could keep the score and win over FC Seebenstein 1:0. Of course they were not so happy about their defeat but they were fair-play and congratulated us for our victory. First the atmosphere was quite cold at the end but then I decided to explain to them a bit more about our projects and I gave them some info about the IPSF. They suddenly completely changed their attitude and invited us to stay with them to drink some "Almdudler" (special Austrian soda drink) and eat some grilled sausages. It was really nice from them and we spent a bit more time talking before we finally took a group picture together.

On Saturday evening we took time to watch the game that we filmed in the afternoon. We analyzed it in order what changes could be done or what we could do better for the next game on Sunday against ASG Football Club (Austrian Second Generation). We were actually expecting the game to be much more difficult then against FC Seebenstein and not so confident about winning.

So the next day we traveled to Vienna to play on a field rented by ASG there. It was a really hot day and both of the teams didnít have many reserve players.

The game was very intense from the beginning on and ASG was the first one to put a lot of pressure and dominate the game for the first few minutes. But after a while EuroPhoenix was able to play better and get to an equal level. There was quite a lot of tension even it was a friendship game. You could feel that both teams really wanted to win. Many 2nd generations from Vienna came to support ASG but a few were also encouraging EuroPhoenix.

The fight for the ball in the midfield was quite intense and some fouls brought up some tension in the 1st half of the game. The players tried to keep their heads cool in the heat. After a while EuroPhoenix started to better pass the ball around and created a few nice opportunities to open the score.

EuroPhoenix tried to play as much as possible through the wings, especially on the right side with Jonathan Makkonen who was really fast and really strong in one to one situations. He was creating the greatest opportunities for EuroPhoenix to score. After a few shots without success Pavel Lajda (EuroPhoenix, Czech Republic) could finally use a misunderstanding in the ASG defense to score the first goal of the game.

But when ASG could score a few minutes later with a header from Gregor Haider (Austria) on a corner shot we could see that the game was still quite equal. Everything was still possible at that moment and the supporters from ASG were waking up again. But ASG didnít get much more opportunities in the 1st half except when the striker Tom Zhörer (Austria) found himself alone in front of the EuroPhoenix goal keeper Rafael Guignard (France) who could save the situation. Tom Zhörer played the 1st half for ASG and the 2nd one for EuroPhoenix being part of both teams.

At the end of the 1st half the goal keeper from ASG, John Brady was tricked by a soft shot so EuroPhoenix could finish the 1st half leading 2:1. Again the directions of the coach Dieter were to keep solid defense by staying behind letting the opponents come. Urdo Dedours (France) the captain of EuroPhoenix applied Dieterīs instructions by organizing a defense that was really difficult to pass.

The wings being blocked by The "Kracher Brothers" (Michael and Alexander), ASG tried to attack more through the middle, especially with Gregor Haider, Markus Hinterleitner and Lucas Fries trying out many things in front of the box and taking many shots. But they found a "running Irish rock" named Kotoku Kennedy on their way; he didnít leave any space to dribbles or passes in front of the box and that made much easier for Urdo Dedours as last men behind him and Rafael Guignard the goal keeper to get what ever balls were still going through.

ASG was taking more and more risks to attack with many players but by facing a strong defense they exposed themselves to many counter attacks especially on the right side with Jonathan Makkonen still running very fast in the 2nd half. Through of this counter attacks EuroPhoenix could score its 3rd goal with their Czech striker Pavel Lajda. This goal was very difficult to take for ASG even they kept fighting.

With many other counter attacks EuroPhoenix could create many other times the danger and several opportunities to score. But ASG goalkeeper John Brady found extra resources at the end of the game to make things more difficult and to some excellent saves.

But regardless of all the efforts made by ASG to fight until the end EuroPhoenix could finally bring victory 5:1 with another goal from Pavel Lajda and a final goal from the very tall Tom Zhörer playing for EuroPhoenix in the 2nd half. The game was very intense and in a few moments not as friendly as wanted to be but at the end everybody could calm down and congratulate each other before taking a big group picture.

This game was important for us to see how much potential we can have because even ASG was not complete, we were also missing many good players and especially we were playing for the first time together.

The rest of the Workshop

For the rest of the WS we were only 5 players left as many had to go back to school. But somehow even with such a small number of players we could train well thanks Dieterīs experience and knowledge in training. We did many small games with 3 and against 3 together with Dieter who also gave us a lot of extra internal and Football guidance on Monday.

On Tuesday we took some time for a small Service for Peace Project inside Seebenstein. We carried a lot of wood from one place to a fire place in order to prepare a big meeting with fire with over 200 people in June. We were really happy to be able to serve and give back because we felt that we received so much in this house. It took us some sweat and Teamwork to get everything done in one morning.

On Tuesday evening we had the chance to play together with the club we played on Saturday. It was exciting to be more players again and the atmosphere was really nice and friendly.

In order to bring also some variety to Football Practice and Internal Guidance we went swimming and made a table tennis tournament.

Table Tennis Tournament

We could finish in a really nice on the last day by starting with a prayer on the Holy Ground, cleaning the whole House and then go for Final training together with ASG. It was a really good training. The players from ASG even said it was their best training ever and are wanting to train with Dieter Schuler again.

So this WS was a really important for EuroPhoenix, especially the Friendship Games. These were our first games and it was important to win them to make a good start and gain confidence. Now we should try to challenge even on a higher level to see where our limits are and to prepare for the level of competition that exists at the IPSF.

To conclude I really would like to thank all the participants (even those who just came one day) and especially those who came for the whole week in order to practice. I also would like to thank the kitchen staff who did a really nice job and feeding very hungry brothers. But most of all I would like to thank of course our coach Dieter Schuler with who nothing would be possible. He is always ready to come for a WS no matter when and no matter where. He never complains personally about circumstances but always wants to be critical in a constructive way. He always has the heart of a child towards God and True Parents and tries to be grateful and do the best in any kind of situation. Thank you very much Dieter. I hope that some 2nd generation will be able to inherit your heart, knowledge and experience and be able to carry on and develop projects related to Sports and character education.

Thank you

Rafael Guignard
EuroPhoenix FC Manager

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