A very successful Asian Championships on and off the field for the Geckos. Whilst last minute scratchings to a few players had us field a team of 14 for a 16 a-field contest, the addition of Tyrone and Woodsy from Singapore helped us take the field with a full line up, albeit with no bench.
The bus driver taking us to the field had an affliction to speed over 20km/h and got us there 25 mins late for our first hit out against hosts, Thailand. The loudspeakers announced we had 3 mins to take the field or they would start without us. Coach Hinch called out 6 backs, 6 forwards and 4 mids and told us to work out the rest on the field and work it out the Geckos did. Great 4 goal win first up with no warm up.
Next up was a very competitive Japan team that matched the Geckos early before snatching a lead early into the second half only to be run down by the rampant midfield and efficient forward line. 8 point win to the Geckos.
China was the 3rd opponent and since they only had a squad of 17 suggested we could play 14 a side which the Geckos eagerly accepted. Another 4 goal win was had.
Finally, arch nemesis Jakarta who were targeting to go one better than their runner up position of 2012, lined up against a weary but spirited Geckos unit. They needed a win to keep their slim finals hopes alive and typically hit and ran hard. The Geckos repelled most attacks though and counter punched. After going into the break a goal down, the Geckos came out firing and put on 3 last half goals and kept Jkt goalless, ensuring Jkt not making the top 4 and Geckos equal first with eventual winners HK, The Philippines and Singapore.
The Geckos elected not to take their position in the finals since the squad had only 14 true Geckos and had borrowed players from other teams and thought it not in the spirit of the competition to play at the business end of the comp.
Great effort Geckos. Let’s get a few more on the park next year and enjoy it just as much again!