The Call Up – Playing for Belgium in the 2012 European Championships.
The EPBF Nations Cup took place this past weekend at the 3rd event of the Millennium Series in London (Basildon actually). Unfortunately I wasn’t able to make the weekend of the GB trials as it turns out being a full time University student meant I had exams that weekend. That was that, no Nations Cup for me, or so I thought…Not many people know, but, I am actually from Belgium, the Country of chips, chocolate, waffles and beer, and of course a motorway that leads to Germany. This put me in a pretty unique position in that I could chose which country to represent. The Belgian team contacted me and asked if I wanted in, so of course I said yes.
The Belgium team was made up of a mix of Breakout, Graffiti, Crossfire and Monstarz players and of course a bit of Nexus. The only thing was, we didn’t meet up as a whole group until the Thursday of the event. This left us scrambling to find a time to train just once as a team before Fridays play. We did find a time, 6pm on Thursday evening. It was a long day, but the training was good and gave us the opportunity to figure out bunker names and roughly where we would all be playing.
Our first game was on the CPL field against the Dutch, a mix of Amsterdam Heat, Ferox and Syndicate players. It was a tough match but definitely one we thought we could win, but after a few silly penalties and lapses in communication we ended up losing 4-2, but the score line could just have easily been the other way round, nonetheless congrats go to the Dutch on a hard fought win. After the match, we were disappointed of course, but not beaten, we still had another game to play for the overall ranking. We had to win in order to place Belgium higher up the rankings.
The organisation of the Nations Cup was not the best; we were told to go to the SPL field and get ready to play Denmark or was it Italy, or Lithuania?? Waiting around the back of the field for about 30 mins to then be told we were playing the next day.
Saturday came upon us and as ever we were getting ready, still not knowing who we were playing. About 5 mins before our game was scheduled we got told we were up against the Czechs. These guys had pushed Russia the day before to a 4-3 game so we knew we were up against it.
Like the Netherlands game, points went back and forth 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2 to the Czechs, 1 more point and the game was over for us. The Czechs were loading the T-Bag side heavy with 3 players every point, so we decided to push heavy on the Snake side, it was do or die. Game-ON…3-3 we won the point convincingly. This was it, all or nothing, win the next point or go out the Nations Cup with no wins. We ran the same play and it worked 4-3 Belgium. A great game, hard fought but very satisfying in the end. We ended up taking 11th overall. I’d like to thank everyone involved in the making the Belgian team happen, our supporters from the sidelines and my teammates Ben, Speedy, Mac, Brampa, Luis and Tiago. Bring on next year!
Drew Battersby- London Nexus #24