Team Zagora plays soccer with the locals

by Irma Havlicek
Powerhouse Museum Web Producer

Giorgos, our host at the Kantouni pensione/restaurant, has the ball
Giorgos Moustakas (holding the ball) organised the game. © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek

Giorgos Moustakas, our host at the Kantouni restaurant and pensione, last year organised a soccer match between his team and Team Zagora – a team cobbled together from among the archaeological team. Last year we played on a pitch in Gavrio at night – and it was freezing.

But a tradition was born, and this year we played again. This time during the day last Sunday, when it was warm and pleasant, on a playing field up the hill at Batsi.

Keen play in a spirit of sportsmanship

The game was played keenly and hard by both sides – but definitely in a spirit of fun and sportsmanship. Suffice it to say, when the Batsi team reached a certain number of goals, we sort of stopped counting. Team Zagora played creditably for a team that had been cobbled together from among people most of whom had only known each other for a few days and had never played soccer together before. Add to that, the players had spent the last six days working incredibly physically hard on the Zagora Archaeological Project and Sunday was their ‘day of rest’. I think the fact they even made it to the sports field was pretty impressive. But our team did kick a few goals, and our hardy goalkeepers (Paul Donnelly, Marco Schugk and Kate Boyd) did manage to stop some of Team Batsi’s goals from going in.

A keen contest for control of the ball
A keen contest for control of the ball © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek
Amy Boyd in a determined effort for the ball
Amy Boyd in a determined effort for the ball. © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek
Matthew Miller-Csapo battling for the ball
Matthew Miller-Csapo battling for the ball. © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Sami Beaumont-Cankaya is after the ball. You can see one of the high hills of Batsi in the background. There are goats grazing on the hill
Sami Beaumont-Cankaya is after the ball. You can see one of the high hills of Batsi in the background. I saw a goat grazing on the hill. © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek
Antonio Bianco controlling the ball
Antonio Bianco controlling the ball. © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Matt McCallum (in blue and white striped top) and Marco Schugk (goalkeeper, wearing gloves) support Kate Boyd's possession of the ball
Matt McCallum (in blue and white striped top) and Marco Schugk (goalkeeper, wearing gloves) support Kate Boyd’s possession of the ball. © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek
Elaine Lin kicks the ball
Elaine Lin kicks the ball. Elaine gets two of the quotes of the match, with, before the game: ‘So, you’re not supposed to touch the ball with your hands?’, and later, ‘I touched the ball five times!’ © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek
Sami (wearing the black T-shirt) is determined to get control of the ball
Sami Beaumont-Cankaya (wearing the black T-shirt) is determined to get control of the ball. © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek
Marco Schugk is at the centre of the action in this shot
Marco Schugk is at the centre of the action in this shot. © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek
Paul Donnelly does a header
Paul Donnelly does a header. © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek
Kristen Mann, Kate Boyd and Matthew Csapo-Miller defending the goal
From left: Kristen Mann, Kate Boyd and Matthew Csapo-Miller defending the goal. © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Rudy, at left, in pursuit of the ball which is being ably defended by Batsi
Rudy Alagich, at left, in pursuit of the ball which is being ably defended by Batsi. © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek
Kristen Mann
Kristen Mann wearing one of the Zagora Archaeological Project T-shirts she organised production of last year. © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Kate Boyd and Paul Donnelly enjoying some time out
From left (in centre of frame): Kate Boyd and Paul Donnelly enjoying some time out. © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
We had one distinct advantage - our own physiotherapist (and archaeologist and mariner) on our side, Steve Vasilakis, seen here treating Rudy Alagich.
We had one distinct advantage – our own physiotherapist (and archaeologist and mariner) on our side, Steve Vasilakis, seen here treating Rudy Alagich. © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek

Thrills and spills

There were thrills and spills but nobody had to be stretchered off, so that was a relief.

Marco Schugk, Team Zagora goalkeeper, saves another goal, while Rudy Alagich and Kate Boyd take a tumble
Marco Schugk, Team Zagora goalkeeper, saves another goal, while Rudy Alagich and Kate Boyd take a tumble. © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Sami Beaumont-Cankaya taking a tumble in pursuit of the ball
Sami Beaumont-Cankaya taking a tumble in pursuit of the ball. © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek
Marco Schugk takes a tumble in pursuit of the ball
Marco Schugk takes a tumble in pursuit of the ball. © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek
Giorgos Moustakas goes down
Giorgos Moustakas goes down. © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek

Some fancy footwork

Amy Boyd doing some fancy footwork
Amy Boyd doing some fancy footwork. © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Matthew Miller-Csapo in a determined effort to wrest the ball away from Batsi
Matthew Miller-Csapo (wearing the Zagora Archaeological Project 2012 T-shirt) in a determined effort to wrest the ball away from Batsi © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek

The game started at 4pm, and Team Zagora had to get back to a weekly review meeting at the Kantouni at 6pm. Time was called about 5.30pm (with Batsi as victors a foregone conclusion). But the players were having so much fun, they kept saying: ‘We’ll just play to the next goal’. But after the next goal, they once more said ‘We’ll just play to one more goal’. Then it was about 5.50pm and we really did have to leave to get back to the meeting.

Rah-rah Zagora!

Credit must go to Lydia Beaumont-Cankaya who led the cheer-leading in a fetching outfit, using pom-poms she had hand-made for the purpose. She enthused our spectators to get behind her with the cheering, and it certainly bolstered our players.

In the spirit of the whole occasion, Lydia decided it was unfair that there were no supporters for the Batsi side – so she led cheers in support of Team Batsi as well.

The Team Zagora cheer squad, from left: Tessa Morgan, Lesley Beaumont, and cheerleader, Lydia Beaumont-Cankaya
The Team Zagora cheer squad, from left: Tessa Morgan, Lesley Beaumont, and cheerleader, Lydia Beaumont-Cankaya. © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek
The Team Zagora cheer squad, from left: Lesley Beaumont, Tessa Morgan, and cheerleader, Lydia Beaumont-Cankaya
The Team Zagora cheer squad, from left: Lesley Beaumont, Tessa Morgan, and cheerleader, Lydia Beaumont-Cankaya, using her hand-made pom-poms. © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek
Hugh Thomas, Meg Miller, Lesley Beaumont
In the foreground, from left: Player, Hugh Thomas (who gets one of the quotes of the match, with: ‘Ughh, I’m really horrible at this.’), spectators and Zagora directors, Meg Miller and Lesley Beaumont. © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
Some of our Zagora soccer team supporters, from left: Damien Stone, Julia Manouras, Elaine Lin, and Natasha Nassenstein. Paul Donnelly (second from right), one of the players, has had enough and is hailing a taxi to go home
Some of our Zagora soccer team supporters, from left: Damien Stone, Julia Manouras, Elaine Lin, and Natasha Nassenstein. Paul Donnelly (second from right), one of the players, has had enough and is hailing a taxi to go home. © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek

And the winner was – great sportsmanship and fun

Many thanks to Giorgos for organising this, and for his Batsi friends for welcoming us into their community and enjoying this game with us.

A smiling Sami Beaumont-Cankaya played a fine game
A smiling Sami Beaumont-Cankaya played a fine game. © Powerhouse Museum; photo by Irma Havlicek
The happy and fun spirit of the game is captured in this shot
The happy and fun spirit of the game is captured in this shot. Even though everyone played hard, it was in the best spirit of sportsmanship. © PHM; photo by Irma Havlicek
The good sportsmanship shows with the smiles on the faces and the hand-shaking.
The good sportsmanship shows with the smiles on the faces and the hand-shaking.

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8 thoughts on “Team Zagora plays soccer with the locals”

  1. Hey Matt McC, hope you were scouting for Man U mate – could do with some new talent! Paul D can head the ball – we’ll have him for a start and Sami looks like the next David Beckham, sign him up quick 😉

    • Ha, too true Michael! There was some talent out there actually, and Man U aren’t exactly improving of late… 🙂

    • Hi there Malcolm – sorry about the delay in replying but I had to check with the AAIA office in Sydney. Sadly, as I thought, the Zagora 2012 T-shirts are sold out. I’ll try to remember to let you know if a Zagora 2013 T-shirt is produced and perhaps you can order one of those.

    • Salut Paul, Salut Irma!

      Nice to see Paul…but where is Irma?
      Is she hiding behind her new camera?
      Nice and interesting blog Irma!
      Playing with a ball, with the dirt, with stones, with friends and with a camera in such an environment…it reminds me the holidays from my childhood…Bon courage a tous!

      Jean-Francois

    • Merci, Jean-Francois! Yes, I am either hiding behind my camera or my laptop working with photographs and writing posts. Or, as you say, playing with stones and dirt. Much fun! (And much hard slog too!) Perhaps I will post a photograph of myself covered in dirt, so you will believe I am here. Au revoir.

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