Hirsch Cup 2007
10.-12. Mai 2007
Ich wurde angefragt, ob ich einen Bericht schreiben wollte, der dann auch im Intranet veröffentlicht wird. Da es bei uns einige Mitarbeiter hat, die aus der französischsprechenden Schweiz kommen, aber auch solche, die zwar seit längerem in der Schweiz tätig, der Sprache aber noch nicht mächtig sind, habe ich den Bericht in englisch verfasst. Sorry für diejenigen, die es nicht verstehen. Ruft mich an, ich gebe Euch auch sehr gerne eine Zusammenfassung in deutsch;-))
When arriving in Luxembourg by plane in the early evening, we saw deers painted on walls everywhere. The first thought of most of us was that EY Luxembourg was making a lot of publicity for the EY football tournament called “Hirsch Cup 2007”. We realized later that the deer is the heraldic animal of Luxembourg and there has been a religious festival in the city for the last two weeks.
Our hotel was situated a bit outside of the city, so all taxi drivers knew already that there is something special from Ernst & Young this weekend in the Hilton Hotel, we were not the first teams arriving there. After a short introduction by Paul von Holzen, our Coach, everybody headed towards the city for diner. The players from Geneve whose flight arrived at half pas midnight three hours delayed were not the last ones coming back from town…
For breakfast, there was a special room reserved for EY members and a huge buffet with lots of sporty and tasty food. The first sight of the members of the opposing teams did not say much, as lots were still tired from the night before. Buses brought us to the football pitches in Arlon, Belgium. The motivation sank for a short time when it started raining, but when coming out of the dressing rooms, the rain had stopped and it started to get dry. The women’s matches started delayed, as some buses did not arrive in time. Contact was made between the different teams to check out about their strengths and weaknesses.
When the referees appeared on the pitches, the games started. The women played on half-pitches with six field players and one keeper for 20 minutes. The men were on the full pitches with eleven team members for 10 minutes per side.
The playing standard was very different with the women teams, but as the Germans (our opponent from last year’s final) did not come, there were only few good players (except the Swiss team of course;-)). The morning was sometimes boring for the women’s keeper, as the strikers were playing very good around the enemy’s goal. Most games were won by the Swiss women team without a point for the other team. The only goal, made by a English striker, was made due to a distractive discussion between another English player and the Swiss keeper. Our keeper made so good that she had to help out another team since there were some small injuries. (And if somebody has a bandage around the arm, it is unlikely that the leg is broken! ;-))
For lunch, there were different salads offered and sausages and hamburger grilled on the place. Even though it was stated in the booklet not to drink alcohol before 3 p.m., there were queues in front of the taps.
In the afternoon, with two hours delay with the women teams, the final games started. In the game for the champion, the second heavy mistake happened for the women team. A great header by one of the Swiss defenders landed in the goal, unfortunately in the Swiss goal. Nevertheless we won 3:1 against the Norway team which was supported loudly by their men during the whole match.
Also for the men, the finals had started. The last game was played between France and Switzerland. It was a hard game and at the end the French won in the penalty shootout. Anyway, the men coach Paul von Holzen whose pleasure and seriosity was omnipresent was happy about the success of all Swiss players and even the French called him Köbi Kuhn.
There was time enough for a beer, before the buses left back to the hotel.
Even though the weather had changed a lot from sunshine to rain to windy, almost everybody had red noses and cheeks in the evening from a suntan.
For the evening, EY Luxembourg had rented a club called catclub in the town where buses brought us to. Waiters served appetizers, later on we realized that this was all food they had organized. The award ceremony took place in a secondary room with another presentation of the Swiss women’s battle cry:
“Wer sind die Besten? – Wir!
Wer sind die Schönsten? – Wir!
Wer gewinnt? – Wir!
Woher kommen wir? – Schwiz! HOPP SCHWIZ!“
The Swiss men sprayed their champagne over the audience and the French team lifted our coach Paul up on their shoulders.
The evening lasted for long hours, new relationships were made, dancers discovered. As always, the bar was open all night long, drinks for free for everyone. The last bus left at 3 a.m. when catclub closed, but there were also other clubs in town, but most of the kickers were already tired.
Half of the Swiss team had to get up early to catch the flight at 10 a.m. to Zurich, others met at 11 a.m. for breakfast and decided about the rest of the day. Some headed directly to the city to have a drink, to see the city or to join a historic sight seeing tour in a little train. Others preferred a bath in the Hotel swimming pool and then found their way to the small town.
The second flight left in the early evening, all were happy to go home to bed….
It was a very interesting and successful weekend that will remain in the memory of the Swiss team. Many thanks to the organizers and the management who made it possible for us to go there. We’re looking forward to vindicate or win the title as world champions next year, wherever it will be…
Pictures here/Fotos hier