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CCCFC Tour - Christmas Vacation 2013

The Christmas Vacation of 2013 saw CCCFC go on its inaugural international tour to Belgium. Ilija Rašović, 1st XI Captain 2013-14, produced the following summary of the tour:

A successful start to a season in a College generation left the 1st XI sitting pretty in second position in the table. It was on this wave of optimism, confidence and hope that we departed London Victoria Coach Station on the morning of Wednesday, 18th December.

The next five days were to prove to be the zenith of our season thus far. Arriving in "one of Flanders' prominent cities of historical art" [Wikipedia], Mechelen, we set-up camp in our beautiful canal-side townhouse before heading straight to the pub. An invigorating 7am walk to the train station on Thursday morning cleared any muzzy heads as we ushered in our busiest day with coffee and waffles. Splitting into two teams, we took part in a small five-a-side tournament at the Don Bosco School in Haacht, alma mater of our very own George Garston. The sprightliness of several future Eden Hazards ensured that we could only achieve 2nd and 4th places. As ambassadors of the College, we then talked to the students over lunch about our experiences at Oxford - potentially the most exotic access initiative in Corpus' history.

That afternoon we travelled to the beautiful university city of Leuven where we again took part in a small five-a-side tournament at the University of Leuven itself. Despite the debilitating cold, we improved on the morning's performances and finished in 1st and 3rd places. Warmth was regained that evening at an incredible bar which served over 1500 different beers, before we joined the huge student population on their last night out of term.

We were blessed with crystal clear skies on Friday, our day off, and spent the day wandering around the sights and streets of Brussels, football in tow. After trekking several kilometres, the crackling log fire of another great pub gave the perfect excuse to some members of the squad for a prolonged 5pm nap. The rest would come in useful for our biggest match on Saturday.

Saturday morning was put aside for some well-needed sleep before a 2pm kick-off against semi-professional outfit, KFC Hever, in the most important match of the tour. The sun was shining once again and, in front of the biggest crowd we'd had all season, we pulled off a thoroughly deserved 2-1 victory. The discipline and heart which all eleven men showed on the pitch was a pleasure to see. Dinner was shared with the opposition before we returned to Mechelen and watched the spectacle of a Jupiler Pro League tie between KV Mechelen and KV Kortrijk. In amongst the hard-core of the home fans, we wholly embraced the atmosphere and became honorary Malinwa for the evening, revelling in the glory of a 5-2 home victory. Celebrations continued in the city centre where we found arguably the best watering-hole of the trip. Exhausted after a hugely enjoyable few days, we left for Brussels at noon on Sunday and arrived back in London that evening.

Our thanks must first and foremost go to the Garston family, for so generously providing us with accommodation for the trip, as well as George Garston himself for all his organisational help and his invaluable contribution as our local guide. We also thank the JCR for providing us with a grant to cover some of the trip's costs. Finally, my personal thanks go to each of the squad members for making the trip such a successful and, more importantly, enjoyable experience. As frustrating as it was not being able to play due to injury, I couldn't have asked to have gone on tour as part of a better group. Here's hoping we can celebrate promotion come the end of Hilary Term.


A fuller report will be making an appearance in the 2014 Pelican Record. Updates on CCCFC can also be found on facebook:


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