Arsenal Gap Year Part 1 - GDM Club. Manica, Mozambique travel blog

1, 2, 3 Facebook!

All I did was promise them they'd get in Arsenal's Academy

Um Por Todos, Todos Por Um! (All for one and one for...

Graham Pole Goal

Chris Rock as a goal

Chibanga's Academica Team - all age groups

Pingi the chicken rustler


Get up, Get out

Began the day with the usual snooze stint on the alarm clock then got on that well trodden path to the bakery. Bit of a change at breakfast, no not in the menu, but in the type of peanut butter we used. Instead of the natural one we get at the market we had the commercial one from the 24 hour shop in the petrol station opposite the club. Very exciting stuff we must be getting more adventurous trying out new peanut butter!

Had to leave at half 8 but not before Waru Waru came storming into our room at 8.25 insisting on showing us how the laptop's internet works. He even left us a key for the computer room to access the laptop...what a gent.

Bull Ring

The first kids’ team we went to watch played in the old bull ring. Yes that's correct one area of kids play on a dirt pitch in an old bullring which makes for an amusing pitch. All the kids and girls teams associated with GDM are coached and supervised by the players. All the kids’ teams consist of Under 7s, under 11s, under 14s and under 17s with the aim of integrating them into the first team once they're old enough.

Bright Sparks

The next stop of our 2 team youth visit was to a youth team called Academica who are situated near an old school. The kids here are from 4 surrounding areas so it gets a bit more crowded. They also were a bit more friendlier and interactive compared to the bullring kids. The coach (and first team player Chibanga) setup a match for us to watch and at first I was struggling to understand what the players were aiming for as goals. Drew and me couldn't believe it when we realized they only had a pole and a rock to kick the ball against for a goal to be scored. You can't make it up it wouldn't happen anywhere else except in Africa. The ground was stone ridden and massively uneven yet these kids were charging over it in bare feet with smiles on their faces. They have such a great attitude and are always willing to learn.

After an hour we left with our friend and guide Pingi (who had managed to leave with a pair of chickens rustled out of nowhere).

Once back at the ranch we had lunch and we both considered going moody nando's (Vumba Lodge) for the first time.

Game Time

At 3 it was time for the big match and the new people to the club (including us) were taking on the first team. I was playing right back and have never run so much in my life.

We lost the match 3-0 and got battered but I was glad to once again be playing a match.

For dinner we had spaghetti and beans which was enjoyable and later that evening we got the bar left open to watch the Arsenal game. Only problem being because we're 2 hours ahead here, it means the evening matches are in prime mosquito time so we get feasted on.



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