We have just about recovered from last weekend’s antics in the UK where we attended the biannual CPM Group Football Tournament 2012. Ten teams from all over Europe took part in what was to be the most contested tournament in CPM history. The event was hosted by CPM UK at Meadow View Park – the home of Thame United Football club and was attended by CPM representatives from their offices in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK, as well as sister companies Cosine and TRO.
Last Saturday, the terrible twelve departed Dublin bound for the UK with hope in our hearts, fire in our bellies and oversized novelty leprechaun hats on our heads. We met up with thirteenth man Paul and sized up CPM Germany at Heathrow and after a short snoozy trip on Mick’s coach, we finally arrived in Thame. Still half-dressed as leprechauns (it’s important to make an imposing entrance), we battle-cried through the doors and wandered in awe around the impressive venue. Getting down to business, we flung on our gear with haste and gobbled up on a buffet lunch of pasta salad; eager to get a last minute practice session as a team in before the tournament started (given our entire season’s training had been perpetually postponed!). After a kickabout on one of the practice pitches, an argument over which of the three volunteers was going to play in goals and discussions over how statuesque and generally impressive all the other teams looked in their fancy kits, we were ready to play our first match.
Our team was made up of Donal Griffin, Peter Kinsella, Barry Conlon, Glen Rafferty, Kevin Thomas, Leonard Morrissey, Paul O’Farrell, Matt Boswell, Alan Peyton Graham Hanks and Andrea Hughes. Our first game was to be against Belgium. This was a game we were perhaps overly-confident about winning, and it was this mindset, coupled with a lack of preparation, a rapid-fire repeated substitution tactic, and a fantastic second goal from the Belgians that meant we were respectably beaten 2-0. This was to mark the start of a shocking pattern of defeat which continued throughout the afternoon as we were pushed to our limits by some impressive performances from TRO, England and France.
Of course, as is something of a tradition for major Irish soccer tournaments, what we were lacking in skill, we made up for in support. Our dedicated devotees Kevin Stapleton and Katie Pilgrim and our cheerleader-come sports photographer Rebecca Mc Donald were joined by ex-CPM Ireland turned Omni-ISG employee Sandi Mitchell and offered shrieks of encouragement throughout the games. However, neither their enthusiastic screeches nor even a surprise cameo appearance from Group CEO Paul Wooley in centre forward could remedy our string of bad luck.
CPM eventually finished in tenth place, bruised and out of breath but relatively unscathed (with the exception of Peter, who bore the imposing impression of studmarks on his head) to be rewarded with a participants medal, tenth-place trophy and a deserved round of frosty beers. After a nail-bitingly close final two rounds, Switzerland were crowned Euro 2012 champions, with Cosine a close second-place and TRO and England respective third and fourth. Celebrations continued well into the night, and it was at this point that Ireland really came into their own, making up for a dismal improvement on the pitch as we treated attendees from all over Europe to an abundance of craic and banter, along with some interesting dancing courtesy of Kevin and Graham.
Many Thanks to CPM UK and everyone at Thame for accommodating us and putting on such a fantastic event, it was definitely a day to remember. The next CPM group football tournament is scheduled to take place in 2014 and CPM Ireland are already in training. Watch out Switzerland – we’re on our way!
Check out all the photos from the weekend’s antics on our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.431052283606587.99754.190446607667157&type=1