مرحبا، اسمي عبد العزيز الشامسي.
Hi, my name is Abdul-Aziz Al-Shamsi. I know, I know, it’s a mouthful! My new team mates seemed to think the same and using my initials A-A A-S they – the lord be praised – unanimously decided not to refer to me in future times as “the ass” but rather the “Ace”. Still, I hope not to make an ass of myself in the upcoming games as they seem to be a rather fickly bunch. It was bad enough having to sing a song and do a dance when I was introduced to the team yesterday afternoon.
I can see you are scratching your head and wondering who this “Ace” is and why he’s wasting your valuable time on HTU! Allow me to make some preliminary introductions. Last time I looked, I was 17 years old, give or take a day or four. I come from the United Arab Emirates, from delightful Dubai to be precise. And now I’m seriously out of my depth! I have namely a confession to make: I’ve not played a single professional game in my life! Last time I was on the field I was still part of the youth academy of the River Blades back in Dubai. Next thing I know I turned 17, was called into to see the ‘mister manager sir’ (oh, my knees are still shaking and trembling when I recall the occasion) and within 72 hours I was put on a plane to Prague. I don’t know how it happened, but I suddenly became a member of the Horus Falcons. I know they spent their season break recharging their batteries in Dubai, but would they actually have seen me in action at the youth academy?
This Sunday I knew hardly anything about Prague or the Czech Republic, but on Monday afternoon I was met at the airport by the Falcon manager, Mr. Horus, and Falcon coach João Portugal. I have moved into a dorm for young Falcon players near the stadium, where I already met Ladislav Hašek – and he scares the living daylights out of me. I think he even gave me the ‘evil eye’. I was later told it was the ‘Eye of Horus’, some sort of magical amulet that the players wear on their shirt. Whenever I find out more about this ‘Falcon voodoo’ I’ll be sure to tell you all about it.
Tomorrow I will make my debut for the Falcons in defence. I’m petrified, to be honest. It’s not just any debut; this is not your mere mid-week friendly against an unknown team! I get to play the one and only Golden League and I know my every single move on the field against the Blue Hornets will be scrutinised in great detail by GL managers from all around the world. I can already feel Mentor C’s eyes burning a hole in the back of my head. A dreadful thought! And if that was not enough pressure for a debut, I know for a fact that half of Dubai will be watching as well – last season Golden League games had almost the same amount of viewers as the Champions League back home. When my father was last in Europe he even brought back a Renaissance FC kit for my younger brother – his schoolmates envied him the whole semester!
I don’t know what I’m doing here, how I got here or how long I will stay, but I will try to make the best of it and I hope to keep you up-to-date with my experiences on and off the field in Prague and surroundings in the weeks to come.
This was the Ace, signing off!