Duel of the Fates?

MS Odense were the third team to ever play The Flaming Wodkas in Golden League History, and perhaps it shows when the two come together on a pitch. It’s important also to remember, that Wodkas were MSO’s first GL opponent ever. MSO won that first encounter in an epic 4-3 battle.

In that game, Wodkas took the lead through Kresal Anasagasti, but MSO stormed back to go an incredible 4-1 in front, only for Wodkas to fight back unbelievably to 4-3 with 11 minutes to go. There were no further chances, and the rest is history.

Zoom forward to the tail-end of 2018, and the current head-to-head between the two clubs reads:

MS Odense 91 1,6 166 2,9 57 19 0 38
The Flaming Wodkas FC 166 2,9 91 1,6 57 38 0 19


So imagine the thoughts of the fans, when faced with the prospect of 5 games in 3 days. That’s how the month of November began for both clubs – fireworks!

In this article though, we focus in on the two goalkeepers in these ‘friendly’ clashes. For Wodkas, HTUA winner Leszek ‘The Future’ Pudełek was in goal, and his opposite number was Adam Dubasov, 8.8 million euro Russian unpredictable goalkeeper.

We pick out the highlights from the keepers, and it’s clear that ‘The Future’ is bright. No disrespect to Dubasov, who made some great saves during the games, but MSO would have come away with more joy had Leszek stayed at home in bed. Let’s take a closer look:


Game 1: 1st November, 2018 @ 11:00
Score: FWFC 1-0 MSO

Thilo Pforzheim bulldozed his way past one home team defender…and then another! Clean through on goal, he couldn’t sort his feet out, the shot was pathetic and the Pudełek claimed it effortlessly.

Not long after came a high ball towards the FWFC goal…There was a scramble for the ball and Gisle Skjevik got it under control, breaking loose, free on goal… but Leszek ‘The Future’ Pudełek blocked it! He made such a crucial intervention at that point in the match.

Timmy Ellegaard rushed to recover the ball before it crossed the sideline on the far left later, and turned towards the area, cheered on by the Odense fans in the nearby visitors’ section. There was no one between him and the Pudełek, and the shot was distinctive… but again Pudełek was completely in control, and blocked the ball.

Wodkas win this one 1-0, and clear to see the result would have been different without their keeper to thank.


Game 2: 3rd November, 2018 @ 00:47
Score: FWFC 2-0 MSO

Jörg Rogers nutmegged his marker and had loads of time to play a good ball into the box. Instead, he took the shot himself and Adam Dubasov saved it magnificently by the tip of his fingernails! He didn’t see that coming, but still managed to react. Great save.

Thilo Pforzheim attempted to inject a little pace back into MSO’s game following this. He burst through the middle but this chance was easily snuffed out by Leszek ‘The Future’ Pudełek. It was a good effort by Thilo Pforzheim, who ought to have received more support from his team-mates.

Wodkas took two chances and converted them, to easily win this game and keep a clean sheet.


Game 3: 3rd November, 2018 @ 11:00
Score: FWFC 2-0 MSO

This match saw some lovely interchange passing down the right-hand side. It led to something interesting for MSO and had the away terraces holding their breath in the hope that it would lead to something special… Unfortunately for them, that man was in form again: Gisle Skjevik of MSO should have buried it, but after 4 minutes he chased a through ball from the right, and Leszek ‘The Future’ Pudełek was out as fast as a snake, grabbing the ball from right under his nose.

MSO seemd to be running out of ideas, and the few times they got the ball they just tried to find the fastest way to get rid of it again. Following another pointless ball lifted towards the enemy goal though, a fluffed piece of control allowed the ball to bounce loose right into the path of Gustaf Nyborg, who was hoping for an off chance to score! He got it, but oh dear, it was another pathetic finish! The goalie, Leszek ‘The Future’ Pudełek, grabbed it with ease.

Just like game two, Wodkas scored a brace to win this one comfortably and keep another clean sheet.


Game 4: 3rd November, 2018 @ 17:20
Score: FWFC 1-1 (2-1 ET) MSO

This game was much more even, but Wodkas still managed to come out on top. They weren’t stronger, so how did they do it? The answer is ‘The Future’.

MSO really gave the home team a hard time today, and with a free-kick, more or less straight in front of the goal and ten paces out, Brian Coke aimed high. He placed it perfectly in the top corner, but somehow the goalkeeper reached it! An incredible save by Leszek!

There was also a corner for MSO taken by Mark Rande who placed the ball right at the feet of Stig Hestehauge, but he didn’t know what to do with it, resulting in an embarassing excuse for a shot and it was easily picked up by the goalkeeper for Wodkas.

Some swift action from Mikael Schlüter orchestrated an attack on the right wing, and moved into position to finish himself, with a volley. The outcome? No deal – Leszek ‘The Future’ Pudełek was well placed (again) and tipped the ball to a corner.

Martin Kubera tried too, receiving a perfect pass, threaded right between the home teams’ central defenders. The MSO player tried for a delicate lob… but yes, the keeper showed impressive reflexes. An important save, as Leszek denied the visitors to pull further ahead in the match.

Thilo Pforzheim also gave it a go and played a neat one-two near the penalty area, he broke through and sidestepped a defender, turned and shot. He did force Pudełek to make one of his best saves of the day, but ultimately it led to nothing.


The MSO forwards chased a clearance, and it looked as though it could be dangerous! Sadly, it got tangled up in the defenders though the referee called for a free kick.  New signing Brian Coke hit a powerful, great shot, but Leszek ‘The Future’ Pudełek made a beautiful one-handed save!

Again MSO attacked and lumped a long ball to Gisle Skjevik, who had pushed up through the middle. He got a shot off, but to the home fans delight Leszek ‘The Future’ Pudełek excelled and made another wonderful save.

The game was still tied and neither team was generating any dangerous chances until Waldemar ‘Golden Gun’ Gallus received a pass on the right wing. He dribbled past several opponents, and got a shot off. It was blocked away, and it looked like the chance might be gone. Nonetheless, Gallus hadn’t given up on it and he made a violent stab at the ball. Well done to Adam Dubasov of MSO, who put his big body in front of the ball and blocked it.

Wodkas held on though, and managed to get the winning goal in extra-time, taking the match 2-1.


Game 5: 3rd November, 2018 @ 18:10
Score: FWFC 1-0 MSO

In this final game of the five-match battle, a lovely little backheel set up Kennet Lerche with space to move through the middle. It truly was a golden chance for MSO to break the deadlock and the commentator thought it was a goal, but he’d called that a little too early, but at least that shot forced Leszek ‘The Future’ Pudełek to make a great save!

There was also a chance for Kennet Lerche in centre field who rolled his man and got a left-footed snap shot off. Leszek ‘The Future’ Pudełek made, yes you guessed it, an excellent save!

MSO were still looking really dangerous down their right hand side, and Mark Rande was often calling for the ball! I think he fancied his chances. On 54 minutes he had a great opportunity and took a shot. But oh, what a save! What a save from Leszek ‘The Future’ Pudełek 54 minutes in – how did he push that away from such a hard shot to the top corner? Nobody in the stadium knew, and I still don’t.

Later on, a free kick just outside of the visitors’ penalty area saw Paweł ‘Jupiter’ Wincałowicz curve it and there was a stunning one-handed save by Adam Dubasov of MSO, who somehow managed to tip the ball over the bar!

MSO, boyed by that save, secured the ball in midfield. They were gunning for the equaliser now and created a clever combination through the middle. The ball found Mark Rande, who went for the finish. It was, sadly, a weak shot, and easy pickings for the keeper.

Wodkas kept another clean sheet, and won the match 1-0. MSO continued scratching their heads at how they could turn over this little team from Raszków, who had suddenly decided to become a team after 8 years of achieving not very much at all. How dare they?!

Well, they dared, and ‘The Future’ is fast approaching.


The New Era

A lot has happened in a short space of time, so here’s the quick run-down:

The Flaming Wodkas FC, Raszków, Poland

The whole focus is on Leszek, our homegrown goalkeeping talent. Nicknamed ‘The Future’, day by day he gets closer and closer to realising that future as ‘The Reality’. A very noticeable side effect of this, is the development alongside Leszek of the squad defenders.

Currently, among the homegrown trainees, only one really stands out. This is Józef ‘Jimmy’ Hendzlik, who has reached outstanding (10) in defence, at the age of 18.051. He doesn’t have a spec, although he does have solid leadership – a real bonus.

The real defensive progress has been made amongst the in-federation purchases carried out by the Wodkas board. Their progress has been relayed via the ‘Misfits’ thread in the HTUM Federation. The big problem for me, as has been written elsewhere, is creating the homegrown defence without slowing down the progress of these ‘Misfits’.

The homegrowns are still a project in flux. Only one has any defence, as mentioned, and only one other has a speciality. We’ll see. The Misfits are stronger, with six players (excluding the goalkeeper trainee from MSO) consisting of four with spec and two without.

Crazy Horses Football Club, Saint Philip, Barbados

This team isn’t even a month old, and upon creation it was clear that heading was a particular strength with five head specs in the squad. Not all of these are useful though, with one being the goalkeeper.

Trying to work out what the initial training regime would be, meant settling on training up the current goalkeeper and one other. We went in the end for an 18-year-old called Sane Morales, who has 7 defence and 6 set pieces. At age 18.24, he should reach 9 in goalkeeping at the end of the current season – even with our passable coach.

Ideally, I’d like to convert a solid experience (or higher) player to solid coach in the near future, though I don’t think I’ll be able to do this as quickly as I will be able to in my other new team…

Tawang Legends, Arunachal Pradesh, India

This team has a ‘feel’ unlike the others, almost as if I can sense the destiny that awaits it even despite my previous track record with teams on HT. Given the additional intrigue of how many Fed managers are currently battling it out in the India leagues, this gives an added edge. This inaugural season we will be renewing rivalries with the owner of Rochdale United. It is quite amazing, that having closed my second team ‘Lost Saxons’ that was battling it out with Rochdale and due to play them in week four, that I now find myself in another country ready to battle it out again in week four with the same manager.

Tawang has succeeded in bringing in a future external coach, who will add something to the team in the short term. He was very cheap also, and home nationality, which is a bonus. His name is Gupta, and the focus of the Legends now is to generate money for survival, expansion and coach conversion in the future.


GL-TV Covering Saxons Rebuild – Almost Live!

GL-TV: Alin Badiu & Ernst-Jan Bracké
Reporting Live [Despite Problems With Power Supply]

Alin: Bon soir, mes amis! Bon soir! We are ‘aving a little problem with our power, az it is only at 30 to 40% efficiency right now… a bit like most managers long-term plans, eh Ernst-Jan? Non?

Ernst-Jan: Thank you Alin, yes we are having a few issues with the power supply right now, but it won’t stop us. We’re focusing in on the Saxons rebuild that has begun in England, a club that has had huge problems in ‘getting it right’ since they sold their megastar Martin Frain to English rivals.

Alin: A huge mistake.

Ernst-Jan: Many have said so, but Saxons must move on. In particular, coach á Nesi remains confident that deals will be done in the next 24 to 48 hours. Last night, Saxons revealed the purchase of young Dennis Barkely, from Amy’s Aggressors for a fee just beneath £500,000. I think he will be a good signing.

Alin: Yes, a big move for a young lad, but not much competition right now – that could change in the next few hours according to my sources.

Ernst-Jan: What have you heard, Alin?

Alin: *Shrugs his shoulders* I do not know, if I can say.

Ernst-Jan: *Blinks* Erm, Alin, you’re a GL-TV journalist – it’s your duty?

Alin: *Stares nonplussed*

Ernst-Jan: *Waits*

Alin: Hmph. Well, I ‘av heard that their are representatives from Saxons’ board in Tehran.

Ernst-Jan: *Splurts his water out, having just tried to take a drink off camera* I’m sorry, Alin. Did you say Tehran?

Alin: Oui.

Ernst-Jan: And?

Alin: *Shugs his shoulders* This iz what I have heard.

Ernst-Jan: Well… *pauses* quite a… I don’t want to say bombshell, but I can’t think of a better phrase right now. Any clues as to who they might be trying to sign?

Alin: Oui. ‘Iz name is Pat Dathorne, and he is so-so player who can sometimes be a catalyst for those around him. I have seen some clips of him playing, but I do not think he iz anything special. Not like us, Ernst-Jan, not like us.

Ernst-Jan: Interesting…

Alin: Oui. And what iz more, I have heard that there are more representatives of the club travelling up to Lancashire, in particular to Kragspire Raiders. There iz a bit of a sale on there right now, and I have heard that Lord Bebbington az sanctioned the purchase of three Raiders players. I think though, that ‘e will have a bit of a battle from foreign interests.

Ernst-Jan: Well, we’ll be keeping a close eye on all the developments here in this almost-live post – so don’t forget to come back shortly… hopefully we’ll have the power back on 100% by then. In other news, Pond Street Nora sit top of the Golden League before tonight’s games, just ahead of their sister club and we hope to bring you an analysis of two of the top scorers in GLXI right now, Fraser Ballantyne and Joel Chambers. Be back soon!