Below is an account of our club captain Steve Nicholson's trip
with the Middlesex Wanderers.
MIDDLESEX WANDERERS TOUR OF INDONESIA & VIETNAM 2002 by Steve Nicholson
During the closed season, The Middlesex Wanderers headed once again to far flung reaches of the World on their 2002 tour. This year saw the inclusion of Steve Nicholson as the sole representative of the Unibond League.
For those unfamiliar with
the Wanderers, here follows the history lesson….
The Middlesex Wanderers were formed in 1905 by brothers Bob and Horace Alaway to provide recognition to those players deserving of such, whom , through differing circumstances, may well not have been accorded national recognition. In its 97 year history the club has undertaken over a hundred tours to more than forty countries.
After a marathon twenty one hour journey we
arrived in Indonesia to play our first game against the Indonesian
National side. The stadium
has a capacity of 110,000 and Sir Bobby Robson, the Wanderers President,
described them as “the Brazilians of Asia”.
This turned out to be true as we were humbled 4-1, despite taking
an early lead.After the game we were informed that Indonesia missed out to
China for a World Cup Finals’ place by one point.
The next game was played in Ho Chi Min City
in Vietnam. Televised live
from their National Stadium in a 100 heat, a sizeable crowd watched
Vietnam win the game 4-1.
In conclusion, it was an unforgettable experience both in footballing and cultural terms. The hospitality and friendliness of the people in both countries was excellent. In a year when the World Cup in the Far East showed us just how much ‘smaller’ the World is becoming in football related matters. Only a few years ago, the Wanderers toured, successfully, to Korea. This year saw the Koreans reach the latter stages of the World’s greatest competition.
How times change.