Just over a year ago, KOBRA was pleased to open it’s doors to overseas guests for the first time for Volkers Weekend.   We enjoyed it so much we did it again for the visit of Kostas. Then we figured instead of doing it one at a time lets just host the World Cup instead!  Before that though we are opening our doors to two esteemed guests who are two of the many German players, keeping the KOA flame alive. Yep, Frank and Thorsten are coming to Birmingham for the weekend aka Frank and Thorsten Weekend aka FTW Weekend! For The Win! Everyone’s a winner! Especially Kick Off 2

I’m sure it’s the same for many KOA’ers but part of the tournament magic for me is the anticipation beforehand. I knew I was itching for things to start when I awoke on thursday morning thinking it was friday already!  The build-up was complete, however, when later on thursday I received emails from Gianni and Camberman confirming the UKC’11 pitch was ready so we could test-drive it this weekend! Thank you both so much. I’m big a fan of these customised pitch side graphics which for me add to the vitality of the great game. We got a number of positive comments on the new pitch and the KO2CV stats at the Retro Computer Museum.

Friday finally came and I was buzzing and a brief chat with Ste during the day revealed he was feeling exactly the same. The sun was shining, the temperature was rising and it was time to pick up our German friends from the airport; it was great meeting up and chatting with Frank and Thorsten again.



On the road...

On the road…

We pit-stopped at mine to unload luggage and enjoy a cool bottle of Cobra in the back garden, whilst talking German geography, having children, IT staff and nurses! It was almost time for kick off and at about 730 ‘ish we set off to Evil HQ. The fun England v Germany theme continued, driving with the england flags flying, and Thorsten couldn’t help but reminded us of last summer’s WC encounter, that 1-4 match we english would rather forget!

Ste had relocated us in the kitchen for tonight’s action, with plenty of crisps and drinks on offer too. As an ice breaker and warm-up, and purely JFF we played some 2 v2 ‘team kick off’: myself and Ste representing England of course, and Thorsten and Frank, Germany. One member of the team would be playing while the other supporting but when a team scores, it’s players switch roles. We kidded that this game would serve as a predictor for the title-holder to be! In an echo of 1966, it ended England 4 Germany 2! Though I don’t think any of us took it seriously at all.


Come on England! :)

Come on England!

Frank F 3 – 2 Garry C
Thorsten B 1 – 4 Garry C
Garry C 3 – 6 Steve E

My first encounter with Frank proved to be pretty much like all of our battles this weekend – very, very close! Frank started brightly taking an early lead and looking in command. My second half fightback created a tense finish but Frank held on to claim his first victory of the night. Mine came next against Thorsten, although I never for a second took those three points for granted. And it was business as usual with defeat at Steve.

Garry C 4 – 3 Frank F
Garry C 7 – 2 Thorsten B
Steve E 2 – 4 Garry C

Round two felt like an action replay with Frank again taking an early lead but this time I fought back to edge a narrow but pleasing victory myself. Symbolic of stormy conditions facing the KO2 fortunes of our guests, a thunder storm began outside. The loud rumbling skies felt as if they were literally above us, so much so, we couldn’t even hear you know who! Lightning flashed across the dimly light kitchen, just before Thorsten and I were about to play, and he informed me how his name is based on the God of storms! I took the warning but I was getting into my own stride by now and achieved a more assured result this time. And a confidence-boosting but rare win over Ste completed a 100% second round and runner-up spot in the table. Well played to Steve who nevertheless claimed the first title of the weekend.  Not a quite a trophy but soon after the pizza arrived, the staple diet of KO tourneys, and it sure tasted good. We were all starving!


Thorsten B 1 – 9 Garry C
Garry C 3 – 2 Frank F
Steve E 1 – 2 Garry C

Sure I was feeling good about my kick off but my 2nd tourney opener against Thorsten was “one of them” games where everything fell into place for me. More or less, every shot was a winner, giving me a very flattering scoreline. Yet again just one goal separated me and Frank who despite having the better of the play and shots, went down 2-3. Tough luck mate. My good run continued with a another narrow win against Ste but I somehow me and Fisher clung on!

Garry C 4 – 1 Thorsten B
Frank F 6 – 8 Garry C
Garry C 2 – 3 Steve E

With that 4-1 scoreline again I managed to once more overcome Thorsten. All this winning was putting me on an unfamiliar high when I achieved possibly my result of the weekend versus Frank who clearly meant business in this match but somehow I prevailed 8-6! I’d actually won 8 straight matches prior to my final game (don’t think that’s ever happened before!). I faced Ste who was three points behind with a 6-goal inferior goal difference so he needed to win with a 3+ scoreline. He’d leap-frogged before in previous final game tourney deciders and it wasn’t looking good when he lead 3-1 early in the second half, looking ready to surge ahead. I steadied the ship with a goal to reduce the deficit to 2-3 which is how it finished. In a field including the past and present champions of UK, Germany and Austria, Kobraman was both surprised and chuffed with this goal-difference title!

A big thanks to Ste and Donna for hosting, and to Donna for taking the snaps! A great night for kick off and a even better night for England! We nevertheless knew that tomorrow was another day and you can never write off the Germans….


Frank F  3 – 2  Garry C
 Steve E  6 – 1  Thorsten B
 Steve E  5 – 1  Frank F
 Thorsten B  1 – 4  Garry C
  Frank F  8 – 1  Thorsten B
  Garry C  3 – 6  Steve E
  Garry C  4 – 3  Frank F
  Thorsten B  4 – 4  Steve E
   Frank F  3 – 7  Steve E
   Garry C  7 – 2  Thorsten B
   Thorsten B  2 – 7  Frank F
   Steve E  2 – 4  Garry C


 Steve E  3 – 1  Frank F
 Thorsten B  1 – 9  Garry C
 Thorsten B  3 – 7  Steve E
 Garry C  3 – 2  Frank F
 Steve E  1 – 2  Garry C
 Frank F  3 – 2  Thorsten B
 Frank F  2 – 5  Steve E
 Garry C  4 – 1  Thorsten B
 Steve E  3 – 2  Thorsten B
 Frank F  6 – 8  Garry C
 Garry C  2 – 3  Steve E
 Thorsten B  0 – 3  Frank F



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