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(PERNS) – It’s been a while since the last time I wrote an editorial, so I figured January 2005 might be a good time to get back on the horse. This past holiday season was filled with the usual food, friends, family parties, and for me, the usual workweeks with the exception of a couple of days off between benders. Mixed in with the brandy and holiday cheer were the usual, FIFA 2005 tournaments, the sometimes un-friendly debates on the state of the NHL, and of course the annual December 31st “What are we doing for New Years?” discussion.
NKTG and Karlovac players.
NKTG and Karlovac players.
What also became a topic was Croatian indoor soccer in the little world we call the Golden Horseshoe. Now, I may not be the all-knowing soccer buff you may think I am (or think I think I am when I really know I’m not), but I tried to compile a quick list of Croatian men’s indoor clubs that played in 2004, in leagues based out of Ancaster, Grimsby, Hamilton and Oakville. In no particular order, here goes:
  • NK Armada (Tuesday Grimsby Premier)
  • NK Kupa (Tuesday Grimsby Premier)
  • Croatia Stoney’s (Tuesday Grimsby Premier)
  • Hamilton Croatia ‘C’ (Tuesday Hamilton Second Division)
  • NK Hrvatski Vitez (Wednesday Oakville Premier)
  • NK Karlovac United (Wednesday Oakville Premier)
  • NK Tomislavgrad (Wednesday Oakville Premier)
  • Toronto Torcida (Wednesday Oakville Premier)
  • Hrvat (Thursday Oakville First Division)
  • NK Dinamo (Sunday Grimsby Premier)
  • NK Dalmacija (Sunday Oakville Third Division)
  • NK Oluja (Sunday Oakville Third Division)
  • HNK Napredak (Sunday Hamilton Premier)
  • NK Hajduk (Sunday Ancaster Premier)
14 if you’re keeping a count. Try not to be offended if I missed your team – these are just the ones I know about. There were a couple of posts a while back in the forum about people asking why there is no All-Croatian indoor soccer tournaments. Looking the amount of teams, I asked myself the same question – and the answer I came up with – too many ringers. In a perfect world, there would be one day in the year where a bunch of guys could get together and organize a tournament of this magnitude. Come to think of it somebody tried this a few years back (in London I believe) but the stumbling block was not having enough prior commitment to secure a venue. The sad thing is that if this tourney had gone as planned, the winning team probably would have been stacked with a bunch of soccer gypsies (guys that don’t normally play on a team, but put one together for the purpose of winning money tournaments). Is it human nature to be competitive to the point to do anything to win, or is it just Croatian nature to need to have bragging rights in a tournament where culture, camaraderie and enjoyment would be the intention. I know from playing for and against most of these indoor teams that the games would be competitive. Most indoor teams are comprised of extremely talented players staying in shape for outdoor soccer. These guys are usually mixed in with players that once played outdoor and can no longer sustain the chore of practices and games two or three times a week. These are guys that tend to make time for indoor soccer because it is generally played once a week with no practicing and is easy to plan your schedule around. Putting a tournament together with the aforementioned teams would be an event talked about as much as our Cro-dances and tambura festivals. I’m just afraid that in the end, it may end up being like a miniature version of the annual outdoor tourney, where teams stop at nothing to add players to rosters as if there would be some sort of parade awaiting them once they got home with the championship trophy. My final thought? Like my mom tells me every time I tell her I got a shutout – nobody cares. For, I’m Frank Perin.

Post Author: Croatia Hamilton