BIFC’s Early Days: our first E team

By John Grifffin

After a 5 year  involvement in BIFC, and 4 years as a Board Member, I will be stepping back at the end of the season. 

BIFC is an amazing Club, which has grown rapidly through consistent and dedicated efforts of many member families, whether serving on the Board, as Coaches, Team Managers, Referees, Players, Line painters, or managing the concession stand. What sets BIFC apart is the willingness of so many of its members to step up and help out when needed and work together.

Today the Club has evolved to a point where its 12 teams are supported by a broad and strong infrastructure.  It was not like that at the start. 

It was 2016, when I heard that Daniel Waidzunas was founding BIFC with an ethos of ‘football for all’. This sounded refreshingly different to my son Edward’s club where he often seemed to be side-lined whilst others had significantly more time on the field.  He came to one session and was hooked.

A year later when the Club affiliated with the FVNWS, I was Assistant Coach for the Club’s very first E team.  For a team and coaches, used to training and kick-abouts on an unmarked field above a reservoir in Bruderholz, the intensity, physicality and aggression at that first E match at Dornach was a shock.  In heavy rain, we lost 16:1 but started to gain important experience. 

It was particularly challenging at first because everything was new, and we did not know how things worked. Thus, a lot of the logistics of running matches fell on coaches, preparing Team Cards, locating opponents fields for away matches, washing match kit;  and then at home assisting with setting up the field, concessions stand, etc. I remember one time even painting the lines on the pitch an hour before kick-off.

Though the team were developing skills, the scores did not reflect this and so the E team’s tally going into the last match was one draw and 8 (mostly heavy) losses. I will never forget that last match. 

 We were losing 6:3 after 2 periods when an injured player arrived to support his team dressed in his match kit and bandaged arm. It was a moving moment as he had been absent for many weeks having complex surgery after suffering a broken arm during training.  The impact of his presence on the team was immediate as the boys suddenly wanted to do their best for him. Their energy, focus and motivation took the opposing team by surprise. Now coordinated and determined in defence and attacking at speed, goals came in quick succession. The final 7:7 score felt like a win as the team had finally discovered its spirit.

The realisation that success in almost anything depends on developing skills, teamwork and effort was a key life-lesson for the team and in the Spring matches it won 5, drew 2 and lost 3. Supporting this important learning has been my motivation for helping run BIFC as a coach and Board Member.  

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone I have met for the great interactions we have shared and wish the Club every success in the future.