It sort of follows that once you build a first-class football field you should expect it to attract a classier level of football.
Well, that’s happening at Ambergris Stadium in San Pedro, Belize. The town-built field opened earlier this year and has been host to some fine games, none of which I’ve been able to get to until last week.
Ambergris Caye has its own Premier League team this year and as the new kid on the block, they’re doing alright. Until last Saturday, the San Pedro Pirates F.C. had gone undefeated in three home games. Playing on the road has shown the Pirates to be a more-vulnerable team. No wins away.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that Saturday’s game was against the league-leading Belmopan Bandits and that, at half-time, the Pirates were up 1-0.
I won’t insult anybody by trying to analyze the home team after watching only one match. I don’t yet know any of the players nor their capability. But I can say I think the fans got their money’s worth. I sure did. There was some pretty smart ball control, aggressive defense and plenty of attacks by both teams. Two well-primed goalies kept the final score to 2-1.
I love football almost as much as rugby. I coached my three sons rather poorly and played in a men’s league for a dozen years with diminishing success as I grew older. In my league, when you were moved to defense, it was the team’s polite way of saying you have lost a step or two and maybe should think about taking up something less demanding, like golf. In rugby, a couple of trips to the emergency room got the same message across.
Because the Premier League is currently in tournament play, it is difficult to say when the next home game will be. The outcome of this weekend’s round of games determines who plays who and where.
This Sunday, Oct. 8, the Pirates F.C. take on Belize Defence Force on the MCC grounds at 4 p.m. BDF vs. San Pedro Pirates! Fans who would like to go and support the team can pay $50, including entrance fee!
Please note that trip needs to be paid by Friday at Belize Pro Dive Center at Banyan Bay. Call 630-5935 for details.
Can’t make it to Belize City? Here’s some good news: The Pirates aren’t the only game in town!
In the National Over-40 Tournament 2017, the San Pedro Veterans have been bulldozing the competition. They are currently pitted in a two-match final against Mango Creek Veterans. In the first game, Mango Creek and San Pedro played to a 1-1 tie. This Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Ambergris Stadium, San Pedro claims home-field advantage. A stadium full of cheering fans could really tip the tourney in San Pedro’s favor.
Bring home the trophy, San Pedro Veterans!
Finding the field is extremely easy. Heading south from San Pedro Town, take the right at Ambergris Sausage, just past Banyan Bay Resort — I’m sure the road has a name. Follow the road two blocks to a T intersection. Turn left and look for the entrance in another block. Easy-peasy.
Another nice touch, as I walked up to buy my ticket last week I was greeted with “Hi, Mr. Bob!” by a long-time friend Karol Maldonado, who happens to now be the Pirates team manager. Now I really feel at home. I love too that inside the stadium I found I was far from a stranger. Many friends were there to cheer on the Pirates! Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to the next home game. How much? Hey, I bought a Pirates t-shirt and I really want to wear it to a game!
And importantly, on an island starved for diversions that don’t require sitting in a bar and drinking all day and night — some pretty sharp football fills the bill. Plus, you can sit in the stands and drink all night — but at least you’ll get some exercise walking to the concession stand.