Sunday 8th May 2016 ko 17.30
5 Liga Bucuresti
FRATIA BUCURESTI 2 (Phanzu 24 Sebanescu 85)
PROGRESSUL SPARTAC 1944 0
I remember when hop organiser Andrei Otineanu first contacted me to ask advice on which stadia ought to be featured on the inaugural Bucharest Groundhop. I offered just one tip,
“Andrei,” I said, “Put on whoever you like, but you have to feature Fratia!”
I was obvious really, I’d visited in September and the club and its people had completely blown me away. (Article here) The feeling was heightened when a gentleman who has become something of a sporting hero of mine contacted me via Facebook. Tudorel Mihailescu is the living proof that if you believe in yourself, and never ever give up, then you can achieve great things. You wouldn’t think that a man missing part of one arm could play in goal could you? Tudurel proves that you can.
This time I had the advantage of at least knowing how to find the ground, and it proved handy as our driver couldn’t! Thankfully he didn’t try and drive our well-appointed minibus across the field to the Fratia-Vulcan ground, we followed the newly erected signs and walked the half mile on a rough track.
We were greeted by another Fratia hero, chairman Constantin Zamfir, and being hugged and kissed on on both cheeks is a new one on me, well by a club chairman anyway! He’s been busy since last September, with the ground showing some improvements, cover for the dugouts being one and each player now having his own seat, a named log each!
But this is a club by its people for its people. It was a honour to be treated as a guest, fed a cup of wine, and become a Fratia fan for the afternoon. Fratia run a side in the 4th League, and Mihailescu normally plays for that side. But the decision was made that he’d play the first 20 minutes for us, or was it that he fancied playing on the occasion of his 50th birthday?
Life’s script begged for a Fratia win, and a well worked free-kick sealed the 3 points for our gallant hosts. The celebrations at the end were heartfelt and the team asked to have their picture taken with their visitors. It was a moment to treasure.
We said our farewells and headed off back to Pub Horezu in central Bucharest for a final meal, and I must admit we may have fed young Andrei a beer or two! He deserves much praise for not just putting together an enjoyable weekend but for being able to adapt quickly when the tragic death of Patrick Ekeng threatened all his plans. So well done Andrei, and can we go to Transylvania next time?