2011/2012 Season has started...

The 2011/2012  season  started for the Club with an unprecedented 2 days of Subbuteo in which there were held three  A.S.A. sanctioned tournaments: 1st Edition of the  League Cup for the Veterans category  and  the Open Gasparilla Cup  on Saturday September the 10th , the Open Florida Cup on Sunday September the 11th 2011 .

The events marked the start of the A.S.A. official season and the return of Alex to the Subbuteo pitch after missing the entire past season and saw a low attendance of just 3 players, Jody Schaaf [ from the Savannah Subbuteo Club ] and Isabel Batacchi the other participants.

Isabel did not participate at the Veterans event because call at work at the last minute, so the two old rivals played a 3 games tournament for the League Cup:

Alex was able to win all three games: 2-0 [ 0-0 ]- 2-0 [ 0-0 ] - 2-1 [ 2-1 ], even though the play was very tight and Jody missed some good chances when the result was still 0-0, both players struggled and made a lot of mistakes , definitely their overall  game resented of the long inactivity .

When Isabel arrived the Gasparilla Cup event started. The format was a round robin in which every player was playing each other twice.

  1.  Alex - Jody     1-0    [ 0-0 ]
  2.  Isabel - Alex   1-2    [ 0-2 ]
  3. Isabel - Jody    0-0
  4. Jody - Alex      2-1    [ 1-0 ]
  5. Alex - Isabel    1-0    [ 1-0 ]
  6. Jody - Isabel    0-0
In the first game the play was very evenly matched, a very defensive game oriented,  with not many chances created and Alex was able to win it with a lot of luck with a goal 2 seconds from time, after a Jody mistake gave him back the ball cheaply with 17 seconds left on the clock , he was able to go down the pitch "stealing" a victory not deserved.

Isabel started very well hitting a post and with good possession, Alex was lucky again and in counterattack was able to close the half  2 goals up, she came back with a goal in the second half but the final result was never in jeopardy.

Great game the third one, where Jody and Isabel missed many chances each, which was the story of the all tournament  definitely a record in low scoring.

Game 4 saw Alex defeated by Jody , thing that did not happen since 4/2/2006 in A.S.A sanctioned games,both  played better than previously, Alex attacking and Jody defending with occasional  and deadly   " long balls" , Alex did not cope well with his opponent strategy, too busy attacking was often leaving his back line misplaced and unattended and paid the price[ fantastic Jody's winning goal shooting a rolling ball after a long one went around Alex defence], even though he had a spell of the last 5 minutes all in his opponent half [ the "never die attitude" of the Red Devils], a bar, a post and some missed chances were not enough.

 In game 5 Alex was able to win over Isabel with a long shot with the ball in her shooting zone and his man on his shooting line passing in a very narrow space between 2 defenders and even though the game was even in the play  he was able to win it and secure the victory in the tournament.

Last game between Jody and Isabel was again very even with chances on both side but no precision in the shots, just a great game with no goals.

The day after it was Florida Cup, with the 10th anniversary of the Towers attack that the participants honored with a minute of silence before starting to play.

    from left Jody, Isabel, and Alex with the Trophies
  1. Isabel - Alex    0-2  [ 0-0 ]
  2. Jody  - Isabel   0-0
  3. Jody   - Alex    0-1  [ 0-0 ]
  4. Alex  - Isabel   3-1  [ 2-0 ]
  5. Isabel - Jody    1-0  [ 0-0 ]
  6. Alex  -  Jody    4-0  [ 3-0 ]
First game in schedule: Alex vs Isabel, she started very well hitting a post in the first minutes with Alex a little too nervous and imprecise, the half went on very evenly played and actually Isabel was the one that had the best chances [0-0]The second half saw Alex starting in attack  with a different confidence and even though he squandered a couple of good chances, started to dominate the proceedings and won the game 2-0.

Jody & Isabel in action

Second game Jody vs Isabel was a "deja vu " of
the previous day with both players missing good
chances in a very open game.

Third game Alex vs Jody extremely even play
with very conservative tactics on both sides,
 Jody mostly defending and Alex attacking but being very careful to do not leave room for the "long balls". A very quick action  and shot from Alex on the right of Jody defence was the winner.

The first round of games closed seeing Alex with 6 points, Isabel and Jody with 1 point.

Lunch break and back to the games with Alex winning 3-1 [ 2-0 ] over Isabel, great and dominant first half on his part showing some good play from the past, in the second half he suffered the return of Isabel and became a little sloppy but was good enough to get the points for the final victory.

One of  Jody saves on Alex attacking impetus

Fifth tournament game saw a dominant Isabel winning over Jody 1-0 [0-0], many wasted chances
 for her during the game, but the goal itself very lucky: shot block by Jody goalkeeper,
 shooting figure rebounded  on the ball and the ball rolled over  the goalkeeper body going slowly into
the net.

Last tournament game, again the two old rivals facing each other, Alex won it 4-0 dominating [3-0] from start to finish with Jody unable to enter his shooting zone and forget about the "  long balls " intercepted when tried.

A very good Subbuteo week end where the participants found again the joy of playing the best simulation of soccer ever created for the tabletop, and the adrenaline and competitiveness of a tournament even though between just three players.
The start of the week end saw all the players coping with many mistakes lacking of match awareness but towards the end  everyone was showing some good table soccer, after all  the game is like riding a bicycle you will never forget it.

The season has started hoping that the future for the South Region would be better than the past, unfortunately the first signs are not really encouraging but the hope is still there.

A big thanks to Jody Schaaf to make the trip  from Savannah to celebrate Alex returning to the pitch.

Jody receiving third place finisher in the Florida Cup 2011


Looking back... 2009 A.S.A. Nationals - Ellicot City, MD

The 2009 edition of the A.S.A.  National Championship was held in Ellicot City MD , that easily could be called the home of Subbuteo in the United States thanks to the passion and hard work of Paul Eyes, and saw a  record attendance for the event of more than 60 players.

The Suncoast Table Soccer League for the first time was adding Matt Fox at the usual traveler Alex at his third National  Championship Tournament..

Fox was eliminated in the Group Stage, but scoring his first goal at the Nationals, then in the Mary Jane tournament went out on shoot-out after a 0-0 draw.

Alex started his National adventure in Group 5 winning his Group quite easily even though  he played badly : 5-0 to Andrew Brister, 6-0 to Grant Lilly and 7-0 to Evan Winter.

He approached the Round of 32 with a lot of doubts knowing that his opponent Andrew Giffen was a veteran of this competition , Semifinalist in 2005, and the guy that played with him his first Subbuteo game on American soil  while he was still learning the rules of the game.
Alex started the game in a very aggressive fashion but missing a couple of good chances, then a post and a goal disallowed for offside, the frustration was building up even though was dominating, finally after a big pressure with two corners in a row he was able to score with the very fast move at the edge of Andrew penalty box, and closed 1-0 the first half.
He dominated the second half but without adding any score to the little margin and even though Andrew did not create chances Alex was in a worry position till the final whistle.

In the round of 16 Alex met Eric Walton [ Vice National Champion in 2000 and 2001 ] -
Fantastic game that it could went either way, two big posts on a 0-0 result, one from each player, Alex was the one attacking and keeping more possession  of the ball, but Eric counter attacks were always very dangerous and effective.
Late in the second half Alex found the 1-0 with a fantastic long shot with the ball in Eric shooting zone and his player on his shooting line.....Batabomber!!!, the old scream came out! [ his classical scream after scoring a goal in his soccer times, that was also his nickname].
Alex controlled the possession and the pace of the game and in the end he found the 2-0 that closed the game in a lucky fashion: strong shot after a corner saved by Eric goalkeeper that rebounded precisely on one of Alex figures that stopped the run of the ball and had an easy shot .

Quarters of final vs Mike Byrd.
Alex started the game very resolute and closed the first half up[ 2-0],dominating the whole game that will end up 3-0 in his favour, hitting couple of posts and bars, having fantastic touches like a double curl [ left and right ]on Mike shooting zone to liberate one of his figures for the shot, he was in the Semifinal.

Semifinal vs Stuart Russell.
Stuart very good player that surprisingly  had eliminated the triple reigning National  Open Champion Zach Walker in the Round of 16, Alex started very well since the kick off with a fast action on the left wing that culminated with a bar, then Stuart pretty much dominated the half with Alex unable to create other chances, playing too slow on the attacking end to trouble one of the best defensive players in America.
Daniel in attack
First half [ 0-0 ] and the second one followed the same path till an evident mistake from Alex in defence allowed Stuart to score six minutes from time, down 0-1 and feeling already beaten and truly mad for his mistake, Alex slapped himself before kicking off  and now  it was like the " beast" woke up: super fast action on the left wing right away after the kick off and goal for tying the game taking by surprise Stuart, then the last five minutes played like in a"rage", incredibly was able to go 2-1 up and then controlled the last couple of minutes with master touches, he was in the National final.

Alex moving forward

In the Open Championship final against Daniel Cranston , Alex played quiet badly in every sector of the pitch, and the final 2-0 could have been a lot worse with his opponent dominating almost the whole game and that can be seen on our club picture site just clicking on the  blog links.
Unfortunately he arrived very close to his dream without fulfilling it.

Both relaxed after the battle

Daniel with the  National Trophy


This article closes Looking back... the season 2011/12 will start on September 1st and hopefully will bring more stories about the Club, trips and games with the American Subbuteo Association.



Looking back...F.I.S.T.F. Holiday Silver International Open

Alex went to the largest event ever played on U.S. soil with 66 players in attendance full of confidence after achieving one of his main goal for the season [ winning the Savannah Club League] and not expecting what the future had in store for him.

In the morning he had lost the final of the Travelers' Cup 0-1 vs Dave Baxter former number 1 in the World Rankings and incredible player, keeping the final loosing result acceptable just because he had a fantastic performance goalkeeping, and being happy anyway because to arrive there he had won all his games the previous Friday night:  3-0 with Darren  Koffmann  -  5-1 with Jim Monken and 2-0 with Steven Laskey for winning his Group, then in the Semifinal 1-0 with Lenny Foster .

The Holiday Silver International Grand Prix main event of the weekend was played on Sunday and Alex was drawn on Group 21 not having any points in the F.I.S.T.F. World Rankings, even though he played quite badly, managed to top his group with a 2-1
vs Alex Hansen and 1-0 vs Chris Walker.

Alex vs Lenny Foster in action from the round of 16
 In the Round of 32, he met Matt Steinmuller and after a tough game was able to win 2-1 with a fantastic curl  to liberate his figure for shooting that brought his second goal.

In the Round of 16 Alex played  with Lenny Foster [ best player of the Western States ] , very tight game which with some luck he managed to win with a fantastic goal with a shot on a rolling ball 35 seconds from time and being saved by the post on the dying seconds.

He still remember the sensation he had going on with the rounds, moving forward into the room proudly towards the best tables looking at other players packing because eliminated.

Quarters of final : it does not get any bigger than this, Daniel Cranston from the Maryland Subbuteo Club that eliminated Dave Baxter in the previous round, and already had beaten Alex 1-2 during the Patapsco Cup in May.
Incredible game that could have gone both ways, possession and control of the game changed quick, both players looking for the win, both hitting the bar , but in the end, and exactly 13 seconds from time Alex was able to score the winning goal with a shot that ricochet on one of Daniel players and unstoppable went in goal. He still remember having waited to take the shot for not giving any chance of reply to Daniel ... easily at this game you can score a goal in 10 seconds!-

Alex was in the Semi-final, he already achieved more than expected and with no pressure what so ever played with Jim Taylor, dominating the game and winning 1-0 with a wonderful chip from the right side, but honestly he could have add more to the final score.

Incredible....He was in the Final......    

Before the final Alex called his wife in a very emotional way...he was relaxed and at the same time happy, probably in a certain way just content to have reached that stage.

He played Miguel Marques of the Subbuteo Club Connecticut, National Vice Champion in 2006 , a more experienced player for sure , as we said Alex started the final relaxed and probably Miguel was more nervous, he was able to go up 1-0 and having another couple of good chances, then the Portuguese born came back with a big pressing style of play ,Alex did not cope well with it  loosing possession often and probably loosing also the relaxed way he had at the start, probably he had  started to have some winning fear.

Miguel was able to score the 1-1 in the second half and had a couple of good chances dominating the second fraction, Alex after a good action in Miguel shooting zone had a goal disallowed because of an offside cause of a mastered trap created by his opponent and he made everybody laughed with: " forget about it "!!.

Man Utd vs Sporting Lisboa
The regulation ended 1-1, they went to overtime with Golden Goal, Alex started to attack but open up too much for Miguel  to counter-attack and the inevitable happened 1-2 for Miguel and game over.

At the end of the day a fantastic experience and the satisfaction for Alex to be recognized as a good player by the A.S.A community.
 " The battle is on "


Looking back... 2007 Savannah Subbuteo Club League Championship

Alex started to play Subbuteo with the American Subbuteo Association in Savannah Georgia [ April 2006 ]some 6 hours drive from Tampa after having tried to involve several  area friends unsuccesfully.
The first year he participated in a couple of tournaments only, then he decided that for the love of the game he was going to try on attending every tournament and compete for the Club League Championship.
left to right: Mark Holloway,Alex,Jody Schaaf,Joey Balmer-
The long drive and the travel expenses did not stop him and he really enjoyed every moment spent with Jody Schaaf and his clubmates, sleeping sometimes for just a couple of hours in Jody's trailer before playing  in a tournament.

Sometimes he travelled with his whole family, most of the times by himself, finally in occasion of the Turkey Classic 2007 his wife Isabel joined in, playing her first A.S.A sanctioned tournament.

We could tell a lot of stories about these trips, the traditional pizza break or like the huge Limoncello bottle Alex shared with Diego Sanso [ other Savannah player ] the night before the Fall Open tournament, playing with a big hangover his games or the time he dedicated the Spring Open in memory of his Soccer friend Marco Aiazzi [ they used to call them " i gemelli del goal "] passed away days before, but this is supposed to be a memory of games.

Last Turkey in Savannah Jody great save

Great times and great games, always tight with uncertain out come during which Jody and Alex started a great rivalry and friendship that still goes on as we write.

Alex won the League Championship playing and winning 4 [ Turkey Classic 2006 - Spring Open 2007- Fall Open 2007 - Turkey Classic 2007 ] out of 5 [ Summer Open 2007 - ] tournaments organised by the Club with the following final standings:

                                       P           W         D          L           GS        GA         PTS

  • Alex Batacchi      21           21         -           -            106          3           63
  • Jody Schaaf        25           16         4           5             55         21          52
  • Joey Balmer        21           10         3           8             24         22          33
  • Mark Holloway    25             8         6          11             21         34          30
10 players in total participated in the League, but we just reported the ones with more than 20 games.

The trophy

Unfortunately even with Jody great efforts the  Savannah Subbuteo Club is not active anymore since 2008.


Looking back...

The Club this season  2010/2011 did not register any activity, many members, cause of the economic situation, left the State, others  like Roberto Mattoni and Sandro Tarozzi left the Country going back to Italy, Alex has been struggling with health problems and unfortunately did not play since last year in July.
 Sandro & Alex before a Florida Cup 2007 game
We had a very good start with 4 tournaments in the first season of the club life, but now we have to rebuilt the club looking for players  strenght  and passion to start all over again.
Roberto & Larry in action during the 2010 Corsendonk Cup
We will look back at some of the best  Subbuteo moments of our founder Alex Batacchi  in his trips around the Country trying to gain  the best of the inspiration from the memories.


A.S.A National Championship -Alexandria, Va - June 5-6 2010

The only participant of the T.B.T.S.C. at the National event was Alex Batacchi, joining the competition after months of inactivity.

He participated in the Open National tournament, in the Veterans one and in the Virginia Cup for teams and another couple of Unofficial tournaments .

The Veterans tournament was played with a group format, where the first two classified were going to play the final for the Championship, usual format of Group stage and then knock out rounds for the Open one.

He started his fourth National Championship participation with his first Veterans game vs Dewey La Rochelle winning 5-0.
In the Open category he was seeded in Group D with Andrew Brister [WTSL] - Matt Steinmuller [MSC] - Dewey La Rochelle [ WTSL], winning his group with 9 points [3wins]; 5-0 to Andrew, 5-0 to Matt and 3-1 to Dewey.

Great highlight the victory over Matt Steinmuller in a tight game that he resolved with a superb shooting performance, and honestly the result at the end did not reflect the playing on the pitch.

Alex getting ready on the purple Harchester United pitch that will see all his Open group games.

Before continuing his Open adventure he played two tough games in the Veterans Group; the first with Gregg Deinhart 1-1 and the second with Paul Eyes 2-2 coming back from a 0-2 deficit in a match full of "high class touches" from both players.

Alex and Paul in action from their Veterans Group game.

Open Quarter of Final versus Michael Tillman, as usual a great game, very tight that could have gone either way but our representant missed his chances and was defeated 1-2, Michael went on to loose the final at the Golden Goal against the Super Champ Zach Walker.

Last game for the Veterans Group so Alex beating Andrew Zunino 5-0 and waiting for the result between Paul and Gregg to see if he was going to play the final.

The second day of the Nationals saw the Virginia Cup for teams, Alex as usual was playing as a free agent, his team eliminated in the Group stage, with him playing several fantastic players:

0-0 with Stuart Russell [MSC], 0-3 with Zach Walker [WTSL] and beating 1-0 the legend Rick Wilcox [WTSL].

Last game of his National adventure, the final of the Veterans category, a fantastic game with Paul Eyes, a game that was called at "European level", great performance even though he came up short , loosing 0-1.

Paul and Alex posing with the National Trophy before the Veterans final.

Another fantastic weekend of Subbuteo with Alex adding another National Runner up finishing at his collection [ 2008 Team with SOCAL , 2009 Open individual] , so this year Vice Champion in the Team Competition with SCC United and in the Veterans Category.

Alex National Veterans Vice Champion


Corsendonk Cup - 1/17/2010

The Corsendonk Cup was played Sunday January the 17th at the Batacchi grounds and saw the first games played on the new "mini Old Trafford" with 9 participants in total.

We had some late withdrawals and unfortunately this time our Savannah friends did not join us.

The tournament saw the participation of Larry Fryer [M.S.C.] , that was in Florida to attend a baseball umpire school and our friend played his best Subbuteo ever.

The format was a little different from the past tournaments: two groups one of 5 players [ Alex Batacchi, Larry Fryer, Roberto Mattoni, Teo Boscaino, and Ludovico Boscaino] and the second with four[Isabel Batacchi, Max Boscaino, Federico Boscaino, Nazareno Boscaino], then Quarters of final, the loosers of these played for the M.J. trophy .

Group "A" saw Alex Batacchi as Winner and Larry Fryer finished second [after winning a very close one against Teo Boscaino], Group "B" Isabel in first and Max Boscaino in second place.

Larry and Alex playing their Group game on the new "Mini Old Trafford".
Quarters of final -
  • Alex Batacchi - Federico Boscaino 6-0
  • Larry Fryer - Nazareno Boscaino 1-0
  • Isabel Batacchi - Roberto Mattoni 1-0
  • Max winning goal on shots
  • Max Boscaino - Teo Boscaino 1-1 [ Max winning on shots[2-1] after a fantastic game between father and son.

The Consolation tournament or Mary Jane saw Teo Boscaino as Winner with victories over Roberto Mattoni [1-0] and Nazareno Boscaino [1-0] -
Alex won his Semifinal with Max almost crusing after scoring a couple of goals in the first five minutes, instead in the other Semifinal was drama.
Isabel Batacchi attacked Larry Fryer in the first half missing a couple of good chances, then Larry with a great defensive plan and good ball possession was able to survive and finish the regulation 0-0, in the Overtime [ they were played two halves of five minutes each] the play was very much even and with no scores ,they went to shots: here, Larry's greater experience gave him the edge winning 1-0 and going to the final.

The final for Third place was won by Isabel 3-0 over Max.

Larry and Alex  before the final

In the final Larry tried the same tactics against Alex and was able to close the first half just 1 goal down, but in the second half gave away a cheap second goal and at that point was game over, Alex won 5-0 with a last fantastic goal on a rolling corner....sweet !!!!-

Another fantastic day of Subbuteo at the Batacchi grounds and at the end Larry teached everybody a lesson at " Dominion".

Larry proudly pose with his trophy and the original that was played in Farmington CT in 2006