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VIVA Moments

By Ben / June, 4, 2012

So, to start, I am Ben Holden, a teacher from the North East of England with a passion for football. So when my good friend called to ask whether I’d be interested in the Darfur United project, I jumped at the chance and what an experience it has proved to be so far.

Firstly the lads, what a dedicated, humble and passionate group of men. They have absorbed every coaching point like a sponge and to witness the coaching that we have done be implemented on the pitch was an incredibly proud moment.

Their first ever match today was against the Northern Cypriot Republic of Turkey and was a baptism of fire to say the least. There was a clear gulf in class, our opponents were quick, composed and had two outstanding wingers who their centre midfielders played in behind our back four on numerous occasions to devastating effect. In addition to their playing class, the Northern Cypriot’s displayed integrity and respect during the game and conducted themselves impeccably. Good luck to them, I hope they go all the way in the competition.

So away from the field, the VIVA organisers have certainly kept us on our toes, their habit of withholding vital information has been an annoyance, in addition to the drivers we have been given, who so far have performed a total of 283 U-Turns, beeped their horns 2,284 times and accidentally ran 3 Kurdistani football supporters over and finally, during the pre-tournament press-conference, I had to tell the organiser how many subs each team was allowed to use!!

All in all, what a fantastic few days, despite a bout of food poisoning which according to Mark Hodson was most definitely due to the salad, this trip has been a life-changing experience for me. To see such unbridled hope and pride from these lads has put a lot of my life ‘stresses’ into context. I also know that I am now part of the Darfuri family and the players and supporters of Darfur United are part of mine.

Assistant Manager
Ben Holden

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4 Responses to VIVA Moments

  • consuelo stauring

    Ben…thank you for doing what you do and being an inspiration to all of us.
    Go Darfur United!!!!
    P.S. no more salads for you.

  • Taj Haroun

    Well done Ben, I am so proud of you and what your are doing,it means allot to us Darfuries, it will never forgotten, our history will record this historical moment and for sure its highly appreciated.thanks on behave of all Darfuries specially here in Israel.Good luck for the next game

  • Pete Schachter

    You're absolutely right in knowing you have already won the hardest battle, the matches are a piece of cake compared to what these players have had to experience in their lives. I wish you all the best! (A subtle well timed bump to those wingers is suggested;).

  • Corey Dragge

    Ben, What you have accomplihed is amazing and what your players have accomplished is nothing short of awe inspiring. Thank you and keep up the amazing work.

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