Alkis Polyrakis (Greece)
| He said: "I'm one of the 31 winners who
participated in the 1st Kick Off 2 World Cup"
He didn't say: "EAT MY DUST!"
Did Alkis deserve to win the tournament? Most people seem to think so. After all, he was the only undefeated player in Dartford, either in tournament or in practice matches. His gameplay wasn't the most attractive one, but he was more concentrated than others. His strongest point was his defence, as he only conceived one goal per match. He was also on the top of the list in goal difference, scoring 3.94 more goals than his opponents.
Mark Poelstra (Netherlands)
| He said: "I still think you can beat Alkis
with a 4-2-4 formation... but with a 5-3-2 tactic it is probably easier
to beat him."
He didn't say: "Come on, everyone saw I was better than the shorty.
He was lucky, that's all."
Mark reminded me of the Russian army officers we used to see in early 80s Holywood movies. Standing 6' 6'', always with a cool expression on his face, he looked like he knew he was going to win. He was by far the most spectacular player in Dartford, mastering a unique stop-and-run technique. He eliminated Nazim and Gianluca on his way to the final. He was third in overall goal difference. Perhaps his only disadvantage was that he never switched his 4-2-4 formation.
Gianluca Troiano (Italy)
| He said: "I lost 1 match and I was out.
Maybe if the tournament was all just a league I would have been the winner."
He didn't say: "But then again, Alkis lost no match."
The Italian stallion won the top scorer trophy of the competition, averaging 5 goals per game! He was also second in defence and goal difference. He deserved to be in the final no less than Mark or Alkis. He appeared to be the unquestionable favorite until the semi-finals, in which he competed with the Italian flag wrapped around his shoulders. Unfortunately for him, one bad game against Mark caused his elimination.
Riemer Poelstra (Netherlands)
| He said: "I was very pleased to be in
the semi-final, especially after a bad start."
He didn't say: "I'm glad Kees accepted my cheque, cause I was out of
The elder Poelstra brother was the surprise of the tournament. After a terrible start, he ended up 4th in his group and didn't look like he had much chance in round 2. His last minute victory against his friend Kees led him to the quarter finals, where he defeated Steve Camber with some impressive defence. He had trouble competing with Alkis though, as he lost to him with an overall 16-2 in three matches, which was what caused his negative goal difference. If someone played the best he could in the gathering, it was Riemer.
Nazim Choudhury (England)
| He said(to Vasilis): "I just can't keep
up with your posts man - if only your defenders were so fast!"
He didn't say: "How do you spell defence again?"
One thing about Nazim, he sure knew how to please the crowd. Just look at some of his scores: 3-4,3-3,2-3,4-7.. Had he been allowed to use tactics other than the defaults, he'd probably use Blitz. Massive attacker, poor defender. He was third in best goal average, just one goal away from the first place.
Steve Camber (England)
| He said: "You can't beat a good CamberGoal."
He didn't say: "Too bad Riemer didn't know that."
When he wasn't busy repairing joysticks, Steve was playing some serious Kick Off games. An excellent player under pressure, he lead the closest groups in the first two rounds. His attacking skills betrayed him in the quarter finals.
Klaus Lederer (Austria)
| He said: "It's a clear advantage for the
aggressive player if we use Fernandez in the final"
He didn't say: "I wouldn't mind being there, though."
Klaus would never win a top scorer trophy, but he's a tough player who never abandons a match. Many excellent players did worse than him in the tournament because they cracked. The Austrian did his best matches in the last two games of each round.
James Beard (England)
| He said: "I will host a tournament for
everyone and pay for everything the minute I become a millionaire."
He didn't say: "Meanwhile, is there any garlic bread left?"
You can tell James is a balanced player just my looking at his stats. 0 goal difference! He had the second worst offence of all 16 players who made it to Sunday, but he was great at denying goals no matter which opponent he was facing. The only player who managed to score more than 3 goals against him was (surprise, surprise) Anthony Kyne!
Robert Swift (England)
| He said: "When Garry Kasparov beat everyone
at chess, they made a super computer to beat him. I was wondering whether
the Anco boys could re-open the Kick-Off lab and write a souped-up computer
player to beat Alkis"
He didn't say: "Kasparov wouldn't stand a chance against the tactics
I designed in Chessplayer Manager."
What I will never
forget about Robert was the demonstration
of his custom teams & tactics in Player Manager. He has obviously spent hours
designing them. I also loved the way he was constantly mumbling during his
(and other people's) games. Not that he was a bad Kick Off 2 player; the game
cost him was the legendary 4-5 against Jacob.
Kees Van den Berg (Netherlands)
| He said: "Beautiful playing never wins
the worldcup (see Holland)"
He didn't say: "At least an English girl called me a gentleman!"
My personal favorite player, I was surprised to see him go so soon. One of the best competitors at keeping the ball possesion. He never lost a game with more than one goal, and this includes Gianluca and Alkis! He had the third best defence. Had this been a city tournament, Groningen would have finished first, with him and the Poelstras playing.
Martin Beard (England)
| He said: "Come on bro, don't let your
He didn't say: "...like I did."
Another one who
could have done better. He had what seemed to me like
the least suitable joystick
in the tournament, yet he was 6th in overall
goal average & difference. A sterile second round game against Gunther Wening
was the end for him.
Jacob Kofoed (Sweden)
| He said: "My conclusion of the tournament
is that I need human opposition to get a better defense."
He didn't say: "And the rest of you need to bring your girlfriends
next time, so that Cecilia isn't bored to death."
The only Swedish in the tournament, and the only one who dared to bring his girlfriend along! A veritable scoring machine, 5th in goal average. Unlucky though, as he was disqualified due to goal difference.
James Lockerbie (England)
| He said(after Round 1): "I'm not going
to win a single game in the second round"
He didn't say: "I lied."
James finished second in his group in Round 1, but he couldn't do any better in the lions pit (Group H) with Gianluca, Nazim and Vasilis. His defensive skills (4th in the tournament) were not enough, as he only scored 3 goals in these 3 games.
Gunther Wening (Netherlands)
| He said: "I was deeply shocked after I
was kicked out in the second round after a very close game, but tried to
He didn't say: "I did better than all the Angeren boys, didn't I?"
The founder of the Kick Off Association did a lot more than sit back and enjoy his creation. His performance in Dartford was pretty honorary, considering he was an ST man. He had trouble coping with the differences between the two versions, that's why he only managed a 1.4 goal average per game.
Anthony Kyne (Ireland)
| He said: "I was very happy with my results
as I thought I was favorite for the Shirt Of Shame"
He didn't say: "Hey Screech, how do I look from down there?"
Anthony's performance on Saturday was a surprise to many (not excluding himself). Maybe his opponents took his word for granted and expected an easy match. With 5 victories in 6 matches, the Anco programmer progressed to the second round, where he went down fast with three defeats and 0-12 goals.
Vasilis Kafiris (Greece)
| He said(after Steve discovered he and
Alkis had eaten his rolls): "I'm a victim of social cruelty Steve! Like
in V.Hugo's 'The Miserables'! I was only hungry sir Steeeeeeve sir! Pleeeease
He didn't say: "Somebody, put something, somebody put something in
Vasilis was his usual self on Friday evening's practice games, with 4/4 victories against opponents like the Beard brothers and Steve Camber. I don't know what happened to him in the weekend, but he failed to show his talent in most occasions. One thing's for sure, he won't make the same mistakes next year in Athens.
Danny Dinneen (Ireland)
| He said: "For a person who plays at 50%
and has never played at 100% before, 3 victories and 1 draw is pretty good
He didn't say: "I'd like to see you play at 200%!"
Danny said it
all in his quote. Most of the players were
very curious to see how "the 50% man" would do in the gathering. He arrived
just an hour before the beginning, so he had almost no time to practice. We
he was the main canditate for the worst player award, and he surprised us all.
Steve Screech (England)
| He said: "One night's practice was totally
unsufficent for me to be able to put up even a modest challenge."
He didn't say: "See if I ever make another football game."
I'd need pages to even begin to describe the KOA members' feelings about Steve. He was one of the two programmers who gave us Kick Off 2. He gave us a chance to participate in the making of a new game. He keeps giving us more credit than we deserve. And finally, he organizes an event as big as the 1st Kick Off 2 World Cup, which must have cost him a fortune. One word for the man: gratitude. As for his performance in the tournament, I'm sure it was due to lack of practice.
Oliver Shleede (Germany)
| He said: "That's a very unconventional
way of scoring."
He didn't say: "Can you teach it to me please?"
Oliver was one of the people who deserved to be in the second round. Among his accomplishments, one cannot help but notice the 5-1 victory against Riemer. He got disqualified because he failed to beat the last two players of his group!
Helmut Hausmann (Austria)
| He said: "Continuous there was a rejoicing
scream, a shrill whistle of the referee, or a goal noise."
He didn't say: "Not to mention Mark Elliot's shrill voice."
Helmut did not do as well as his compatriot, but he didn't do badly either. None of the four first players of his group managed a big victory against him.
Filippo Della Bianca (Italy)
| He said: "I don't want to see 31 Alkis
clones next year."
He didn't say: "Because if I do, I will finish 32nd."
How did the 5h defender of the tournament manage to finish 21st? Well, the answer is obvious. Filippo scored even less frequently than he conceived. He scored 6 out of his 7 goals in only 2 games, and just 1 goal in the other four! Perhaps it was a question of anxiety.
Franco Chiandotto (Italy)
| He said: "Eeeeee fuori eeeeee!"
He didn't say: "At least I had a 12-0 victory, not even Gianluca managed
Franco appeared to be much better than the bottom two players of his group, and worse than the top five, so his results were normal.
Michael Qureshi (England)
| He said (everytime he conceded a goal): "NEIN!"
He didn't say: "JA!" (at least not often enough for him to qualify)
Same thing goes for Michael, as he only managed to beat those below him.
Carl Norman (England)
| He said: "The greatest game of the tournament
has to be Mr Dig versus Nazim, if only to watch Naz slap his head every
time he missed/lost a goal... if Mark had scored any more Naz might have
his jaw, Naz you were viscious."
He didn't say: "Maybe I should have slapped my head once or twice,
Carl's finest moment was a draw against Oliver, which was painful to the German.
Jan Tijssen (Netherlands)
| He said: "It's not a holiday. It's serious
He didn't say: "Andy defeated my brother, but he didn't get passed
Jan was another example of different versions confusion.
Mark Elliott (England)
| He said: "I'm sure i'll gradually get
back to normal but i'll never forget this last weekend for a very long
He didn't say: "Not as long as the time other people will need to recover
from my heckling."
Mark did a much better job with his camera than with his joystick! Not a bad taxi driver, either. When he wasn't playing, he was one of the best defenders of the tournament, because his sarcasm made people laugh and they couldn't hit the target.
Pim Vink (Netherlands)
| He said: "The ranking isn't fair. I was
in a much more difficult group than others."
He didn't say: "At least I had Tim to make sure I wouldn't compete
for the shirt of shame."
Pim was probably the youngest player of the tournament. I guess he was too young when Kick Off 2 was released.
Fabio Artuso (Italy)
| He said: "I haven't played Kick Off for
He didn't say: "I had a draw against the semi-finalist!"
Fabio entered the competition late, due to another Italian cancelling his trip, so he didn't have enough time to practice. He used to be a champion, so maybe we'll see a better Fabio next year in Athens.
Andy Middleton (England)
| He said: "Scoring in Final Whistle is
He didn't say: "Why can't I make an overhead kick?"
Andy should be pleased we had only one worst player award, although rumour has it that he's a better player than he showed us in Dartford.
Niels Tijssen (Netherlands)
| He said: "At lease I have got a shirt,
and you are still waiting for stainy."
He didn't say: "SHAME!" (all the other players said it to him)
Was Niels the worst player of the tournament? The numbers say that he was. He didn't score a single goal in seven games (just one in the game of shame), and he lost to Andy. It's a good thing he had a sense of humour and didn't feel hurt when he wore that shirt!
Tim Klifman (Netherlands)
| He said: "Maybe I will have some beginner's
He didn't say: "Kick Off players are ungrateful. I should have made
a porn site instead."
Tim's presence in the tournament was
complimentary, as he was our web master. He's not a Kick
Off player, at least not yet. We hope he will learn to love
the game and play it.