The Ultimate Match Attax Experience of a Lifetime!
18th May 2012
Our Australia/NZ Match Attax champion, James Chan, has returned from his UK trip with lots to say!
James Chan won the Australia/NZ champion title in March this year and won a free trip to the UK to participate in the Match Attax World Championships, where he competed with other fans from across the world in April last month. James finished equal third amongst 12 other boys; a spectacular effort! We congratulate James and thank him for sharing this amazing experience with us!
An Interview with James…
Congrats on becoming the 2012 Match Attax Australian Champion, how did you go in the round robin games and how were you feeling when you won the final match?
After drawing my first round robin game, I was a little nervous, but somehow went on to win all of my remaining matches. The final match against Mac was nerve-racking and very tense, so after I won I just felt relieved. After 3 years of playing in the tournaments and going through a very tough final match, I could not believe I actually won!
How did you prepare for the tournaments?
For the Australian Champs, I spent the hours leading up to it with my friend Lucas, who went to the World Champs in 2011. He has been my ‘training partner” in playing the game since the 2009/10 collection was released, and I owe him a lot for his support. We pretty much revised over dealing with certain scenarios during games, and he gave me some last-minute psychological advice that boosted my confidence and my game. I didn’t really prepare as much for the World Championships because I didn’t have any time! I was reasonably relaxed, and just talked to the other boys before it started.
How long have you been playing and collecting Topps Match Attax Trading Card Games?
My first Match Attax collection was 2007/08 Extra, when Lucas had brought back some packs after going to England. I started playing the game with the 2009/10 collection, but didn’t do too well in the Australian tournaments.
What do you love most about Topps Match Attax Trading Card Game?
I have always loved playing the game and entering the tournaments, especially with that incentive of winning a trip to England. Without the tournaments, I probably would not be collecting, it’s such a great game.
What’s been your best Match Attax moment so far?
My best moment has definitely been going to the World Championships. It was the trip of a life time. It’s always been a dream of mine to go to England and see a Premier League match, and it was great meeting all the other boys and spending the weekend with them.
Whilst you were in Europe you got to watch the Chelsea versus QPR live game, how was that?
It was unbelievable. The atmosphere was amazing, and it was great to see so many goals. The speed of the game and quality of play made for a highly entertaining match. The best players I had seen live before this match were probably Landon Donovan, David Beckham (not in his prime though), and Tim Cahill, but now I’ve seen the likes of John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Juan Mata!
What was your highlight of that match?
Seeing Torres score a hat-trick! It made an even better atmosphere, and all 3 of his goals were class. When he’s playing well, he’s unstoppable and fantastic to watch.
As part of your prize you also won 250 pounds – how did you spend your prize money – did you stock up on more Topps cards?
I was planning on buying some Match Attax Extra, but didn’t need to in the end, since Topps gave out plenty of free packs and merchandise during the tournament. I only spent some of the money, mainly buying football magazines and clothes!
What’s next for you and Topps Match Attax Trading Card Games?
I’m still not sure whether I will be playing in the tournament next year/collecting cards. I would love to go back to England after having such a great time though.
Competition Day 1
This was a Saturday, and the people from Topps had only just started to arrive in the morning. I met the South African and Malaysian winners in the morning, and we played some games and traded cards. All the other contestants soon arrived, and we met at 2pm to confirm the rules for the following day, and who would be in our group (there were 3 groups of 4 and a group of 3). We were then all presented with our jackets that had our initials and country’s flag on it. At 2:30pm we went on a bus to the Tower of London, and then went to a medieval banquet for dinner.
Competition Day 2
This was the day of the World Championships and we all left early in the morning to get to Stamford Bridge on an open-top bus. When we arrived we headed straight for the pitch, and got to take some photos around the corner flag, but we had to do the Championships indoors because it was raining. My first match was against the Northern-Irish winner. I had started alright, but halfway through, I suddenly realised that I had forgotten to put my referee card, one of the most important cards you need, on my play pitch! Luckily, I managed to sneak in a 6-5 win. My next two group games were against the Scottish winner, and one of the English winners. Both games were very close, and I won them 6-5. It meant that I had qualified for the semi-finals.
I was drawn against the Irish winner, with the other semi-final being played between an English winner and the Singaporean winner. I had started well, but a sub rule that had been confirmed the previous day, had been changed just before the Championships started. My concentration was down, and I had forgotten about the rule change. My opponent took advantage of that just before I realized – a costly error by me. I lost 6-5 in the end, with the other semi-final being the same score in favour of the English winner.
We were then quickly escorted to the Chelsea Museum. We all had a lot of fun there playing 3 on 3 football in a small area that was supposed to be a target-practice game! We also met former Chelsea defender Michael Dubery. An hour later, it was time to watch the match, Chelsea v QPR. We made our way through a packed crowd to our seats, and enjoyed a fantastic first half. The World Championships Final then began on the side of the pitch (because the pitch was wet from the rain, it wasn’t played in the centre circle): The Irish winner won 6-5 and was crowned World Champion with a massive trophy. Unfortunately he was only allowed to keep a mini version of it. The 2nd half then kicked off, and it was great seeing Torres complete his hat-trick. After the game, some of us waited outside the player entrances and I got to meet QPR striker Bobby Zamora and 2010 World Cup Final referee Howard Webb.
An hour later, we arrived back at the hotel and played more games of Match Attax in the lobby, with everyone wanting to challenge the World Champion! (For the record, I beat him 5 times out of 5. It’s a shame I couldn’t do it at the actual World Champs!) Before we knew it, we had to leave again to go to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner. We arrived and played more Match Attax. We didn’t stay long, leaving to go back to the hotel at around 8pm. You can guess what we then played…Match Attax! Playing Match Attax in the hotel lobby with all the other boys was actually one of the highlights of the trip, and I’ll fondly remember it! We played until 11:30pm, ordering a few too many rounds of soft drink and cup’s of nuts (Topps were extremely generous, paying for any food or drink we bought at the hotel) with everyone exhausted. What a day!
Competition Day 3
This was the day when everyone left. It was a very quiet morning, with everyone tired from the previous night. Many of us exchanged email addresses, Topps gave out more packs of cards, and we said our goodbyes. It was very sad seeing everyone leave after having such a great time with them. It was the weekend of a life time, but at least I stayed in London – we extended the trip for 4 days.
Find more photos at the Match Attax Aus/NZ Facebook page!
Match Attax Australia & NZ
23rd March 2012
And we’ve got our Champion…
Congratulations James Chan from Victoria who now holds the title as the 2012 Match Attax Australia & New Zealand Champion!
James as well as 9 other state winners from across Australia and New Zealand participated in the Aus/NZ Championships on Saturday 17th March at Chadstone Shopping Centre, Melbourne Victoria.
We would also like to congratulate our runner-up, Mac Lyon from Queensland, who played very well and was that much closer to becoming the champion! Not without to mention our other semi-finalists whom also displayed great skill in their games of Match Attax: Markus Anderson-Deakin from Western Australia (3rd), and George Wilson (4th) also from Victoria. It was very encouraging to see all players and friends so keen on gameplay and the support they gave each other throughout the tournament.
With the round robin games stretching on for over 2 hours long, we were very impressed with the ongoing energy from the players and onlookers and saw a large number of players trading cards with each other. What more was the excitement with receiving complimentary 11-Card packets for all the finalists, as well as the endless Limited Edition card giveaways!
Check out the following scoresheets to see how each game went between players, who we must mention again were equally skilled and managed their games very strategically.
Congrats to all our state finalists: Griffin Sleigh, Jake Billich, James Chan, PJ Garner, Harrison Thodis, Rick Tran, George Wilson, Mac Lyon, Markus Anderson Deakin, and Chris Eshou.
In the end we saw James Chan and Mac Lyon play out an intense final game, with James winning the Champion title and Mac awarded as our Runner-Up.
James will now represent Australia in the 2012 Match Attax World Championships with other champions from around the world! This event will take place April 28th, 29th with the final being played at the Chelsea vs QPR match on the Sunday 29th April. We wish James all the best with this amazing Match Attax experience!
Match Attax Australia/NZ would like to thank all Match Attax fans and Facebook fans, including their parents! A big thanks goes out to Vikings Futsal for running the state events, oOh! Media for the championship event, and our partners Football Star Academy and Football West for their support.
Stay tuned for photos next week, and more Match Attax news (EXTRA IS COMING!!!) and competitions on our Facebook page.
Match Attax Australia/New Zealand