Serih Ireland: A Photo Essay
July 22, 2009

If you don't know it already (shame on you), I was born, to play futsal.

Ah, futsal... the miniature version of the world's game, or rather, the beautiful game, that is football. Ten men of two five-a-side teams running after the ball on a pitch ¼ the size of an official field brawling their way in the fast-paced tug o' war of egos with the aim of outdoing each other's wit and athletic prowess for, well... if they're like my friends, about 6 minutes before they lay flat on the ground gasping for air.

But it is what we do every Friday night; gasp for air. In fact, for the majority of us, it's the highlight of our week. Which is quite sad when you consider that it involves ten sweaty guys having a go at each other for 90 minutes.

Last Friday, however, we had the privilege of having an up-and-coming, aspiring photographer friend of ours Ihsan Khairir by the sidelines. Perhaps we could ignore, for the time being, that he was actually there to check if he could play; 'cos he was around the area. For he had with him, his trusty camera. A serendipity, all too fitting possibly, for him to capture the magic that is my footballing wizardry.

And upon witnessing the result of his exceptional photographic skill in capturing my athletic brilliance, I said to myself, “Damn I need a haircut...” and later, “Surely, this needs a photo-essay of its own.”

With that, may I present to you, a literary take on the real-time football match experimental film concept of 'Zinedine Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait'... 'Serih Ireland: A 26 Year Old Virgin'.

Yes, Serih Ireland. That's my name on the pitch... a mesh between my nickname in school and a tribute to arguably one of the greatest players to ever don the sacred Manchester City shirt, Stephen Ireland. Aptly, I can be seen in this shot working very hard at my pre-game warm-up routine: 'The Riverdance'; where I'll Irish tap dance around the field like the great Michael Flatley. Hence the title's connotation to virginity. Sigh.

I think this was a few minutes into the game (3, to be exact) where, as a trained professional, I needed a few gulps of Gatorade. So I had to direct one of the guys to run to the nearest 7-11 and grab me a bottle. To which he duly responded something really unpleasant, and rhymed with 'truck few'.

Oh, this is a good one. It was like a few minutes before half-time when I was just about ready to get back on the pitch 'til everyone called for time-off as it was, yes, half-time. Where I'll get back to the bench gulping down their drinks... as I was for the majority of the first half.

Right, don't be fooled by this one now. This is not 'The Riverdance'. I was actually telling Ihsan to get a shot of the others as well. Now while I do acknowledge the fact that my Cruyffian 'Total Football' orchestration was just too mesmerizing for his lenses, I still felt that the rest needed their 15 minutes of fame as well...

...before I get back into the frame of course. I believe this was the final existing shot of his from that night. And aptly enough, it was the last shot of the game as well. As you can see, I was in the middle of a rather acrobatic kick to, you know, end the game on a high. Which really happened judging by the distance of the ball from the goalpost.

Ihsan, thanks for making some time and sending me the glorious shots. And not quitting photography after this.


you looked hot.

dah la keeper pun tadekk

Pie: The temperature was quite high that night, bro.

Taufiq: Janji effort ada brader! Effort ada! Raya balik M'sia?

mancity ada futsal team here tak?

Not until we form one there won't be one. :-)

I call for number 7!

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Photography by Azalia Suhaimi

  • Asrif, b. 1983
  • Subang Jaya, Malaysia
  • asrifomar[@]gmail[.]com
Published Travels
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Malaysia License.