Fort Hood’s Varsity Soccer Team came out victorious against the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards from England, 5-1, in a friendly soccer game at Hood Stadium Oct. 8.
Fort Hood’s soccer team hasn’t played a team from England for five years. After performing some jungle warfare training in Belize for around a month, with no real connection to the outside world, the Grenadier Guards were excited to come to Fort Hood.
“It’s such a privilege being here in Texas,” Lt. Alexander Fetherston-Godley, 1st Bn. Grenadier Guards, said. “We’ve been working pretty hard up until coming on this tour and it was a real treat to look forward to it.”
Capt. Tom Parkes, 1st Bn. Grenadier Guards, was in charge of the tour, and made big plans for his guys while they were in Central Texas, including attending the University of Texas versus Oklahoma University Red River Showdown and the Texas State Fair in Dallas.
“We knew there were good connections to be made in Fort Hood, Oklahoma and Dallas. We’ve reached out to a load of contacts and networked and the guys in Fort Hood have been so hospitable,” Fetherston-Godley said. “We are so in awe of the size of the camp and just how big the U.S. Army is. It really is incredible.”
Many players enjoyed the camaraderie, especially 2nd Lt. Christian Trout, 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
“It’s nice meeting people I normally wouldn’t interact with,” Trout said. “Everyone’s equal, regardless of rank.”
Pfc. Samuel Russell, 68th Engineer Construction Company, 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, scored three goals for Fort Hood. He said he is happy to have the opportunity to represent Fort Hood in soccer because it’s a great way for him to combine his career and passion.
Fetherston-Godley, who has been to America before, and other members of the Grenadier Guards experienced some good ol’ southern hospitality and verified that the phrase, “Everything’s bigger in Texas,” is really true.
“Texas is a completely different part of America to the east and west coast, as well. Coming here, I’m still in awe of coming to America, the size of the cars, just the scale of everything is ramped up. It’s just incredible. This pitch, for example, is a big soccer field to be playing on,” Fetherston-Godley said. “The friendliness of people is unbelievably humbling and we feel so privileged to be in the British Army coming over here and being hosted by you guys. The way everyone has treated us, from people we just meet going to top off gas at the station, to coming to Fort Hood, has been really amazing.”
Fort Hood’s soccer coach, 1st Sgt. Winston Gomez with 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, was excited to host the Grenadier Guards and meet new people that share the same passion for soccer that he and the other members of the varsity soccer team do.
“Although we are from different countries, we have a lot of things in common and tonight it’s no different,” Gomez said. “We’re here at an Army base, Army folks playing the sport we love, soccer. It’s a very special night for us to host them.”