Posted by: martinworster | June 8, 2003

18. FC FLAHERTY’S

Irish pub football team, changing room banter, losing dreadfully, not the tyke I used to be

 I have joined an 11-a-side football team. I now play for FC Flaherty’s, an Irish bar in the centre of town. I’d been wanting to join a team for a while and saw an advert saying they needed players whilst taking a piss in half time for England vs Poland. This kills two birds with one stone. Firstly, I get fit. Secondly, there’s opportunity for meaningless male UK banter, something I miss dreadfully here.

Forget Branston Pickle, Marmite, Sunday Roasts and Eastenders, the one thing I miss from is being on the receiving end of a barbed tongue taking the piss UK style. I guess it’s the lad in me. So it seems like so far there has been plenty of opportunity for this judging on the changing room banter and match post mortems. So far we haven’t won a game. In fact we’ve been losing dreadfully (like by ten goals in one case). It’s a proper league and we play each week against teams of all nationalities.

Last week we played a Korean team here. They probably run the Chinese restaurants serving Labrador stir fry, as Pakistanis seem to run the ‘Indian’ restaurants here. It seems to be a little mixed up. I’ve even seen beef dishes on an Indian menu. Holy cow. There’s also a few Catalan teams with players who drop to the floor dramatically with a yelp when you so much as brush them.

So in my team there’s Brits (Welsh, Irish, English), a Brazilian, Catalan, American, Dutch, Portuguese…you get the picture. I guess that’s why we lose as we haven’t really played together that much whilst some of the teams in the league are ten seasons strong. I guess we’re just a bunch of waifs and strays. Playing was a real shock to the system. I’m totally out of practice. I’m not the 18 year old school captain I used to be. It’s not so much the fitness thing, more the confidence with ball control. I get the ball and I don’t know what to do with it. I lack confidence when it comes to me. No balls with the ball. Oh and did I mention, we have yet won a game and are bottom of the league?

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