Posted by: martinworster | September 1, 2010

98. SOCCERRRR?

So I’ve been playing football, I mean soccer, for a local team out here. I have actually started to say soccer – as it gets boring having to explain what I mean when I say football. ‘You know, football, the sport that the rest of the World plays which involves kicking the ball with your foot?’. 

It’s allegedly an over thirties league – although lots of teams clearly have players who are barely out of their teens. Much to the alarm of us who are now in their late thirties. Just a few years shy of the – gulp – over forties league. Actually don’t bother, at that point it’s simply the It’s Over League. Or the you are now Way Out Of Your League League.

There’s nothing like being humiliated by a young whippersnapper to really make you feel your age. Sometimes I wonder why I bother playing. Sports are meant to invigorate you, the flush of athleticism and competitiveness giving you a physical boost. I often hobble of the pitch sad and dejected, like an ageing dog, head sunk, skulking and whimpering into the corner of the room. 

The old moves just aren’t there anymore. The speed isn’t called that anymore. I think with a young mans mind but play like a grandad. I think I’m pulling a really deft move (nutmeg, dummy, drop shoulders feinging a move the other way) to see my action speedily thwarted in lost possession. I try a one-two with a team mate. It becomes a one to the other team.

I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, there are still rare moments of football magic left. An incisive pass. The odd goal (I play in defence). A heroic tackle. In professional terms, at my age, I’m already on the rubbish heap. I suppose I guess I should count myself lucky that there’s a few years of wheezing around the pitch left in me. With our current winning streak we’d certainly give England a run for their money.

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