Kids football is a serious business.
When Harry was confident enough to try the 5yr old football coaching last August, my eyes were opened to the tense, dog eat dog world of junior football. Bearing in mind the kids start at 5, and as far as I can see are just happy to be kicking a ball with their mates, I was amazed how seriously some parents seem to take it… A selection of comments I witnessed from the touch line in those first few weeks:
* “Come on Digby (names changed to protect anonymity), you need to speed up your distribution in the transition when picking up the ball from the deep lying play maker. The forward line are having to check their run in order to remain onside” (or something reasonably similar)
* Parent shouting loudly at their child when another random kid kept dribbling the ball out of play “Montgomery stop that boy – get the ball off him, he’s ruining it for your team”
* “There’s a dog on the pitch, that woman is allowing her dog on the pitch – won’t somebody think of the children!” (Woman swiftly removes her Chihuahua from the pitch – mercifully no children were harmed in the episode)
I began to wonder if that’s what it’s always like!?
But full credit to Dave who was in charge – it was really well organised and Harry absolutely loved it – especially as he scored a worldly (those 4 hours a night doing drills in the garden in the driving rain finally payed dividends “no Harry you can’t go to bed until you’ve chipped the ball into that bucket at the end of the garden whilst blindfolded 5 times”)
He loved it so much he stuck with it and now plays for the Whittlesey Blues under 7’s team each week. And the other parents of our team are awesome. They buy me tea and everything!