Taking a throw-in should not be a difficult skill to master, but for some it is
I HAVE, over the years, made many good friends that I have met due to my involvement in football. It also has to be said that I have picked up a few enemies along the way.
I didn't help my cause recently when I played in an over-35s match.
I was so frustrated by the sheer lack of footballing ability in some of my team-mates on that particular Sunday morning that I thought it necessary to vent my feelings after the game had finished.
To be fair, there were a number of unfamiliar faces in our team, and most of them could be summed up by using one word: hopeless.
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I have appeared for the team a number of times over the past couple of seasons. I usually respond to a text message I receive, letting them know if I am available or not.
Last week I now wish I said I wasn't. Overall, I have enjoyed the matches, we are usually quite competitive, and most weeks both teams are evenly matched. On this occasion though, that wasn't the case. We lost 2-0, but believe me it should have been ten. A few of our players could not even take a throw-in correctly; we were pulled up seven times during the course of the game for committing foul throws.
Some of them didn't even have their own boots – they really should have checked the ones that they borrowed because they were surely Wellington boots.
It was so awful I even contemplated at half-time on calling my pal Mark Jakeways to ask him to come along with his boots.
That is desperate, because Mark is more often than not a sub whenever he organises a charity match. On occasions, the teams have started with ten rather than include him in the starting line-up!
I should have probably realised even before we kicked off that many of them had barely played football at any level.
In the dressing room prior to the match starting, the person selecting the team (we have no proper manager as such) asked one of the new chaps which position he favoured playing in.
He said: "Oh I'm not fussed, anywhere in the scrum is fine!"
I have to admit I didn't play particularly well that day, but at least I managed to kick the ball near enough in the direction I was aiming, which couldn't be said for many of the others.
I did manage to cheer up later that day. I went into a pub near the city centre, where an old team-mate of mine, Shaun Bridges (a proper footballer), was being served at the bar.
This is quite unusual because Shaun is very rarely spotted anywhere near a place which involves parting with money.
I heard him ask the barman what is the price of a pint of lager.
The barman told him it was £4 a pint or he could, for another £6, have a pitcher. Shaun replied: "You're alright, mate, I will just have the pint, I don't fancy having my picture taken today!"