Wednesday, June 28, 2006

God's Footballer *

Made my return to five-a-side action tonight - and I played a belter. But first, hadn't played since the World Cup started cos there was no way I was going to miss any game of the tournament if I could help it. Two weeks ago, I missed playing for Tunisia v Saudi Arabia - that's how mentally obsessive I am about watching when I can.

Anyway, the three previous games I had played saw me sustain one or two injuries - two disgraceful fouls against me and one a complete accident while going for a 50-50 ball. The first of which saw me with what I first thought was a broken foot ( I would love to say metatarsal, but I would sound like a prat, wouldn't I?). I had the ball and was shielding against an opponent and so good was I doing this that he fell over while trying to kick the ball/me. The ball was so far away from him that he carried on trying to kick me while lying on the ground. I think I should get rid of the ball, which I did. As I did so, another opponent (huge bloke - easily the heaviest player on the pitch) decides to ran at me and take a huge swipe and kick me on the foot. So, at first I'm thinking I have to go to casualty but I limp on through the game. Massive bruising to foot appears almost instantly and Reidski gives the bloke a hug at the end of the game to say "no hard feelings" even though I'm thinking he is a filthy bastard (why do thoughts of Netherlands v Portugal spring to mind, I wonder?). Highlight of the match for me: two of their players corner me (this is indoors, btw) with one on each side, I backheel ball out between them and then knock it past their keeper.

Game two sees me taking the ball on the turn and flicking the ball past opponent (another huge guy - why don't I just let them take the ball off me?) which makes him decide to wrestle me to the ground with such great force that I think both my knees are broken. They are not, but they are so badly bruised that JJ nearly feints when she sees them five days later (I was wearing shorts, it was hot and sunny). Highlight of the game for me: ball comes rolling to me as I have my back to the goal. I flick it with my left, swivel and volley it straight into the net.

Game three sees me going in for 50-50 tackle with opponent. Our shins collide. I still have part of my shin missing. The bruise is still there two and a half weeks later (ask JJ, if you don't believe me). Highlight of the game for me: I score a shit load of goals.

Then there is a break as Reidski, very sadly maybe, watches lots of football on television.

So I make my return tonight and we have what looks like evenly matched teams. Wrong! Me and my team-mates are firing on all cylinders and absolutely thrash our opponents. And the highlight for me? I suffered nothing but blisters on my toes. Oh, and team-mates and players alike tell me that I scored some rather special goals. Two in particular spring to mind. First, there was the one-two which me and team-mate played the length of the field which ended with me putting the ball away. And the other was at the end of the match when I went round three or four of them before blasting past the keeper.

I'm quite chuffed that I can do this stuff. I hadn't played any football since before I left school - in fact, hadn't taken part in any football match of any kind for around 25 years - so to be able to do what I do on the pitch makes me very happy. Right, I don't take it too seriously, cos that would be very sad indeed. But I do enjoy it. And, considering the amount of alcohol I consume every week, it is quite an achievement. So much of an achievement that I paid a visit to the doctor recently and, on taking my blood pressure and pulse asked if I kept fit. He done a double take on the counts he was getting and a triple take on my age on the computer screen and said - "your blood pressure is perfect and, in fact, you have a sportsman's pulse". Not bad for a 41 year old who drinks far too much!

Sorry for the shameless plug I am giving to my ego with this one - should have talked about other stuff really.

* Billy Bragg


Blogger The Fatalist said...

Enjoy it while you can you old fart! ;-)
If you ever want a 'transfer' the Dulwich Hamlet Supporters' Team aren't ageist...we play whoever we can get! (Albeit you might have to watch the mighty Hamlet to qualify for a game).
We recently had two teams in a tournament in Namur, Belgium; which was organised by the Belgium branch of the Paris St Germain Supporters' Club (I kid you not!). We finished 4th & 5th out of six, in a five a side competition. I only mention this because Fidel scored a goal for the B team, and he's a sprightly youngster, who only has one eye to boot!, of 56. There's plenty of years in you yet...

9:08 pm  
Blogger J.J said...

I can confirm the bruises were horrendous. And also he has a chunk of bone missing from his shin. Five-a-side is brutal!

9:59 pm  
Blogger Voroshilov said...

Welcome back, although i enjoyed calling you a bampot.
Five-a-side is a lunatic game at your age. It forced me to give up the sport. Being in goals is no fun - at least at school they gave me crash mats. Ah crash mats

10:24 pm  
Blogger Jim said...

I have let Walter know of your abilities. He'll send a scout round when he gets a chance. He'd like to see you on a field though.

Oh and I think you probably need shin pads, maybe even kneepads and possibly a helmet. Listen are you any good at amurrican football?

7:37 am  
Blogger Reidski said...

Fatalist - I used to go to the Hamlet's ground every Saturday. Not for the football, mind, but to take my boy to karate lessons, which they held in the sports centre at the stadium. Looks like a great ground to me - must catch a game there sometime as it's only a 20-minute walk from my house.

JJ - they were spectacular bruises, weren't they. And sorry to have allowed you to witness them. I'll make sure I don't wear shorts when you are around cos I know the sight of my legs makes you a bit squeamish!

Voroshilov - it can get quite mental and I wouldn't mind crash mats all over the pitch.

Jim - I do have shin pads, but I kept forgetting to take them with me!

8:47 am  
Blogger Moo said...

Well done on your victory's! Look after those knobbly knees, my bro came off his bike yesterday. He managed to take the skin completely off from his shoulder arm and part of his leg, if only I was there to have seen it - I think I would have laughed!!

12:18 pm  
Blogger Martin said...

It only goes to show that if modern footballers were'nt over-trained then they could continue playing well beyond thier 30's.A players natural peak is 41.It'll be 42 next year of course.

12:58 pm  
Blogger Lisa Rullsenberg said...

Am sure JJ LURVES the sight of your legs (and much else below the waist!)

...and above it of course


1:08 pm  
Blogger Reidski said...

Moo - thanks for comments, but shame about your brother. Was he, like when I had my scooter accident (which JJ reminded everyone about in the last post) pissed at the time?

Martin - I'm at the height of my physical fitness. What Kenny Dalglish, Charlie Nicholas or Jimmy Johnstone were doing when they were 25, I'm doing it at 41!!! But I'm also doing what Jim Baxter done between the ages of 22 and whatever age he was when he popped his clogs!

Lisa - you're rather cheeky. But, yes, she likes my feet also. Well I'm sure that's what you meant!!

1:48 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

What I don't get is this - JJ checking out your legs and naked knees when you are not even engaged to be wed. This is highly immoral and unsavoury behaviour so why not pop the question before another blogger steams in and rescues the fair damsel from your lascivious clutches?

2:16 pm  
Blogger Reidski said...

It's okay YP, she doesn't touch them.

And we are due to be wed on July 9th. Ceremony starts at 19.00 hours. Well, she isn't doing anything else that day, is she?? I hope not anyway!

2:43 pm  
Blogger Moo said...

No, he wasnt pissed Reidski, however we do reckon he was checking out some girl which may be the reason why he fell off, but he wouldnt ever actually admit that!!

12:41 pm  

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