Well today I went to watch my eldest grandson S play for his academy team against Barnet FC. It was a lovely morning if a bit cool and it was a proper lads get together with his other Grandad BB there and his young brother G and my son-in-law St there too of course. I haven’t been for a while to watch him and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
My grandson plays as a centre-back but he’s never been that keen on the position preferring to play further forward and be involved in the fun stuff – shooting, scoring and making assists. But he’s a tall strong lad and well-suited to the deeper role as he can read a game well. And because he’s such a good ball-player he’s rapidly turning into a libero with the ability to rapidly bring the ball out of defence and make huge in-roads into midfield. Now I realise I’ve probably turned off all my female readers but I don’t do a footie posting very frequently these days so forgive me.
He played excellently today snubbing out two very physical forwards as his team won 2-0 which was a great result away against a very good side. But the thing about my grandson that most people, including his coaches, disapprove of is his argumentative hot-headedness. He’ll question referees, dispute decisions etc which is a trait he should overcome if he’s to show maturity. But there’s an element of his heatedness that I quietly admire. One of his smaller team-mates was stamped on by one of the physical forwards (it could have been accidental but it looked late and a bit deliberate) and the lad was a bit upset – they are just 12 after all. Though he’s a gentle caring boy away from the pitch, there’s something of the turf avenger about S which reminds him of me. He instantly went over to the lad who made the tackle and more or less invited him to try his heavy stuff against someone more his equal.
Now I’m not condoning violence or ugly behaviour at all especially amongst young chaps enjoying a friendly game of footie. And whilst the two clashed a couple of times afterwards I’m delighted to say that there was nothing of the not-so-divine retribution being meted out. It was just good, hard and fair contact stuff. But here’s the thing, after S’s little chat I watched his team mates and three of them went up to him, patted him and said something praiseworthy. S is the most recent recruit into the team but he’s quickly carved out a role as the players’ guardian’. He’s their Keane/Viera and they do seem to love him and I like that. He’s got leadership qualities which I admire as much as his footballing skills and I personally think if he can channel his heated moments it could be the thing which makes him. Heaven knows where he gets that temper from though….
Meanwhile my younger grandson G was busying himself knocking a ball against the pitch-side netting (interestingly all parents and fans had to remain outside the pitch environs because of the respect restrictions) all afternoon. A couple of shots went through some of the fencing gaps and sent the ball pitch-side but it was quickly recovered. And we even had a club jobsworth asking that G shouldn’t actually play on the external verge because as a 7 year old he was tearing up the turf. Yeh right. But what G was doing incredibly well, whilst keeping himself entertained, was taking some shots and falling over with great regularity and getting more muddied than any of the kids on the pitch. He was cacked up from head to toe. Ha! He starts his new school tomorrow and he’ll need his mum and dad to work the oracle to get his footie kit clean and ready for action this week.
Grandkids eh. Love ’em.
I stuck with it to the end.
My son doesn’t play football any more (apart from a kick around with his friends, which is lovely), but when he did I never saw him, because I started working weekends, and not weekdays, when I went back to work, initially. Anyway, so Mr. S used to have to take my daughter along as well. She used to ride her bike up and down the side of the muddy pitch about 90 times during the match. Don’t know what your jobsworth would have made of that.
Hope G enjoys his new school.
He’d have gone barmy I suspect A. Nice memories; it’s amazing how fond kids are of mud eh