Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Football Day

G'day. I wasn't going to write anything today, because I missed the game last night anyway and probably won't be watching tonight's either (even though it's on Fox Sport 1, so at least the pubs will have it).

Congratulations to Central Coast though! From the media I've read, it looks like they're back in the Comp. And without wanting to sound unsympathetic to Carbone, we have at least observed the vanity of putting too much hope in a super-striker. Mike Salter over at The Football Tragic is in denial of course, and has chosen to review the fans rather than the game. Forgive me Mike - my ribbing is in good spirit.

But aside from all that A-League nonsense I had a great football day today. I've taken on the mangement of a boys under 12 indoor soccer team, called... um... The West End Terrorists.
They made the name ok, and over some mild protests from the parents, including me, they have had their way. I'm assuming those men in dark suits and sunglasses with funny hearing aids were just interested onlookers.

Anyway, we're a week behind, and some of the kids have never been on an indoor soccer pitch before or kicked one of the oversized tennis balls they use, so they lost 5:1, but they had a hoot. It is really fast and, because they're not allowed to hit it over head height and there's only five to a side on a small court, the ball work and short passing is intense. I was completely impressed, and on a first viewing can only recommend it as an off season game to keep the kids' skills up.

It is at the Brisbane Indoor Sports Centre.

That was this morning, and this evening I went for a run by myself. Look, I'm 38 and haven't tried to keep in shape for about forty years , until becoming addicted to football about a month ago, so when I say 'a run', I mean a bit of running and a bit of walking, down to the river and back.

The route I take takes me through the El Salvador Football Club, and there was a five-a-side game going on. My mate Keitch, who coached Jacob's team the last two seasons, was playing, so I stopped and watched for a bit. Reflecting as I sat, catching my breath and watching these young skilled blokes dance around one another, it occurred to me that football isn't complete without days like today. Kids and locals, kicking about, breathing the air together, with volunteer refs and more pigeons than fans. Call me sentimental. Following the Socceroos and the A-League only enhances this experience for me, just as the local experience brings the quality and professionalism of the former into proper, sharper relief.

I love football. It might have saved my life. In the words of Tim Parks, it has given me "...a new and fiercely ironic way of forming community and engaging with the sacred." (Thanks to commentor Guido for that link.)

Best of luck tonight to the two underdogs New Zealand and Newcastle. Whoever wins, I pray to Saint Johnny Warren that they all play their best football and that there are no injuries.


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Blogger Mike Salter said...

...Mike Salter over at The Football Tragic is in denial of course, and has chosen to review the fans rather than the game. Forgive me Mike - my ribbing is in good spirit....


Not a problem at all...

Actually I've now plucked up the courage to at least review an aspect of the game in today's piece.

Nah, in all seriousness, the Mariners outplayed us in all departments and were full value for the win. Damian Mori - what can I say? Class and footballing intelligence make up for old legs every time.

October 15, 2006 11:47 am  

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