Friday, February 23, 2007

The Mouldmaster Ritual

The ball was launched aimlessly into the grey drizzly sky from the other end of the pitch and began to drop midway inside our half. I watched for the movement of the blue jersey on the other side of the pitch and stepped up with the rest of the defence just as the ball was passed to the now offside centre forward.

Job done.

I had been playing now for about fifteen minutes and hadn't touched the ball once. This suited me fine because when I did go near the ball bad things happened and I think my team mates understood this. I also shied away from the general play because the footballs they used were evil. They were harder than granite and dotted with little rubber studs like a basketball. They were regarded with fear by all but the most foolhardy players and I considered their use to be a form of child cruelty. Grown men in professional teams didn't use them, so why should ten year old boys?

The shouts went up again and this one was incoming at Two O'Clock and I had to deal with it. This time I felt it best to use my head rather than make the usual hash of trying to control the ball and pass it to a team mate. Thirty seconds later the ball was in our net and I was still dusting red gravel from my strip and wondering what had happened. People everywhere seemed to be yelling at me, indistinct yet recognisably angry and all I wanted to do at that particular moment was be at home playing computer games or watching TV. Pleasing people had never been one of my talents.................

The game kicked off again and the ball was once more thumped into our half. Again I watched for the raised arm of the guy on the other side of the pitch and moved forward accordingly.

At last, something I was good at.


alan said...

red gravel pitches - the ultimate abomination!

iLL Man said...

Thankfully theres less and less of them about these days. Kids no longer get gravel rash.

They do get friction burns from the astroturf though.........:(