As the Gerards and the Rooney’s gear up for another season of super stardom and “loads of money”, 1000’s of others are dragging themselves off their couch’s and kick starting themselves in to action to play for their local teams.
Grass roots football is a s strong as ever in England and at this time of year 1000’s of players are trying to get themselves fit enough to play for 90 minutes, just for the “glory” of representing their local club. No scientific training regime, no physio’s or doctors. These lads and lasses have spent their summer drowning their sorrows, in lager and bitter as they watched the premiership heroes slink out of SouthAfrica into peaceful ignominity (probably on some Carribean beach next to the luxury hotel).
Our lads and lasses however have now got to turn up twice a week to get themselves into “peak” condition. Driven on by a homicidal maniac, or coach as is his position within the club. 5 mile runs are the norm, when quizzed as to his rationale for this, the coach simply replies “it never did me any harm, now down and give me 20”.
After 3 or 4 weeks are players are now classed as being at their peak (or at least the best they are going to get) and now look forward to the pre-season friendlies, hopefully no repeat of last years brawl that prematurely ended the game against their local rivals. Excitement builds “will I be in the 1st team this year or perhaps second team captain” as the coach hands me the number 12 shirt, same as last season.
Next week we look at the first games and the work that goes on behind the scenes to see how our local clubs are run………..