I thought I'd be interesting and keep a sort of diary thing for the team I am in. It might be interesting for you, we'll see.
Me and a few friends decided on the spur of the moment to enter a 5 a side football league at the JJB Soccerdome in Trafford, Manchester. This was cos we all finished school and are going to separate colleges next year and wanted to keep in touch. As it was my idea, I am the manager and organise it all.
So I phoned up the Soccerdome, and they told me we had to go on a waiting list. They then phoned back the next day telling me that we could join immediately. They asked what division we wanted to enter. There are 6 divisions (Prem, Divs 1-5), and we were given the option of Prem, Div 1 or Div 2. Well we opted for Division 2, as we didn't want to be out of our depth. Instead, when we arrived, we found we were in Division 1.
This was because a team dropped out of Division 1. As it was halfway through the season, we were to take over from them, and recieve their resuls. Unfortunately, with 10 games played so far (in a 10 team league), we found ourselves bottom on 0 points. Its no wonder they dropped out. I phoned round, and got some mates. As we're all 16 and in an open age league, full of men, one mate decided it would be best to get some adults, so he got his brothers and some of his mates.
So heres the team so far.
Daniel Green (Me): Goalkeeper. I'd describe myself as an excellent shot stopper, and good at one on ones. 5 a side suits my goalkeeping, as I am not too good at coming off my line in 11 a side, but in 5 a side the box is small anyway. I have good reactions too, and my team mates so far have told me I am doing a great job. I do occasionally make mistakes though, and that affects my confidence.
John Pop: He won players' player of the year at my 11 a side team, and is an awesome defender. Hes not strong looking, but is strong in the tackle, effective and has great energy.
Joe Wharfe: Defender or Striker, he can play anywhere really. Built like a mountain and has the strength to back it. He is a decent finisher, and a good tackler. His main strength is that unlike others he won't get pushed around by grown men.
Joe Ryan: Plays mainly as a striker, but gets back well. He is skinny, but can hold up the ball well, and is a deadly finisher. He can also cover in net when I go on holiday.
Joe Stockton: When I first encountered him, playing against him in primary school (before I met him in secondary school), I was amazed at his pace and finishing. He hasn't improved too much though unfortunately, and has become more defencive. He can still take a man on well and shows a good first touch. As he is a bit weak we will play him up front, but he can drop back too.
Greg: Hadn't even played football this time last year, so not the best of players. Lacks technique and natural talent, but does try hard. I don't mean to sound mean, but he is not too useful. He is a decent tackler though.
Jarv: One of Joe Ryan's brothers' mates. Hes in his 20s and offers us some physical presence that 16 year olds lack in a mans game. He is a tricky player and difficult to get the ball off, as well as having a decent shot.
Ant: Joe Ryan's brother, and is a defender, but finishes like a striker. He is strong and capable in possession, and also gives us presence as hes in his 20s.
Ged: A tough, no-nonsense defender who is strong in the tackle. Joe Ryan's brother as well, and in his 20s. He is physical, which we lack against huge strikers.
So thats the team. I know it has 9 players, but not everyone can make it every week, and in the intense heat (its like a greenhouse effect there), subs are needed. Fortunately they're roll on roll off.
The rules are standard 5 a side. Its not allowed above the height of the boards (about 4' or something), can't shoot in area, keeper not allowed out of area, stand centimetres in front of free kicks.
So the first day of reckoning came and we were due to play "The Gladiators". They were second in the league. The players who arrived that day were: Me, Greg, Joe Ryan, Joe Wharfe, Ged, Jarv, and someone called Kev who played for a one off. He is another of Joe's brothers' mates.
Well in our first match, we struggled to assure ourselves, but found ourselves a goal up. We then scored another, and couldn't believe it, as we were pinned into our own half. We conceded one, but scored another to take it to 3-1. Unfortunately I then made two mistakes to take it to 3-3 at half time, although I did play decent enough to amend the mistakes, including a double save which nobody expected, as their striker even put his hands up to celebrate as I pulled it off. We then hit the bar, and hit the bar again, with the ball bouncing on or over the line, but the ref waved play on. Eventually we lost 10-5, as we fell apart in the second half as we were absolutely knackered. Their fitness showed, and with 3 players who none of us had even me before, we didn't work that well. 10-5 was an unfair result in my opinion, and they had a lucky goal which hit both posts and went in, and if those mistakes were cut, plus those shots which hit the bar, it could have been 7-7 really. However, 10-5 was how it ended, with Kev scoring 4 and jarv scoring the other. I was disappointed with my performance, but only cos of the mistakes, cos I played pretty good otherwise. Its a shame Kev was only there for that game, cos he was the best player on the pitch.
So to today (sunday). This time, we were absolutely bricking it, as we were due to play the Steelers, who had a record of Played 11, won 11. We were expecting a hammering. This week the players who showed were Me, Jarv, Joe R, Joe W, Joe S, John Pop and Ant. We didn't have as many men, and it was a hot summer day, so the heat was intense. We started well, but midway through the half conceded a goal as their striker found space and beat me with a one on one. We then equalised however, as Ant got forward and hit a shot into the bottom corner past the keeper. They then forced a free-kick, and despite standing in front of the ball, their taker played it back to their best player who wouldn't stop shooting howitzers, who hit a shot I was incapable of getting to, such was the power. However, we then forced a free kick, and it was layed out on the right to jarv who hit a shit that squirmed over the keepers diving body and into the net, just about. We deserved to get back in it, as we had been the better side in the half, and they didn't look like they had won every game. In the second half, we continued our good performance, and deservedly took the lead as Ant hit a wonderful goal, turning inside and curling a shot into the top corner past a helpless keeper. However, it was then lost in defence, and they had a simple shot that I couldn't stop. At 3-3, with minutes left both sides had chances, with Ant hitting the bar, and Greg missing an easy chance, as did Jarv, whilst I did my best to stop their star player from adding to his tally. Then it all changed. The ball was lost in midfield, and our exhausted players tried to get back, but they doubled up on John Pop, who couldn't deal with both, and they played a ball forward to their striker. Unable to come out of my area, I went to the line and narrowed the angle as much as possible, but their striker found space, as there was still distance between us. It finished a few seconds later, and we lost 4-3.
At the end though, they knew they had a lucky escape, and when talking at the end of the match, they acted like we were the better team, saying it was a good performance and we were unlucky. Everyone played well and were heroes, but we unfortunately lost. I was told byt everyone I was awesome today, and its no wonder I am said to be a good keeper, which was pleasing. Despite losing, we were proud, and will take confidence that we gave the best team a good run for their money.
Unfortunately, with 6 games left we are bottom on 0 points (stupid drop outs!) Having played 12, lost 12 (we've only played 2 of those matches though, against the top 2 sides). We are staring itno the face of relegation, as we are 6 points behind 9th. I think it is only one team relegated, as there are only 10 teams in the league, but if it is 2 teams, we're screwed as we're 12 points off 8th place. We can survive, and if we play like that definately will. We entered too late IMO, but can still survive. If we don't, I'm sure we'll get promotion, and we didn't even wanna be in Div 1, but were forced to. If we do survive, I am confident we can challenge in Div 1 next season. This season is not really too important, but next season will be.
~ The Green