In this week’s Limerick Leader column, the Secret Junior footballer looks back on a week where he played two games - and even managed to score!
What a week, two games and two wins has propelled us up the table to the heady heights of sixth!
First game was our toughest all season against a team towards the bottom of the league. You’d have to have a certain sympathy for them but look, nobody ever handed us three points whenever we were struggling so we went all out for the win. The 6.15 kickoff away from home wasn’t the only absurd part of the evening though as our manager decided to leave the kit at home and I had to fly back and get it, returning just in time for kickoff so there was no warm up for the Secret Junior Footballer.
Added to that they decided to start me up front. Up front! Because some of our lads are out of work we actually had a strong enough team for a midweek game and with the good weather it actually turned into a really good game. Made even better when I popped up with what proved to be the winning goal! First time hitting the back of the net in a long time and it felt really good. The legendary German striker Gerd Muller used to say that a voice in his head told him to ‘go this way Gerd, go that way Gerd’ but for 80 minutes all I had in my ear was our manager shouting ‘what are you going that way for you fool?’ and ‘Jesus you wouldn’t finish your dinner’. Nothing could be further from the truth mind you, I mightn’t have scored a goal in a while but clearing my plate is a thrice daily event. When I did scuff one past their goalkeeper the first thought in my Gerd Muller-inspired head was to tell the gaffer to boil his head, which I did.
We ended up playing two games in four days – not something I’d recommend for an almost-retiree and at the weekend we took to the field again against a team in a similar position to ourselves so it was the very definition of a dead rubber. It almost descended into farce once again when the referee took it upon himself to treat the game like the Champions League Final. He gave us the old chestnut that he was being assessed at the game and he’d be pulling us for everything. It was at that point that I slipped the folded up cornflakes box out of my socks because I forgot my shinguards and rang the missus to bring in the young fella’s pair.
Thankfully I didn’t get a kick because my playing card-sized protectors would have been no good to me whatsoever. I didn’t continue my recent scoring run but we did grab another win so the season is starting to peter out a little. All the upcoming games look like they might make for great viewing, especially in the Premier Division.
Will Pike hold on to their advantage now Geraldines have dropped points? Will Wembley Rovers, Christmas Puddings or not, do what we all hope they do and stop the rot? Will Ballynanty Rovers make it to an FAI Junior Cup Final?
It’s going to be an exciting few weeks.