In this week’s Limerick Leader column, the Secret Junior Footballer dishes the dirst on his team mates.
Still no football for most of us – except for the odd few snakey friendlies, but tell nobody – so this week the Secret Junior Footballer has been asked about his team mates.
Best Trainer: By far the best trainer I ever played with went on to become a League of Ireland regular. He never missed a session even though he was playing a year up as a schoolboy and he never got mixed up in too many distractions off the pitch so he was able to decide himself when he was ready to stop playing. As a defender he’s still one of the best I’ve seen and it’s not by accident – a few dodgy haircuts aside - that he became one of the most admired players of the late 90s and early 2000s.
Worst Trainer: Everyone likes a moan every now and then but this guy genuinely hated training. On matchday he would be among our outstanding performers but in a training session you could tell when we were halfway through the warm-up because he would be holding his calf and stretching when the rest of us were upping the speed of the drill. He was the guy who when he misplaced a pass, feigned an injury and spent the rest of the session sitting beside the fence drinking water.
most skilful:Personally, I couldn’t do a stepover if my life depended on it. We’ve had some really skilful players over the years but this fella took it to another level. 17 years old, 8 stone, low centre of gravity, could use both feet and would beat a defender three times just because he could. The other side of it is that he was so infuriating because of his talent. Mentally he was very weak and if it wasn’t happening for him in the first ten minutes it was all over. Still, with 20 minutes to go and you’re losing 1-0, there’s nobody else I’d rather bring on.
the joker:There’s been a culture recently of trying to out-do one another with craziness, those ridiculous nek-nominations and the Jackass-style of acting the fool. Before any of that, there was our fella. Before a match he’s the one who spends the longest time getting togged out because he loves the chance to parade around completely naked – especially when we get one of the female volunteers to make the tea before kickoff. He’s the one who urinates on his teammates in the shower, he’s the first to rugby tackle you into the muck when we’re up to our necks in it in November and yes, he’s the Rene Higuita/Jorge Campos/Fabien Barthez/Bruce Grobbelaar and Oliver Kahn of local soccer. Without the talent. As ‘When Saturday Comes’ says, ‘They may think they’re Keith Richards, and they may tell their kids that they’re Keith Richards, but we know, and they know, that they’re really Charlie Watts.’
FASTEST:I hate these lads and I’ve begun to hate them even more as I’ve gotten older and slower. When I was a kid, and even now when I play and I hear the wind rushing past my ears when I’m at full tilt, I feel as if I’m Carl Lewis but in reality I’m Karl Pilkington. These guys make it look easy and the one that sticks out the most for me could cover the ground before you could blink. He was a kid from the bad side of town and had always played with our team when we were schoolboys even though nobody ever saw him away from football, even in school. He couldn’t dribble, shoot, pass or head the ball but my god he could run, and still can if recent police reports are anything to go by!
Teammates continues next week – unless we have a match.
Any chance of a match?