In this week’s Limerick Leader column, the Secret Junior Footballer discusses his club’s new centre forward.
We’ve got a new centre forward this year into the club.
Everyone probably gets one every year or two and you know the type as soon as you see him coming. He’s got all the gear from his last club, or from his last couple of clubs and looks fit as a butcher’s dog.
Generally he’s a small nippy fella, that’s the way strikers seem to be going these days. Gone are the days of the big man/little man up front and with the advent of proper tactical thinking in football, teams are afraid of their life to play 4-4-2 and so stick the quickest player on the team up as a lone striker so they can launch ball after ball in behind.
Carew Park are so afraid of it they don’t sign anyone who’s not a goalkeeper! So when he arrives on during preseason our normal – if you can call them normal – strikers start to look a little bit nervous.
He’s got all the touches and above all he’s banging in goals in training and scored two against the Bs in our hastily arranged preseason friendly. Suddenly we look like we could actually win something this year. But this lad is a striker and like all strikers his personality comes to the surface after the first game or two. After we’ve leaked a goal or two the histrionics start.
He stops working hard and refuses to chase down the ball, he waves his hands in the air and screams at the closest player to him to just hit his feet. When the boys hit his feet he miscontrols the ball and fakes an injury because despite all the posturing and deft touches in training, he barely ran a yard so after 40 minutes of the first game of the season he’s begging for the half time whistle.
During the break I had a good look at him, waiting to see if he was the type to start telling people what to do, or ignore the guy telling people what to do.
He turns out to be the former and quickly endears himself to the boys by blaming them for everything that has gone wrong since the Kennedy assassination.
The second half usually follows a similar pattern to the first – we concede, the enthusiasm dries up and he starts holding his groin/quad/calf/back/ear and indicating that he wants to be taken off.
After the match he’s back to normal, a good lad to have around and always gets his round in which is very important.
But once these fellas cross the white line they turn into Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic’s adopted son whose biological father was Pippo Inzaghi.
Very few of them live up to the hype but it’s always interesting to see how they turn out when the going gets tough. The one we’re stuck with now is worth the hassle to be fair but sometimes you’d just wish he’d get on with the job at hand.
His party piece is Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’ which is curious because you can be sure he probably thinks this column is about him. Have a look at your club’s strikers, are they the hard working, honest centre forward?
The Conor Lynch type? Or are they the other type, the first one to give up when the game gets tight? Now who could I give as an example of that…
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