After a long hiatus (from my first game as a 16 year old, to the super aggressive and boundless stamina days, and of course the disastrous paran sports league) I was finally back on the pitch. Real shame Danny couldn’t make it at the last minute after a freak accident, but it was still a pretty good experience.
After the whole “Marcus Rashford” sneaky introduction from Danny was over, I said I could play anywhere and there I was left back. And I know I did well, two key interceptions that prevented the opposition from being through on goal, several key tackles, good through balls, skidding 5m on the ground to save a wayward pass (this is more of a memory record for me so piss off if you are thinking “oh this is so self indulgent”) The interceptions were really pleasing, especially on hindsight. The first one was something I find myself doing a lot, running across to make a slide-clear a through pass away. But at that moment, especially in a “proper” match, it was all the more sweeter and I was the first one to react when everyone stood still. The second one, a little later in the match, running out to the edge of the penalty box to intercept a cut back when everyone else was anticipating a low cross. On hindsight I really felt a sense of wonder and joy that both interceptions were down to me usually playing as a forward and predicting accurately what the final ball would be, because that was exactly what I would do.
But the weird part is, I don’t really feel elated? I mean, of course there is a certain sense of pride from keeping a clean sheet (may be the only game which my team did, certainly the only one that I was part of the defense), playing well generally, but instead of feeling satisfied, it was more of a feeling of “job done” which I think is quite important for a defender, having that focus, the tenacity and will not to lose. I remember saying that thursday futsal nights were a highlight of my week, and I guess there is more of a sense of camaderie and fun. That’s the word – fun. 11 a side football seems to lack fun, or at least a different sort of fun, especially as a defender and with that particular mindset. Certainly no laughs, no over the top commentary, no “did you see that” moments with Aaron…but at least I can say that I am still a decent addition. At least to a casual team. I don’t know if I will play again, but probably once in a while.