Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Unwritten Laws of Sunday Morning Football

# There will always be one player standing at a meeting point on an autumnal Sunday morning and wondering where everybody is, blissfully unaware that the clocks have gone back an hour. This same player will be the one who, in late March, rolls up when the match is in progress and asks, "What's going on, it's only half nine."

# When 'signing' players in the summer, the wily old Sunday league manager will always register two or three fictitious players, thus enabling him to continue playing his best players should they be suspended.

# Changing rooms the size of a matchbox. On trips to dodgier areas the changing rooms are normally covered in graffiti, with greeting messages such as 'Welcome to Beirut'. In particularly rough areas you may also notice that the houses next to the pitch have there windows painted so it looks like they have curtains. Don't be fooled!

# No substitute will ever volunteer to 'run the line' for the referee, he has to be press-ganged into it.

# There will only be one spare tracksuit, so the other substitutes must suffer the indignity of standing on the touchline wearing their coats.

# As the players change, the manager/club secretary /club treasurer will move among them with a ropey old supermarket branded plastic carrier bag saying the immortal words: "Any valuables."

# The player with the most expensive boots will be the worst player in the team.

# An abusive section of crowd, some of the whom will be swigging from cans of cider, despite it being 10.15 in the morning.

# The lazy pre-match kick about which always involves someone banging in a cross and everyone else in the middle just stood around talking, sometimes doing those outstretched-leg-behind manoeuvres whilst the ball harmlessly bypasses them all.

# The official referee - on most occasions he'll be either (a) a 5" 2", bald, chain-smoking 65 year old, or (b) a tall, gawky youth in a really shiny kit, who appears to be doing his first game.

# The left back who was out on the beers the night before, and arrives at the match wearing the same clobber from the night before, being sick on the sidelines about 20 minutes into the game.

# The opposition's massive, hopeless, one-punt centre half. Often captain of the team.

# The decent Saturday amateur player, head and shoulders above the rest, but turning out for his mates. Normally takes the p*ss out of the hopeless one-punt centre half.

# The total psychopath.....whatever you do make sure you don't tackle him, look at him or even think about taking him on, its just not worth it. Normally referred to as something along the lines of: Nut-Nut, The Duke, Mad Dog, Killer, or Baz.

# At least one of the players having a half-time fag. 90% of the time this player will be the keeper.

# In bad weather, when the first-half ends both captains readily agree to the referee's suggestion "Straight round," meaning no half-time interval.

# At council-owned grounds where there are a number of pitches, there will come a point when the ball from the game on the neighbouring pitch encroaches on to yours. This will involve a player keeping his eye on his game while running across to kick the wayward ball back to the other player from the other game who has been sent to retrieve it. This player invariably acknowledges the gesture with a "Cheers mate" retort.

# The magic sponge and bucket. This legendary combination is the only means of first aid available, no matter what the injury.

# At the end of the game it is always the same players who try to slope off and avoid helping take the nets down.

# As the players change out of their muddy strips, the manager/secretary/player responsible for washing the kit will plead, "Socks and shorts the right way round."

# When everyone has collected their valuables there will always be one player who hasn't remembered, resulting in the manager repeatedly bellowing out, "Anyone hand in a watch, car keys, earring and a kit-kat?"

# The club treasurer/secretary in the changing rooms after the game trying in vain to get the match subs off the players, and getting the usual response of  "Soz, I've left my cash in the car" or "I'll pay you in the pub chief." The said player never coughs up, and by the end of the season has racked up a sizeable debt.

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