Personal

They think it’s all over … but it isn’t!

Who knew finding a new team for our boy would be this hard?

Oh, oh …  the crackling rasp, like sand mixed into the syrup of O’s usual laconic morning chirrup.

Followed by the cough.

The school morning croak parents know so well.

Act or fact? Not sure yet.

O normally gives it just enough to plant doubt in our minds.

And, yes, enough doubt to give him the free pass the odd time.

This time, my wife and I share our alarm and our suspicion with our furrowed eyebrows.

His final football trial, for now, is in two days’ time!

Will this ever end!!

This time last week, he had our Plan B team sealed, or so we thought — and so we were told! — but Plan A was also looking so good.

But no, things have taken a disquieting turn, or two.

Last Sunday, O played terrifically for his Plan B team, still a decent Premier outfit. The coach had said previously he wasn’t going to finalise his squad until January, but soon after the game he texted me, praising O’s performance and stating in texted black and white he would like to have him in his team for next season.

So I texted back my delight and thanks, but also telling him we had a decision to make and would let him know asap. Keeping our options open for our boy.

Plan B.

We made the wrong choice of team with O last year, and we were determined to get it right this time. Too important to O, and therefore us.

Well, what do I get a few days later only a text informing me O has not made the Plan B squad for the new season! Thanks for your time and good luck.

Unbelievable! From we want you on our team one week ago to not even worth a place on the squad!

We didn’t tell O while he still had his Plan A team trial session on the Saturday.

But it has not stopped myself and A endlessly mulling over the this coach’s volte-face. Did he take the hump because we had not leaped to say yes please when he made the initial approach.

How dare he not offer us a place on a team we don’t really want to join!

I have been very careful in how I am phrasing all this, and in case you are wondering, these past few blogs have not been shared on Facebook with friends or friends of people possibly involved in the Dublin football scene!

My viewing figures have been badly hit, but just the basic facts  and no hostages to fortune here, we hope!

So there we were with O then this last Saturday gone, and him still auditioning for a new team, still pinging passes and jousting with that nippy centre forward in the wind and driving rain. The one who is just as determined to get that magic call to arm himself in new club gear.

Like those two boys who got theirs after the session. We are relieved to hear they have been trialling for the previous two weeks before O.

So our little boy was still out there in the cold, his silky long blond hair long a filthy mophead squeezed out on the  dishwater December sky, as he turned and strained every sinew to get back into his left centre back position before the winger’s cross came in.

And I knew by him he was tired.

Between trials, friendly matches and training, he had been out there six days out of the seven.

The pressure these kids are under … and the way some coaches treat them.

Looking only to take on the best … even at this age, 13, they are at the mercy of coaches going for the quick solution of bringing in those they think will bring immediate success. Shopping for Christmas baubles.

Instead of focusing on what they have, and developing this fledgling talent for the longer-term. For the good of schoolboy football, and ultimately the game itself in this country.

At this age, kids are at many different stages of physical development. O is a steady grower, still slight as a squirrel, and up against bigger, faster kids. And full of skill too. 

It’s the moving season, and O’s quest has been complicated by the fact that an unusually large number of top class players are looking for transfers. To the best teams.

At least four players from the very best team in Dublin, hence the country, have left that club and the knock-on effect has been major.

Two have signed for another rival team, already bursting at the seams with players, so interesting to see how that all pans out, and two of them are here at this club O so wants to join.

Last week the head coach had come over to him and said he would sign him, if he wanted to join.

But this week, no mention of that and he is still on trial.

Last Saturday week, he was fresh and bouncing. Five sessions later, and he is tired. Jaded.

After this Saturday’s session, the coach just invites him back again next Wednesday for another session.

In from the bitter, twisted wind and rain, I can’t let it sit back anymore.

I send O back to his waiting Mom, who will have the heating on in the car, and I approach the coach.

I know him fairly well over the years, and there is no BS, but he is cryptic now.

Tells me he is still looking at new players, and he says: ‘O is too good a player not to be playing regularly …”

How are we to take this?

I persist.

“Look J, we are realistic, what I am seeking is for O to be part of a club like this one, part of the culture of it … the intensity of the training, the good habits, the coaching, he needs that.

“He is ready to fight his corner to get on the team, but we are more interested in him joining a good club, and developing …”

“That is available all right,” our man responds, but it’s nothing like last week’s sidling up to him and saying he would like to sign him up.

But it’s all we’ve got. Enough to be hopeful but nowhere near enough to be certain.

Wednesday it is.

At least Plan B is goosed, and he can rest up until then.

Better get the Lemsips and throat lozenges ready for that cough though!

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27 comments on “They think it’s all over … but it isn’t!

  1. Fingers crossed for O for Wednesday. If he isn’t exhausted by then you sure will be!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. fingers crossed that the cough passes quickly and O is fighting fit for Wednesday. I really hope he gets on this team if it what he wants. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have no idea Anne!!! It’s all about our desire for him to get what he deserves. He’s a lovely little player, but he really we would like to see him rewarded for his dedication and resilience. We want him to get a good team so he can learn and develop – and be content

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope O feels better for Wednesday and good luck for the big day X #mixitup

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sending the vibes. I have some sympathy for the coach though from listening to a coach friend of mine bemoaning the way non-coaching heavyweights get their say. Perhaps nepotism is as rife there as it is on the football pitches here. Or maybe he’s just a nit.

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    • Part of the trouble Mary is you can’t put kids welfare first and still pick the best team. But unfortunately if you are not connected you have to be more than good to overide nepotism and ego-driven coaches. Unfortunately Joe Schmidt types are all too rare

      Like

  6. Hoping for the best for your son. It’s so hard to not be able to give them what they want. I remember those days well!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Karen Dennis

    I hated team sports at school, I was rubbish #dreamteam@_karendenis

    Liked by 1 person

  8. That’s a hell of a lot of pressure to be putting on kids (the clubs, not you supporting him obviously). Hope it all works out Wednesday 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sure is, But I suppose it’s the thing with competitive sport, it’s, duh, competitive!!! We just hope he gets on this team. The fecker woke up with a cough yesterday, and now a sore throat, so everything crossable is being crossed!!! Thanks for your good wishes

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Phillip McCann

    Why are you changing club if you don’t mind me ask? Can he not play with his team from last season?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well … the post from two weeks ago (Let the trials begin) might explain that … his previous team were very poor and getting hammered week in, week out. His football was suffering, and as he is a very talented player (not just me saying that!) a change was needed for him to be challenged and improve. Thanks for reading and commenting

      Like

  10. Phillip McCann

    So you know the part where you say you wanted him to be part of something a club,culture and then when the team are having a poor season he packs his bags off to pastures new??
    So then you have a problem that other parents brought their lads up to a new team to progress develop etc and the new coach decided he didn’t want to work with your boy for what ever reason and choose kids he in his opinion where better rightly or wrongly.
    Pressure on kids?? Who exactly putting the kids under pressure?? Mammy and Daddy driving them from one team to another perhaps?
    I always would be of the opinion if your boy is not head hunted by a coach for his team then generally he’s not wanted.Maybe leave the boy where he is and if he’s as good as you say he will excel in poor team and someone will come knocking or perhaps his old team may get a few new players in to strengthen team,
    Maybe just look at it from a different angle

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  11. Hope all goes well for him and that he is feeling better. Thanks for sharing with the #DreamTeam this week.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. It’s amazing how competitive it is at such a young age. I hope O gets a spot on a great team! #GlobalBlogging

    Liked by 1 person

    • Send out those positive vibes, and even more importantly, threaten those mean coaches you will send in Lola if they don’t play ball, so to speak.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Pingback: #GlobalBlogging linky week 92… | Shank You Very Much

  14. I hope he feels better soon! And I wish him the best of luck getting on the right team:) #GlobalBlogging

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  15. Lucy At Home

    Oh it sounds so intense! What a nerve-wracking wait you’ve got. I hope you managed to put these worries aside for the Christmas break and that O is feeling better now #blogcrush

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, we deferred the worries. In any event our boy is still completing a course of antibiotics after developing chest and ear infections. Not going near a football pitch until he is 100 per cent!!

      Like

  16. I’m reading this long after you published it – how did it go? Thank you for sharing this with #TriumphantTales and a very Happy New Year to you!

    Liked by 1 person

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