The 9 things you hear every time you're at the 5-a-side pitch
You've definitely heard some of these. Definitely.
If you've ever stepped foot on a 5-a-side astro pitch, you'd know that is it a truly magical place.
A place where you'll meet some very interesting characters and hear some hilarious things. You'd probably get as much, if not more, entertainment from going to a casual 5-a-side game than you would from going to a professional game. Here are some of the things you have surely heard.
"He used to play for Norwich."
There's always one of these lads. A fella on the other team has shown up in what looks like a very old Norwich tracksuit top, and let's face it, nobody BUYS a Norwich tracksuit top. You have to have been given one, and thus the rumours begin. Was he on trial? Did he ever get capped? And before long, you're telling your teammates that this lad was Norwich's top scorer in 1998. Good luck marking him...
"Wait, what are the rules again?"
Come on... Don't be that guy. You've been here so many times, how do you still not know the rules? Can we score from our own half? Can the keeper leave his box? Can I go into the other team's box? Often these people don't even get dignified with an answer, they just have to learn as they go.
"Was I supposed to bring the bibs?"
Yes. You were. We put it in the group chat about 10 minutes before you left. And chances are nobody is willing to participate in a shirts vs. skins match on a cold winter'a night. Ah well, at least we'll have an excuse when we pass to the wrong man.
"Sorry lads, I'm after leaving my cash in the car. I'll get you back next week."
No, you won't. You know damn well that you won't too. You say this every single week. You must owe me about €300 at this stage. Looks like you're starting on the bench this week.
"I don't think I can go in goal this week boys, sore hand."
Unless you're lucky enough to have a designated goalkeeper, which is about as rare as a headed goal on the 5-a-side pitch, then you'll probably have a rotation system going on. But there's always one guy who will always have a reason as to why they can't go in goal. Sore hand, no gloves, you know the type. And then when you finally convince them to hop in, they'll be spending their whole time begging to come out.
"Sorry lads... I thought we said kick-off was at 7.30."
The latecomer. The man who has left you without a sub for the first 30 minutes of the match. The reason you're all absolutely bollocksed. The other team has been rotating every single goal, all of them getting a breather. Meanwhile, your team is six goals down and you're all keeled over, hands on your knees, panting desperately, while staring in disgust at the guy who saunters on to the pitch at 7.30. He doesn't even have his boots on yet...
"Next goal wins."
Sorry, what? We are four goals up. Next goal absolutely does not win. No way. What a disrespectful thing to even suggest. How dare you?
"Come on boys, we'll get them in the second half."
Really? Do you reckon? Because we're nine goals down and haven't had a shot on target yet. What has given you this false sense of confidence? It's admirable, but is it realistic? Not so much.
"Lads, who's your man?"
Everyone thinks that someone else brought this lad up, but nobody seems to actually know him. He's tidy, nothing special, but not bad either. No banter though. Arrives at kick-off and leaves at the final whistle. No messing about. The most mysterious man you'll ever encounter.