Monday, 28 September 2009


Troy Junior has always enjoyed playing football. One advantage of being retired is that after school TJ and I can go over to our local recreation ground ("The Rec") and have a fun kick-around with a football. Troy Junior has also played football in a school club (after school) as well as attending some junior sessions at Ipswich Town Football Club during the school holidays. He seems quite a natural, unlike his father who was always the last one to be picked to play at school.

A lot of his friends in our village played in the local village football team. Being a large village there are teams for each age group. They play in both friendlies and a competitive league as well as having training sessions one evening a week. TJ was keen to play for the village team but Mrs Troy did not like the idea of losing her Saturday mornings most weekends. Also the idea of trailing to away games and spending an hour on the touchline in cold and wet weather was not her idea of weekend fun.

One evening early this Summer Troy Junior and I set off after our evening meal to have a kick-around on The Rec. When we arrived there the children in the village team were having a training session and then a practice game. TJ wanted to watch them. He sat on his own football, chin in hands, watching the other children play. He looked a very sad sight sitting there just watching the others. I asked him if he wished he could join in - his eyes lit up. On returning home I explained to Mrs Troy how sad TJ had looked watching on but not being involved. It didn't take long to decide that we would let him join the village team. We got all the registration forms, paid the dues and subsequently turned up for the first training session of the new season.

The other players are all his friends from school, all are the same age and most are in his school class. He was welcomed with open arms. The coach said TJ was a natural player and would go straight into the A team. They play seven-a-side and there is an A and B team with about eighteen players making up the squad. During the training games Troy Junior played as a central striker.

The first competitive league game of the season was on the home ground on a warm and sunny Saturday morning. A complete contrast to the cold and miserable weather we had always envisaged for these "winter season" games. TJ had a couple of early touches and passes of the ball but these didn't amount to much. Then a cross came over from the left, TJ caught it cleanly on the volley - Back Of The Net. One-nil! The score by half-time (there are 20 minutes each half) remained the same. In the second half TJ scored again. Two-nil. The other team then got a goal back and we had a nerve-racking, clock watching, few minutes before the whistle blew for full time. TJ was name "Player of the Match" and was chosen to captain the team for the next game.

The second game, also played in warm sunshine again finished two-one to TJ's village team. By now both Mrs Troy and I were thoroughly enjoying our football. Last Saturday morning (26th), saw us arrive bright and early for the third game of the season. Yet again in warm and sunny conditions. Some parents make cake and buns and there is also a large urn for teas or coffees. There is a great atmosphere among the parents. They can however get quite vocal during the games! We've taken folding chairs to sit on but I'm too nervous to sit down - I like to stand and cheer. Troy Junior scored again "a natural poacher's finish" with the outside of his right boot and yet again the match finished with a two-one win. Three games, three wins (all 2-1), nine points out of nine and TJ as the leading goal scorer!

We have the cold, wet or freezing weather still to come but I for one can't wait for the next game.

If only it was this good down at Portman Road watching Ipswich Town! They, in contrast, have had a truly awful start to their season.


Ladybird World Mother said...

WOW!!! Nice one, TJ!! We will soon be cheering you on in Portman Road and singing Follow the Town.. just like the old days. xx

Hadriana's Treasures said...

My ex-boyfriend used to be the youngest referee in the UK. Appeared on Cheggers bit...of Swap Shop many moons ago. I have participated in many a football session (from the touchline). Good luck to TJ and to you all in many seasons to come!

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Hope it stays good for you. Much of schoolboy football is ruined by overkeen foul mouthed parents who should know better. We are lucky at derby in having young Clough as a role model.

Troy said...

LWM - strange, I haven't seen you at Portman Road. Mind you, it is a large place.

Hadriana - nice to hear from you.

Ken - I may overkeen but I'm not foul-mouthed. I recently watched the Clough film "The Damned United" when I bought the DVD and watched it with my Dad. An interesting character to say the least.

Deborah Carr (Debs) said...

Well done, TJ.

I used to love watching J playing football, but he always hated me getting carried away and cheering him on.

The first time we took S - she was about 4 - she shouted, 'Come on, Michael Owen," and I had to tell her that he didn't actually play for the school under 8 team.

Catharine Withenay said...

Well done, TJ!

I understand the Saturday morning angst. But, like you, we've given in to it, as they enjoy tennis and drama. At least it is only during term-time, when we have a fairly standard routine anyway.

cheshire wife said...

Admit it, you are all enjoying it. Well done to TJ! Did he get his talent from Dad?

Anonymous said...

Brilliant, TJ! It's so good for young boys to be involved like that, making new friends and getting fresh air, not to mention exercise.

CJ xx

Troy said...

Debs - maybe she was willing Michael Owen to "come on" as the team needed him?

Catharine - I'm glad Mrs Troy gave in to it too. It's a great way to spend a Saturday morning.

Cheshire wife - Yes we are all enjoying it. The talent actually skipped a generation, Grandpa Troy was a good player as well as Great Grandpa Troy-in-law who apparently played in goal for Northampton Town. I, in contrast, was useless.

CJ - yes there is a good bond between the boys on the team and it certainly good exercise. The fresh air and running around does TJ the world of good.

DJ Kirkby said...

I think it's lovely that TJ has been allowed to join the local team. N1 & N2 play for the local rugby team and if N3 rides horses. I don't mind giving up most of our weekend, that is what parenting is all about. I'm not so understanding when N1 & N2 want to come home late at night though! Grrrrrrrrrrrr!

Lane Mathias said...

Go TJ! Sounds like you have a future star in the making.

And I love the great atmosphere you describe amongst the families.

Troy said...

DJ - I don't think Mrs Troy would let TJ play rugby but she is enjoying watching the football.

Lane - nice to see you back here. Not sure TJ will make the big time but who knows?