Wednesday, March 25, 2009

In praise of junior football for a change

The Stockport Express today splashes on the old story about Graeme Souness swearing at a junior football match. TalkSport have also featured interviews with the manager of Bramhall North JFC, who said he doesn't condone lashing out. Good. But this has been blown up because it's Souness and that's wrong. One of the parents has gone to the papers with it and has done nothing to advance the cause of junior football. It just exaggerates the isolated instances where people lose their rag. Can we all please move on.

At our games against Hale United and Inter Macc on Saturday we had no incidents at all. I refereed two incredible games of football. The first a comfortable win for Marple, the second a close draw. And we even got an email on Monday from one of the teams saying - "Your set up is fantastic and parents were brilliant. A top bunch of kids as well. Hope we can play again over the summer."

This is the reality of junior football most weeks. It's a great environment for children to learn about responsibility, team work and to have fun playing sport.

A postscript to all of this and our recent row: the manager who called me a cheat and a disgrace actually put his hands up and apologised when his team came back to Marple. You have to give him credit for that. Accepted.

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