Sunday, March 11, 2007

This sporting life

We've got a problem at Marple Athletic Junior Football Club. We could have worse problems, to be honest, but it's one created by having a successful set up. As most the teams (under 10s, 9s, 8s and 7s) are at the top, or thereabouts, this has caught the eye of scouts. One of the teams is faced with a situation where six of the kids are likely to be recruited by either Stockport County, Oldham Athletic, United or City. This is 7-a-side football by the way and once a kid is signed on for a professional set up they're not permitted to play for their old club with all their old pals.

At a meeting on Thursday night the wonderful people who give up their time to run the set up and the coaching sessions through Footy4Kids - Jason Isaacs, Shirley Booth and Charlie - spelt out the scale of the issues for parents: ferrying around, dealing with disappointment, not playing as many matches, missing friends and the odds of this leading to a football career are still absolutely tiny. On the other hand it's an opportunity to learn skills from a professional set up.

This is going to run and run and I don't quite know what we are being asked to make a collective decision about, or whether we were just being informed of the bigger picture. Meanwhile, my personal interest in the club, Joe and the Under 8s B team, won 6-0 on Saturday and are still unbeaten with just a few games to go.

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