I was up until 6am this morning working on a document for a new website. Tiarnan (my 9yr old sun) had to be at the soccer fields for a tournament at 9.00am and I got up around 8.10am. Anne-Marie arrived home from her nightshift at about 8.15am and we left for the soccer fields around 8.45am.
When we got near the soccer fields the police had ‘coned’ off the roads leading up to the fields. This got me thinking about how big this thing was. It was Tiarnans first year on this team since we had moved back from the US. Although he didn’t get to play that much soccer in the US, the three years away didn’t dampen his enthusiasm for the game or set him back in his skill level. Although he was eligible to play for the under nines, they had no places left, but after trials, he was asked to play for the under tens. He isn’t as tall as most of the team, but he makes up for it in speed and skill.
When we got near the fields there wasn’t a chance that I was going to get anywhere near the car park. As I travelled slowly along the road adjacent to the pitch a car pulled out and I ducked into the vacant space. VIP parking as we used to say at Motorola in the US. A quick jump over the ditch and we were on the fields about 10 yards from where Tiarnan was to play all of his matches. It was also next to the BBQ and tea/coffee shop in the club house.
For a local village side, Lodden FC has to be one of the best organised teams I have ever seen. Far better and a lot different from the teams that I played for when I was young. The have both girl and boys squads, mixed squads, every age group covered all the way up to adults who had teams in both Saturday and Sunday leagues.
Both Cian (10yr old) and Tiarnan play for Lodden FC and after joining up, they get given water proof coats for training, warm training jackets for training, socks and shorts and their own personal drinks bottle. All this for both under 9’s and under 10’s. I was impressed with this up until today.
The pictches had been marked out to let ten six a-side matches to be played at the same time. Each match was 5-mins a half and there was a league for each age group. Saturday was a tournament for teams from as far as Southampton, to Reading. Lodden was represented at all age groups and the day was to run from 9.30am until 1.00pm. From 2pm onwards was the more senior age groups. Another tournament is to be held tomorrow, but this will be the inter-Lodden age groups with no external teams.
Tiarnans league had 6 teams in it, with his normal 11 a-side team split into Lodden A & B. Tiarnan was playing for Lodden A team and up until the last match, they had won 1, drawn 1, lost 2. Because of the other results, in order for them to progress to the semi-final they needed Lodden B to draw with their last opponents. If they did draw, it would be they would both be eliminated and Tiarnans team Lodden A would proceed to the next round. Luckily for Tiarnan, it ended a 0 – 0 draw and therefore Tiarnans teams made it to the semi-finals. After 10 minutes of regulation play, the score was still 0 – 0, but a quick goal in the first half of extra time was enough for them to get beaten and end their run in the tournament.
He got quite a lot of game time and thoroughly enjoyed the day, as did I watching him. This was the longest I had stood in maybe three years and my back never complained once. It’s now some 7 hours later, and everything else apart from my back aches and I feel like I am finally getting free of my back. I can’t say again that how much I owe my surgeon for what he has given me back. All I have to do now is get through another 5-6 hours of the same thing tomorrow. I don’t know if Tiarnan is up to playing in another days worth of soccer, for once he is in a worse state that I am in.
All in all, it was a great day. Well done yet again to Lodden FC. They were also the winners today, as well as every kid that took part.