As out children all walk the planet glued to their phones there’s nary a doubt that ‘on demand’ is the defacto standard for being plugged in and turned on. When I was growing up (and for reference I consider myself to still be growing up) there wasn’t mobile data, you had a brick of a phone that almost dialled numbers, but when it did you could feel your ears glowing and I’m sure that I’ve no doubt my receding hair is the result of radiation from my Nokia.
As the mobile world has grown we’ve moved from 1G through 2G and 3G and now we are on 4G. The G stands for generation and we’re currently trialing 5G which will allow your kids to intravenously imbibe Love Island and Pinter-witter-book directly into their souls without glancing up.
Where are you going with this you may ask. Take your face out of your phone and I will tell you. Football pitches are no different. From the fake plastic grass of yesteryear we’ve moved through various generations of sand and rubber laced plastic into the current 4G pitches.
You’ll recall from last seasons sporadic reports our stomping grounds were the meadows and fields reminiscent of a pockmarked waste ground. Challenging our every pass with bounce-backs more confusing than Keith Chegwin’s career.
After losing a number of games and blaming the pitch, the weather, the turnout, the gods of football, the wind, rain, snow, barometric pressure, Spavo, the keeper, the strikers and basically anything that covered for our shocking lack of fitness and ability we’ve taken a stand against grass and moved pitch.
Moving to a ‘vets’ league was a tough decision which we deliberated over many minutes. Renaming as Fleet SociaDad and finding a new home on the ahllowed Army grounds with a shiny, clean 4G pitch. True bounces, no excuses and a new start to our football careers. If they can find Ian Wright late on Hackney Marshes, surely one of us can still be found at 40+ scuffing a ball around Aldershot?
Sunday saw our first pre-sesason friendly. A match arranged against the Royal Oak team who will be competing against us in the league this year. The new 4G pitch saw us dancing around the opposition, playing triangles, some squares and generally shouting at each other in the confusion of winning. Winning convincingly 7-2. The Duke taking a hat trick, Matt notching 2, Spavo 1 and Martin 1. The pick of the bunch being a goal mouth scramble where everyone stopped and Rix tucked home. Shambles.
It’s probably worth mentioning the worst of the bunch, a near post flinch from Andy Whiting who, in a stroke of genius realised that Scoot can’t miss the first man, so why not be that guy and get a touch. A spasm in his hamstring seeing him flick the ball over the, looping onto Spavo’s right foot at the far post. I say right foot, it could have been his left, we’ve never got to the bottom of which one is his less weak one, and he rifled it in, on the volley off the underside of the bar. Notched.
At the other end Jeffsy was making camera saves and generally looking relaxed. So relaxed he rolled around at one point like an ageing Harlem Globetrotter, passing the ball between his legs, catching it the other side then realising that balance wasn’t his strong point and banging his head on the post on the way down, the hollow clang sounding like the bell on the Mary Celeste which may explain his desire to act as sweeper in the second half as he rushed up to the half way line in his head. Unfortunately his body was still somewhere near the edge of the box as the striker nearly missed the pass into the net.
You can tell we won as the Monkey nominations came thick and fast. During the rest breaks both JohnJohn and Whiting changing ends, Scoot having a standard moan about quality before picking out the pavilion with a pass like a Waddle penalty. Ethers forgetting our new team name and getting back to ‘come on you spurs’. The winner though and first monkey of the season goes to Aaron. After a passage of play everyone dropped back to our half except the Welsh Wizard. ‘Shape Up Boyo’s’ he sang like a valleys miner, squeezing up and splitting their centerbacks. We would have as well…if we hadn’t just scored and were setting up for the next kick off.
Man of the Match – John John John
5 separate player nominations this week, but first MoM of the season goes to John (John John) who worked tirelessly, looking like a young Trippier up and down the right wing before delivering the killer cross for Rix to open the scoring. We’ll forgive the patented drag back in our corner which, for the first time in weeks, came off. Great work JJJ.
Fleet Sociadads 7 – Royal Oak 2
(Ethers 3, Coote 2, Spavo 1, King 1)