So Youngest plays football and this year got signed on a training contract with a big league girls academy.
It’s an amazing opportunity one that is sometimes quite tough to deal with. All that pressure to do well and make the most of it.
It is also tough because the contrast between where she is playing her matches (grassroots boys) and where she is training (girls academy) could not be starker.
For instance at training last night the head coach asked her how her match on Saturday had gone.
I was quite interested in her response because this is what Saturday went like….
Her U15 side played an U16 side in the County Cup. She rocked up to take her place on the field with a bunch of 14, 15 and 16 year old lads. She does this every week, usually without the 16 year olds.
The parents were mouthy. Afterwards she said that when she had won a free kick near the opposition parents there had been quite a lot of, how shall I put this politely, scepticism.
At one point our goal keeper was taking flack from an opposition player. Boys rushed in to defend their mate. It got quite lary. A punch was thrown. Cards were shown. One team went down to 10 men.
The opposition persistently referred to her as the ‘little girl’ and mimcked her shouting. ‘The little girl says she has 3, poor her’ etc etc.
At one point 2 of them tackled her at once and she won another free kick. One of them told her that’s why she should be playing with the little girls. She told him to f*** off.
During the contratend two spectators stormed onto the pitch and had to be ordered off again.
They drew 3 all in full time and went to pens. They then lost in sudden death. To be honest I just wanted it all to end.
I asked her what she told her coach when he asked her how it had gone. Her answer?
Not sure it really did it justice.