Usually I stick to reviews when I write for the site.
This time though I’m going to tell you about something that was incredibly Super Duper for me personally.
You’ve settled into your seat in the stadium, watching your home team play against your local rivals.
Oh no! An injury! The star midfielder has to come off and things aren’t looking good.
But the manager has an idea. He points into the crowd. Not just into the crowd, but into the stand you’re sitting in.
Everyone looks around. Who is he pointing at?
You know who’s he pointing at. You’re already putting on your boots, the boots you brought with you just in case. This is it.
Running down onto the pitch, the manager gives you a tap on the bum as you enter the fray.
The match wears on. Then the moment comes. You receive the ball and see the striker move. You make the pass and it falls perfectly into his stride as he bears down on goal.
He puts it away. The crowd goes mental. You’ve won.
It’s at this point you’d usually wake up. But this week I got as close as I ever will to living that dream.
I recently started a new job and the company happens to be the main sponsor of Portsmouth Football Club, my home team who I’ve been a fan of since I was a teenager and started following football.
I’d already got free tickets to several games which was fantastic. But this week the company held a 5 a side tournament for charity.
I was allowed to play football instead of working. That’s pretty damn awesome and left me feeling a little guilty. Yes it was for a good cause, but I was getting paid? There has to be a catch? Turns out there wasn’t, instead it just got better.
The tournament would be held at Fratton Park, Portsmouth’s home ground.
Not only did I get to change in the main changing rooms but our kit was hung up waiting for us. A really nice touch that made me horrendously excited.
After freaking out about getting to run out of the tunnel onto the pitch in full Pompey kit (there’s a dream come true right there, check it out as the featured image up top) I found out something else; our first game was against a team from Southampton (local rivals) and we were attacking the Fratton End (where the most die-hard supporters sit).
I came on as a sub and bumbled around for a bit. I don’t have any skill to speak of so I kept it simple. Mark someone when we don’t have the ball and try to make a space to receive it when we did.
Then it happened. I picked up the ball in midfield, looked up and slid the ball through to one of our strikers. He scored and we were 1-0 up! Not only was the dream coming true, but I’d proven I could contribute to a team that I’d only just met. A minute or so later I managed it again! Two assists for Cooper in a 2-0 win.
Sure, they weren’t really Southampton and we weren’t really Portsmouth. There was no crowd and the manager didn’t pick me out. Screw that though. For a few seconds I was in that dream.
It was a great day overall but that moment will stick with me for a long long time.
It’s not every week you get to do something like this. I guess it could be construed as a brag but that isn’t the point. I’m really happy, very lucky and wanted to share that.