Blogpost: From Gooner dreams to Thurrock under-nines…

By Martin Healy

SUMMER is here and it’s nice and warm. To those who complain in late July/early August about it being too hot, I say "it will be winter long enough". It seems like forever now since us parents were shivering on the touchline at football matches for the u8s at Nutberry field or the girls under 11s at "the Firemans" sportsground. The World Cup came and went. Germany were by far the best team. Who can now remember that wonder goal by young Mario Gotze in extra time on July 13?

Whilst a lot of sport is seasonal i.e. tennis at Wimbledon in June, british open golf in July, 6 nations rugby in February/March, I must admit that my friends and I are now starving for a bit of premiership football. As sports fans, we should be giving the football a rest. By rights we should be taking the opportunity in these few weeks in a nice warm summer to spend time down at the coast with the family or take an interest in some of the finer things in life.

I try watching a bit of rugby league, it’s a struggle. Been a Union man all my life. However, I do like that 20/20 cricket on sky sports of a weekday evening. As the cricket is organised by county, this inter county concept is familiar to me as an avid follower and past player of Gaelic games.

However, like other premiership football fans, i am starving. We seize on all the latest whispers of transfer news. I am happy to see Carl Jenkinson on a season long loan at West Ham. Carl did very well for us at the Emirates and we hope he comes back. All fans take a huge interest in all sorts of preseason football fixtures that mean little. We have all next seasons football fixtures for the club(s) we support in our diaries. We will be getting our premiership dream teams in place over the next week or so, I am in my friend’s private ‘what’s the score’ competition. This is a random selection of three league fixtures every week. Those of us who have really got it bad, we take ourselves along to club open days, meet the players and buy replica football kits for prices that no sane person can justify.

I have my boy signed up for Thurrock u9s, we have a great team of coaches at the club now and we are all looking forward to the East London echo league. My girl is stalling on me over signing up for the u12s. A large part of my sad social life as football mad parent is under threat. Parents moan about being full time child taxi drivers but secretly we love it. Enjoy what’s left of the preseason, only a few more weeks and all will be back to normal.

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