I had my first serious football game in about 5 years on Saturday. I put myself into football exile when I was Youth Pastor at Avonhead Baptist, where I played for a church team - after some really stupid decisions and comments, that hurt some people I was responsible for - I took the game far too serious. Not playing for such a long time was a hard decision but I decided I would give it another shot this year.
8 weeks ago I began training twice a week with the intention of pushing my self. My skill is not what it once was and my confidence is low - I am constantly checking myself in tackles - for fear of doing damage. But I have made it to a stage where I think i something to offer again.
So on Saturday morning I started at Centre Back against the Boys College 1st 11, now the centre back position is very similar to the keepers in many ways, they hold the defence together, and are normally the last man before the keeper, this position is about shutting down the attacks down the middle and fowling up the crosses from the wing. It's not an easy position to play for that reason but also because it requires skill in both feet for clearing the ball (something which i have developed in training Jr soccer) and an ability to read the attack. The average age on our team was probably about 34 and we were playing against a much younger fitter, better skilled team. I was expecting too be run at and having to do a fare amount of chasing - which i did, but was surprised with the result. I went off with an injury (sob, sob) but had managed to keep the attack out enough to keep the score line 1-1. They scored when me and the sweeper were caught out of position, and ran straight down the middle.
All in all it was a good game, I think we even had them worried at one stage (for about 5 minutes), but boy am I saw today...