I was standing on the sideline waiting for the game to start.
The rain was teeming down, not a shower but stair rod weather. It was the under elevens soccer match. The Super Reds…immaculate in red shirts, red shorts and red socks and all wearing the same colour boots.
They were playing our local team the Roos. The Roos came out in blue and off white shirts, even more off white shorts and brown socks. I noticed that every player had different coloured boots.
With garish yellow, bright red and all colours in between, the reds strode out onto the pitch, the Roos…bedraggled…straggled slowly through the rain to take up their positions.
The game started at a strong pace and with their first attack the Reds powered into a one goal lead. The keeper shouted out “the wet hair got in my way, and I couldn’t see the ball”.
Snarling and growling came from the coach on the sidelines, “Get your hair cut”, he whispered in a voice you could hear in Bali.
The fight back began immediately.
The Roos number nine stood less than five foot…even when standing on a ladder.
He raced through and passed to his offsider who swept the ball into the net. It was one all. The under elevens comprise of kids who were eleven or under at the start of the season. The Roos were all aged ten. The Super Reds had started the season aged eleven and were now all twelve. Their centre half looked like he had been shaving for the past two years. The Roos were being hard pressed to defend their goal. It was no surprise when the Reds slammed in another goal…in driving rain, and only moments from half time.
Then the smallest Roo pushed up from midfield and scored a peach of a goal and it was two all at half time.
The half time talk consisted of more snarls and growls from the coach and as the second was about to begin, he called out,” now go out and enjoy yourselves. Through the drizzle the sodden shirts stuck to their backs, the Roos found a new surge of energy.
The Roos little number nine, now found that size in these conditions was his greatest asset. His speed and quick turns sent him ploughing through the mud to score a great goal, and ten minutes from the end, he was through again. A quick one two and he had scored his second goal.
The Roos had won four against two. As the teams slurped off, the Red’s captain called out, “well done Roos”, our captain called back ” good on yer”.
Players swamped in towels and hugged by parents sent up clouds of steam. I couldn’t help but notice the Roos now all had the same coloured boots, brown and covered in mud. But still more amazing was that every player came off with a great big smile on their faces…who have we got next week some called out…be on time, and don’t be late the coach replied.
I turned away to walk home…my feet soaked in soggy boots. I was looking forward to a cup of hot tea and a read of the Sunday paper.
I found I was smiling as I recalled about the game and the weather and thought could anything be better on a Sunday morning in Australia.