Sunday League Inevitabilities

green pitch
Far away from the lavish perks enjoyed by Premier League players is the culture that surrounds amateur football. Games take place at this kind of level every week and anyone who has taken part in Sunday league football will know that some things are just inevitable. Whether you are a manager, a regular spectator or a player, here are examples of some occurrences you are bound to have seen at some point.

“I’ll pay next week”
Naturally, clubs in the amateur game are not blessed with extensive resources so it is vitally important that everybody does their bit to help out. Having a rota for washing the team’s kit is one example of how this happens and most Sunday league teams organise events to raise funds. The cost of hiring out sports halls for training and booking referees and pitches means that all players have to pay their subs for it to be possible. Unfortunately, this does not seem to stop one or two players coming up with reasons why they can’t part with £3 – Probably the same players you’ll see handing it over to bar staff at the pub after the game.

The Hollywood stars of Sunday league
Everyone who loves football has almost certainly fantasied about playing in the world’s biggest stadiums but reality sets in at some point for most of us. The cramped journey to an away game and the sight of the changing rooms should be all the indication needed that Sunday league is not the pro game. However, there are some managers, players and even referees who seem to struggle to understand they are not professionals.
The culprits are easy to spot. A manager on the touchline trying his best to be Sir Alex Ferguson and getting a little bit too caught up in the role. The biggest warning sign should be when they try calling a press conference in the car park afterwards.

As for the players, it is probably too romantic to expect everyone to stick to conventional black boots, even in Sunday league football. The fluorescent boots combined with excessive amounts of sock tape and all sorts of other accessories from snoods to wristbands indicate a wannabe. There are also those who arrive wearing the large headphones and even in some cases, believe it or not, a suit.

Those all too vocal spectators
There is nothing novel about overhearing someone in the crowd at a football match who thinks they can do better than the manager, players and officials. You can find these people no matter what the league is but when it’s at amateur level it is often just one bloke who turns up at every game and stands out.
It doesn’t matter if he’s stood at the opposite end of the pitch because this man will be convinced he saw that offside incident better than the official. He will also be adamant he can run quicker and play better than those on the field despite the fact he is the wrong side of 40, or 50.


A hectic late-season schedule
We’ve all heard of a fixture pile-up affecting the top teams as they try to juggle domestic and continental fixtures with the season nearing its conclusion. This kind of thing also happens to those who play Sunday league.
The games can be called off for any number of reasons. Maybe the pitch was frozen, maybe a referee could not be arranged, maybe the team captain took everyone out the night before. All these factors can be looked at for clues as to why you have seven games to play in the last two weeks of April.
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