My young son, Michael rediscovered football during the 2018 World Cup and as the new season beckoned, he decided that he wanted to play for a team.
Having scoured the internet looking for clubs who needed players I came across a local team, Allestree Juniors Lazio and it just so happened that one of Michael’s school friends already played for them.
Michael has now played half a dozen games for Allestree Under 8’s and is loving it. For me it is great to see him following in my footsteps and playing as the team’s goalkeeper.
He is certainly taking things seriously, continually wanting me to provide him tips on improving his game as he spends hours throwing a ball against the wall in the back garden and reacting to it rebounding back at him.
Last weekend Michael tasted the first defeat of his football career and so I was intrigued how he and his team mates would react for this morning’s match.
The team played well in a very entertaining game which finished level. For his part Michael had an assured performance and it is clear that his dedication to training is paying dividends.
For me, watching as a parent I genuinely feel as nervous as the times I was pulling on an England shirt! It really is hard not to start coaching Michael during the game, but I do my best to restrict my words to those of encouragement.
At the tender age of 8 obviously the most important thing for Michael is that he enjoys his football, win lose or draw. I am therefore happy that there is always a broad smile on his face.
As he grows older results will matter but for now the fun factor is of most importance.