Where does the time go, Ben? I can’t believe it’s almost two years since you made your debut in-between the sticks for Burridge in the Southampton League. Everybody knows that goalkeeping is no easy ride. One mistake and that ball is in the back of your net. When that happens you can always rely on your team mates to let you know exactly where you went wrong. If the game we love no longer allows an outfield player to go ape at his goalkeeper with a burst of colourful language from a stationary position fifty yards away from goal, then maybe it’s time to call it a day.
We all felt safe in your hands though, Ben. Apart from that one time at Bishopstoke when my booted clearance rebounded off Mark Reeves’ buttocks and sailed over your head. I cut you a pretty mean glance that day. Nothing personal, just thought you could have done better that‘s all. That’s what makes our relationship special, Ben. We can just go ahead and say it how it is. Least that’s what I thought, until I heard you’d left to join Romsey Town.
Why spend your Saturday afternoon's watching your team mates continually fail to find feet with simple ten yard passes if you’re not enjoying it anymore? Life is too short. I’m sure you have your reasons for leaving. Reasons you obviously don’t want to share with me via text. It’s okay, I understand. Romsey Town play in the Wessex League, they’ve got a proper ground with floodlights and I bet they don’t charge you a fiver a game in subs. I’m not taking the fact that you’ve left the club personally. Yes, we’re friends. Of course we are, but first and foremost our relationship is a professional one. You are a competent six foot plus goalkeeper and I am not.
Just one thing before you go. Look me in the eye and tell me we didn’t have some good times together at Burridge. Take the away fixture with Hythe and Dibden reserves as just one example. You might’ve thought that coming off junction 3 of the M27 and cruising down the A326 was going to be as good as it got that day. Well, you were wrong. Hythe didn‘t just play at the local park. They had their own ground. They had floodlights too. You couldn’t miss them. Halogen lamps mounted on what must’ve been fifty foot high girders. They weren’t turned on, I’ll grant you that, but it was a February afternoon. What would you have me do, Ben? Arrange a solar eclipse? Some things are beyond even my control.
Like getting you to answer my Facebook messages, clearly outlining the pre-season itinerary. We can’t play games without a goalkeeper, it’s something other teams tend to notice. Perhaps you think goalkeepers grow on trees, Ben. Is that it? Well, I don't think you would have become team leader of a reputable IT recruitment consultancy if you thought that was the case. We’ve lost players before, we’ll bounce back again. If you can't enjoy a season that comes grinding to a halt by Christmas anymore then fine. I guess Burridge isn’t the place for you anymore.