Monday, 29 September 2008

Let Me Tell You A Thing Or Two About Refereeing...

Saturday 27th September 2008
Green Park, Millbrook
Redbridge 5-0 Burridge AFC

Last Saturday's match official chats openly to young hopefuls about his methods......

Refereeing a football match is non-stop decision making for ninety whole minutes. Sometimes even longer if I remember to add on time for stoppages. If anything less than every ounce of your concentration is given, then yes, you'll still be making decisions, but chances are they'll be the wrong ones.

Let me give you an imaginary scenario: the away side are screaming for a free kick, something about the home team’s right back leaving his studs in the left wingers shins - so what do you do? I know what you're thinking - as a referee I must uphold the laws of the game. That tackle was both late and cynical, I shall recognise this by blowing my whistle and awarding a free kick, right? Wrong.

I don't know what they taught you at referee school, but out here in the real world things are a little different. I didn't get to officiate games at the recreation fields of Green Park in Millbrook between Redbridge and Burridge AFC in the Southampton Senior League by simply adhering to the rules of the game, you know. Things at this level are far more complex than that.
There's so much more to be considered.

I mean it’s all well and good following the rules, but what’s the likelihood of the player who committed the foul deciding to threaten me with violence if I award it? Don’t beat yourself up, the Football Referee’s Association seldom cover that in Module Two - Application of the Laws. It goes without saying, if there’s even the slightest chance whatsoever of any confrontation I’ll do what’s required, by waving play on. That you can count on.

This kind of intense decision making can be pretty exhausting. The mind can wander off course. One minute the balls rolling out of play, the next a horde of angry players have surrounded you demanding you award them a corner kick. Which reminds me, have you ever been to Aspen during ski season? Oh, you must - the crepes at the St Regis are an absolute delight.

What’s that? Should you send that player off for aiming a head butt? Have you not listened to a word I’ve said? Here‘s a question for you, take a good look at my face. Does this nose look like it’s been broken? That’s right, it doesn’t and do you know why? Because getting my nose broken isn’t my business that’s why. Maybe you ought to make that your business too.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Burridge AFC 2008/2009

Burridge AFC, sponsored by the Bugle Inn, Botley.

Pictured left to right - back row: Paul Andrews, Greg Baker, Kev Willsher, Sam Hewitt, Ben Stanfield, Sam Schwodler, Luke Sanderson, Ben Rowe, Mark Reeves, Petes Lyons (Gaffer). Front row: Rich Allan, Justin Newman, Mark Sanderson, Bryn Schwodler, Kristian Hewitt, Marc Judd, Ryan Jones, Jay Schwodler, Lee Fielder.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Burridge Eagerly Await The Nobel Peace Prize Candidate Shortlist

(Pictured above: Lee Fielder's self portrait - "Sure, Greg Baker is vain, but he's got nothing on me." Picture courtesy of Facebook)

Saturday 20th September 2008
Burridge AFC 3-0 AFC Hop

Lee Fielder left colleagues stunned by completing ninety minutes of football for the first time since Saturday 21st October 2006. During this period Fielder decided to abandon employment as we know it to follow his dream. In the twenty-three months henceforth, that perfect Facebook profile picture remains elusive.This has left Fielder frustrated and deeply under whelmed by Photoshop, planet Earth’s market leader for image manipulation. With his ambitions in ruins, Fielder has vowed to return and complete what he set out to conquer almost two years ago once software packages have caught up with his vision.

During this hiatus from not just the game of football, but also work and effectively life as sentient human beings know it in the twenty-first century, team mate Bryn Schwodler has embarked in a relationship with a woman with whom he’s travelled three continents alongside, settling back in England to allow her to give birth to his child. The fact that Schwodler remains with his spouse detracts nothing from the sheer mind boggling amount of time Fielder has dedicated in pursuing his goal.

It wasn’t until half time in his return to the Burridge team on Saturday afternoon that his team-mates fully appreciated just how long Fielder had been out of the game, giving him a quickrefresher of the rules, reminding him that although outfield player’s hands were not permitted to touch the ball, a handball appeal was both inappropriate and futile when the opposition were taking a throw in.

Only a month ago Fielder, 29 years of age from Whitebeam Road in Hedge-End, would have thought nothing of putting himself through gruelling eighteen hour Facebook sessions. Equipped with only a digital camera, a pair of aviator shades and minimal foundation, he chased the seemingly impossible, the greatest aesthetic of our times - the perfect Facebook profile picture.

Not at any time during the creative process becoming distracted by comparisons with himself and Pop Art movement painters such as Roy Lichenstein or Andy Warhol. Clearly something he has no time for, as essentially it is for others to make and not the artist himself. Although if a twenty inch painting of a can of soup can make such an impact on the public’s collective consciousness it’s evident that the comparison is invalid and that perhaps Fielder's offering to the art world's oeuvre is beyond the medium itself, and in fact a bold statement of peace to all of mankind. His first half strike broke the deadlock against a plucky AFC Hop side, marking a remarkable return to normal life.

3-4-3: Stanfield, M.Sanderson, K.Hewitt (c) (Baker), J.Schwodler, Judd (L.Sanderson), Allan, Newman, Jones, B.Schwodler, Rowe (S.Hewitt), Fielder

Unused subs: S.Schwodler, Reeves, Andrews, Willsher

H/T: 2-0

Lee Fielder - little man robbing giant keeper.
Own goal - what a header!Bryn Schwodler - whizz bang.

Booked: M. Sanderson - foul play.

Thursday, 18 September 2008

I Don't Know What You Think Passes For Journalism These Days.....

Saturday 13th September 2008
Burridge 3-1 Wellow

Burridge’s opening day win at home to Wellow has been overshadowed by Rod Sutherland’s comments in the press……..

Now listen here, Sutherland - I don’t know what you think passes for journalism these days, but what in blazes were you thinking when you handed in your copy for Saturday the sixth of September’s edition of the Southampton Sports Echo? When I sat down to read your annual Drew Smith Group Southampton Football League predictions on page twenty-six I was truly beside myself.

You wrote, and I quote: “Burridge AFC have often finished on the fringe, narrowly missing out and it could be their year.” You then go to predict Burridge AFC to finish in second place behind Redbridge in the senior division. Well excuse me, this is the sort of lazy journalism I’ve come to expect from the likes of the Meon Valley News and the Mid Hampshire Observer, who I’m sure had good reason for discontinuing my weekly three-hundred word sports report, but not from you. Where else can I read England’s 1966 World Cup winning squad member Terry Paine’s thoughts on contemporary football issues in a weekly column? Exact-i-mondo. Leading furniture outlet HSL may well see it fit to use a half page of your newspaper to advertise their latest range of Glenmore recliners, but not if you continue peddling this lame tripe.

Even a half wit has to sense to realise that Burridge won’t finish in second place. Oh sure, they might be second place at some stage during the season, but by the new year the weight of expectation will become so unbearable they’ll take it upon themselves to capitulate two goals leads. I handed over my fifty pence at the counter of Co-op in good faith. Burridge may have turned over Wellow by three goals to one in their first league game last Saturday, but by thunder it was a struggle. I eagerly await a re-write of your prediction, a quiet fifth place finish is more likely. Or is it?

4-4-2: Stanfield, J.Schwodler, K.Hewitt (Jones), M.Sanderson, Judd, Baker, B.Schwodler, Allan, Newman (Reeves), Rowe (S.Schwodler), S.Hewitt
Unused sub: Fielder

H/T: 1-1

Ben Rowe 1-0
Rich Allan 2-1
Greg Baker 3-1

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

I'm So Disappointed With My Five Yellow Cards

Last Season's Top Scorer Sam Schwodler Comes Clean On What He Wants this season....

Wednesday 3rd September 2008
Aerostructures Reserves 5-2 Burridge AFC
Venue: Aerostructures
Kick off: 7pm

Last season was my first ever as an outfield player, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse. Sam Schwodler doesn’t believe in second best. When he sets the bar, he sets it high. Lesser men may look back on a season that produced five yellow cards and a week’s suspension and think to themselves - that’s enough. Not me. When I reflect on last season I can see only one thing and that’s failure. Things are going to be different this year, you can bet your bottom dollar on that. As long as there’s breath in my lungs I’ll strive for more.

I know that if I work really hard I can reach my full potential and that’s just what I’ve been doing. The doubters only had to witness our 5-2 pre-season defeat to Aerostructures Reserves to see that I mean business. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still room for improvement. After all the work I’ve put in I was bitterly disappointed with the yellow card I received. With the kind of obscene language I screamed at the referee I really thought I deserved a red.

You might think letting fly with a four letter tirade would be enough. Hindsight is as they say twenty- twenty and although nobody could doubt my intent, my delivery was probably lacking a little in volume. I console myself in the knowledge that if I keep pushing myself the rewards will follow. I’ve got a lot to thank the gaffer for, he’s been working us pretty hard in training. I mean take last year, I could chase a referee twenty yards over a disagreement over a linesman’s flag, but any further and I’d be out of puff.

What with the cardio work I’ve got under my belt now I’ve still got plenty in the tank to give them Hell after putting in thirty-five, even forty yard runs. It’s all well and good giving a referee what for from thirty yards, but it’s a speculative effort at best. It doesn’t matter what obscenity you direct toward him because a lot of other players, not to mention substitutes, managers, spectators, children, passing members of the clergy, they‘re all trying to steal your thunder. If you want results there’s only one place to be and that’s in his face. Not in a minute. Not when the ball’s out of play, but now. Right now.

When people say I’m arrogant it really hurts my feelings. When I say I think I deserved more bookings, it’s not some front I’m displaying to hide my insecurities, it’s my genuine belief. Just ask the other fellas and they’ll agree that my performances deserved and warranted more yellow cards. Maybe even red cards. Last season wasn’t all disappointment though, there were some proud moments too. I’ll never forget racking up my fifth yellow of last campaign for petty squabbling in a game that was already won. Memories like that keep me going.

1-1 - Ben Rowe
2-5 - Sam Hewitt

Monday, 1 September 2008

Three Cheat Death At Stag Party

Venue: Carling Academy Islington
Date: Friday 29th August, 11pm onwards....

Members of Scott Burnet’s stag party narrowly avoided death during the early hours of Saturday morning, reports an unnamed source. After spending a thoroughly enjoyable evening losing money at Wimbledon Dog Track, they made their way to the Carling Academy in Islington. Anticipation had been building slowly during the three hour tube journey and once they arrived they used their pre-booked tickets to jump to the front of the queue. It was at this point they realised that they’d been duped.

The Carling Academy was not in fact a nightclub at all, but a closet masquerading as a nightclub. Once trapped inside the temperatures began soaring high above acceptable nightclub temperatures. Many of the party, now fully aware that their last hours would be spent in a confined space in extreme temperatures exposed to Bluetones songs that weren’t even on the first LP, took steps to make their end more bearable. Using all their might to get to the bar they were faced with bar staff who were too weak to perform their duties, only able to supply cans of Carling.

Kristian Hewitt was the first to escape. His polo shirt had been reduced to a wet rag soaked in his own stale sweat. Others soon followed, completely overwhelmed and in a state of shock. Lee Fielder, Kevin Willsher and Luke Sanderson remained inside. The escapees agreed that it was far to dangerous to form a search party for them and after a few minutes of painful deliberation they owned up to the awful truth. That they had perished, not being able to survive anymore exposure to the Shine Volume One compilation album that the DJ was playing.

Results from the opening weekend of Southampton League fixtures:

Hythe Aztecs 8-0 Wellow
AFC Redbridge 1-2 Mich & Tims
Immar 2-3 Durley
Hop 4-0 Netley

Looking back (bringing back the blog)

I haven't posted here since 2012 – that’s five years of not blogging. The blog is/was about Burridge AFC, the football team I played f...