Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Goal of 2009

Click on pic to super enlarge: Kristian Hewitt is replaced by Jay Schwodler at Jones Lane, Hythe, 2009

Kristian Hewitt's goal against Warsash Wasps at Osborne Road on 29th August has been voted 'Goal of 2009' by his team mates. Hewitt took a heavy swing at the ball from a distance of thirty yards away from Warsash's goal after nudging the ball ahead of him with the scuffed leather of his size nine Nike. The ball eventually settled in the net after deflecting off the underside of the steel crossbar.

Hewitt beat off competition from four other goals, which included Greg Baker's long range strike at Fleming Park against Inmar on 31st January 2009. Other goals in the running were: Ryan Jones' in the same game, that not only superseded Greg's, but got wedged into the top corner of the net; Bryn Schwodler's curling chip against champions Hythe & Dibden by the sea at Jones Lane on a sunny afternoon in September; Not to mention Marc Judd's flawless twenty-five yard volley, which he did so after being passed to from a corner kick, that may have won 'Goal of 2009' had it not been scored during an impromptu training session at Burridge on a Wednesday night. Although this didn't stop him being mobbed in the evening sun by fellow Burridge players no sooner had his strike nestled in the top corner.

Hewitt has scored equally spectacular goals for Burridge, including two collectors items against Netley in 2007. Newspapers have documented his goals for the club since he began playing for them as an eighteen year old in 1997:

South Hants Weekly News, Thursday 18th September 1997
Lynx Sports 4-3 Burridge

“...Chris (sic) Hewitt scored the goal of the game with a shot from 25 yards out..."

The Pink, Saturday March 22nd 2003
Burridge 5-0 Bishops Waltham

“Kristian Hewitt scored a goal of the season contender when he volleyed in Paul Andrews thirty yard pass to help Burridge into the Pink Cup Final."

Well done, Kristian. Or as he'll be known now due to the fact that he's the third eldest of four brothers, Hewitt III.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Sam Hewitt: Three years in and counting

Sam Hewitt made his debut for Burridge at Titchfield Rec in a 3-0 defeat to AFC Solent on 17th March 2007. The youngest of four brothers, he lives in West End and makes his living cutting the greens at East Horton Golf Club.

Pictured above: Sam Hewitt has a go at the splits.

The Norman Rodaway, Hedge-End 5:30pm to 6pm, Wednesday 30th March 2007

Sam Hewitt was still very much 17 when Burridge visited the Rodaway to play Hedge-End on the last Wednesday of March. When he arrived shortly after 5:30pm the opposition were already out on the pitch, dressed in matching tracksuits and performing a synchronised warm up. He recognised some of their faces from school. Two or three years older and jumping the dinner queue, thinking they were it. Sam walked past them toward the away team dressing room, hoping it was full of the reassuring sounds of Justin Newman making fun of Greg Baker or Paul Dyke going to great lengths to recreate last night's episode of Peep Show. Once he'd closed the door behind him all he could hear was a shower head leaking drops of water onto the tiled floor. Nobody else had arrived. Junctions seven and eight of the M27 had seen to that.

The five minutes spent sat waiting for company passed slowly. When players did start arriving they began fighting off their trousers and moaning about traffic. Sam stands at 5 foot 10 with a head of shaved mousey hair. Other than his black cleated Nike football boots he was dressed head to toe in Burridge's changed red Adidas kit. With the time was fast approaching six o'clock the referee came into the dressing room with a sharpened pencil tucked into his pulled up black sock.

“Time to get going, gentleman” he said, pointing to the face of his digital watch. Sam's elder brother Kristian stopped Sam following the referee out of the door.
“Whatya doing?” He asked Sam. “We can't start with eight men, they'll tear us to pieces.”
“But, the referee said.....”
“Never mind him,” snapped Kristian. “Did you see their eyes?” Sam clearly hadn't paid as much attention to Hedge End's players as his brother. “Pupils like bowling balls. All of them,” continued Kristian before looking away muttering. “They've been juicing. One dart in the rump is all it takes, that way there's no jack tracking.”

Two more Burridge players arrived and began tearing off their clothes. After silently mouthing out the number of players in the room, Pete Lyons bent down and picked up a red shirt from the pile of kit on the floor. He was 51 and nobody had any spare shin-pads. He'd have to anchor the midfield.


Burridge memories haven't always been so lucid for Sam. Nobody enjoys dialling for an ambulance. It brings with it a certain degree of responsibility. Is the person you're ringing on behalf of genuinely injured, or are they just hoping to while away an afternoon laid in the back of an ambulance, laughing at their hands with an oxygen mask strapped to their face? Sometimes it's hard to tell, but blood helps.

The sound that followed Sam Hewitt's collision with the goal post on a bright April afternoon against Team Solent, was the gratifying snap that comes after the jagged metal teeth of a nut cracker are squeezed together to cave in the stubborn shell of a walnut. The referee stopped play and Sam was laid out flat behind the goal by his team mates. The grass beneath him quickly drank back the colour from his skin. Burridge players gathered around him and bowed their heads as a mark of respect.

A Team Solent midfielder, who was packing a little extra weight beneath the sponsor of his red polyester shirt, began complaining about what he considered an unnecessary stoppage in play. He may as well have cut a prolonged yawn loose at a funeral. Sam's brothers, Kristian and Jamie, turned their heads in disgust from their front row pew. Their contempt was disturbed by the arrival of the ambulance that made its way to Sam slowly over the grass.

Laid out on the ground with his closely cropped hair, Sam had the look of an Action Man that had long since been abandoned for Donkey Kong. A face blocked his view of the clear blue sky. It belonged to the ambulance driver.

“Now hold steady there, son,” he said as he knelt down and rolled down Sam's sock, loosened his shin pad and ran his latex gloved hand up and down Sam's left shin bone. “How does that feel?” Asked the ambulance driver.

It felt pretty much how Sam imagined a stranger stroking his leg in a public place in front of his brothers would feel – pretty weird. Satisfied that there was no break, just heavy bruising, Sam's dad ferried him away in the back seats of his Ford Focus.


The Norman Rodaway, Hedge-End 6:17pm to 7:45pm Wednesday 30th March 2007

Fifteen minutes into the first half, Pete Lyons, stood hunched over in the centre circle with his hands resting on his hips. He caught a glimpse of Luke Sanderson closing the driver's door of his red Peugeot 306 behind him and making his way quickly towards the pitch.

“Giggsy,” he shouted. “Two minutes, get kitted up.”

Luke headed for the changing room as further residents from nearby Cranborne Park and Hobb Lane switched off their television sets and left their lounges behind to walk over to the Rodaway, where from a standing position behind a roped off touchline they watched Hedge-End transform promising scoring opportunities into goal kicks for Burridge goalkeeper Sam Schwodler to punt into the darkening sky.

Jamie Hewitt's mouth was open in concentration. The ball was at his feet 30 yards from goal and he looked like he wanted rid of it. Sam hoped to receive it, having spent most of the game waiting patiently for a pass, but as usual his brother had other ideas. They seemed no more complex than kicking it as far away as possible, which he did. Why isn't the selfish bastard giving it to me, thought Sam. The ball travelled towards Hedge-End's goalkeeper. He watched it until the white stringed net behind him brought to a stop. Once that'd registered with Jamie, he ran with his right arm held above his head. Sam chased after him and got a handful of his red collar before they were both covered beneath a landslide of red shirts.

Final score: Hedge-End 0-1 Burridge.

Burridge formation: 3-5-2: Sam Schwodler, Mark Sanderson, Paul Dyke, Jay Schwodler, Pete Lyons (Luke Sanderson), Steve Froud, Justin Newman, Greg Baker, Kristian Hewitt (Paul Andrews), Sam Hewitt, Jamie Hewitt

Injured unused sub: Ben Rowe
Unavailable through suspension: Bryn Schwodler
Booked: Mark Sanderson, Greg Baker, Jamie Hewitt.


Burridge's final training session of 2009

9:15pm Wednesday 23rd December 2009 at Wildern School

Picture taken by Sam Hewitt, back row, left to right: Ben Rowe, Jay Schwodler, Kristian Hewitt, Rich Allan,. Front Row, left to right: Greg Baker, Mark Sanderson, Bryn Schwodler

Next week: Goal of 2009 is revealed.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Burridge 2009 diary

Pictured above: Burridge at half time against Netley in March 2009. Click to enlarge. (Pic by Giggs-wiggs at Noono Boono)

Just a few dates for your diaries. Training will go ahead as normal on Wednesday 23rd December at Wildern Leisure Centre. Pete Lyons won't be there, so we'll get down to an hour of 5-a-side. They'll be no other activity until Wednesday 6th January, when we begin training again. The entire senior division fixtures were postponed on Saturday. At present, London Airways are top, winning all 6 of there league games. Netley Central have the same number of points, but they've played 10 games. In third are Hiltingbury, then it's Burridge, 3 points behind, but with 3 games in hand. While we're here, what was your Burridge goal of 2009?

Monday, 14 December 2009

Burridge 2-1 Nursling

Southampton Trophyman Cup
Meadowside, Whiteley

Meadowside Leisure Centre's toilets were an unnecessary extravagance to Burridge's centre half, Paul Dyke - who, choosing to ignore the sanctuary of an endless thicket of thorn hedge rows, with an unguarded matter of factness more normally associated with reaching for a handful of coins from a trouser pocket, pulled out his wang and relieved himself of a pint of orange juice onto the grass beside the pitch shortly before Burridge were due to kick off.

Five slow weeks had passed since Burridge's last game. Today they faced Nursling, who put seven goals past them on their way to winning last season's Trophyman Cup. Many of their most influential players have since left to join Queens Keep, but Burridge had their own problems. Goalkeeper Ryan Jones was ill with tonsillitis. Paul Andrews agreed to cover for him. Burridge manager Pete Lyons rewarded the favour by investing £14.99 of club funds in a new pair of goalkeeping gloves.

Paul put them to immediate use. When a Nursling silhouette moved towards him out of the low sunlight, Paul began frisking him with an open foam palm. Once satisfied that the contents of the intruder's shorts were of no obvious threat to his penalty area, he brought the search to an abrupt end, but not before confiscating the football from his feet.

During the first half Burridge visited Nursling's penalty area on fewer occasions than you'd imagine Ronaldinho honours orthodontic appointments. Despite this handicap they were still two goals up. Sam Schwodler had the presence of mind to follow in his brother's header, which reached him after bouncing back off the crossbar. Nursling's goalkeeper may still have been upset at the manner in which he'd been beaten when several minutes later, Kev Willsher, loaded a free kick high into Nursling's penalty area. In an enthusiasm born out of atonement he came rushing from his goal line to try and claim the ball from a penalty spot heaving with flailing bodies. All he achieved in doing so was to double Burridge's lead.

Kev sat next to Pete Lyons in the home dressing room after the game. He was working a towel through his wet black hair. A Biro rested between Pete's fingers. The dead end of it was pursed to his lips like an imaginary cigarette and he stared into the match card as if looking for clues. It wasn't clear who got the final touch to Kev's free kick before it crossed the goal line. Kev reminded Pete that it was goal bound, and with nobody else coming forward to claim it as their own, Pete ticked the little score box next to Kev's name in blue ink . “I just asked him and he changed it,” said Kev, perhaps now feeling the effects of the previous night spent in the pub before turning his full attention to a pint of Coca-Cola.

Nursling scored a goal of their own in the second half and spent the rest of the game chasing hard for a second. As they prepared to take a corner kick the referee said that there were 5 seconds of the game left. Nursling's goalkeeper had joined nine team mates in Burridge's penalty area. Nobody wanted to mark him, there was no dignity in it. When the ball arrived it was pounced on by a tangle of legs, arcing it above Paul Andrews' head towards his top left hand corner. Taking a step backwards he managed to pat the ball a Mar bar's width over the crossbar with his fingers. The sound directly after the referee's final whistle was of Paul shouting the word yes several times over. Later that night he stretched his tall frame out on the sofa with his girlfriend Kate. A large brandy didn't do any harm in helping him to enjoy the X-Factor.

Burridge line up

GK:Paul Andrews
RB:Sam Hewitt
CB:Kev Willsher
CB:Paul Dyke
LB:Mark Emerson Sanderson
RM:Kristian Hewitt (Jay Schwodler)
CM:Mark Reeves
CM:Justin Newman
LM:Sam Schwodler (Greg Baker)
CF:Rich Allan (Ben Rowe)
CF:Bryn Schwodler

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Kristian Hewitt's Park Scratchings

Kristian Hewitt (number 4 in yellow) during a 3-0 defeat against Burridge Sports in September '05.

Kristian agreed that it would only take a single blow to the head with a shovel, or even a house brick, to kill the seagull. He brought the John Deere Gator to a halt on the driving range when his passenger, Luke Sanderson, noticed something slowly circling the grass in a nearby ditch over the road from the landfill site. On closer inspection they saw it was a seagull. It had a dark crimson hole where its wing used to be. Kristian looked over his shoulder at the shovel's squared off steel head laid out in the trailer and winced at the thought of bringing it down over his head with the force necessary to soak the grass beneath it a violent shade of red. With neither having the stomach for it they drove away up the fairway.

The cleaners have long since given up on the toilets in the mess room, so any green keeper at East Horton Golf Course struggling to contain the contents of his gut would do well to seek comfort of the white seated toilets of the clubhouse. During the winter months it gets too cold for Kristian to take off his quilted body warmer in the mess room, which after a few hours spent cutting greens is where he'd go for a tea break around about 9am. You'd normally find him sat on a plastic backed chair flicking through the pages of Nuts. Pictures of women are stuck to the painted white brick walls by rolled up balls of Blu-Tack. Some of them are so focused on getting your attention that they've forgotten to put on clothes.

Four years ago he turned towards the back of the Echo looking for the Park Scratchings feature on the Burridge derby game. Scanning the report with an index finger he found the familiar arrangement of letters that made up his name. “Match highlight,” he said, reading it out like a question. “Kristian Hewitt's 25-yarder, which left his right foot like a missile and was only stopped from finding the top corner by the goalkeeper's outstretched hand.” Older brother and head green keeper, Marcus, wasn't so easily impressed. Missiles didn't get saved by fat blokes who only play in goal because they can't run around. Kristian returned to the newspaper. He was man of the match in a 3-2 win over Burridge Sports. It said so on the pages in front of him and he enjoyed the satisfaction that it brought him, even though that he knew the credibility of being named so would always be called into question if the newspaper were prepared to report in the same feature that Paul Dyke was the club jester and Jay Schwodler was Burridge's best man marker.

This winter's weather's as wet as Kristian has known it in ten years spent cutting greens. There's much more chance of a stick in right now. You'll be out on the fourteenth on the rough cutter and suddenly your wheels will start sinking into the earth. Hitting the gas pedal will just drive your wheels deeper into the mud, so you have to get out and walk for help. Sometimes for fifteen minutes. You'll probably need the Bobcat to pull you out with a tethered chain. The question is how come Kristian hasn't had any stick ins himself this season? Like some wily old sailor he said, “I know all the bad spots.”

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...