I really like the idea of the respect line that the English Football Association has recommended clubs use to keep parents and supporters at bay during youth matches. It is a line that gives parents a clear and visual guide as to where they should be standing when a match is being played. MORE
Take note of the weather!
A massive change in the weather during the last month made me think of that old Boy Scout saying: be prepared!
It has been so easy over the summer with hard pitches and plenty of sunshine – the main problems being to bring drinks to cover anyone who forgot to bring one – and no other extras needed apart from reminding players to bring trainers as well as boots because the ground was pretty hard.
And so with the autumn well on its way the weather is going to be very changeable from week to week. I know this, and you know this, but still even though I always preach having a plan A, B and C for the conditions of the match I was caught out last week by a sudden and very violent downburst from a cloud so low you could almost touch it.
Heed weather warnings!
The problem was, and I’m making excuses here, it started as a sunny morning – blustery yes, but no sign of rain. My colleague Adam had warned me the day before that there was a weather front that would hit Saturday morning.
But I knew better.
And standing there at the side of the pitch I could see the heavy, heavy cloud coming and because of the strength of the wind it was coming fast. The game was nearly at half-time so I had no chance of getting anything from the car as we couldn’t park anywhere near the pitch.
When rain threatens!
I did try holding the half time team talk with the coming storm behind me, but I then saw the faces of the players who were looking directly at it – so I turned them around so they wouldn’t look at the clouds.
It wasn’t until late in the second half that the storm hit – I stood there in short sleeves while all around me brollies and rainproof garments appeared. The players were okay as they were running around but in the back of my mind I wondered if they too had forgotten a change of clothes as no reminder had gone out to the parents.
Everything and everyone got a soaking, but the game was completed and I sent everyone home without making them stand around for a post-match team talk. Driving home in the car the wet players and myself steamed up the windows and the flip-flap of the wipers interrupted my thoughts on why I hadn’t put plan B and C into action like I normally would.