Saturday, April 01, 2006

First Soccer Game

The first official soccer (football) match was on this morning. We were all excited and nervous about it - Dante was actually feeling a little sick. I'm hoping it was just nerves. He certainly had enough energy to jump around and talk and sing!

The kids were given their uniform for the first time before the match. Black and white, with the sponsors logo blaring across the front. Dante got number "2". I think he was pretty proud. Then there was some waiting around for 20 minutes as the game before us took longer than scheduled. The team had a kick around and some warm up with their coach. One of the kids, who at training showed exemplary behaviour, skills and enthusiasm, burst into tears and wouldn't go on the field (something to do with his shirt - he didn't like the collar, perhaps?), which was a great reminder that these kids are still only very young! To tell the truth, I was greatly relieved. I thought Dante was going to be the only one that would have problems. I'm glad he's not so out of the ordinary.

The match finally started, and it was pretty exciting and funny to watch. They had the "pack" mentality as expected. Pretty early on, one of the boys from the other team got possession of the ball and made a fantastic dash to the goal. Pretty good, I thought, until I heard the fathers of that team shouting out, "The OTHER way! Run the other way!!". We parents all had a great laugh about it! Anyway, I should have realised that this kid was the one to watch out for. He really knew what he was doing and was on top of his game. Every time he got the ball, he just went for it. And scored most of the time. Our cute little goalie managed to save a couple of balls, but unfortunately let more in. We lost 6-nil.

Dante managed to kick the ball once, and he was pretty proud of himself after the match. Too bad that the ball wasn't the one in play, and belonged to the adjacent field (someone had kicked it out). He ran around with the pack most of the time, usually a metre or two behind. I think he was happy to be a part of the group, but didn't want to get too involved. I noticed that he managed to duck away if the ball came too close to him! Much to his coach's dismay. He did get a bit bored towards the end, actually lying down on the field at one point (until we yelled at him to get up - I explained that if the ball came his way, he might get trampled).

Afterwards the coach told us that the first match can be very daunting for the kids, and they'll gain more confidence after a few matches. I hope so! I think I really need someone to explain the game to him properly, and have a kick around with people he knows. I'm hoping that we'll soon meet the team which his schoolmates are in so that he will realise that they are involved in the sport, too. I just hope he doesn't start siding with their team!

1 comment:

Tancred said...

So what team is he playing for?