The Under 8 County Final

The Under 8 County final was held at the Showgrounds on Wednesday night
Parents and well-wishers, experts and friends were drawn like flies to the light

Awkward excitable children were briefed to ignore the bellowing crowd
Then instantly charged to do all they could to make Mammy and Daddy proud

With no natural instinct to Hold or Mark space, to Follow their man or to Shield
Disobedient cherubs flock like starlings and swarm up and down the vast field

Braying parents cajole and instruct over-ruling their managers’ plans
Commanding the children to shoot at all costs then cursing and wringing their hands

One speckled dickens with more art than most spent much of the game on the floor
Time and again he would fall to the turf then seek out the ref’ to implore

The volunteer ref shouldered constant rebuke as it seemed he could do only wrong
Chastened and chided by housewife and wag when the safety of crowds made them strong

In the end one team won while the other team cried and lines to be followed were drawn
Then we syphon away in our separate scores to ready for school in the morn




One thing i feel strong about is pushing children too hard. That said, kids with talent should be encouraged to make the best of it. But it’s a parents responsibility to know context. To see what’s relevant and required.

I’ve a three year old boy who i’d love for him to be the best…, something. Something that might make him happy. Whatever it is, i don’t know. He’s unlikely to be the best footballer in the world but i don’t care in the slightest. If he enjoys it and he’s no better than i was, well good enough for me. If he doesn’t want to play football at all, well that’s his choice. I hope he finds something that he gets great enjoyment from and is free to enjoy it whatever.

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