After a hugely successful 2015 season a lot of the lads decided they couldn’t wait until the start of winter nets before seeing each other and so Monday Night Football (MNF) was born. What better way to celebrate the friendships made within KCC than kicking lumps out of each other for an hour every week? Poundsy was the instigator and battled his hatred of whatsapp messaging by creating a group with over 20 of us in. It would begin with a message on Monday night or Tuesday morning asking who was in for the following Monday and it was more or less first come, first serve. The game was to be played on the superb new 3G facilities at Kibworth High school between 7pm and 8pm. Or more like 705pm by the time Poundsy has made the long and arduous journey from 2 minutes away.
Team selection for MNF has caused more controversy than KCC selection does in the summer (Disclaimer – article written before Richard Jackson starts his role as 2nd team captain!). Although I will add that if KCC summer selection had the same amount of drop outs as MNF does then things would be a lot easier for the KCC 4th team captain! It started off with Poundsy arriving (late) and throwing out bibs to the best of his ability. Now without wanting to cast doubt over Poundsy’s selection criteria I think it’s fair to say that Poundsy likes to win and I think all those that know him would agree with that statement. Now that I was complaining too much because I often found myself on the same team as him. After a few weeks the others started to complain about this because we were the only two players there who liked to defend (ie. we were boring) and to have us both on the same team wasn’t fair apparently. So we were split up from there onwards. Peely took over selection for a few weeks but he didn’t appreciate the snide comments that were made suggesting his selection criteria was similar to Poundsy’s and so the toys were out the pram and it was left to someone else to pick up the thankless task.
For the first couple of months Fido was the star player. With the ability to skip past an opponent in a flash alongside his speed and low centre of gravity it was probably fair to say he was fouled more than tackled in the early games. That’s if anyone could get anywhere near him. Bails was a late addition to MNF after he spent a couple of months at Spin class with his other half. I can report that the Spin class was a complete waste of time as he has still not turned one off the straight all Winter. What he lacked for in finger revs he more than made up with his football as it proved impossible to get the ball off him. When Bails first joined MNF he was somehow picked on the same side as Fido and as the intention was originally to keep sides as similar as possible it led to weeks of domination for the Fido / Bails side. Although Poundsy was no longer in charge of teams selection, any major decisions still needed to go through him and any request to split Fido and Bails up was rejected on the spot. Do I need to tell you which team Poundsy was playing for at this stage of proceedings? In more recent weeks the Super Computer has taken over the task of team selection which has led to some more even games but most importantly has split up Bails and Fido.
The individual approach to MNF differed greatly with some just happy for the exercise and fun while others would want to win at all costs and played as if it was the Champions League final. But regardless of the approach one thing is for certain and that ‘s that there was no place for sympathy at MNF! In the early weeks Craves tripped over a shadow and was rolling around the penalty spot claiming that something cracked in his ankle. The lads rushed over to him to urge him to remove himself from the pitch as soon as possible because he was in the way and a corner was about to be taken. Weeks later Messo tripped over someone foot and rolled off the pitch screaming like a banshee. We quickly checked on him but then figured there wasn’t much we could do but as he at least had the forethought to get himself off the pitch we could continue. So we did. The only emotional reaction Messo drew was when he hobbled over to his team’s goal and proceeded to perform like Kasper Schmeichel. The exact emotion he received from the opposition on that night probably shouldn’t be repeated without an 18 rating being in place.
Abilities vary as you can imagine but there are no passengers. There are some who have played football and some who probably haven’t. Greeno for instance was a bit slow to join the party and when he eventually did so he lowered all expectations of his own ability. He’s a bit rough around the edges when it comes to the rules of the game and as an example of this once tried to claim offside when the man he was supposed to be marking scored. There are obviously no officials involved but if there were they would have told him his man was clearly onside! Greeno has also been heard to say “Let it go” more times than a 6 year old Frozen fanatic which is a no-no on a football pitch. But aside from those small indiscretions he has a mixture of tricks and fancy footwork and has scored his fair share of goals along the way. Where Greeno goes, Boosh obviously won’t be too far away and as Boosh has played a bit of football he knows exactly how much work rate he can get away with. But he didn’t factor in for Poundsy being on his side yelling “Get back Boosh.” Boosh has unearthed a silent talent between the sticks though and has pulled off some acrobatic saves. However he shows the same ability under the high ball as he does on the cricket pitch so we should nickname him The Count because he’s scared off crosses. And I did say The Count there just in case someone mis-read.
CPM puts the yards in and has a thunderbolt of a shot on him. The only problem is that his football boots are like Hexagons and for every shot that hits the target, another 3 or 4 go out for a throw-in or hit the top of the fence behind the goal. Broughts’ feet are like his hands and arms in his bowling action. There is a flurry of action and everyone holds their breath but there is no harm done and the ball goes ends up going where he intended. Daz Shaw is Daz Shaw and finishes the game with an assist and a goal and 55 not out without anyone realizing. Drives’ approach to football is exactly the same as cricket. And I mean exactly the same. He wants to win very badly and that means if you are in between him and the ball there will be a collision. However, 15 minutes after the game has finished he is back to normality and that means buying beers for Peely in the pub. Mase has not played for a few weeks (a Court order has blocked me from discussing how he received this injury) but was full of faints and nice touches and was often in the right place at the right time for a goal to go in off his backside while he had his eyes closed. Mase has also been a regular contributor to the whatsapp group with a selection of football trivia questions from the mid 2000’s. When I say that I don’t mean they were about football in the mid 2000’s, I meant that was the last time the website he uses was updated. So it has provided much amusement for the lads when Mase gives us a question with 5 possible answers and he receives 8 correct responses straight away before he has to admit his error.
Although I alluded to us kicking lumps out of each other at the top of the page it hasn’t actually been too bad. I would say physical but without crossing the line in most parts. There have obviously been some exceptions to this and they have mainly involved two players. Now I don’t want to embarrass them by naming them directly so I will use pseudonyms for them both. One is called Matt Peel and the other is called Josh Bashford. They have both played football to a high standard and are both highly competitive. None of us really knew where it started but not a week would go by without one fouling the other and words were often exchanged. One week things really came to a head with one overstepping the mark and fouling the other repeatedly. After this a neutral observer decided something had to be said so stepped in and contacted the main offender from that week. Let’s call him Pablo to hide his true identity. Pablo tried to explain that things were getting silly and someone would get injured if he wasn’t careful and the season was around the corner. He reluctantly agreed to curb his enthusiasm but in a twist of fate the Super Computer started to select the two of them on the same side at around the same time. What are the chances? A couple of weeks ago the same two were on Craves’ stag do and a drunken conversation took place where they both tried to blame themselves for MNF discretions but having gone weeks with blaming the other and now going full circle and blaming themselves they still couldn’t come to an agreement. They couldn’t even agree when they were being nice to each other. There was only one solution; they needed to blame someone else. So a decision was made there and then………
…..it was all Pablo’s fault for interfering and telling one of them to behave and he was the true villain of the piece!