If you are a regular participant in 5 a side football, then I’m sure you will recognize some of these types of players. Which one are you? :
The Rocket Man
The Rocket Man isn’t a particularly mobile or skilful player, but he possesses an Exocet missile of a shot. When The Rocket Man winds up for a strike, people tend to jump out of the way or flinch nervously in anticipation of a near death experience. The Rocket Man takes a sort of morbid delight in his ability to frighten the shit out of the others players and will happily launch the ball at goal from any range with all his might, even point blank, much to the keepers misery. He also has an uncanny knack of smashing the ball right into people’s ball sack. Ouch.
The Awful Awful Player Who Is Just Awful
Who is this guy? He turns up as a friend of a friend and proceeds to treat the ball like an old woman tests bathwater with her big toe. He can’t run, tackle, shoot or pass and when you stick him in goal, everything the opposition hits goes in. He seems a nice enough guy, but it he is incredibly frustrating to play with. Strangest of all, he always seems to be the free man in dangerous attacking positions and even then you pass to him as a last resort, before he toes the ball miles off target. No matter how many weeks, months or years he plays, he never improves one iota. As long as you’re enjoying yourself mate, eh?
Fragile Frank is the delicate gentleman who seems to pick up a string of injuries every week. These injuries are never enough to keep him out of the game for long, but Fragile Frank likes to grimace, moan and limp his way through the action, regularly “walking off” his knocks while people shout “hold the ball!” and “are you alright?” Fragile Frank can also regularly be seen wearing a bandage on his wrist for 16 weeks straight, which keeps him from taking his turn in goal.
The Claimer likes to call loudly for free kicks, hand balls and penalties during the game. His favourite shout is to scream his head off when the opposition keeper puts a toe outside his area. When the rest of the sensible players say “Ah, play on”, the Claimer tends to get frustrated and mumbles things like “If we’re are going to play, then we might as well play by the rules” and he usually launches himself angrily in to a tackle immediately after having one of his claims turned down. When a claim is made against his own team, The Claimer will be the loudest voice in opposition to the call. He does realize that this is just a kick about with friends doesn’t he?
Busy Bobby arrives late and leaves early. Bobby is wonderful enough to squeeze a game in to his busy schedule, God bless him, but he really is more of a hindrance than a help. Old Bob will arrive ten minutes after the game has started, usually wearing a suit and stands watching the game for 5 minutes before deciding to join in. He takes another ten minutes to get changed before actually joining the game though and brings the briefest of balance to the numbers. Bobby runs around enthusiastically enough while checking his watch every two minutes. He then makes his exit with ten to play, leaving the game lopsided again, while cries of “Ah Bobby, give us 5 more minutes” fall on deaf ears. We suspect Bobby’s wife wears the pants in that relationship.
The Hero is usually a good level or two over the rest of the players, but doesn’t take the piss of show off. He just strolls around picking out nice passes and playing it simple, but if his team is a few goals down, The Hero goes up through the gears and becomes near enough unplayable for just enough time for his side to go ahead. You get the sense that he can pretty much score at will and when you stop and think about it, you can’t remember him giving the ball away – EVER. The Hero doesn’t say much, just arrives, plays and goes home straight away afterwards.
GAA Gary is a bundle of enthusiasm. He is the fittest guy there and can run all day in his tight rural muck stained shorts. GAA Gary has a dreadful first touch though and loves to race down the right hand side of the tiny 5 a side pitch and whack crosses into the box, much to the bemusement of his team mates. Gary is always smiling, even when he accidentally stands on your toe for the 6th time. Gary also enjoys the post game chat, laughing raucously at things that aren’t really all that funny.
The Wall isn’t that good at football, but he provides superb defensive cover throughout the game. He tends to stay in his own half for the entire hour, magically getting in the way of every single shot on goal, unflinchingly deflecting attempts away with various parts of his anatomy. The Wall tends to score once every 6 months or so, receiving warm applause for his effort from everyone there to witness this rarest of things.
The Fanny Keeper
The Fanny Keeper is a decent-ish player outfield, but once he goes between the sticks he turns into the most yellow bellied, lily livered excuse for a keeper there has ever been. Every attempt on goal from the opposition will find its way past the Fanny Keeper – he will even jump out of the way of shots hit with a little more oomph. The Fanny Keeper tends to find all of this hilarious, grinning and shrugging his shoulders – he thinks it doesn’t matter…..but it does.
Named after Derby County’s Costa Rican enigma, the Wanchope continues to baffle 5 a side players up and down pitches everywhere. While the Wanchope never seems to have the ball fully under control, he regularly beats 2 and 3 defenders on one of his mazy runs, the football ricocheting from shin to ankle and back again. The Wanchope clocks up numerous nutmegs each week without every properly trying one, but is cool enough to laugh at his own awkward effectiveness.
The Schizo, also known as ‘The Double Agent”, plays horrifically when he is on your team and brilliantly when playing against you. Does he hate you? Why isn’t he trying as hard when on your team? Other players have noticed it too, but the process repeats itself like clockwork. Generally, The Schizo is one of the worst players there, but he transforms into Colin Hendry when he is on the other team, making last ditch tackles and clearing shots off the line.
Selfish Steve is clearly a good footballer, but if he would just pass the f*cking ball, he would be such an asset to your team. Instead, Steve will beat two men and instead of squaring the ball to the spare man for a tap in, will take on one defender too many, usually ending up cornered against the fence or wall, before losing possession yet again. Playing with Steve is the height of frustration and despite him being one of the better players there, he tends to cop the most flack from his team mates. Steve is usually the one there with the best job.
The Tactician is even more vocal than The Claimer. He will bark instructions to his team mates for an ear bashing hour every week, turning the game into a bit of a pain in the arse. Everybody appreciates a shout of “man on” or “time”, but The Tactician will provide you with an endless tirade of directions, his favourites including: “Drop back”, “Let them have it in their own half”, “You’ve lost him”, “Left, left left!”, “Right, right, right!”, “Through the middle!”, “Nice and compact”. The Tactician sometimes comes with a strange or squeaky voice, which makes the experience a little funnier, but no less annoying.
by Simon Winter