19 September 2008

I Have A Dream - Ebbsfleet Style

"For whatever reason my sleep state then made out that I was a David Beckham like superstar. The only thing missing was his skill, the tattoos and his bank balance!...Sure enough, there they were next to my boots on the passenger seat seemingly grinning at me like a Cheshire Cat

I recently had a dream. Now that is not unusual, you might say, but for me I seem to have them very infrequently. Maybe I actually dream more than I realise but when the alarm goes off most mornings my main thoughts are on waking up and getting ready for the day.

As some of you would know I am one of 31,000 co-owners of Ebbsfleet United Football Club in England (if you trawl through my blog site you will find some blogs about 'the Fleet' and the MYFC setup). Anyway, for whatever reason my dream revolved around this fine football club.

In this dream I was a member of the coaching staff and also a registered player. From what I could recall I was working as the second in command to Liam Daish the head coach. Our next game was going to be a cup game against my home town. Naturally, I suggested to Liam that I actually play in this game for nostalgia reasons. Liam responded quite tersely "if we are 4-0 up then I will give you your 15 minutes of fame"

I was over the moon. The fact that Ebbsfleet were streets ahead of my home town team meant that there was every chance of me playing. For whatever reason my sleep state then made out that I was a David Beckham like superstar. The only thing missing was his skill, the tattoos and his bank balance! Also, my sister could bend the ball like Beckham much better than myself (and she is not really into football (aka soccer for the Aussies and Americans).

Before I knew it the dream had fast forwarded and it was the day of the game. I was excited and nervous. I checked my kit bag and re-checked it probably a hundred times or more. I drove to the ground in time to give a pep talk to the players and to get ready for my cameo appearance.

The game started and it was all going to plan. Ebbsfleet were totally on top and went in at half time 2-0 to the good. Liam and I were happy. We told the players to carry on playing like they were and more goals would come. For whatever reason it appeared the players listened to us as halfway through the second half we were 4-0 up!

Liam turned to myself and uttered those immortal words "why have you got chewing gum stuck in your hair?" I was mortified. How long had it been there? I frantically started to claw at my hair only to see Liam laughing his head off. "tricked you! go on, get changed. Remember, if you play well England might call you up for their next game - not!"

I rushed off to the changing room to get ready. I opened my kit bag and looked for my boots. Where were they? For whatever reason they had disappeared. By now my heart was pounding. Where had I put them? Then I had an idea. I'll put a message out over the ground speaker system and see if anyone has a pair I can borrow. So I sprinted off to the media room to deliver my urgent request.

Sure enough, one of the fans had a spare pair of boots (it's amazing how things like this happen in dreams). I quickly put them on and ran to the side of the pitch. Ten minutes to go until the final whistle. As I was about to go onto the field the assistant referee grabbed me. "sorry, unless you have shin pads on you are not going to play".

I ran back to the dressing room. Where were my shin pads? I searched everywhere and remembered that they were in my car. So I ran to the back of the ground where my car was parked. Sure enough, there they were next to my boots on the passenger seat seemingly grinning at me like a Cheshire Cat! I grabbed the pads and went back to the sidelines. Liam saw me and said "where have you been? the games almost over now. You had better get on asap".

The assistant referee motioned to the referee and I was beckoned on to the field of play. Before I had reached the halfway line the referee blew the full time whistle. I had been on the pitch for about 15 seconds!! I walked slowly off the pitch feeling dejected. A few of the fans sarcastically called out "great game" to myself.

I congratulated the team on a great performance and quickly made my exit. All I wanted to do was go home and drown my sorrows. As I was leaving I remembered that I hadn't picked up a programme of the game. I made my way to the programme shop and managed to get the last copy. I searched for my name in the team line up - at least I would have this as a memento of the day. Alas, the programme stated 'substitutes to be announced'. Now there would be no record my participation!!

I drove home and started laughing at the days events. Maybe I didn't get to take part in the game, but at least my team won and were through to the next round!



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