We lost yesterday, great game, OTFC were undone by a decent side, despite having most of the possession, we were unable to capitalise on our chances not helped by a ref that seemed to love the sound of his whistle. Any contact, the whistle went, any appeal resulted in a chat “come here I’ve been a referee since before you were born” often with yet another threat of a yellow card “they are here to be used you know”.

Sunday afternoon is spent ignoring the family, not in the pub and friends will have to wait… yes… its “admin day”…

  • Enter game stats onto the FA full time website.
  • Referee was poor, any mark below 61 warrants an e-mail of explanation, diplomatically compile this and send to the Referee’s Association.
  • Update the OTFC website, create a new match page, enter the playing team, the score, goals, assists, MOTM.
  • Update the fines log.
  • Collate information from fixtures secretary and social reps.
  • Create and send out a new mail for the following weeks game (away game again).
  • Create and send out a new teamer invite for the match.


Chase for the match report from delegated author. Go through match day photos for some that are good to use for future reports/mail outs etc…

Monday night training is on. Kick about is particularly fun this week, great bunch of players from across the club.

Collect money, take names and details of any new players, discuss with other skippers where best suited they may be in the club, allocate to that mailing list to engage the right balance.

Get home, pour a beer, count money £3 short… track down who didn’t pay… its ok “they’ll pay next week”.


Pay in monies collected from both match day and training.

Check teamer for early availability for this weekend’s game: Aim is to have a full squad by the end of today. Wednesday is the start of club discussions over which teams are short and which are oversubscribed. Start to chase regular players that have not as yet replied.

Tuesday evening; update the website again. Match report came in today for the weekend’s game… edit it for any controversial comments unable to be published on an open website. Find a suitable picture and create a post, publish it and link it to the match page. Sit back and enjoy the banter evolving on the whatsapp group… a swift game of guess the author develops.

The other OTFC teams have sent in a number of profile pictures, great news, the website thrives off new content, create “Panini” style pictures and publish to the website.


The “Wednesday Weekly” e-mail is compiled, all skippers add their elements, and the club hierarchy adds the club news for mail out at 5pm.

Club “transfers” start today… the team above is short but the teams below are oversubscribed, skippers come together to discuss positions, the team above is in desperate need of a striker, we are overrun with wide midfielders. The “negotiations” start, skippers want to ensure their squads are full and complete, players prefer to play in their known squads with their mates, generally players don’t mind stepping up or down for a game or two, but understandably, they are in a fight with the same players week in week out for the best possible league position. No-one wants to move. Skippers are faced with difficult conversations.

Last week was our club committee meeting, skipper’s responsibility to complete the minutes of the meeting… done… and sent out to the club. Follow up to players and coordinate the completion of action items.


Negotiations continue well into the night over a variety of whatsapp groups, telephone calls and e-mails… eventually a compromise of sending a winger down for a striker up is met… we also gain a full back – good news, we have a strong squad for the weekend! Finally we can relax into the knowledge that we have 4 senior teams and a Vets team with squads to all include at least one sub.

Compile squad e-mail… send out.

We have a new player this week, chase for his details (address, DoB, full name etc…) load onto the AFA and OTFC website to ensure he is eligible to play. Client is very dubious about the amount of “conference calls” being made today considering the lack of progress of work items.


Turns out that our central midfielder can’t play afterall, despite saying that he could (something about an aversion to the Catford vortex) … uhoh, squad is looking thin, but thankfully someone’s “Teamer app is broken”, apparently he replied as a yes, but the app decided this was a no… oh well good news in the end, a direct replacement – back up to full strength.

Further realisation – our CM that bailed has the kit… frantic organisation on how the kit is going to get into the hands of a player attending this week’s game – finally sorted – now who had the balls?

The oppo send an e-mail to our club fixture secretary cancelling the game late in the evening (flooded pitch). Gutted game off… the process starts to ensure all players know that the game is cancelled and if they want to play for other teams start to understand who can travel to which location and whether that team needs another player in that position… contact is a nightmare, despite promises of an early night and no alcohol, everyone is out and not answering their phones, eventually most of the team has replied and answered (whether they will remember this conversation is to be seen).

An hour later the FA steps in and alters it to a home game at our ground. The process to undo all of the last hours’ hard work starts. The evening is spent ensuring everyone can get to the ground, lifts are in place, ground can take another game etc…

Brief argument with girlfriend, she understands for most of the week, but, patience is wearing thin as date night is constantly interrupted by txt messages… Plans to “go-Dutch” are out the window, pay for meal… all is good (for now).


Game day!

Whatsapp conversations over team set up and subs with vice skip, a plan is made – it’ll all change though, you can guarantee a key player will be late… delete as applicable “it was the (train//traffic/girlfriend/alarm clock/uncle)’s fault”… strangely never a hangover.

We are the only game at home. Get down to Grists two and a half hours before KO. Open up the changing rooms, open up the bar, set out the tables for after the game. Order pizzas for hospitality. Sweep the changing rooms, clean the loos, clean the showers, put out bin bags, put out toilet roll. Put up changing room notices, ready the white board. Inspect the pitches, choose which pitch to play on, put out the flags, peg the nets.

Welcome the oppo.

Welcome the ref, pay the ref give the ref a bottle of water for the game. Make a joke about bribes and brown envelopes.

Gather the team, welcome and introduce new player (he’ll get a half today regardless of ability and probably out of his preferred position), change, get to the pitch. Complete the team sheet, pass to the ref along with the match ball. Delegate warm ups, go through the team, speak to the subs, they will get on quickly, we are a team that uses the rolling subs rule to ensure the whole squad gets a decent run out. Team talk…

Walk to the centre circle, shake hands with the oppo, with the ref, lose the toss (standard). We change ends, our kick off.

Whistle goes, a week’s work comes down to the next 90 mins.

Throughout the game substitutions are made, some great tactically, some popular, some not… (either way spend a good 30 mins feeling guilty). We play well. We come off the field at half time a goal down against the run of play… a defensive error off a set piece, it happens to us too often. Quick 5 min game deconstruction, we discuss passing the ball better, playing our game, don’t hoof it, play to feet, talk more, work for each other there is an inevitable gap that we need to plug, we make some more changes to the set up.

Second half, we want it (the oppo doesn’t)… we tell them this. We shout at each other ironically screaming “we’ve gone quiet”… the inevitable “box ‘em in” when it’s a throw in their half, “purple head”… “I’ve got two”… “time”… it works, all the amateur football league clichés come out, but they buoy us… The referee is much better this week and allows play to go on. There is a dubious offside call that we capitalise on… GOAL! – 1-1.

Last 15 minutes the oppo have a resurgence, we battle to keep in the game defending set-piece after set-piece (not our forté) but we keep honours even, out of nowhere we gain possession at the edge of their box, there is a scrabble, BANG, a wonder goal, 35 yards out, their keeper is beaten… 2-1! A call of “it’s still nil-nil lads”. It isn’t, but it doesn’t matter, the game closes, the referee’s final whistle welcomed.

Shake hands, three cheers… hip hip… hip hip… hip hip… quick warm down… it’s a pleasure after a win!

Changing room, banter, shower, bar.

Collect pizzas, hand out to oppo. Offer the ref a drink and food.

Get a beer…

Send full time score to txt messaging service… 2-1 TIFF. Complete match detail forms, collect cash from all players. Delegate washing of the kit, delegate someone to take the balls. Ask someone to complete a match report.

Game deconstruction with the lads, more banter – fines are dished out, argue your case, fines are doubled. Fair.

Wait for the stragglers to go, clear up, lock up, set alarm, drive home… huge win today, massive smile on face, it is all worth it!





Repeat frequently over the course of 8 months…