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Bristol Sun (FA People’s Cup Semi-Final Tournament, March 24th 2017)

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 It’s the FA People’s Cup,
but who can understand
this affliction in the sun?

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 Fair weather to me is a bitter breeze,
high winds and a heavy squall,
ice patches on fourth generation
artificial surfaces, capillaries beaten red
in the air of a floodlit winter.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 But here, under the deepest of azures,
unmitigated sun inflames the head
for sickness-assuaging isotonic Lucozade
to wrestle in the breaks.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 New to harmonious, long standing friends,
well meaning as they ordered and cajoled,
my normal game was gone. No drifting
between the lines, quick bursts or goals,
just chasing around to fill the gaps
and win the tournament.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Through to the final,
I’m surplus to requirements
now absent carriers of doubts
and distant weaknesses – past infirmities –
have found the WhatsApp group,
bantering and healed.

Last Saturday was a bittersweet experience at the FA People’s Cup semi-final tournament in Bristol, on a brand new 4G surface. I was drafted in to a friend’s team as they were struggling to find 5 available players due to a range of injuries and mysterious withdrawals.

We managed to get through the group stage and achieve a place in the final, which we then won 2-1 having gone a goal down early on, securing a place in the national finals in Birmingham on April 30th.

However, during the tournament I experienced a recurrence of the exertion headaches which sometimes led to me being sick and sidelined as a child. I played on and made a contribution to the team, but felt frustrated that I couldn’t play to my normal strengths.

The post-game social media frenzy of players miraculously available for the Birmingham finals was predictable, I suppose!

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/bristol-sun-fa-peoples-cup-semi-final-tournament-march-24th-2017/