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If (You Can Hold Your Ground)

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 If you can hold your ground when all about you
are losing theirs or seeking to impede you,
if you can trust yourself when your defenders doubt you,
but neither doubt them for their doubting too;
If you can train and not be tired by training,
Or being fouled, don’t deal in fouls,
Or being slated, don’t give way to slating,
but stand tall despite the jeers and howls.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 If you can dive – and not make dives your master;
If you can read the play – but not make reading it your aim,
If you can be consistent in your handling
and know that you’re only as good as your last game;
If you can bear to see your perfect distribution,
played offside by your forwards who are fools,
Or watch your clean-sheet, in one bad back pass, broken,
And stoop to get the ball and still play by the rules.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 If you can hold, in your hands, the game’s balance,
And risk it al on diving left or right,
and concede that penalty despite your wide-armed stance,
and utter no complaint but get on with the fight;
If you can force your hand and nerve and sinew
to reach a ball that should be too far gone,
And hold on to it when there is nothing in you,
Save the Will which says to them “Hold On!”

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 If you can talk with refs and keep your virtue,
Or play the greats – nor lose the common touch,
if neither one-on-one nor rebound hurt you,
if all men count on you but none too much;
If you can face the crucial, final minute
and make certain that the match is won,
Yours is the Penalty Area and every ball in it,
And – which is more – You’ll be a goalkeeper, my son!

2

Notes

My sincerest apologies (or Apollo Gees, Sic) to Kipling.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/if-you-can-hold-your-ground/