Young Pro. (circa ’73)

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Sweating; summer sun blazes on down – it’s a killer
And the pounds have to come off. So no choice then.
Hurting; up and down the hills and the Man asks for
More effort. A creased ache, tightened muscles will
Not push any further, flat out. No more left in the tank.
Hoping you’ll get a first team bib. Last season was
So close you could taste it – the tingle of matchday
Amongst the top lads. Maybe this year, hope springs
Eternal when you’re outside, looking in. The Boss
Might just give you the nod if you’re quick enough,
And fit enough, but mostly lucky enough. We’ll see.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 It’s opening day, first chance to impress. the grass is
A smooth, shiny green. New shirts, even an optimism
From the long-suffering crowd. But that’s before the
Kick off. Cameras here from Star Soccer – a platform
To show ’em all how far you’ve come. The big chance.
But it’s all a blur, a whirlwind pace overwhelming in
Its’ intensity. The reserves was never like this, playing
For a few hundred. Now there’s thirty thousand – high
Up behind the goal, baying, booing, barracking without
Mercy. And it comes your way when you make a stray
Pass. Only forty one more games – then it starts again.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 Get on with it boy. Fight for your place, competition
All the way, every week. Train hard, put in a shift; it
Will get you noticed, get you established. Autumn, an
Opportunity; winter, consolidation. Spring brings the
Sniff of a trophy, reflected glory – international caps
Even. You’re progressing now, confident enough to
Question the Gaffer. A new contract, new terms; a
Piece of the action, please. Okay, he says. You’re in.
You get asked for autographs, for interviews and the
Girls are keen. This is the life. But it all falls apart; a
Late tackle, a broken leg – and you’ll never play again.


Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/young-pro-circa-73/