The club championships are now in full swing and for many, this is their favourite time of the year.
Whether you are playing or spectating, the excitement in the build up to matches is second to none.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of things anyone who has played in the championship will remember:
1: That one man involved in the panel who is self-professed nutritionist telling the team to drink plenty of water and eat right with plenty of carbs (aka Pasta).
2: The stern warning the manager gives you a few weeks before championship about drinking. The warning generally contains the phrases ‘anybody who is found drinking will be dropped’ and ‘there is always someone watching you’.
3: Trying to stay away from the ‘auld fella’ or father who loves to fill you with negativity and lack of hope for the upcoming match.
4: Getting your gear ready was essential. Always have the right shorts and socks, preparing for rain by having studs and a pair of gloves. You’d always have the gobshite who will be looking for a spare pair in the dressing room.
5: The usual text that goes around prior to the match letting you know the physio will be there a half an hour early and if you need him then be there early. But obviously there will always be a queue just before the warm up.
6: The common thought for match day is to get up early and get a good bowl of porridge. 11 o’clock and a bowl of Rice Crispies would always suffice. A fry would always react badly with the warm up.
7: There was always one player who indulges himself in pint of porter when he was at his girlfriend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s son’s christening and it just so happened to be the managers brother that was the photographer. Usually it’s the player who wouldn’t be dropped even if God himself threw on a pair of boots.
8: There was always the assumption that the referee wasn’t going to give your team anything and don’t say anything to him. Again ignored.
9: The pre-match speech would rarely include a positive mention towards your own team but plenty of derogatory abuse would be hurled at the opposing team followed by expected roaring and shouting.
10: If you were a sub then the warm up during the game was something you wanted to avoid unless you love yourself. The half time pinging session was something to look forward to as a sub.
11: The dressing room at half time was always a tense place. Whatever the score was there would always be that one selector who had nothing but negativity to spread.
12: The usual introduction of an older ‘more experienced’ member of the team was to be expected if you were behind.
13: Down by two points with time running out? Never fear as there was always a ‘big man on the edge of the square’ to be put on followed by the call to let the ball in. If it worked then the manager would be hailed a genius.
14: If the team loses then there would always be a string of club legends who would be present in the changing room. One would always let the better players know that there are ‘a lot of lads no good’.
15: If you had a back-door route then the manager would circle the wagons and get the troops in line for the next game. If you lose that, then you’ll get the usual spiel about how they made a big effort and he feels let down by the players.