Playing for the Sons; Home 3-3 Away

Dumbarton Football Stadium – aka The Rock, 8/7/17.

I never thought I’d play for the Sons. I fantasised about it but knew it was not a possibility. I have dreamed about it. In a dream once I played half a season or so and scored a few times. Well, there’s dreams for you.

But yesterday I did so vicariously; by the medium of Sonstrust “Play for the Sons” Day. (The relevant article, dated 9 July 2017, was second on their site at time of writing.)

I didn’t play, but my younger son did; in the Sons home side. (He’s one of the trim ones, in the front row.)

Sons Home side

You have no idea how irrationally excited I was by seeing him on the hallowed turf. And in the white kit. It would have been something of an anti-climax if it hadn’t been in a home strip.

It was a surprisingly good game even if littered with the errors to be expected from perhaps not very fit amateurs, and played in a joyful spirit. Even the standside linesman entered into the playfulness with some visual responses to comments from the stand.

Sons Away ran away with the first half. Sons Home midfield tended to overcommit in attack and several times they were spare at the back before finally being caught out after a through ball wasn’t cut out. Their second was beautifully worked though. The third merely underlined Sons Away’s dominance.

Sons Home made a tactical switch for the second half which made things much more even. The turning point though came when Sons Home manager Paddy Flannery brought himself on as a sub. He didn’t at first make much of an impact but after a few minutes began to dominate the midfield and eventually threaded through a great ball to set up Sons Home’s first. That might have been it but after an award just outside the area Flannery stepped up to float a magnificent free kick over the defensive wall into the top corner. That wasn’t something I thought he had in his locker. The equaliser came through a penalty which the linesman saw clearly – unlike the ref.

There was still time for both keepers to make amazing saves, Sons Home got a great reactive hand to a header from a corner and Sons Away managed to block a goal bound effort with his foot.

So, the classic game of two halves. Only it was more like a game of one half then the last sixth.

And not only did my son get to play on the pitch, he also shared it and a dressing room with the legend that is Paddy Flannery. Dreams barely get any better.

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2 comments

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  1. GordyBrow

    It really was a dream come true. I’d regretted not playing in the last Play for the Sons game. I think at the time I felt like it was too much money, but this time I felt I had to go for it (while I’m still young) and it was worth every penny. It was surreal walking out onto the pitch, hearing the encouragement of the crowd and of course seeing your family cheer you on from the sidelines.

    I still don’t feel like I did myself justice on the day, my touch was horrible from the start and a couple of times I tried to play balls which were maybe a little beyond my ability (or at least beyond my ability 85 minutes into a game of football.) It was great fun however and as you say the game was played in the right spirit by both teams. Having said that I can still feel where those studs went straight into my foot.

    I can’t speak highly enough of Paddy. From the moment he walked into the dressing room he was very genuine with us and just wanted to make sure that we all had fun. His free kick really was something else. From my position as the short option, I had pretty much the perfect view of it and it was in the top corner from the moment it left his boot. His dive was something else as well and I was pleased to see that it was caught by the SonsTV footage in pretty much all its glory. On that note I was pleased to see that I did pretty much all I could with the chance at the end.

    That would have been too much of a dream wouldn’t it? Scoring the winning goal with pretty much the last kick of the ball…

  2. jackdeighton

    GordyBrow,
    It would have been great but somehow a draw seemed the right result – not that that looked likely at half-time!
    Watching my son play in a Sons shirt on the actual pitch was pretty surreal too.
    Don’t be too hard on yourself. You did come on to a game once you were into it.
    The SonsTV coverage (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMPGwToNjhk) is brilliant.

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