The beautiful game

The beautiful game

The Golden Rods look forward to a run on Anderson Park. They don't care if they win or lose, its about catching up with friends and the beautiful game. Photo Mazz Scannell

Social football teams bring their own nets, there is no midweek training, no special athletic diets, no oranges on game day. Players are on the field for the love of the beautiful game and the fun of a Saturday run.

Victoria University football club, Goldenrods and Saturday’s opposition Naenae, Kemeys Boys are two of the eight social teams who play in the 10th division, Wellington Capital Football League.

Both teams have small, enthusiastic groups of supporters. Children stand on the sideline shouting, “Go Daddy” as the players run up and down the field. No one talks about winning.

Amongst the supporters is Sue Jones, whose husband Craig Harris is the match referee and an occasional player for Goldenrods.

Jones, an avid supporter of Goldenrods since 1993 said, “The games are slow, many of the players are hungover and some suffer from ongoing sleep deprivation due to young children. Game day is about catching up with each other and not taking ourselves too seriously.”

Spirited defence from Greg Ferguson fails to stop Matt Hunter from scoring. Photo Mazz Scannell

At least half the Goldenrods players have played in the team for more than 15 years, Craig Harris (25) and fellow teammate Greg Ferguson (23), Boys have a similar history, Matt Hunter (12) and Elliott Kemey nine years.

Monday to Friday the players run businesses, work in offices or attend university. On Saturday they play for fun, enjoying the beers and pies after the match and most importantly the camaraderie.

This Saturday, there was a strong nor’westerly blowing across Anderson Park as the Goldenrods ran on for their match against Boys. They won the toss and elected to play into the wind.

From the sidelines it was obvious many lacked fitness, players regularly subbed themselves off the field so they could catch their breath.

Minutes before the half time whistle, Goldenrods player John Taylor hobbled to the sideline with a pulled hamstring. Boys quickly responded, Matt Hunter, applied pressure and quickly scored a goal.

A draw would be a good result if the Goldenrods could hold onto it, they have lost all four games this season. Last weekend it was to the NW Marauders 6-8.

At the final whistle, the Goldenrods players are all smiles, 2-1 is a good loss compared to last week.

Next weekend Goldenrods are playing at home on Kelburn Park where they will have another opportunity to move from the bottom of the 10th division ladder.

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