Football, as you all would have known, is my favourite sport. I play the game almost every other day at the so called "Gandhi Nagar Ground" (Named after the locality) which I prefer to call The Riverside Stadium. I feel that this sounds more logical as the ground itself lies on the banks of the River Adyar. This post is about how a match at the Riverside goes, atleast how I feel it goes generally.Here are a few pictures of the Riverside Stadium....The Other side of the Riverside....THE GAME BEGINS...4:30 p.m to 4:45 p.m
The players arrive. Due to the unavailability of team buses or any other form of common transport, the players have to make their own arrangements to arrive at the riverside. It takes atleast 15 minutes for the whole squad to be present. 4:45 p.m to 5:15 p.m
The players get into their footballing attire in the 'pavilion' which is nothing but a small gallery. Players who get ready go off to warm-up, surely not in the true sense. Warm up here means taking a shot one after the other. Sometimes they settle for a game of "MONKEY". 5:15 p.m to 5:25 p.m
Now comes the toughest job. Its time to split teams. But before splitting the teams itself, there is a fight as to who will split the teams, not because everyone wants to but its just because no one wants to. Finally two nice guys pop up and they start splitting the whole squad into two teams. Now comes the tougher part. Who makes the first choice, which'll obviously be the best player around. That takes about 5 minutes to solve, and the others are divided after several rounds of consultation. It takes another 5-7 minutes to summon the team members to one side. And another 5 minutes to allocate a position to each member which usually the best player does. Unfortunately, the position which the player is allocated would be the only position in which he does not play in.5:25
Its all said and done. Its time for kick-off. No whistle. No Referee. No toss to decide which team takes the ball first. One team starts and the other team agrees. The game is on. To start with the game would be a bit dry, and suddenly out of the blue there would be a goal from one team which mostly would be a result of sloppy defending and very rarely out of the quality of the goal scorer. Invariably in 5-10 minutes we will have an equalizer. And maybe a goal more from each side.5:45
Some of the players get tired. They happily just walk off the field and into the pavilion to have a sip of water. Suddenly there would be gaps in the field!!!!!!!5:47
The others walk out as well. While walking in the topic of discussion would either be a controversial off side or a foul which was never given or a wonder which has never happened before.5:55
When The best player is satisfied with the arguments he had put up he will summon the rest of the squad into the field. They come one after the other.6:00
The second half begins! The teams will be lesser in strength due to the departures of a few members in each side. If the sides are uneven, the transfer market opens up and the trades begin. This supposively evens up the sides and we have kick-off. If there is a goal in the second half it would be from the side which was leading. Else finding the goal would be a rare sight. Some more players leave during the course of the half6:20 to 6:35
Both the teams are tired. This takes the seriousness out of most of the players. And the game ends. The remaining players walk back into the pavilion querying about the availabilty of the best medicine for tiredness - H2
O. They again have a sip. 6:35 to 6:45
The Goalkeepers are not tired. And there are few people who prefer taking shots at any point of the day. So these "shooting enthusiasts" take time off in shooting. 6:45 to 7:00
It gets dark. No one can see the ball. So even the very little people who are still playing stop. And then slowly one by one depart. By 7:00 hardly one or two are there. And they too leave ASAP. After a "hard game" of football the players depart and the ground is empty again.
Whatever has been written here is just a general trend as to what happens there generally. There are many green days when we really have a great game and superb quality of football. So I request all the readers to not imagine a game at the Riverside to be really boring or dry or one-sided. Its really good fun.