Being a football coordinator is not easy.
I make numerous phone calls and send across mobile and Facebook messages to get people in for playing. I book the ground and fix the time. All these are easy.
But the difficult ones are:
Last minute game cancellations. I listen to the ground people’s complaints, “what Joshi, you are telling this now?”
Last minute drop outs. Those apologetical messages, “Joshi chetta, eniku pani kitti. Eniku varan patilla, sorry”, and I end up thinking, “pani kittiyathu ninakallada, enika!!” And I again go through the players’ list and make another round of phone calls to find replacements.
Low turn-out. Sometimes players bunk in batches. My mobile beeps and I open the message box to read, “Me, Fayaz, Gopi out – Tiju”. So, I announce free biriyani to get the minimum numbers. But only one was lucky enough to get ‘biriyani’ so far, and after that we never saw him again.
Over crowd. Sometimes I need to announce free biriyani to make people stay at home, but still they all turn out. Sreejit would call, “Chetta, njan ente koodae verae randu pulikalayum koodi kondu varununnondu”.
The difficulty to get an injured player back. Players would come in for the first time and get themselves injured. And then after a few weeks, when we have a low turn-out day, we get tempted to call them to find out if they are available. Balu: “Anand innu kalikan unno?” and Anand’s wife at the other end would reply like this, “thairiyam undangil ivada vannu vilikada, patti”
Now, apart from these things, wives, fiancés and girl friends of players have started to accuse me of poaching their man from them in the name of football. “Avanae ente kayil onnu kittikotae, avanu vachitondu” is what one wife has threatened, and then the friend would say, “nee, ente baryade kannil pedenda”.
Oru pavam football managerinte avastha!!
In reply to the dear ladies of our players, all I have got to say is this:
Dear Ladies, I can understand the pain of getting to manage things at home all alone when your man is out playing football with us. But look at the positive side. When all other men at your man’s age carry a pot belly and waste their time washing kid’s poop, I have made your man stronger, fitter, smarter and even younger. I have earned you the bragging rights with your friends, “You know what, my man is a footballer….he is a star player, you know”. He may only be a goalkeeper with us, but that shouldn’t matter!!
Look at your man, how happy he looks, have you ever seen him happy like this before?
So please co-operate.