For some, an hour on the AstroTurf is the equivalent of the World Cup Final. Here are 19 guys you will always experience during your five-a-side career.
1. The Organiser
The organiser has more contacts than a phone book. Will do his utmost to ensure the game goes ahead, regardless of standard. Always liable to turn up with a car full of people that nobody knows.
2. The Guy Who Thinks He’s Player Coach
The Player Coach loves barking out orders and telling people what to do, despite being one of the worst players on the field.
The Player Coach will always get into an argument with members of his five-a-side team due to his own inflated perception of his personal ability.
3. The Guy Who Turns Up In Full Metal Studs
There’s always the guy that turns up with steel blades to play astro. The weight of the boot means his timing is always late so he’s prone to catching people on the shins or back of the ankles.
We’ve all been tackled by this liability at some stage in our five-a-side careers.
4. The Guy Who’s Always Late
We all know how frustrating it can be when it’s ten past the hour, and you’re still waiting on the guy that’s always late. This is the organiser’s nemesis, but due to short numbers he’s always invited to play.
The ‘Guy Who’s Always Late’ is best characterised by his half jog onto the astroturf and the quick throw of his keys behind the goal. He is prone to shouting “F*ckin traffic!”
5. The Guy Who Has To Leave Right On The Hour
The ‘Guy Who Always has To Leave Early’ is equally as bad as the ‘Guy Who Arrives Late’. We all know the feeling. It’s a tight game, the astroturf police have decided to let you stay on a bit longer and it’s first to three.
The minute the clock strikes the hour however, this guy grabs his keys and scoots on out the gate to the dismay of the rest of the players. Momentum gone.
6. The Guy Who Uses The Sides
The single most frustrating person on the hallowed astroturf. This guy will always use the wall to get past someone. He’ll knock it to one side, run the other and sprint off thinking he’s Messi.
He usually comes into conflict with No.8.
7. The Guy Who’s So Tired He Goes In Goal
You know the type. He goes on one run up the wing, and it’s game over. Time to hop between the sticks. Usually a heavy drinker and smoker, this fella can be heard coughing up a lung when manning the posts.
8. The Hatchet Man
This guy is usually a little older than the majority of players and becomes frustrated at his own lack of pace. As a result, when someone gets by him, the Hatchet Man sees the red mist and hauls the opposing player down.
He follows this up with a seemingly genuine apology, the first of many during the game of astro.
9. The Guy That Shoots From Everywhere
It doesn’t matter where this man is on the pitch, he’ll always take a shot at goal. The confidence levels are admirable, considering 99% of this guy’s shots go astray.
Takes inspiration from the famous goalscorer (singular) John Jensen of Arsenal.
10. The Goal Hanger
The goal hanger will never be seen in his own half. He loves standing right up the top and can’t quite grasp the offside rule. This particular player has never played at schoolboy level and loves complaining about the sub-standard delivery. Immune to all criticism and justifies his low work rate by listing out the number of open goals he has scored.
Usually impeccably dressed with the latest luminous pair of F50s and white socks pulled up to his knees.
11. The Guy Who Fell In Love In With The Booze
This guy promised so much as a young up and coming star. Was most certainly a Kennedy Cup player, and even went across water for trials.
Alas, he fell in love with the booze and his soccer career went down the drain. Still shows glimpses of his ability during five-a-side but fitness is non-existent. Can be found lording it up in AUL 3 on a Sunday morning.
12. The Guy Who Loves Tricks
This guy will always do the hard thing and take too much out of the ball. One nutmeg is not enough, so he turns around and tries to take it around the same player again. Stepovers, rainbow flicks. roulettes, this guy has it all in his locker. End product? Not so much.
Usually clashes with the Hatchet Man.
13. The Guy Who Somehow Puts It Over The Fence From Two Yards
The tempo-killer. This guy somehow manages to defy gravity by belting the ball over the fence behind the goal from two yards.
There are two types of these guys. The first is the guy who walks slowly to retrieve the ball, holds the entire game up, and then gets odd when the game resumes without him.
The second, and worst of all, is the guy who refuses to get the ball despite blowing it three fields over with his left peg.
14. The Big Guy With The Lovely Feet
There’s always the one big guy that nobody expects to be good, but can pull the ball out of the sky with the deftest of touches. Has a foot like a pillow and can control even the hardest of passes.
15. The Guy Who Pretends He’s Been Shot When Tackled
The slightest gust of wind and this guy throws himself to the ground like a scene from ‘Platoon’. It appears like he’s breakdancing after hitting the ground and will always throw the hands out and grab the ball before rolling around in ‘agony’.
Lazarus-like recoveries are a staple of this man’s matchday.
16. The Joker
Up next is the Joker. This guy thinks he’s the funniest man on the planet and will always throw in a few jokes during the game.
If an opposing player takes a shot and it trickles wide, this guy will always tell him “take a shot next time bud”, thinking it’s the most hilarious thing ever heard.
Loves using the classic line, “you couldn’t score in a brothel.”
17. The Guy Who Does Everything To Avoid Going In Goal
This guy will always shout “last in goal” before the game has even started. Will try every trick in the book to avoid manning the sticks, and will always time it so that the heavy set guy with the great touch is running on empty and on the verge of collapse. This means that time spent in goal is at a minimum.
You will never see this guy make a leap to the bottom corner and any shot on target is a surefire goal.
18. The Guy With The Robocop Style Knee Strap
This player believes he would have made it professionally if it wasn’t for his jelly knees. Will always wear a knee strap that has undoubtedly been passed through the generations. Carries deep heat and cold spray to all games, despite not knowing the difference between either.
Always carrying at least two injuries, despite playing a mere sixty minutes of football per week. Is a first cousin of the guy who turns up in shinguards.
19. The Guy Who Runs Off Before Paying
One of the tightest men you will ever meet. This guy will always tell the organiser that the money is in the car and that he’ll sort him out after the game. The minute the hour is up, all that can be heard is the screech from his tyres as he makes a quick getaway, five euro note in tow.
Big fan of saying “I’ll fix you up next week”.
Originally published on October, 9, 2014.