On the sideline at junior soccer

THIS is a job we were completely unprepared for.

This correspondent temporarily joined the ranks of the Soccer Mums. Or, to appease the more pedantic of readers out there, football mums. Exactly who are we kidding? This piece is lucky to have any readers, let alone those of a pedantic nature.

Anyhoo, by way of explanation, last week we received an 11th hour call from a former close relation. Her daughter was due to make her under eight soccer debut last Saturday but our former close relation was unable to get to the gig. She asked if we could ferry the budding Socceroo to her first big match.

“You’ll be a Soccer Mum,’’ she laughed.

Of course we agreed, for we’re a wonderful human being. 

And we took our new task very seriously. A Soccer Mum? We know very little about these people.

However, we have heard Soccer Mums usually drive to and from games in thumping massive four wheel drive tanks, or something similar. So that was going to present a problem, given our usual mode of transport.

So we were already one strike as far as being a Soccer Mum was concerned.

And what do we wear? Tracky dacks? Something from Giorgio Armani? A club shirt maybe? So many questions.

And what about the match. How do we behave? Do we pretend to know all the rules and all the vagaries of the game? Do we have to supply oranges at halftime? Do they still have oranges at halftime? (It’s been a while since we’ve been to a junior sporting fixture).

We tried to recall what our own mum would have done in similar circumstances. She was never a Soccer Mum, mainly because we didn't play soccer. However, she was a Junior League Mum, a pretty big thing back in the day.

Mum would talk to other Junior League Mums (JLM) for the entire duration of our game. We’re not sure what the topic of conversation was, but we’re pretty sure they weren’t dissecting the team’s game plan. Either that, or she would knit. We can’t knit, so that ruled that out. Hungry team-mates would usually venture back to our house after the game where mum would make lunch for what sometimes appeared to be half the side. We can’t cook, so that cancels that out as well.

Anyway, we can report that despite some pre-game nerves we made it through our Soccer Mum debut without any major dramas.

There are no official scores kept in under eight football, so we don’t know if our team won or lost. But all the kids seemed to enjoy themselves, so that’s the main thing.

And we’re not sure when or even if we’ll be required for Soccer Mum duties again this season. But we’ll be prepared if we’re called. Now, where’s the best place to buy a four wheel drive?