astro legends

Usual suspects: Eight 5-a-side types we’ve ALL played with…

Which one are you?

NO MATTER WHERE you line out, there’s always the same players in any five-a-side game, right?

1. The Organiser

This guy runs up his O2 bill during the week sending dozens of texts and double checking that the pitch is booked. He also brings the bibs, collects the money and brings you to hospital if you go over on your ankle again. Often not one of the best players on the pitch. I’ll put my hand up for this one.


John Motson: talks a good game. Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

2. The Commentator

If you studied this guys Opta Stats he might have some questions to address. He won’t be the one tracking back the most or getting in the most tackles… but he’s number one when it comes to talking. ‘Mind your house’, ‘Up the wing’, ‘two-touches!’ ‘handball’ — you might as well be playing astroturf with John Motson.

3. The Pointer

Let me introduce this interesting chap. Though his AUL medals are perhaps now slightly tainted by the years, he’s still got it ‘upstairs’. His USP is ‘the point’. You’ll find him in and around the centre-circle, pointing to where he wants the ball — usually on his toe — like the constipated police woman in the Gaviscon ad.

Every team needs one.

4. The New Guy

We’ve all been there. It’s 6.30pm, someone pulls out because of illness (it’s raining and there’s Champions League on) so you’re down a man. Someone brings an unknown quantity along to make up the numbers.  He immediately picks up the ball from the tip-off, puts it through your planted feet and smashes it into the hoodie in which you planked your watch, car keys and wallet in the back of the net.

5. The Other New Guy

It’s the Tuesday after a long weekend and bodies are thin on the ground. This time you’re joined in the bibs with someone who’s a friend of someone else. From the kick-off you pass to him, he takes a first touch that’s heavier than a black hole and then hops the ball off the bonnet of your car — via your nose.


6. The Derek Zoolander

We’ve all seen Ben Stiller’s movie Zoolander, right? It’s the tale of a dim-witted but good natured male model. Incidentally, he can’t turn left. Like many of us on the five-a-side pitch.

7. The Specialist

When asked for suggestions, one astro veteran on sportsdesk immediately offered: ‘the bloke who would be no use in 11-a-side but knows a the little tricks like one-twos off the wall and has mastered the art of 5-a-side football. Megs!

8. The Hacker

He may not win the game… but you’re going home knowing you played on the same pitch as him tonight. Often wears a Saw Doctors T-shirt paired with O’Neill’s shorts and working shoes an old house-mate left behind when he emigrated to Western Australia. Nothing fancy but very effective.

Who have we forgotten?

First published January 2013

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