This new Twitter page aims to bring an end to cancelled games of five-a-side

Having trouble getting numbers for a five-a-side in Dublin?

“WE ARE A player short for tonight’s game.”

The dreaded text that any regular 5-a-side players will have no doubt received at least once. It results in numerous pre-booked games being cancelled needlessly, when there’s plenty of players who would join, if they had the opportunity.

A new twitter account, @Latecallup, aims to solve this problem by building a public community in Dublin of 5-a-side football subs who are ready to jump in when someone drops out.

“I wanted to create one central place for people interested in playing 5-a-side,” says Martin O’Leary, the man behind the twitter account. “So that when teams are short players or run into problems, they have a network at their disposal where they can get players very quickly.

“I only set it up a week ago and it’s got more attention than I ever expected. I work in digital marketing so it’s a side project and something that has grown organically based on solving a real problem that plagues 5-aside football.”

The page has received a lot of attention in recent days and currently has over 200 followers. Nearly 100 people have signed up to play on demand, using the sign up form available on their twitter. O’Leary says people have been contacting him all week about different 5-a-side games that are short players and in most cases, he has been able to help them out.

Big plans

Although he acknowledges that the community is in it’s early days, he has big plans taking the idea forward — including building a dedicated Hailo type app that would make it even easier to find players quickly.

“I want to continue to build the database in Dublin to start with. But then I’d like to go outside Dublin into other cities and even into other countries. The Hailo app would make things even easier and I could imagine a situation where we do a partnership with someone like Hailo or Uber.”

So would this app exactly work? Hailo uses mobile and GPS technology to match taxi drivers with passengers based on both availability and proximity. O’Leary believes his app could work in a very similar way.

You could use the app by putting in how many players you need, how much it costs and the location. People could then come back and confirm they would like to play, just like a taxi confirms it will pick you up. You accept them and then you could rate those players in terms of reliability. So the more reliable you are, the more games you are probably going to play. So it becomes a dynamic real-time on-demand type of sporting event.”

Social network

O’Leary wants @Latecallup to connect like-minded people who want to have a kick about. In that way, he believes it shares similarities with social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

If you think about it, Facebook is a network for people you know. Twitter introduces you to people that have similar interests. This could be a social network where you connect with people offline, and you can continue those relationships online.”

“Imagine sitting at home and feeling like a game of 5-a-side. You could have access to a database of 500 players or more in your area. In a couple of hours you could organise a game with a bunch of people you’ve never met. So it’s a good networking opportunity and a good way to meet people if you’re new in the city.”

It doesn’t just stop at organising 5-a-side, though. There is also the potential for it to work for other sports as well — such as tag rugby, tennis or golf.

“For people that love golf, especially those with families, it can be incredibly difficult to play when you only have a couple of hours to work with. It would make things a whole lot easier if you could scan a database for players that are free in your area and want to play.”

If you would like to get involved or you’re in need of players to make up numbers, you can get more information @Latecallup or @martinoleary. Or if you would like to register to play on demand, you can sign up here

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