Pride Park FC’s Junior Sportswriters

Derbyshire based Pride Park are one of Impetus’ partner clubs. Earlier this summer they ran a Young Sports Writing competition for their youngsters. We’re delighted to publish below three of the entries.

First, this piece by under-eights player Edie:

“I couldn’t wait to get back into the routine of getting dressed and going to football. Everything started well, with a brand new kit. Wearing this on Saturday made me feel smart, proud and thrilled. I was once scared of the ball. Feeling nervous on Saturday, however, I scored my first goal on Saturday. This made me feel more confident and I was proud to do it with my teammates. The match was good and I was rewarded with a sausage cob back at home with my family. I love football because its fun, joyful and I learn new skills with my teammates.”
Edie U8

Yumi, from the under-tens submitted this entry:

“The return to football kept me on my feet for one whole week. I was so excited for the matches, training and to see all my teammates again!. In the lockdown, I had missed getting up on the morning of a match and putting on my leather, black boots, ready for a run on the pitch.

“Now, I would be doing that once a week; getting back on the field and playing for my team. What a fabulous feeling to be able to assess – in a match – the progress I have made from training every week on a Tuesday with our coaches at Moorways and at the weekend with my Dad in the garden.

My energy before a match on a Saturday is incredible, no matter who we play, the result or the weather. However, on Saturday 3rd April 2021, my nerves were taking over, it was our first match in a few months! We would be playing against a team we had played a few times before so I knew exactly how well they played and that was overwhelming…

“Though I was anxious for the coming game, I was equally thrilled to get back into play! But I reminded myself that playing football with myself and my team is very enjoyable, we all work together so well as understand the positions we have to be in order to play well in defence and attack whether in an actual match or in a practice at training. This reassured me.

“In addition, I always look forward to football as it takes my mind off things. The cold breeze that blows in my hair, when I run strategically, ready to either ‘pass, run, dribble or shoot’ as my coach always says, is such a nice sensation.

“The night before we went to our first match was so exciting. I couldn’t wait to see the freshly cut grass of the pitch again, or to hear the loud, supporting audience’s voices fading as I would get further and further away from our half!

“Although I was nervous, my eagerness was starting to overpower the butterflies in my tummy. I couldn’t help but think that the game be even, as it was the first one for both teams; we would have all lacked formal practice. Soon, I was running down the wing, tackling, passing and releasing all the energy that had accumulated in my body the past few months. I even scored! I felt proud to be part of Pride Park under 10s.

“I love the team spirit at the end of a match, whatever the end result is. We will always cheer each other up if down or upset. We will always sing the fun, made up songs that we eagerly rehearse at the end of training. We are a GREAT team! I really hope that is the end of the restrictions. I don’t want the football spirit to be taken away from me again.”
Yumi U10

Finally, this piece by Lucy from the U10s

“I have been doing extra goal keeping sessions with my coach, Andy. At first I let a lot in, but as I had more sessions I started to get better. I was doing a lot of drop kicks and managing to get them quite far.

“Eventually, my first training session in a long time with my teammates came, I felt so happy to finally do it again! Our coaches Andy and Chris worked us hard so we were ready for the match on Saturday. On Friday we had another training session at the park. We did a new passing exercise and it was very fun. We all rested well on Friday night ready for the match the next day.

“Finally the first match back came. I was in goal and I felt really nervous about what could happen, it could either go really well or terribly wrong. I tried my hardest and made some amazing saves. When I was having extra goal keeping sessions with Andy he told me to look scary and intimidating, but that didn’t work because it’s really not my thing!

“The first match back felt amazing and everyone was fully committed to the team. I didn’t quite manage to save all the goals but Andy said it didn’t matter. During the match my teammates Polly and Yumi did a great job running down the wing! During the match I felt well protected because I had such great defenders! After the match everyone said I was amazing and Andy wouldn’t stop saying how pleased he was with the whole team. Our team was unstoppable that day.”

Lucy U10s

Here at Impetus we think the writing produced by the Pride Park youngsters is fantastic and really captures the sheer passion and joy the girls have for playing football. We look forward to following Pride Park’s season at all levels from the first team down to the youngest girls side.

Artwork: Graphics by PW

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