Every kind of university footballer you will ever meet
We all know the one
Whether it’s the first team, five-a-side, IMG or just a few mates kicking a ball about in Weston Park, chances are you’re going to recognise a couple of these players.
Mr Flashy Boots (full kit wanker)
He took up football at uni to make friends and his parents bought him all the best equipment because he’s “mummy’s little star.” He’s got flashy boots, a full kit and he never plays without shin pads on. He lures opponents and team-mates alike into thinking he can play, when in fact he can barely kick a ball.
He’s the type who rolls around on the floor after being hit by a slightly mistimed challenge, or screams “referee” in indignation every time his team is dispossessed, regardless of the tackle.
The better safe than sorry
He lives by the credo “if in doubt, hoof it out.” He likes to minimise the risks he faces in life – the type to apply factor 50 at Weston-Super-Mare and steer clear of anything the Daily Mail claims causes cancer.
Football is no exception to this rule – he’s under no illusions about his ability, he’s decided his position is to sit in front of the keeper and “break up play.” He’s not the coolest head in a crisis – with the ball at his feet he looks more uncomfortable than your grandma at a Naveed concert – he can put in a decent tackle but when he gets possession his only recourse is to smash it to row Z, even when there’s nobody anywhere near him.
Takes it too seriously
This guy’s a born winner. Fiercely competitive, second simply will not do for him. He’s the type who discovers you did better than him in an essay and immediately snatches yours so he can viciously critique it to restore his self-worth.
When his team is losing it’s never his fault, it’s always “you’re not finding enough space” or “everybody needs to push up” or “nobody’s tracking back” – needless to say none of this babble is actually accurate, but it seems to make him happier.
A game of five-a-side being just a game is alien to him – he must be the best, or at the very least feel like he is. You’ll be able to find him five years after uni working in the city and using vague words like “synergy” and “incentivise” in order to shirk responsibility and, ultimately, blame.
It’s not his fault he’s a dick, his mum didn’t love him enough.
This chap probably went to a rugby-playing private school, he’s never had any interest in football, he just doesn’t want to be left out while everyone else has fun. He’s your team’s favourite player because he claims not to mind playing in goal which you all find frankly ridiculous but you’re happy to let him carry on.
His mummy and daddy are so proud of him for making friends with common footballing folk – “he’s just so sociable” they’ll proudly pronounce to their colleagues while sipping Moët at one of their galas.
He doesn’t have a bloody clue in goal but it’s better than having nobody in there and he’s good fun to have around – he’s the most likely on your team to drink something out of a boot after a win.
This guy lives and breathes football. When he was fourteen he was probably in the youth academy of some big club but was eventually dropped for being too shit. He’s still bitter about it, so he takes it upon himself to terrorise everyone else just wanting a bit of a casual kick about.
He’s far too good to be playing intra-mural sport and he knows it, he’ll casually take the piss out of you and your opponents alike for their ineptness, unnecessarily skilling up defenders and infuriatingly showboating at every opportunity.
While it’s handy to have someone so talented in your team, it really is frustrating that he demands the ball so frequently and nobody else gets a look-in. When he doesn’t play you tend to lose though so you put up with him, albeit begrudgingly.
The always injured
This guy’s the type to measure his injuries in the months he’ll have to take out of the game. Usually just as he’s returning to fitness he’ll have some other mishap that sets back his recovery. Nobody knows how good he is because he’s never actually played for you but in spite of that he’s weirdly still there every week, watching from the side-lines and occasionally shouting unhelpful tactical advice.
After about six months of this he designates himself your manager despite none of you actually wanting him there. He floods your group chat with lame football memes and suggests weekly training sessions, he generally dedicates himself to a team with which he has essentially no connection.