The Parade College Writing Workshop: Pascoe Vale v Hume City

by Thomas Alisandratos



Waking up in the morning, my first instinct is to roll to the right side of my bed, get up slowly and ready for my game today. Following my weekly tradition, I had gone to sleep no later than 10pm with all electronics out of my room. Walking down the stairs and straight to the pantry, I was hungry not only for food but also to beat Hume today. The fire is in me, ready for a big game, the hunger to win coming out. I eat five Weet-Bix and two slices of toast, hoping for enough energy to run my heart out in the game. For me, preparation is always the key before a game, so every week I have a Berocca which I drink in the car on my journey to my team’s home pitch, Hosken Reserve. This pitch is horrible, patchy grass around the goal area, and in random spots. There is a slight hill from goal to goal, not the best surface to play on. In the car, my dad and I chat about what I need to do in the game. He fires me up, motivating me. I am finally ready for my match.


Walking into the change-room, I greet the President of my club Pascoe Vale, as well as all the parents, my coach and my team-mates. Everyone is hyped up with the music playing – it helps us to fire up, because your mental game is as important as your actual skills. Mental takes up around 70% so it is not something to avoid. You must prepare yourself mentally and physically, which I did. Stretching every leg muscle at home as well as using a foam roller. To prepare mentally, I watch soccer and, during the night and morning, spend time to close my eyes and visualise what I’m going to do so that when it comes to the game, I try to do everything to perfection.


We go through our warm-up as usual; I can sense the nerves coming from my teammates; some of them are already sweating. I speak to my friend in the team. “Come on, let’s do this!” is what he says. He’s my best friend and I can trust him with everything, especially with playing well week in, week out. ‘Mr Consistent’ is what we call him. Finally, we get to the pitch and embrace each other in a huddle, holding each other tightly. The captain gives us a motivating speech, we’re ready to go.


The whistle blows and the game starts. All my nerves, all the pain in my body, everything goes away. I’m ready to play, I want to win. We go up 1-0, ecstatic that we scored the first goal. They go down the pitch from kick-off and score. It’s the biggest mood swings ever, from happy to feeling dead in the matter of a second. But I know we need to be in a better mood to win this game. “Fire up boys!” I see all my team-mates rise, the fire in them suddenly coming back. We can do this. We get a penalty. I am confident in myself and hope I get to take it. The team agrees and I get to take the penalty. Known as such an easy goal, I am relaxed and ready to take the penalty. I knew inside I could score, I have gone over this multiple times in my head. I had gone to the soccer pitch and spent hours and hours practising for this moment. The Hume players said multiple things, but the one that stuck in my head was, “The goal is getting smaller.” I don’t know why but it shook me, the nerves hit, the whistle blew, I took the penalty. Miss! I was devastated.


I didn’t put my head down even though I’d missed. For some reason, it wasn’t sadness and depression which I felt. It was an urge inside me that I needed to score or set up a goal. I needed to make up for my mistake was what went on inside my head. This was one of our rivals and all I wanted was a win, nothing but a win. I ran as much as I could, winning every ball and not losing it once I got it. The ball became like a girlfriend, all I did was want it and, once I got it, never let it go. I received the ball from a throw-in, taking on the player. I knew I had to cross the ball in, it was on my right foot, my weaker side. However, for so long I’d been told I needed to work on my right foot, so I’d spend hours in my backyard getting comfortable on it. This practice paid off. The ball left my foot, rising over the defender’s head and landing at my attacker’s head, we’d scored. I helped us score. I’d made up for my mistake. Kind of, at least. We then went on to score another goal and finally, after all this hard work, we’d won. Not only an important three points but also we felt a good feeling inside. The feeling of victory – my favourite feeling.


To read more stories from The Parade Writing Workshop, click HERE.






  1. Vanessa Fox says

    A great read Thomas! I could really feel the tension of the match with you giving us such a clear insight from your perspective.

  2. Vanessa, perhaps I’m mistaken, but my guess is that you teach these lads English/Journalism (or whatever the subject is called). As an ex-teacher myself, well done to you for the encouragement to your lads as you comment on their pieces. There are a few more to come yet. (I edited them for the Footy Almanac site.) I would have been happy to be able to write as well as these chaps at that age.

  3. Vanessa Fox says

    Thanks Ian. Yes I am their teacher – I teach them for the subject Journalism. I am indeed really proud of the boys; I think they have done a great job in response to John’s workshop with them. Hats off to John Harms too. He led the boys along beautifully, with having them plan and develop their piece, and work on it to the point of completion. Thanks again for the compliment!

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