The Parade College Writing Workshop: The underdogs in red stripes


By Marven Polus


On the chilly morning of the 4th of August 2019, I didn’t know what awaited me. That afternoon I was playing in one of our final matches. It was a different morning than usual. It was 9:45am and I had plenty of time for my game which kicked off at 1:30pm. I wasn’t too confident playing against the most powerful team in our division, and it was an even bigger disadvantage as I had stayed up dreading, awake all night bawling my eyes out watching an important Manchester City game of the 2018/19 season, and how we were shredding our true-Blue colour.


I didn’t have the Sunday game morning ritual of having a run and having a double load cereal bowl, filling my stomach up for the game. I felt a little off. When I told my teammates my ritual, they were piercing at me all these irrelevant reasons why I shouldn’t do it. However, watching my dad grow up watching all his morning rituals I had to start one myself which is where I got mine from.


My dad was a player and was in my eyes the best in the team. My dad and I have very different game styles, but people say we both make the same impact.


Hours pass and I feel worse and worse, but it was game time and I couldn’t make any excuses I had to be there for my team in this fixture. My dad wanted me to take the day off, but I had to play


When I got to our homeground, I had seen the opposing team already to play. They had been warming up like they were world-class players. When we were heading to our locker rooms as a team we were being eyed down as if they were staking their ground. We had the home ground advantage, but they had the height advantage.


As soon as the first whistle was blown by the referee, I had many questions that I was very curious to find out. Is it going to be close? Are we going to choke? Is this our moment?


Twenty minutes passed, it was neck and neck, each attack we had was then rebutted by a heart sinking attack that caught everybody in shock. Then the moment came. The opposing team received a corner kick, they had the height advantage and it helped them out. The captain of the team jumped over the tallest guy in our team and thrilled the away ground with a top bin’s thriller.


The final kick of the half came, and it was the first sign of relief we had ever had that game. We were all tired and turned off. We headed to our locker room. I could see the frustration on my teammates’ faces and my manager’s face who had given us a tough time in training leading up to this game.


The half-time chat started off with a scary yell that was so loud it made my bottle vibrate. Our manager telling us that most of our plays were off and we were doing everything wrong. We had the kick-off, so he set us a play and we were ready to go.


The whistle blew for the second off and our team plan was working as they didn’t pick up our plan. I received the ball in the centre of the field, my coach had planned for me to chip the ball over to our striker and he could have a one on one with the goalkeeper.


I knew that all eyes were on me, I chipped the ball over, and everybody’s heart dropped just like the ball. Once again, I had shocked myself, as it was a perfect pass and my teammate took the shot. A slight pause occurred. Everything went quiet. The crowd stood up. The managers opened their mouths. The goalie reacted slowly to the piercing ball. The ball went in. Everybody was out of the stands. It was crazy! “Good pass Marven.”


I was so excited. My dad had complimented me for the first time.


The game became more and more tense as time went. It was really hard as it was a breath-taking game for both the players and the spectators. It was tough, managers were yelling, parents screaming, teammates stressing, it was really hard.


As the final minutes approached it got rougher and rougher; my skinny, lanky body was falling at every push. One player on their team was stressed, he pushed my teammate and my best mate so hard on the edge of the box, and the whistle blew for a free kick. I stepped up to take it as I was the captain of the team.


The final whistle was about to blow; this kick would determine our season. I was so nervous. II stepped up, my dad was cheering me on, cameras were all on me. I was intimidated by the high long wall. I started my run up everyone was silent, I kicked the ball, the ball was travelling at a fast pace I couldn’t see it, the tall men were blocking my sight. All I heard was:




My teammates all jumped on me I was so happy the final whistle blew. My coach, my teammates, my teammates’ parents, my friends were all screaming.


But what I most cared about was my Dad’s scream of joy!





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  1. Vanessa Fox says

    Good on you Marven! I was in suspense throughout your piece, waiting to see who the victor would be. A special memory you’ll always have.

  2. Shane Reid says

    Great job Marven. “piercing at me all these irrelevant reasons” is a wonderful line. Glad you won, what a great memory for you and your dad.

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