Many of you will cherish your Sunday morning lie-in. For others, a lie-in is the last thing on their minds as for them, it is match day. This is the case for the many footballers who participate every weekend and sometimes in midweek fixtures as part of the CM Flooring Consett & District Sunday League, which has three divisions consisting of almost thirty football teams from the Derwentside area.
Like most aspiring Jose Mourinho’s I had plenty of experience playing Football Manager on the PC and I asked the League Secretary and Consett FC Vice-Chairman, Gary Welford, if any team would like a bit of help in running things. Leadgate Football Club, ran by local lad Martin Toole, asked me to come along. They were extremely welcoming and I found out very quickly that there is much more to running a team than just picking your starting eleven on a Sunday and some of the teams are ran almost single-handedly by one or two people.
Running a team is quite a task alongside work and family commitments. There are league fees, pitch fees and dressing room fees to pay, so most teams collect subs from players to help with running costs. Teams normally arrange a rota for washing the kits, unless a team is lucky enough to have one person doing it every week and everyone in the team has to help put the nets up before a match can start. Add keeping a proper physio bag, water bottles, paying the referee his or her fee, putting out the corner flags, marking the pitch and remembering to pump up the match Footballs you can see why it is the volunteers that keep the league alive and work really hard. A member of each management team even takes the job of linesman at kick off, although the tricky offside decisions are made by the referee! The standard of play is good and there are quite a few Northern League players who play for teams throughout the three divisions and I always enjoy watching the matches, whether we win, lose or draw.
If you fancy getting involved either as a player or helping to organise a team, then contact the league via the website and they will put the word out to see how needs help. As the season comes to an end managers and club secretaries starting planning for next season, your help might be just what they need or if you are a player, many teams hold trials to find new players. Alternatively just find your local pitch on a Sunday morning and enjoy a competitive game of Football that you can watch free of charge.
You can find out more about CM Flooring Consett & District Sunday League Football by visiting www.facebook.com/cdslpage/ you can also follow Leadgate FC on Twitter @LeadgateFC