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I Would Give Both Arms to Play for Ipswich
Written by Edmunds5 on Wednesday, 7th Nov 2012 15:03

“YES, YES, YES!” I yell, with a smile as I clinch my fist. Ipswich are willing to give me a chance!

Sorry, I will let you know what’s been happening. I love football, I’ve played locally but I’ve never really pursued any kind of career in football, its not that I’ve not had the belief, its just I’ve never been scouted or been taken seriously as a footballer before.

I plucked up the courage to go to the training ground at Playford Road. I asked the receptionist rather hopefully if I could meet with the manager Mick McCarthy. After a few standard questions he said yes he will see you after the session, I gave him my name and then sat eagerly in the waiting area.

Around an hour later I heard Mick’s voice from down the corridor and he came towards me. “Hi Mick,” I said, with a tremble as my eyes lit up. “I know this is slightly odd but I really feel I have some potential and would love to be given a chance to show you what I can do."

Mick’s eyebrows rose curiously, he didn’t quite understand what I meant, “You mean you want a trial?” he said. I gulped, and then nodded “OK, we will give you a week, starting tomorrow, we’ll see what you’ve got."

Mick shook my hand before walking off to his car, I stood in shock for a moment before the significance of the opportunity I had been given quickly hit home. I woke up early the next day, with my alarm sounding out an Ipswich song I put on there the previous night.

I packed my stuff, which included a brand new pair of Nike football boots, as well as some new socks and shinpads, before making my way to the training ground. As we all gathered before walking onto the pitch I looked around at some of the faces, feeling daunted and in awe.

Most of the other players seemed relaxed, laughing and joking whilst I stood shaking, feeling pressured as I knew how important this week was for me and how much it would mean to be given a contract.

Training went well, I was pleased with how I did, the manager acknowledged my efforts at the end of the session, “Well done, young man” he said as he patted me on the back. “See you tomorrow,” he added.

This gave me a boost, as I walked home, I was absolutely shattered but none of my family could take me to the ground due to work commitments, and so walking four miles to training was hardly ideal. Slightly stupid in fact, I guess I hadn’t thought that part through but I would give both arms to play for Ipswich.

The next day came, up early again. I paced around the house for a while before glancing at the clock and made my way to training. We all made our way onto the training pitch, I was doing some stretches, and making sure I was feeling sharp for the session ahead.

Michael and Jay were sitting down telling each other jokes before getting to their feet as they saw the manager return from the changing room. Others looked entirely miserable; it was as if they didn’t really want to be there.

After a few hours of hard graft training had finished and I strolled back home, stopping at near-by news agents such was my need for fluids, I’m not sure if it was the right thing but I helped myself to a Double Decker whilst I was at it.

Which reminded me that I could have taken a bus to training but not too worry. In terms of the training I thought I did well again but I just have to hope that the manager is impressed.

The next day was even more gruelling, but still really enjoyable. The squad were going through tactics and the drills were based on defending as a team, it was good to be a part of it and was interesting to see and learn this first hand.

We then had the usual 30-minute match at the end, where I even put in an impeccably timed tackle on Reo-Coker, he didn’t like that, he got up and glanced at me as if to say “Who are you?” but I won possession cleanly and got us on the attack.

Such was my excitement by the current situation, I even played football in the evenings, I would put on my Ipswich kit, kissing the shirt as I put it over my head, I would play with my brother for a while before he got bored, after that I just did keepy ups against the wall before eventually going inside.

My fifth trial day would soon arrive, I was one of the first there along with Scott and Luke as the other players started to drive in. We were practicing set pieces for much of the session.

Some of us trying to lose our marker whilst others were keeping tight to there man, all pretty routine I guess. Fitness work and the usual match followed, I wasn’t doing great until I managed to score near the end which was good.

Post training I sat in the changing rooms talking to a couple of the lads who gave me a bit of advice as I asked a couple of questions. Others left urgently as they sped away in their Bentleys.

Day six was upon me, this was the biggest day and the final day. I knew this was my last chance to make an impression and so almost inevitably I was a bag of nerves.

Conditions were not the easiest, rain was pouring down but I wasn’t going to let the weather stop me. Some of the players covered there sleeves up with there jumpers to try and keep the rain at bay, I rolled mine up.

Terry Connor blew the whistle to signal the end of training, the players headed to the dressing room as Mick told me that he would see me after I had got changed. I took a warm shower and then nervously made my way to the manager’s office before being welcomed in. Mick sat me down before assessing my performances, telling me which areas he felt needed improving and the positive aspects of my game.

After a lengthy discussion the manager came to a conclusion. “I’ve weighed everything up and even though your still raw, I can see the potential in you and feel you can offer us something going forward, but you better work bloody hard,” Mick added in his typical blunt fashion.

My head lifted as I firmly shook the manager’s hand. I then spoke to the CEO Simon Clegg he sat me down, offering me a two-year deal worth £250 a week.

The money wasn’t an issue for me, I just wanted to play for Ipswich and walk out onto the pitch wearing the blue shirt and give the great fans something to cheer about, this was my only wish, I really would give both arms to play for Ipswich. At first Mr Clegg's pen didn’t work but eventually one did and I swiftly signed.

To cap it all off I was then surprisingly told I would be in the squad for Saturday's game against Burnley. It was as if all my Christmases had come at once. I even got a blue marker pen and wrote the clubs initials (ITFC) onto my forehead. I then told my family and rung friends to tell them the news before attempting some sleep before tomorrows game.

It was Saturday and matchday, I got up and went into the bathroom, the initials seemed to have worn off over night, “How did that happen?” I mumbled. I then went into the conservatory where I keep my boots, but they were not the same ones, my new Nike boots had vanished and seemed to have been replaced by my rusty Pumas.


The whole household woke up in confusion, as the stark realisation set in - me playing for Ipswich really was just a dream.

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Sindre94 added 15:43 - Nov 7
Thanks alot, I was very, very glad for a moment there.
You had me

Edmunds5 added 15:48 - Nov 7
Sorry Sindre, dont know what you meant by that, cheers anyway

Doctor_Albran added 17:07 - Nov 7
How did you clench your fist with no arms? between your teeth? - just asking...

everycloud66 added 20:18 - Nov 7
i enjoyed that

Pessimistic added 20:28 - Nov 7
An enjoyable read Edmunds 5 which is like a dream I have of coming on as a sub and scoring the winning goal for Town at Portman Road. Your dream is more believable though because I am 57! Funny isn't it the way dreams seem to make you ageless. Can still run 4 miles in 30 minutes though so maybe I do have a chance after all!

bluefeast added 22:01 - Nov 7
Absolutely brilliant , i loved it...

itfc1981 added 23:14 - Nov 7

I bet Clegg advised a move to Burnley.

IamSpartacus added 08:34 - Nov 8
Probably a fair representation of us all- perhaps for all club fans.

Not sure at which point the passion leaves players but it certainly does for some. I know tactics don't allow for players to run around furiously to show their commitment for 90 minutes (keeping shape and all that), but some players are stealing wages as opposed to earning them.

There is an uncomfortable distance between players and fans, growing like a cavernous gap since the early '90's. Too many players think they have made it when they sign the first big contract at a very young age, they don't comprehend 'real life' pressures, and with that lack of comprehension disappears any sembalance of empathy with fans....

I suspect the 'poor old me' tweets from Chopra and JET are just the tip of the iceberg throughout football. More and more outbursts are going to appear, more and more ludicrous statements. What they will ignore is that in general society, pretty much all people earning £several thousand per week have to accept the responsibility and commitment that go with it.


Edmunds5 added 11:31 - Nov 8
Thanks for the comments, appreciate them. Glad some of you enjoyed the read. @IamSpartacus-

Good post, I'm glad you said that its what the intention of the blog was. It was based on the contrast of how much fans or even the average football fan would love to be in the position some of these players are in and I've tried to emphasise that through all the enthusiasm and excitement. Compared to some of the players. References I made such "Some left urgently in there bentleys" and "Michael and Jay were sitting around telling each other jokes" and how players "didn't roll there sleeves up when it was raining" and "others looked entirely miserable, as if they didn't want to be there" were all reitirating the point that our players just seem to be disinterested at present. Dont enjoy criticising players because I know it doesn't help but its difficult to have a positive outlook at the moment.

NSL added 23:53 - Nov 8
Well it seems Henderson has given up both arms to play for us anyway . . . . . . . .

madmouse1959 added 02:02 - Nov 9
I dreamt you caught the number 5 double-decker bus to the nut-house.....Ya might have better dreams when ya balls drop. Only joking mate.

At least you managed to sign that contract with no arms.......?

IamSpartacus added 15:45 - Nov 9
Interesting the way some have not only taken the title literally but also confused 'I would' for 'I have'. Disturbing.

buryblue77 added 10:47 - Nov 13
I knew it was made up after I read the first three words, no footballer would be able to spell yes correctly three times in a row. :-)

Good blog, I think I had a similar dream but was b0ll0xed after the four mile walk and Big Mick didn't fancy giving this slightly overweight thirty five year old with big blisters on his feet a trial.


Edmunds5 added 15:46 - Nov 14
haha,I'm not sure if people have taken the 'give both my arms' literally if they have then I'm a tad bemused, I didn't bring a saw along with me and then put my arms out as if I was being arrested!, thanks for all the comments, as always.

Kesgraveblue57 added 09:13 - Nov 15
Did you want to play in GOAL

Rambert added 13:18 - Nov 16
this is so sad.... who has this sort of time
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