Could the pitching the world experiment (if you could call it that) be coming to a premature, unsatisfactory end? Yes, yes it could be. On Friday I was offered a trial at Colchester United and was so overcome with emotion that I spent the rest of the weekend with a drink glued to my hand. Now, I’m suffering from a three day hangover that is more of a breakdown and I’m flat broke and I’ve realised that it just won’t do.
So, I’m giving up. Giving up the drink, and, once I sign my professional contract quite possibly giving up Pitching the World.
Below is the letter I sent to Colchester (and 91 other clubs) and below that is their reply.
There isn’t really a roundabout way of saying this, so I’ll be blunt: I’d like to put myself forward for trials at your football club. Ridiculous, I know, but just hear me out.
The traditional methods of getting picked up by a professional club weren’t really open to me when I was younger as I was too small and used to smoke a lot. I had considerable skill though and still do; until three years ago I used to regularly play Saturday league (sometimes both in the morning and afternoon) and several times a week in 5 and 7-aside matches.
I’ve had a break from football over the last few years as I’ve wanted to “save my legs” for a twilight football career. It was said that Teddy Sheringham who played professionally until he was 40, had “an extra yard of pace in his head”, a sentiment I can relate to. I might even have two yards up there.
So when do you think I might be able to have a trial? I promise I’m a decent player and can work on my fitness beforehand. Although I’m 34 and make a reasonably successful living as I freelance journalist, I’m willing to put my career on ice for the next four to five years so that I can fulfil my dream to become a professional footballer.
Do please let me know when those trials might be.
And Colchester’s response…
Thank you for your email.
John Ward brought your email to the Managers attention who was euphoric that we had caught you in the twilight of your playing days. Do you think you could put your freelance journalistic career on hold for a while, brush up on your fitness and attend a trial over the Christmas period at Colchester United FC.
Andy King, our Football Operations Manager, although initially surprised at such a request from the Manager would be delighted to liaise with you and arrange a date mutually convenient for you to come to the club. [Perhaps in the 1st instance you would like to give me a call/email].
I look forward to seeing you in the not too distant future.
With kind regards