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07th Sep 2015

The 5 players you always see at 5-a-side…

Which one are you?

Tom Victor

We’ve played enough five-a-side football to know there are some things that come up again and again.

We’re not talking about the ref’s liberal application of the head-height rule, or the no-show opponents after you’ve travelled an hour to get to the pitches.

No, what we’re talking about is the types of player you see every week, from London to Liverpool, South Wales up to the Highlands.

And remember, if you don’t recognise one of the descriptions, that person is probably you…

The goal-hanger

This guy was a great player at school. He banged in 30 goals in one season for his Sunday league team when he was just 15. You know this because he has told you, about once every two weeks.

The years haven’t been kind, however. He is a stone – maybe two – overweight, and these days you invariably see him up the other end of the pitch, waiting for an impossible pass and complaining to his teammates.

When the other team break and score, you can’t tell whether that sigh he gives out is one of exasperation or breathlessness. Quit yer whining, porky.

The flair player

Why play the simple pass when you can beat the opposition twice? Why play the ball back to your keeper when the dragback-rabona combo is on?

Shin-pads over ankle-socks? Check. Boca Juniors shirt? Check. Unnecessary headband? You better believe it.

You can’t even get too mad at the flair player, because he is better than you. You know it and he knows it. Mostly the latter.

The ‘pro’ goalkeeper

There’s always one. The guy who pulls off worldie after worldie while your squad are taking turns between the sticks.

Sure, he’ll make the dramatic one-handed diving saves, but most of the time he’s just in the right place, ensuring you lose 2-0 despite having 40 shots.

Oh, and the time you do find a way past him? The woodwork will get in the way as if he’s controlling that too.

The dirty bastard

Sure, five-a-side can be competitive, but sometimes people take it way too seriously.

You’d be surprised at how many people can combine Roy Keane’s ref-bullying, Marouane Fellaini’s flailing arms and Martin Skrtel’s x-rated ‘tackling’.

The worst part is they always seem to get away with it, while you’re left limping into work the next day.

Man Utd v West Ham X

The retro kit hipster

There’s some crossover with the flair player, for sure, but this guy is a whole different beast.

While some players concern themselves with trivial matters like ‘winning’ and ‘getting a decent workout’, others see the on-pitch outfit as the be-all and end-all.

Oh, you lost 11-2? It hardly matters when he got a selfie in his Adidas Predator Astros and 1993-94 Man Utd away kit. Yes, of course it’s the green and yellow one. He’s #AgainstModernFootball, don’t you know.