I’ve been dreaming about it for a long time.
Our little girl taking to the football field, dribbling round a host of stranded opponents before burying the ball past a despairing goalkeeper and wheeling off to celebrate winning the World Cup Final.
And, if you rewrite the sentence as “taking to the school hall, dribbling through some cones and toepoking into an unguarded net” then you have some idea of the joys of Little Kickers!
We’d been on the waiting list for three months when an impromptu phone call to our local Little Kickers centre managed to bump us up the list and onto Saturday’s register! Result.
Little Kickers is an organisation to get young children into playing football. Sophie had signed up for 18 months to 2 years 3 months class on a Saturday morning based at our local primary school. We’d done the gymnastics thing but now we (realistically, I!) were ready for something a bit more suited to Daddy’s tastes!
With it being the week before Christmas, Sophie had on her Christmas jumper above her denim shorts and tights, with a neat hairclip preventing her growing mop from covering her eyes.
When we got there, we were met by five bigger boys (surely older than 2 years 3 months!) all in full Little Kickers strips and belting the ball round like they were playing for Manchester United!
The coaches (three of them for just six children!) were very friendly and instantly welcomed us in. Sophie was given a pintsized ball and encouraged to boot it into one of the popup goals stationed around the room. She enjoyed that for a little bit and then really loved running round returning coloured cones to their rightful place!
She’s starting to understand instructions but is keen to do her own thing. Cue much running round, particularly when the activity required dribbling the ball through the cones and beating the coach in goal. No chance! I lifted her over the cones and then tried to keep her steady while she doggedly refused to kick the ball.
Meanwhile, the mini Rooneys were weaving in and out of the cones and slotting the ball confidently into the corners.
Not that Sophie or I minded though. She had a huge smile on her face throughout the session and loved every minute of it. No occasion more than when she discovered a painted smile and eyes on the side of a mobile bookcase – remember we were in the hall! – and kept running over and shouting “Face!” at the top of her voice. No football skills required but great enjoyment nonetheless.
She’s good at being messy – can she be good at being Messi?!
We’re in this course for six weeks. She’s been exposed to an awful lot of football already and I for one am excited to watch her fledging career blossom over the next few months.