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Poll: How Much Football Have You Played?


If you’re like me, I watch so much English football on television that I sometimes forget two things. One, how wonderful it is to actually play the game — everything from the sound of the ball hitting the back of the net to the emotions you feel when playing the game. And, two, how difficult it actually is to play the game at a high level. For starters, hitting the ball on a volley and striking it into the corner of the net is a lot harder than it appears.

I mention these two points because I’m curious to know what is your experience of playing football. There’s no correct or incorrect answer. We all come to this wonderful sport from different aspects.

Please vote below.

And if you have played before, feel free to share your stories of your 15 minutes of fame on the soccer pitch by clicking the comments link below. I’ve written about this before, but for me it was my time playing on a Delray Beach travel team when I tackled my coach, NASL star Steve Ralbovsky, and got the ball away from him — which I didn’t think was a big deal at the time until my teammates told me afterwards that no one on my team had ever done that before.

<br /> <a href=”” mce_href=””>Please select all of the categories that describe your soccer playing experience.</a><span style=”font-size:9px;” mce_style=”font-size:9px;”>(<a href=”” mce_href=””>poll</a>)</span><br />

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  1. Gelade

    March 16, 2010 at 12:15 am

    I used to play when I was in grade school. My father was the coach, and he was the reason I played. I guess he was on the verge of going pro back when he was 16, although the standards for that here probably are not as high as most other countries. Due to some issues he eventually had to give that up though.

    It’s probably been about 10 years since I have actually played any football. I really regret not continuing to play it. I have not been physically active for most of the last 10 years, and want to pick up football once again. Chances are I will be dead on the pitch after 5 minutes, and I already forgot most of the rules. I think I will look around for some people to play a pick-up game with though. I wasn’t too bad of a DF back when I did play.

    I sure miss playing now.

  2. Patrick H

    September 24, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    Played as a young one through high school and some into college, though I never made the varsity squad there. Still play on three outdoor amateur teams Spring-Summer-Fall and a semi-pro indoor team in Winter. You try playing outdoors in Seattle in winter. It’s not all that fun. 😉

    Three games a week plus a couple practices keep me in love with the beautiful game even as I hit the 30 mark. I’ll echo Forrest’s comment about feeling injuries and fatigue more and more as the years go on. Slight knocks that I used to shake off in a day or two are now a week of ache. Stlil, we soldier on for the joy and thrill. 🙂

    Come on Toffees! Upset those Reds!

  3. Adebayor

    September 24, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    played goalie since i was born in nigeria. moved to the states started playin striker in the 8th grade through 10 changed to defensive midfielder during the season, and cant wait till spring.

  4. Huh

    September 24, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    I have played both amateur and semi-pro as well as the School teams.

    I Played for two local amateur teams the most being impressive being East Manchester, a very good North West England side. I also played for a team called Garratt Rovers who were also known as Elgar F.C for a time regarding local council sponsorship. The Garratt was where my football heart lived as I also managed this team for 4 years. You may notice I talk about them in the past tense as sadly they are no more. My other love in football is Man City, as you may have noticed!

    While at East Manchester was asked to if I wanted to turn out for Droylsden F.C but this was not for me! So Hyde United came calling and with big money! £50 if you got on the pitch, but you could also keep up your Sunday football on so this was great! I played 3 times at Droylsden and 10 apps for Hyde. In 96′ I had a freak accident and broke my ankle I badly tore the ligaments when the goal post had been removed and the covers not put on in pre-season training, as the grass was a touch longer I didn‘t see the hole and went over on my ankle. I played in parts of the following season but the ankle kept giving way on jumps (even after phyiso). A centre half who can’t jump is useless, also I didn’t fancy walking with a limp for the rest of my life so that was the end of the playing days at 27. I could have been the next John Terry LOL.

  5. randomsausage

    September 24, 2009 at 12:17 pm

    Here’s out Northern California Over35 League. Pretty well organized and a few new teams joined this year. Ronnie Eklund, ex-pro for Quakes/Southampton/Barcelona, plays on one team!

  6. jim

    September 24, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Some more options would be better, I play 7v7 half field in a amateur league.

    Pretty sure most of the guys/girls here are playing pick up or organized recreational games.

  7. Matthew N

    September 24, 2009 at 8:53 am

    I wish I could play in a league but they don’t have anything like that around here… They don’t even have intramural soccer at my MAJOR state university (only 7 on 7 and it is coed, so pretty much you can never find enough women to play). I’m hoping that I can play intramural or club soccer while I’m in graduate school (or at least a weekly pickup game or two!!).

    • Gaz

      September 24, 2009 at 10:15 am

      Look outside of the university and into into your local county – they almost always have at least an indoor adult league.

  8. gary

    September 24, 2009 at 2:56 am

    since i moved here for work last year, i play every saturday in seoul. I play on a korean team. we’re all in our 30s-40s and our team is actually quite skilled.

    my fifteen minutes of fame kind of moment came here, scoring from a corner kick, tucking the ball neatly behind the near post with a crazy curve that brought both the goalie and the man on the post out far enough to confuse both before they could do much.

    when i eventually leave korea, i’m going to miss the competitive play with older guys. my saturdays will never be the same.

  9. randomsausage

    September 23, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Still play a few times a week. Over 35 indoor seven-a-side and now our over 35 outdoor team has started.

    Anyone going to the Kings Cup in Vegas in January. We have an appalling over 40 team!!!! Pray that you play us.

  10. Forrest

    September 23, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    I started playing when I was 7 years old at the YMCA and continued playing club and high school soccer until I graduated. I didn’t get to play too much during college, not enough time for anything more than the occasional intermural game. I was very happy to be able to start playing in an adult rec league after college, and now it is almost year round between the fall and spring seasons, half-field 7 v 7 in the summer, and usually indoor during the winter. The longer I play the more I appreciate the players like Ryan Giggs and Dennis Bergkamp who were able to keep playing at a very high level well into their 30s. I turned 31 this year, and I definitely feel the effects of a game longer than I did in my mid-20s.

  11. Chris from Texas

    September 23, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Where’s the “Started Playing in Later Life” option?

    I started playing after the 2006 World Cup. I had never touched a soccer ball before then!

    I usually play in three different leagues and have gone from complete crap, to a decent player. If you think of me like Lucas Leiva you would not be far off.

    The sport is hard, but is challenging both mentally and physically. I wish I would have played growing up and can’t wait to ruin my future child’s life. I will name him Stevie G…

  12. coachie ballgames

    September 23, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    seconding what Gaz said, never played for a varsity team in high school or college but have played, and continue to play random games in the park. “jumpers for goalposts”

  13. Evan

    September 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    I’m 14 and i’ve been playing since i was 7. I’m also a pretty good freestyler. football is my life, and i hope to some day be pro

    • ovalball

      September 23, 2009 at 2:51 pm

      There are lots worse aspirations. Go for it.

  14. Ryano

    September 23, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    I grew up playing like most typical American kids in the 80s playing rec soccer and didn’t take it particularly seriously. Then I watched the 1990 World Cup and fell in love with the game. I know… That particular World Cup was dismal, but I didn’t have anything with which to compare it. I’d never seen professional soccer on TV.

    That summer just happened to be the summer before my senior year of high school, and I decided then and there that soccer was my sport. I’d always been a good athlete (I also played basketball, tennis and baseball). I went on to captain my high school team and walked on to a DIII University team.

    I then moved to the DC area where I played in the International leagues and that is where the highlight of my career. I was playing in the semi-finals of a tournament that was being broadcast on the biggest Spanish language radio station in the area. Unfortunately our team lost, but I had a monster of a game. I was pretty bummed out until I spoke to some of my friends that had listened to the game on the radio. I’m a pretty big gringo (6′ 3″ and 200+ lbs) and since I was seeing a lot of the ball, the announcer had given me a nickname… El Giganton (the giant)!!!

    That was it. I had made it. 🙂

  15. Rafe

    September 23, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    Age 47-still playing in an open rec league

  16. Gaz

    September 23, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Which reminds me… you should have another options in there. Still play as an adult (but not professionally).

    • The Gaffer

      September 23, 2009 at 12:39 pm

      Good point.

      The Gaffer

  17. Gaz

    September 23, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    When’s the EPL Talk adult league (or over-30 league) coming? 🙂

    • The Gaffer

      September 23, 2009 at 12:39 pm

      That would be a sorry sight to see for many of us. Lots of aching muscles and moaning the day after each game, I’m sure.

      The Gaffer

      • Gaz

        September 23, 2009 at 1:08 pm

        Damn right. 🙂

  18. Jesse chula

    September 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Played as a kid growing up in FLA & then in leagues at High School age. Tried Indoor with some good results before injuring my knee badly. Haven’t played since & miss it terribly. For those that can still play, enjoy it.

  19. Eric

    September 23, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    Played in high school back in the dark ages of American Soccer (the ’70’s). Assisted on the winning goal via a cross from the right wing to win our conference championship 4-3. Tried to model my game after the Bayern Munich right-back Manfred Kaltz(with mixed results)

    • randomsausage

      September 24, 2009 at 11:53 am

      +1 for the Mannie Kaltz shout out. He looked so German, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him overlap with a Bratwurst in one hand and a liter of Bitburger in the other.

  20. Canadian newbie

    September 23, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    just played my first game on Monday – we lost 5-2, but it was amazing being on the pitch under the lights, etc. i’m new to both watching and playing the beautiful game – it’s a markedly different experience seeing the action on the pitch than from the broadcaster’s booth. can’t wait for next monday.

  21. CA_backpacker

    September 23, 2009 at 11:51 am

    And the wife and I still play recreationally in a “indoor” 6v6 soccer league, she plays in 2 other women’s leagues, and an “outdoor” 11v11 league!

    • The Gaffer

      September 23, 2009 at 12:12 pm

      I forgot to mention in the above article that I met my wife on an indoor pitch. And I ended up proposing to her during half-time on the pitch at a Miami Fusion v Tampa Bay Rowdies match in front of 12,000 fans.

      Soccer has been an integral part of my life.

      The Gaffer

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