The Off-Season: Withdrawal Level – Emotional Quivering

I can’t speak for the others, but my Spartans withdrawal has surpassed previous levels of loafing around on a Sunday and checking the BAFA website every minute of the day, to a level I now call ‘emotional quivering’. It’s a step down from rocking gently in a corner because, to be fair, I do have a job and a husband and other thing to keep my mind off it, but it only works so far.

I think the widely broadcast failure of our great nation to make it past the Group stage of the Rugby World Cup in our own country of hosting has made it slightly worse. I remember sporting failures before Twitter, and they were a lot more dignified back then because you could hide a bit more easily (or storm out into the garden to cry a bit, like my dad did circa FIFA World Cup 1998) and the temptation wasn’t there to extort one’s rage on the public masses.

Having said that I don’t suppose without such things as Twitter many people would know who we are, in this day and age, so there we go.

But anyway, emotional. Any sport, if you really love it, is a hugely emotional thing for a lot of people. It’s bad enough to lose or embarrass yourself with relative privacy, let alone in front of the entire world, 4 billion of whom have got access to Facebook and Twitter and OF COURSE have an ill-informed opinion on what you just did. It must be lovely.

I’ve mentioned before the mad person who likened the end of Wimbledon to the finishing football season, and I suppose I have to acknowledge them as kindred spirit because it is a mild mourning. It’s like feeling homesick. I think I can graciously put us higher up the list of sufferers than the people who called up the ‘One Direction have split up and I don’t think I can go on’ helpline, but if it wasn’t for the NFL season going live pretty much the minute our season ended we may well have created a helpline.

And phoned it.

A lot.

It’s all getting a bit more tolerable as we steadily march in the direction of our Come & Try sessions, the first of which takes place three weeks tomorrow! The Academy are kicking things off – literally – in the half-term holidays with their first of three Come & Trys at Gateway Academy in Tilbury, 11am – 1pm if you’re under 18 and in the area.

It’s so exciting to see the emails rolling in every day from new prospective players, looking forward to attending our Come & Try days and joining the team. I’ll never forget last year’s rainy, rainy sessions, taking someone’s girlfriend for a coffee in the faint hope that it would change her mind about the sport and encourage her boyfriend to play (as she was, at the time, staunchly against it!) and almost drowning in Dagenham.

Whilst I cannot confirm that I will be giving away free coffees for disapproving members of the public this year, it IS going to be the stuff of legends.

But you’re going to have to be there to see it! See you there.