“Careful with our goalie” – Rodric Leerling

indoor goalieEvery once in a while I have to ref veteran futsal teams. It’s confronting with my own age and I highly respect futsal players with an average age of 55.

But don’t underestimate them as they can be very demanding. But you can slow down as referee as the speed is much lower than an average game. And they don’t get a referee very often, they told me. So now I was available, they thought they could start calling for even the lightest things, half of them I would ignore or wave off.

The most remarkable player last week was the home team goalie. I guess he must have been 60+, measuring against my own (misleading) age looks. The beatings he took! Unbelievable when you consider the kind of balls that are being fired on a futsal goal, even by veteran players.

These veteran players have been playing for some years and are just slowing down. But not when hitting a goal I can tell you. The old man screamed, begging almost, to stop these balls earlier. He got them in his stomach, on his legs and arms, but kept his team going by stopping the opponent heroically. I showed him my admiration afterwards and he just smiled. Glad he could still do it and if he had to suffer from the bruises for a few days, so be it. I promised to tell the U16 team next time!

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