Being only 18 years old, I only have one true love. It’s my passion, it’s my religion, it’s my inspiration, it’s all I ever talk about, it’s the reason why CP4LIFE is here today, it’s pretty much the only thing that is constantly on my mind 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, football.
I have played football now for more than 13 years and I’ve never had more respect for the game. I wasn’t always this crazy about the sport, so I’m going to tell a story about how this came to be.
When I was younger, like most children in Australia, they have a massive decision to make at the age of 5, what is going to be their first sport?
I chose football, not because I appreciated the game, or because I followed some big club in England or because my parents forced me into it, I chose football because of the reason how most children come to a decision, their friends are playing it.
For the next 4 years, my attitude towards was still the same, it was just something to do on a Saturday, but then I discovered CP football.
Now still being only 9 years old, my attitude didn’t change much, but it did give me the incentive to train harder than ever before, because when I turned of age (14-15), I would have the opportunity to represent my state in football.
Still another few of years past by and to be brutally honest, I probably didn’t train harder than I would have if I wasn’t playing football. It still didn’t mean that much to me, football was close to the bottom of my priority list at this moment. More time passed, so say I am about the right age to be picked for NSW team, I was probably training a lot harder then I was 12 months previously, yet my heart and soul wasn’t still into it.
Luck was on my side and I got picked for the team. It was a bigger moment for me then I expected it to be. I had been training with the same boys for 4-5 years, and I still had never played a competitive game with them before, I was excited!
The national championships finally came around and my attitude changed. The reason being is when I hadn’t been picked for the team, I had a lot of doubt whether I would ever be picked (it’s a CP thing, especially around that age to have absolutely NO confidence what so ever, so you doubt yourself a lot…), but now my name was on that team sheet, finally after 10 years of footballing, I had something to play for.
The first match came around and I was a nervous wreck, I was terrified before the game, I had mind-set of instead of trying to play good football, just not to make an error. You think this game would stick out in my mind like it happened yesterday, but when I think back, I don’t remember anything that happened.
I don’t remember what position I played, what team it was, or even the score (although, I remember we won…), the only thing that I can think of when I played my first game for NSW is the thing I was missing most in footballing ability, not skills, not fitness but the love for the game. Even though I can’t remember any of the details of the game itself, I remember seeing my teammates and one in particular, Chris Pyne treating the game like it was a life or death situation, not win or lose.
And that is what I lacked the most in football at the time, my love and hunger for game. The mentality that every single game I play is a life or death situation, so I had only one solution, learn to love the game the way that Chris does, so I did…