Thursday, June 17, 2010

FC Nightmare

Small town politics ain't got nothin' on Girls U10 soccer. There is a bitter Cold War going on in our town between parents of girls who play for the town and parents of girls who play for private clubs and while I am not one of the key players, I am most definitely a satellite. Call me Ukraine.

My daughter has always loved soccer and is a reasonably talented player. I have no illusions that she is the next Mia Hamm (unlike some parents, cough, cough) but she's good and with the right training she could be really good. Until now she has played on teams which do not require tryouts but we are not in Kansas anymore (figuratively speaking, because we never were actually IN Kansas, thankfully).

In February, during a winter soccer clinic, my daughter was asked repeatedly to join a private club for the upcoming season. My husband and I were thrilled for her but she wanted to play for our town with her friends so we let it slide. Repeated requests to try-out came in the spring so my daughter decided to give it a whirl. Bottom line: she tried out, they turned her down. She played well but existing team members were guaranteed their spots (because Daddy bought the team outdoor lights, cough, cough) and there just wasn't a spot for her. How to explain that life lesson to a 9-year-old? Shit happens?

Fortunately, she made the 'A' team for our town and is playing with her friends and is happy. Now we are struggling to find a coach for them. I know they are desperate because they asked my husband to coach and, while very fit and motivated, he has never played a game of soccer in his life. There is a wonderful candidate - the father of another girl on the team - who played through college and is everything you could hope for in a coach, but his older daughter pulled out of our town team to play for a private club and so he is blacklisted. We are starting a campaign to reinstate him. I wish I were kidding.

What message does this send to our girls?

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