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WHEN FOOTBALL BECOMES YOUR LIFE WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT Featured

Brothers Ajani (left) and Na'im had the chance to meet Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney after practice at The Cliff. Rooney's son and Na'im train in the same group./*Photo by Carla Zuill Brothers Ajani (left) and Na'im had the chance to meet Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney after practice at The Cliff. Rooney's son and Na'im train in the same group./*Photo by Carla Zuill

Gosh, I haven’t blogged for a moment. Truth is I’ve been busier than I ever imagined. Yes there’s this thing called parenting which I think I’ve got down pretty well (counting the days until my daughter arrives and then my family will be once again complete!). But, I’ll be honest, my time management skills have been tested more than ever because of the one things my sons probably love more than me…football!

Yes at home, most times I had to split time between two locations, usually BFA field and BAA at the furthest with the occasional PHC but this…is a totally different monster.

At first catching a bus or an Uber was the only way to survive…then came Beulah my beloved 2003 Golf I was blessed with. Okay so I thought life was definitely gravy after that. No more waiting on others to determine my travelling fate.

Beulah (we all call her that and people are like, ‘Umm, who’s Beulah?’ LOL) is reliable although at first her muffler sounded like a v50 with a clogged pipe, but in my mind it sounded like a Ferrari especially when I geared down (sometimes the imagination is the only thing that gets you through, don’t judge me!).

Once the muffler was welded she can actually do around 74 before she starts quaking!

Okay okay I’m digressing!

So once the boys started playing in one ManU’s Development programme it was cool. A straight shot, 20 minutes ago. Twice a week. Then it increased to three times a week. Then Jani joined a club team which added another day of training and a game each week. Still no conflict so I was good.

Then the time I had been dreading came. Jani was set to play in a tournament in Salford on a Saturday morning. Fine, we’d just the whole day there. But on Thursday I receive a text from an unfamiliar number.

“Hi, can Na’im play in a tournament with us on Saturday morning in Flixton.”

And of course, the start is identical to his brother’s. So the first thing I do is pull out my phone and start calculating distances from each to my house and then between the two tournaments. Somehow I had to make this work.

First thing I do is call the coaches and they are understanding and I get some wiggle room. Then I sat the boys down and explain the deal so that neither feels like I prefer one over the other, because one will have to get dropped off and be alone while I run the other.

To be honest, I thought the youngest would have the problem as he is always glued to my side. And we the one I had to drop first.

“Mommy, it’s okay. I’ll be okay. See you when you get back.”

And off he went with his new coach for the day.

Now off to take Jani, watch a game and then dash back to watch one of Eems’ games and then we finish out the day watching Jani’s last couple of games.

Remember that M60 I was so terrified us...it’s now a Godsend!

At the end of the day I was so tired.

And then the phone rings the next day (calls always seem to change my life out here!)

Both Ajani and Na’im were invited to train with Liverpool. Jani on trial for six weeks and Na’im in what is termed “pre-contract”. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. Sixty-six miles round trip each time.

But I’m the girl who would catch the train to Liverpool in order to avoid the motorway (even when I had Beulah!).

I looked at the train schedule and it wasn’t working with time so I had no choice but to do it.

I’m now in week three and it’s not so bad anymore. I’m thankful for the tiny village we have because they have done two of the runs for me (the club understanding how far I drive have removed one of Eems’ days for now but come September it’s the full shebang). Last week no one was able to assist me so that meant Na'im had to miss a training. And yes I cried, but I had to remind myself that I could only do so much.

Thankfully United finished for the summer for Ajani just before he started with ‘Pool so no conflict, but come the end of next month, the insanity continues again.

So now you see where I’ve been and I have no clue where it’s all going. And I’m working too, but thankfully I’m self employed so wherever I go my computer follows…I need to name her too. Any suggestions?

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