The Passion Of The Game Personified In Underage Football

Andrew BarrySenior Analyst IJuly 7, 2008

Football is a game where passion prevails—skill is only a supplement. Without wearing your heart on your sleeve and going the distance for a mate, it's worthless.

That is the truth. When you put on your club's shirt and colours, you're fighting for each other. You rally together against the opposition to get a result and that result is all that matters at the end of the day.

That is what is missing in our modern game. On so many occasions, I have witnessed defenders, midfielders, and strikers pulling out of a tackle. They turn away when attempting a block.

Yet, they don't care, they will be rich at the end of the day regardless of the scoreline.

Underage football is where this passion is, not at these top flight clubs academies. In Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, and United's academies, the focus switches to skill and individual greatness.

It's all about bettering yourself, why pass? If I score this wonder goal I could be elevated to greatness.

Take my team for example, we are just a bunch of lads with very little talent—bar one or two. However when we head to the field or astroturf, we'll divide into teams and it's game time.

When we're playing, you'll always have one player constantly shouting to his team and to a lesser extent ours, "Passion wins football matches" and "Put your body on the line."

We go for every ball there is to be won; slide tackles and elbows fly but when that tackle is successful, there is admiration from your mates.

This lad has the passion and does what it takes to win the football.

We're starting a team and the fourteen of us, without a team for the last number of years, are now facing those serious players. The ones who didn't give it up after everyone else did because they were useless. It's a challenge.

It's a challenge the elite seem to have regularly forgotten, ranging from Joey Barton's prison sentence to Ronaldo's messing around of United fans. Perhaps keeping Portugal in the Euro's should have been his one and only goal.

My team are hell-bent on winning some silverware this year, hell-bent on showing belief during the course of our gruelling season, and hell-bent on trying to restore some much needed passion to the game.