Everyone who has sampled the joys of part time football will understand the importance of a good car school. Playing in the seaside leagues you will do anything to save £14.50 on petrol. If that means 5 of you cramming in to Andy Munro’s mums Fiat Punto then so be it.
I listened to Si Ferry’s podcast with James McPake (well worth a listen) and I was chortling along at their anecdotes of what that they got up to whilst car sharing. The stories in that podcast are all too familiar to what I’ve experienced. I have managed to share the car experience with several different characters over my time in lower league football – ranging from the maturity of Darren “Robocop” Dods to the stupidity of Iain “Billy Bunter” Campbell.
However there are common themes and personalities that I have encountered in pretty much every car. Below are some that those in the lower league will have came across on a regular basis.
The guy whose car you never see
“My car is at the garage”, “My mum is using the car”, “I spilt yoghurt on the seat”. You let him off at first but as the season enters winter you realise you’ve never seen his car – he will give a plethora of reasons why his car is not there but he’s not fooling anyone, we all know he’s a tight c***!
The guy who sits on his phone all the way back home
It is a long drive there and back from the beautiful seaside town of Arbroath but we are going to need you to get involved. This guy is usually updating his social media rotating the same phrases on a cyclical basis. These will usually consist of, “Great 3 points, lads were unbelievable, fans were magnificent” and are usually followed up with #ontothenextone #wegoagain. Give it a rest mate, your 438 followers don’t care. This guy needs to contribute more to the car discussion or he won’t last long in any self respecting car school.
The guy who wrestles or toy fights
Surprisingly these fellas tend to be late 20’s or early 30’s. You usually have two of these guys in a car school at a particular time. They tend to take seat belts off and wrestle each other until the other submits. It is usually done to assert their authority and to show who the alpha male is but that’s ok, I know I am the alpha male because I like books…
The Music Man
This varies from what region you are from. You certainly don’t want to be stuck with the West Coast guy who plays Scooter for 2 hours. You definitely don’t want to share with a teuchter who will insist on back to back plays of Pitbull. Your Dundee lot seem to only listen to the View. The Edinburgh school (The leather breeks brigade) are a much more sophisticated bunch, we like the finer things in life – Turn up Classical FM. Whatever musical genre it is, you better get used to it, there’s only 100 training sessions and 44 games to get through.
The Games Master
This guy has the ability to create a game out of nothing, this is really important to cover dead time. Whether that be “guess the wrestling theme tune”, “Hide the Toenail” or a simple game like “would you rather” it definitely helps with time consumption. There are certain games that can’t be discussed in the public domain because what happens in the car school stays in the…
The can’t put the ball away guy
“What formation will the gaffer play today?” “What do you make of Jonny McSorley the new Dumbarton winger?” “If I had been 4 yards to the right we could have prevented that goal”. OK, we all like football but from flat door – to Gayfield – back to my flat door that’s nearly a 4 hour commute. I’m going to need you to pitch in with material from a different topic. However this lad’s heart is in the right place, traditionally he is the one that buys the coffees without being asked.
In all seriousness, the car school is a bond for life and those who have never experienced it will never fully understand it. The beauty of the car school is that it has forced me to make friendships with those I had no interest in making friends with. It turns out those who you made judgements on are the same ones you become best friends with. As a self claimed middle class boy, my mother didn’t like me talking to the riff raff from Niddrie, Stenhouse and Bingham. These are the guys I have formed bonds with that are thicker than blood. Sorry Mum the car school wins.