By now the 2017 Lewis and Harris football season will be underway. I know this because my wife still draws me a dirty look every time I mention it.
Why? Well nearly every year the season either kicked off on her birthday or on the day she would be expecting me to stay in and celebrate with her so it was a bit of a sore point in our household.
Remember I played island football for nearly 20 years so I still have a lot of making up to do.
These days I only film the matches so I can easily miss a game to be with my wife on her birthday but back in the day I used to turn up for the match slightly concussed as I attempted to dodge all the things she threw at me as I ran out the garage door!
I was a mangers’ nightmare in that respect as I was always last to arrive in the dressing room.
Luckily I managed to find my name on the team sheet more often than not but if there was a time limit for players turning up then I would probably never have played football.
These days’ managers would be happy just for their players to turn up as local footballers now seem to have other priorities.
Just ask any manger to show you their mobile phone bill when the season ends and you would be amazed at the amount of chasing up they have to do.
Injuries are another thing for managers to contend with as the number of players missing matches over a season is becoming a worry.
For the older players it is either the good old pulled hamstring or sprained ankle but the younger ones love a modern injury as every week there seems to be someone with an anterior cruciate ligament, meniscus tear or metatarsal fracture.
The hospital is full of players getting treatment with the latest techniques and gadgets which is a far cry from old school football.
We would always keep our injuries a secret from the manger because if he ever found out that you had a sprained ankle he would make you sit beside the big Belfast sink whilst he scalded you with boiling water for 10 minutes before shoving your ankle into ice for another 10. Old managers and trainers swear by this method whereas we just swore at the pain we endured.
It worked though as before the next match they asked how your ankle was and you would tell them it was as good as new before limping onto the pitch with your teeth clenched to dull the pain.
Ah the good old days!