IT HAS been said that you can build a football field anywhere and there will always be players to make use of it.
Near my house, there is a football field which was sponsored by the housing developer. In the beginning, the field was filled with players every evening. But, as time went by, the ground started to settle and the field bore uneven surfaces.
Each time it rained, puddles of water could be seen all over the field. The field was so uneven that it was dangerous for the players.
After that, I could see only a small group of players on selected areas of the field. Besides that, the field was hardly used. The irony of it was that the grass on the field was cut every month without fail, by the contracted cutters.
When I was a staff member at an estate in Perak, our favourite pastime in the evening was to play football. By 5.30pm the field would be filled with players, young and old. A majority of them played without football boots, kicking the ball at the goalkeeper before the actual game.
When the time came for the actual game, each player was allowed to choose which team to play with. At times there would be 20 players on each side, trying to get the ball … it was almost impossible!
One evening just before the start of the game, I announced that those without boots would not be allowed to play and must leave the field. There was silence for a while, and then they grudgingly left the field.
It was so much more fun playing with the extra and proper space.
A few days after my ruling, as usual I went to field at 5.30pm. The players then chose their sides.
I could not believe my eyes when I saw the field was packed with players again, including the players whom I had ordered out.
And, this time they were all wearing new boots and socks. They stood there grinning at me. Well, this time I had to accept them in grudgingly.
Hj Roslan Mohd Isa