Soccer, football, call it want you want but it’s what I was reared on as a child. Of course the GAA played a role too but I was soccer mad as a kid. My father took me to every single Ireland game in what was then known as Lansdowne Road. He took me to the World Cup in America in 1994 and on numerous away trips to follow the Boys in Green. I was utterly obsessed.
I was also bonkers about English club football long before the transfer fees skyrocketed out of control. I fell in love with Blackburn Rovers the year before they won the Premier League title. I idolised the likes of Colin Hendry, Stuart Ripley and Tim Sherwood. I used to love to watch the silky skills of David Ginola on the wing for Newcastle United and the power of Tony Yeboah up front for Leeds United. I hated Manchester United just as much as Kevin Keegan did back then too!
I knew absolutely everything about every single team in the Premier League back then. And in the First Division and even the Second Division. I was a total and utter soccer nutter. I ate, slept and drank it.
My children, however, couldn’t be more different. I myself fell out of love with the game and what it has become. Yes, I wholeheartedly appreciate the skill of certain players and love a fairytale story such as Leicester City’s a few years back. However, it’s too money oriented these days; it’s out of control if you ask me and it’s for that reason the game doesn’t feature that much in our house. The GAA is king in Chez Chambers.
In saying all that though, in the last couple of weeks, you’d swear the Premier League was the be all and end all to us. It’s all thanks to Aidan’s new found obsession with Match Attax. For those of you not familiar with the concept, it’s a Premier League trading card game to put it in its simplest terms. Aidan first heard of Match Attax from his older cousin Tom in Galway. He watched Tom collect them but that’s as far as it went.
In the last few weeks he’s developed an addiction to the little cards with Premier League players on them and all because one child at school has a similar obsession. He’s not the only one in his class that has caught the bug either! In some ways I don’t mind because now when we go to the shops all he asks for is a €1 pack of Match Attax instead of looking for jellies, chocolate or crisps.
But here’s the funny thing; the poor child has no real clue what Match Attax even are! Well, he knows there’s pictures of football players on the cards but that’s the extent of his knowledge! I’m pretty sure all the kids in his class are in the same boat but poor old Aidan is really out of his depth but nothing would do him only to be one of the Match Attax gang!
When he gets one of the cards that’s a club crest I always ask him who he thinks the club is. So far the answers have included Dublin, Meath and Kildare! He calls Wolves the foxes and has zero idea that Leicester, are in fact, the Foxes!
He also has no idea of how the whole things work. Some of the older kids approach him in the yard in the morning to get a look at his spare cards to see if they can swap with him. Just yesterday a kid took a card from him, one that he needed but just before the child offered Aidan a swap didn’t my fella freak out. There was no way he was parting with the card despite already having it in his Match Attax folder! You see, not a notion of what he is supposed to be doing. It’s hilarious watching him!
He’s also obsessed with getting the Mo Salah card just because another child in his class is equally obsessed. Now Aidan hasn’t a notion who Mo Salah is! Indeed if Mo Salah sat down beside him my fella wouldn’t bat an eyelid! I’m half tempted to tell him he already has the Liverpool attacker but he’d be left vulnerable to ridicule of I did that to him!
I suppose he could be obsessed with a lot worse and it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I just find it funny. I don’t think Aidan has ever even watched a Premier League game; he claims he ‘hates’ Chelsea even though he knows nothing about them and is convinced all these players live close by just like his GAA heroes! Isn’t the innocence just lovely really?
If an obsession with Match Attax is all I have to deal with I can count myself one lucky mammy! He’s not into computer games, he’s in to little cards with random men on them! I’m kind of glad he doesn’t know the price of those random men mind you!
I’m just waiting on him now to start looking for a Liverpool jersey with Mo Salah on the back of it! I could probably but him a Chelsea one and he’d be none the wiser mind you!