Within a matter of hours of joining Acumen in January 2009, Russell Petts announced that we needed to set up a 5-a-side football team. Unable to come up with any convincing excuses why we couldn’t do this we quickly signed up for a local indoor 5-a-side league and our team (initially christened ‘Steve’) set off on a footballing journey that has almost claimed the lives of some of Acumen’s finest.
Featuring a backbone of Acumen staff (Russell – one-footed striker; David M – no nonsense defender; Simon Starkey – comedy keeper) we drafted in an eclectic blend of waifs and strays to make up the numbers with mixed results. Spirits were flying high after an opening day 9-5 win. These spirits were subsequently shot down in tatters as we then went on a 7 game losing streak.
We took a long hard look into the depths of our souls. That didn’t seem to work. We drafted in some better players and ‘lo’ results picked up. High points included drafting three 15 year old lads into the side 2 minutes before kick-off to avoid expulsion from the league and subsequently turning over our bemused opponents. Low points included a humbling defeat following our stand-in goalie getting knocked out in the first minute but continuing between the sticks for the duration. It was quite funny though…
Slowly but surely we got our act together and put together an impressive run to the end of the season that saw us finish 6th in the 12 team league. In the player of the season honours Russell came joint 4th and Simon came joint 7th in the league. With a heightened sense of expectation and a greater commercial angle on our boss, we secured new shirt sponsorship from Paul and set about season two.