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What would you do if you were 10 years old?

6 years ago
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I had to smile at Jose Mourinho’s appraisal of the performance of our ball boys…and not just because it’s always enjoyable to see the opposing manager lose with bad grace.  He is right – our ball boys are rubbish.

Imagine you are a ten year old boy.  Maybe you are a ten year old boy, in which case this is going to be a piece of cake.

The rest of us – those grown-ups that attend every Newcastle home game – will have to use their imaginations to picture what it would be like to be told that they were going to be ball boys at St James Park.

Can you imagine the excitement?

How would you behave?  Me, I would be perched on the end of that stool they make you sit on and hope against hope for the opportunity to get up, run and retrieve the ball for Tim Krul, say, Fabricio Coloccini perhaps, or even some visiting superstar like Wayne Rooney.

I would be anticipating the ball as it came anywhere near my position and would be kicking or throwing it firmly towards the player who needed it.  To be honest, I’d be the same if I was asked to do the job today.

(To feature like Stephen, send in your articles for our website to [email protected])

So, my question is – do the current crop of real ball boys feel the same way?

My guess is that they don’t.   Let’s face it, most of the time the team is in a hurry.  We are either a goal down or it’s scoreless and the team is desperately trying to raise the head of steam necessary to score a goal.  It’s at this point I become acutely aware of the apathy that affects the little darlings that ring the pitch. Their arses appear to be super-glued to their seats unless the ball is within three feet of their stool.

Now, why is this?

Is it because they have been drilled by their superiors into a state where they are frightened to transgress some regulation?

Have they been told on no account get on the pitch or rise from their stool unless the ball practically hits them?

Perhaps it’s the particular kids that make it into the team.  Are they children of rich and influential parents, who, although not particularly keen, are pushed into it by their dads?

Or, are kids just different these days?

I honestly don’t know and throw the question out there.

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