Out of your comfort zone…

There are a lot of special moments in football. But Jos Boesveld enjoys football the most when the match is being disturbed.

In Camp Nou, a black cat appeared on the pitch during the game FC Barcelona–Elche CF this past weekend. I loved it and still laugh about it now. However, it doesn’t beat my all-time favourite moments during a football game. I love it when an outfielder, a defender, midfielder or an attacker has to take the place of the goalkeeper because the goalie is injured or sent off.

It makes me happy when I see such amateurism during the Eredivisie. If you see a player put on the gloves, immediately you see that he isn’t comfortable with it. In the Heerenveen-Excelsior match last weekend, it happened again. After Ola Toivonen in the last season and Ricky van den Bergh in 2010/2011 it finally happened again. Jordy Deckers of Excelsior was dismissed and because his team already brought on three subs, a player had to take his place.

Kevin Vermeulen was the unlucky one. I tried to take a look at his face when he realised he was the one who had to take place under the crossbar. Did he volunteer? Has he shown these goalkeeping skills during training? Nevertheless, Vermeulen’s first job was to stop a penalty and keep a clean sheet for ten minutes. Of course he didn’t manage the clean sheet. The home side scored two goals in ten minutes and Excelsior lost the game.

The reason I find players out of their comfort zone hilarouis, this may be because I myself was in this situation one time. I doubted for a long time, but it’s time to put my embarrassing story out there. In my younger years I was a central defender. As the big boy I was back then, I did pretty good. With our team we managed to proceed in the amateur cup, meaning we would face stronger opponents.

We were facing a team that was playing three of four division above ours and in that division, they performed really well during that season. It’s like Milton Keynes Dons vs. Manchester United all over again, except the fact that we cannot win this match, ever. It got worse during the warming-up, when our goalie got injured.  We had no replacement for our first goalie (don’t ask why), so we needed a player. Our bench contained five defenders, a midfielder and a striker, so it would be logic to replace the goalkeeper with a defender.

I do not know why I accepted the challenge. The coach asked me, because he thought I would be the easiest player to replace on the pitch. I did a quick warming-up, not knowing what I had to do. I caught some shots, tried some kicking and felt ready. Boy was I ready… We lost 16 to 1. Our defence was bad, I was even worse. It was my first and last time in the goal. Never again.


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