The midweek 6-a-side football team ‘EPL Tragics’ is in crisis after suffering a 4th straight loss for the season, The Public Apology can reveal.
Following a 7-1 drubbing at the hands of mid-table team ‘Wine Cellar Dwellers’, TPA understands that showdown emails were exchanged between the skipper ‘Mikey’ and a collection of unnamed senior players this week.
The team’s rapid plummet to the foot of the Suburban Over 35s 4th Division table is being keenly felt within the club, with one senior player reporting that “it’s tough to play with certain people, and what’s more I’m just absolutely flat stick with work.”
In an email excerpt leaked to TPA, the skipper was advised to “remember the early season objective: to enjoy playing football and enjoy each other’s company.”
Responding to speculation about his leadership, skipper ‘Mikey’ spoke directly with TPA and sought to explain his approach.
“We were so excited going into Round 1,” he said.
“There were literally hundreds of emails going back and forth. Things like ‘can I be number 7 – Beckham ;)’ and ‘let’s play three banks of 2-2-1 with a floating regista.’
“The boys were coming up with kit designs by hand, approaching sponsors, and you wouldn’t believe the banter around our team name.”
“It was all good banter.”
“As captain I eventually decided on EPL Tragics FC, which narrowly defeated ‘Banter XI’ in a close one!”
After arriving in Round 1 with 12 players for the 6-a-side competition, losses are mounting for the team affectionately known as ‘The Tragics’, with their most recent loss condemning them to equal last place with a slightly superior goal difference.
“It’s not good enough,” said Simons. “And I have told my team that – via email. Once they start understanding my philosophy and their roles, I’m sure we can put a run together.”
“For example, my role is three-fold,” he explained.
“As organiser (or quasi-manager if you like) I am responsible for our team selection and tactics. Football at all levels is a simple game often complicated by intellectuals and foreigners. My message has been simple: get it out wide and get it in.”
“My second role is on-field captain. I ask the players to give 100% for me, and ask that most of the play comes through me as well.”
“And finally, my third role is as striker – or ‘number 10’ if we need it. I ask for simple balls to feet, or for crosses to hit their target, aka me.”
“If we need some variation, I ask them to look for the ‘L1 + Triangle’ pass for me to run on to. I will always make the run.”
When pressed on why The Tragics found themselves at the foot of the competition, the skipper didn’t hesitate.
“It just seems everything is going against us: refereeing decisions, the poor state of pitches…”
“And of course some players just haven’t shown up to games. Figuratively and literally.”
By Sam Perry