Apologies for using a VERY old photo!
Well, in honour of the Women's World Cup having started recently, I'm recalling my football-playing days with this story...
Charlie The Champion of Chestnut FC
School days for Charlotte were never much fun.
She'd sit at her table, feeling really quite glum.
For Charlotte - or Charlie as she was known to all
- was much happier outdoors, kicking a ball.
Charlie longed to play for her school team,
Chestnut FC; yes, that was her dream!
But the boys on the squad would give her a glare
And yell "you're just a girl!" It didn't seem fair.
So Charlie would practise, all on her own,
Dribbling and striking until she ached to the bone.
Practising step-overs and nutmegs in her own special dance,
Wishing Chestnut FC would just give her a chance!
Charlie attended all of their games,
Cheering from the sidelines, calling out the boys' names.
A more loyal supporter, the team couldn't find,
But playing for them was on Charlie's mind.
So one day, she begged and pleaded some more.
"Please let me play and I promise I'll score!"
The captain, Billy, shrugged his shoulders and said:
"Okay fine, you can sit on the bench."
Charlie was thrilled - she'd be the team's sub!
And she'd sure show those boys, if her number came up.
The boys secretly snickered; they didn't need her.
But Charlie was so giddy, their words were a blur.
The day of the match finally came.
Charlie was ready to play her first game!
She sat on the bench and awaited her call,
But the team played so well, it didn't come at all.
By half time, the team were leading five-three.
Charlie sighed, as she thought: "they don't need me."
But soon into the second half, the other team scored.
Suddenly five-three had turned into five-four!
Within a few minutes, a player took a dive...
"Penalty!" The ref shouted. That made it five-five!
Billy the captain slipped over and... No!
He'd twisted his ankle; he had no choice but to go.
"Charlie," he shouted. "You and I need to switch!"
And with a frown on his face, Billy limped from the pitch.
Charlie rushed to her feet; it was her time at last!
She dashed onto the pitch and called for a pass.
She darted, she weaved, she passed and she ran,
Charlie was a player now, not just a fan!
She struck the ball as hard as she could,
But it wasn't easy; their opponents were good.
The match carried on and the score stayed the same.
But Charlie was desperate to win her first game!
As the final few minutes began to tick by,
Charlie ran faster, with a fire in her eyes.
She soon got the ball and she ran down the pitch,
The other team tackled her, but she didn't flinch.
Charlie could see the goal and she wasn't done yet,
With one huge strike... SHE HIT THE BACK OF THE NET!
The crowd all went crazy, the boys on the team, too.
"Charlie! We couldn't have won without you!
You're on the team for good," they cried
And Charlie felt proud and ecstatic inside.
She'd proved she was every bit as good as the boys,
By showing her skills, her talent and poise.
Now, she was finally what she'd dreamt she could be;
Charlie, the champion of Chestnut FC.