Sunday League football is legendary. I was never a gifted player, but I was fortunate enough to manage a local team of friends for three years. What an amazing three year we had. There were stunning victories, embarrassing defeats and moments that still force me into an uncontrollable smile. Here is why you should never mock Sunday League football. 

A kick-about with friends is always fun

Sunday League football is a reason to get a bunch of friends together and play football. What could be wrong with that? Football was always popular at school so why not get the gang together again and have some competitive matches on a Sunday? It really is a great way to stay in touch. As well as enjoying the football, you’re sure to enjoy the social element too. I’ll discuss the social side more in a bit.

When I was managing a team, I had quite a few parents tell me how wonderful they thought the whole thing was – and they were right. A lot of the lads had naturally fallen out of touch after school so it was great to bring the old crew back together again.

Good fitness

Playing football is unquestionably good for your fitness. Plus, if you take the game seriously, mid-week training sessions are another good source of exercise.

Winning is a great feeling

As a Sunderland fan, I’m not used to seeing the team that I follow win. However, some of the best victories in my life came as a manager of a Sunday League team!

The games were often intense. The effort the chaps put in was usually superb and the games where we battled to a narrow victory were the very best, in my opinion. Winning is a great feeling. And winning in a group with your pals is even better.

Build relationships with the local pub

Why not see if your local drinking establishment will sponsor your team? It’s great to have a social hub after games. And who knows – they may even put some food on for you if you drink enough!

Ongoing social events 

The social element of Sunday League is probably what I enjoyed the most. We had frequent get-togethers, mid-season curries, Christmas celebrations and even a trip to Budapest.

Funnily enough – we even had a “crisis curry” when things weren’t going our way on the pitch. Almost unbelievably – it worked and we had a strong end to the season.

Any excuse would do to get the lads together for some food and drinks!

“Banter” and local rivalries 

Where there is sport, there is rivalry. And this is no different when Sunday League is concerned. We always had a good relationship with the local team and played them once in a “friendly”. I can’t remember the score.

The biggest rivalries we had were against teams with particularly unpleasant players and staff. One team in particular comes to mind – but we definitely got the better of them.

Memories that will last a lifetime

It’s a given – you’ll witness some moments that will cause you to laugh uncontrollably. Open-goal misses. Mis-timed tackles. Stunning goals. On pitch arguments. Painful nutmegs. Unplanned air-shots. Ridiculous bicycle kicks. Celebrations that beggar belief. Goalkeeping blunders. Sunday League has it all!

It gets you out of bed in the morning and frees up the rest of your Sunday

What else would you be doing if you didn’t have to get up at 8:00am on a Sunday to play football? Sunday League allows you to get out of bed, play a game of footy and be home for a late lunch – freeing up the rest of the day to do whatever you please! Often, playing football on a Sunday can be seen as a burden, but this isn’t really the case.