Non-biting Suarez is going to be something special

2014-08-04 15:15

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Saturday. The Croc and I are hanging around waiting. Again. This time it’s not for the Commander in Chief. Or His Majesty.

This time we’re lurking on the side of Dumisani Makhaye Road. Waiting for a muppet who wandered off with our accreditation for the Under 19 football tournament.

Needless to say, we’re a little angry. We’ve just driven from Bergville to pick up our tags and are running late.

Factor in the fact that it’s my first match report in my new career as a footie writer and the swearing that Henson’s vile spawn receives on the roadside turns out to be pretty brutal.

Tags retrieved and we’re back on the move.

We make it to Princess Magogo Stadium in time for the 3pm kick-off. Just.

The KZN XI vs Boca Juniors academy side. S’celo Qwabe’s team are decent, but Boca are too good for them. Put one in from a short corner on 30 minutes. Soak up the pressure in the second half and put in the finisher.

Boca have this youngster called Leonardo Suarez.

Suarez terrorises the KZN defenders until he’s subbed just before 90 minutes. Puts in the second goal while he’s at it. Manages not to bite anybody or hurl racist insults.

This Suarez is gonna be something special.

Leonardo Suarez of Boca Juniors tries to score past Andile Mbanjwa of KZN Academy. Picture: Khaya Ngwenya/City Press

I’m scribbling notes every time somebody kicks a ball. Or makes a tackle. There’s no big screen so I’m battling to keep time. The sun in my eyes doesn’t help. I’m squinting between notebook, team sheet and laptop while trying to watch the game.

By the time 90 and four extra are up I’m finished. My head is spinning. This is hard work. Far harder than writing politics. Or muck-raking. There’s no speech, no recorder, no TV feed, no slow-mo.

I hit send. We’re done.

I don’t know how I feel. Part of me’s stoked that I’ve made my debut and managed not to make too much of a fool of myself. I hope. And there’s something cool about being an old dog and learning new tricks.

Another part of me’s sad that football has become work. I’ve always managed to keep the two apart. Then again, if things carry on like this, maybe I’ll end up lying around on the beach and smoking herb and writing about it. One lives in hope.

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