Game Day: Meet the Barnstormers

We’re all missing hockey right now so today, we hear from Matt Close, the Men’s Barnstormers Captain on what it’s like to lead this team of ‘past-their-best, middle-aged men’…

How long have you been Barnstormer’s Captain?
Officially a year, but some would argue we’ve been rudderless since Richie binned it!

What’s it like to captain this group?
In my day job I am the Senior Deputy Head of a school with 1,100 girls (11-18 yrs) and over 250 staff, which is significantly less time consuming than organising a team of 11 past-their-best, middle-aged men every Saturday.

What’s been the season highlight so far?
Having a subs bench with someone on it as we fight for the honour of watching.

What’s been the biggest team success?
We haven’t had double figures scored against us this season so we will take that as a win!

What should we all know about the Barnstormers?
By the time you are old enough to be a Barnstormer, you are wise enough to know that once the final whistle blows, the only thing that is worth worrying about is who is going to the bar.

You’re our fundraising champions raising the most to help fund our pitch. Can you give us one highlight from the Barnstormers’ first game on the blue pitch?
I am a Barnstormer, so I have no idea who we played against, the score nor when it was. The biggest highlight to playing on the new pitch is having the excuse that the pitch is too modern and that is why I did not stop the ball. Back in the day when we played on grass…

Does the team have any game day rituals?
If losing counts as a game day ritual, then I would say yes! If it doesn’t count, then the only thing guaranteed on game day is that Mike will be late.

How does the team stay fit and motivated during lockdown?
Fitness is very much a personal thing. I would say we are as fit in lockdown as we are in normal times. Indeed, one could argue we are fitter as the injuries are fewer! Motivation is down to leadership!

Finally, when we get back to the Club, is it all about fajitas or burgers?
Burgers… with a fajita chaser!