Who needs the boring Premiership, with their overpaid players with bad haircuts, when the Panathlon Challenge 2010-11 football season is underway?

Thursday 13th January 2011 saw the football competitions begin in the West, at Wembley. Unfortunately we were not allowed on the hallowed turf, and instead played at the Goals venue within eyesight of the famous Arch. If the remaining tournaments are as exciting and unpredictable as this one, we are in for an incredible season!

56 players from Harrow, Ealing, Brent, Hillingdon, and (for the first time) Hounslow came together to play a total of 24 matches. The standard of all teams were incredibly close, which resulted in highly competitive and open games. Such was the quality that 219 (yes, two hundred and nineteen) goals were scored, at an average of over 9 goals per game!!!!

The performance of the day, without a shadow of doubt, and agreed by all, was the U16 goalkeeper from Brent. Yasir Mohamed arrived in his manual wheelchair, but went into goal on his knees, and proceeded to hurl himself at every shot which was fired at him. Top or bottom corner, driven or placed, no shot daunted him. Only 11 goals went past him in 3 competitive games, and he helped his team to second place in the U16 group. Only goal difference deprived them of the top spot.

I will leave it to one of the team teachers who was managing a team that said: ‘ I think it worked really well and efficiently and was nice to have friendlies too. The refereeing was sensitive and astute and allowed players to participate fairly and with dignity and to have a competitive but fun experience.’

Premier League? We’re havin’ a laugh!

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