The game of 5-a-side football is 90% mental. Immediately as you arrive to the pitch you are being judged.
- He's Dave's mate.
Is he any use?
-Dunno, looks decent though.
This is a typical conversation between two regulars at a 5-a-side football match discussing a new member of the group. Typically "looks decent" can refer to the keepy-uppies you do as you wait for the game to kick off, the boots you are wearing, or, most often, the gear that you have dressed yourself in for a football match.
It may seem stupid, but that's the way it is, and there is good reason. Just as some stereotypes are there for a reason, what you wear to 5-a-side may be a direct reflection on your football ability.
Short socks, low-key training gear.
"I'm good. Like, trials with Charlton good."
If you wear short socks, boots, football shorts, and a training top, does that make you a better player? Absolutely not. Does it make you look like a better player? Absolutely.
Think about the best player you have ever played 5-a-side with. Think about what they were wearing. If you dress like you look like you belong on a football pitch, it will take your teammates and opponents much longer to figure out that you are crap. You can get away with a few mistakes before they stop giving you the ball, unlike some of the others on this list.
GAA shorts and or jersey.
"Lets get physical!"
Roughly 100% of unnecessarily physical challenges at 5-a-side are caused by people wearing GAA shorts. It's not because they are particularly malicious, they just enjoy exercise and physical contact so much that their eagerness to get stuck in gets the best of them.
People think twice before going up for a header with a lad in a GAA jersey, it's common sense.
Full team kit.
"I still pretend I'm scoring the winning goal in an FA Cup final in my backgarden."
Someone get Peter Pan on the phone, another lost boy from Never Never Land has been found.
When children under the age of 10 wear their full kit around the place, it's adorable, as they are pretending to be their favourite player. When a grown man does it? It's just creepy.
If you wear the full kit to 5-a-side, you leave your teammates with no choice but to pretend you don't exist.
Obscure/retro football jersey
"Please pay attention to me."
-Hey, what jersey is that?
It's the Grasshopper Zurich away kit from 1999, you know, the one they knocked Bray Wanderers out of the UEFA Cup in. I've been looking for it for a while but finally found it for £14 on eBay. I had to pay extra for shipping to Ireland because it was coming from a remote village in Switzerland that doesn't have a post office.
Look at me. I like football so much. Lets have a conversation about football. I bet I know more than you.
"I don't go outside much."
Tracksuit bottoms are far more constricting than shorts, so if you show up in a pair of trackies, you're making people think that you don't own a single pair of shorts, and therefore you don't like the sun and rarely leave the house.
Unless you're that nutjob who wears trackies because you slide everywhere. In which case, calm down.
Penneys shorts and t-shirt
"I'm just here to make up the numbers."
You know the lad.
Penneys flower pattern board shorts and a cheap t-shirt that says "Ibiza" or "California 1928" on it. This lad throws on the first thing he can find after he got a call 10 mins before football starts to make the numbers up, and he'll offer nothing to the game.
If someone is out of position because they're off chatting about something, it's this guy.
Ridiculously tight gym t-shirt
"I go to the gym. I also have terrible cardio."
Bonus points if the word "nutrition" is on it somewhere.
This guy is a gym rat, and he's proud about it. He'll shoulder anyone within a 3 meter radius but he'll be absolutely gassed after 15 minutes because treadmills are for pussies.