Nolito

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Sports  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is the story of a boy called Nolito, in his first season playing soccer. This is my first time and I know the story could be boring so please comment and tell me how to improve.

Submitted: January 05, 2011

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Submitted: January 05, 2011

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Nolito is a 13 years old. Since learning about football this has been his only ambition in life. This is the story of his rise to fame. Nolito was 13 years old, when he first started to play club soccer. Before then Nolito was a very avid supporter, but couldn’t play for club because that was the orphanages policy for club outdoor activities- they had to be 13 years or over. Now Nolito was an orphan, who knew nothing about his family. The only family he had ever had was the orphanage. But Nolito was happy and full of sprit. He had been found on the doorsteps of the orphanage, located in London, with the only information being his name is Nolito and he is Spanish. He had always felt a link to Spain and had always wanted to visit, but the orphanage just couldn’t let him, as they had very small funding money. Nolito had his 3rd club match tomorrow. It was the first match away from his club’s field and he was anxious. But then, he told himself he had no need to be worried. He was bigger than the average 13 year old, and also very fast. He had great creative skill and technical ability. He was without a doubt the best player in his football club. After dinner Nolito went to sleep, anticipating the next day. CHAPTER 2 The sun crept in through the window. Nolito woke up and squinted towards the light. He jumped and felt full of energy. He packed his bag, with his boots and shin pads and went downstairs. He had toast for dinner, the same old toast, but even that could not dip his spirit of playing the game he loved. After saying bye to the orphanage leader- Mrs Morrison, he walked out to the clubs field. Because it was an away game, there was the club bus waiting for him, where otherwise they would have started training. On the bus he sat down next to his best friend Sam. Nolito and Sam discussed the upcoming match and what they were to do. Suddenly there coach Mr Smith, told them to quieten down as he had an announcement. Nolito’s face grew wider in amazement as Mr Smith explained. It was like a dream come true. The football association was now sponsoring the league in which Nolitos club played in. Whichever team won the league would get a free 3 week trip to Spain where they would watch the most highly anticipated game in Spanish La Liga- the El Clasico. This was a game between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, the 2 most powerful clubs in Spanish football, and basically the world. The whole bus cheered as the coach finished the explanation. Barcelona was Nolito’s favourite team, and the match was being played in the huge stadium, the nou camp. Nolito knew that his team would have to win the league, they just had to. He would finally be able to visit Spain, his dream since he found out that he was Spanish and also watch his favourite team. At the moment Nolito’s team where 3rd after 3 matches on goal difference. He happily told Adam this. But Adam looked down. Nolito asked him what the matter was. Adam said that in their age group, the same team Westfield had won the league for the last 3 years. Because Nolito was new to the club he had no idea who they would be versing. But Nolito promised himself that he would break with tradition and bring the league trophy and the Spanish trip to his club Greendale FC, and beat Westfield FC. They were doing well in 3rd place. There were 12 teams in the league and they played each other just once, which meant no mistakes. Whoever finished the league in 11th and 12th place would be relegated to division 2, while whoever finished above that would stay in division 1. Westfield had been promoted to division 1 3 years ago, and last season had finished 5th. Nolito got up from his seat and went to see the timetable on the bus. They were going to be versing Westfield in their 12th game, the last of the season. Greendale was not seen to be in the top 3 and therefore, the last game of the season for Westfield was pretty easy. Supposedly. Well, they have not seen me play, thought Nolito to himself. This was the season Westfield was going to cause an upset. Nolito went and sat back on his seat. After 10 minutes of waiting, the bus stopped at the home field of Preston FC. As Nolito remembered the charts they had finished 8th last season, but you never underestimate your opponent. CHAPTER 3 The match kicked off. Adam was a striker and he passed it straight back to Nolito, who’s preferred position was as an attacking midfielder. He started the attack. Pushing forward, Nolito back-heeled to Jerry, the left midfielder. Then Greendale started to attack. Nolito again got the ball and held 2 defenders at bay as he worked hard to find a pass. He passed to Adam who ran forward and took on a defender. He beat the defender, and then ran up the right- flank, too fast for any of the defenders before putting in a swerving cross. The cross was met by Harry, their tall striker, who directed the ball with his head into the net. Greendale 1-0 Preston!!! As Preston took the restart, Greendale pressed forward like the coach had told them to. Nolito remembered his words; constant pressuring will make the opposition panic and make mistakes. You must take advantage of those mistakes. Nolito also helped the midfield to pressure giving Preston no chance. Then the Preston right-back spilled the ball Adam who was their right midfielder immediately seized the ball, before passing to Nolito on the edge of the box. Nolito took 1 touch before looking up, and then smashed the ball into the top right corner. The keeper had no chance!! Greendale 2-0 Preston!!! Preston looked beaten, but Greendale was wrong. Immediately Preston attacked from the restart. They pierced through the heart of midfield. Nolito put in a few sliding tackles but they always rebounded straight back to a Preston player. Then the Preston player hoofed it straight into the box. Nolito looked on as the ball was headed by the Preston striker, but it went over as it did not dip enough to go into the top corner. Greendale survived these moments of pressure and then attacked straight again. But then the referee blew his whistle for half-time. Greendale started the second half. The ball was passed straight to Nolito and they Greendale attacked. After taking a few rogue shots and missing a few opportunities, they broke through the Preston defence again. Adam passed the ball to Nolito, who passed it to Jerry, the left midfielder. Jerry looked up and then threaded a perfect through ball to Harry who ran onto it. The Preston keeper charged out, but Harry concentrated and then chipped the keeper. Greendale 3-0 Preston!!! After this goal Preston were defiantly beaten going forward once or twice and then losing possession. Greendale pressed and pressed and eventually Preston succumbed for the 4thtime. Jerry took a long range shot which was gathered by the keeper comfortably. However in looking for a pass to a teammate, he accidentally passed it to Harry who shot straight into an empty net. The Preston keeper looked out in shame as Greendale celebrated. Greendale 4-0 Preston!!! Greendale decided to slow the game down by playing a passing game, leaving the Preston players to chase the ball. But even so the Preston players had lost as the referee blew the whistle to signal the end of the game. Greendale had won their 3rd game in a row!!! As they went over to the computer on the screen in the changing rooms, they looked at the table.

Teams: Played: Won: Drew: Lost: Points: Westfield FC 3 3 0 0 9 Derfit FC 3 3 0 0 9 Greendale FC 3 3 0 0 9 Hull FC 3 2 0 1 6 Parcroft FC 3 1 1 1 4 Weymouth FC 3 1 1 0 4 East Coker FC 3 1 0 2 3 Kulga FC 3 1 0 2 3 Preston FC 3 1 0 2 3 Narton FC 3 0 1 2 1 Torquay FC 3 0 1 2 1 Stanchester FC 3 0 0 3 0

They were right up there with Westfield!!

CHAPTER 4 The bus was full of cheerfulness after their great result. Also they were 3rd in the table level on points with 1st and losing out only on goal difference. Suddenly remembering the name Derfit FC, Nolito asked Adam who they were. Adam replied that they had finished 3rd last year although they had a squad which contained some academy players from professional clubs. Nolito asked why they were not playing for the professional teams. Adam laughed and then replied they had been chosen but they would play games only next year so they decided to play club right now. Nolito nodded in understanding. The bus arrived at the Greendale fields and Nolito got out. He said bye to his teammates, before walking to the orphanage building. Nolito did nothing for the next week. At school, he was being praised by his club mates and friends for the quality of the goals he had scored and the part he played in every goal. A week passed and Greendale destroyed bottom of the table Stanchester 4-0. But yet they were still 3rd to Derfit and Westfield. Derfit overtook Westfield through goal difference but it was still very tight at the top of the rankings. As Nolito looked on the internet for which team they were playing next. It was Kulga FC. Kulga were unlucky to have played Westfield and could have been higher. They were going to be the hardest opponent Greendale was going to face so far in this season. Nolito went to sleep early on Friday as always ready for match day on Saturday. After having Indian food from the orphanage as a treat he went to sleep. As the sun warmed his body he woke up, feeling refreshed and ready to play some football. He packed his bag and went downstairs to have some breakfast. After breakfast, he threw his bag over his soldier, said bye to Mrs Morrison before walking down to the Greendale field. It was match day 5 and the game was at home to Kulga which gave Greendale an advantage. Most of the team was already there warming up and doing regular drills. Nolito went straight in and joined them. As they were warming up, they saw the Kulga boys arrive. They were big, bigger on average than Nolito’s team. They would probably be very physical, and so Greendale needed to play quick, decisive passes. It was time for the pre-match talk. Coach Mr Smith laid out the formation and talked to them about the game plan. The formation was a 4-1-2-1-2, the most varied and best for defence and attack at the same times.

Chapter 5 Kulga won the toss, and kicked off. Already their strikers ran up the pitch while their midfielders and defenders hoofed it up the pitch. Well that seemed to be their only game plan. But it worked for them because as soon as their big strikers got the ball, they were off. The midfielders ran up to support them in case they needed it. But the strikers just ran up the pith using to huge bodies to barge their way through. Eddie and Connor stood together and as Connor made the sliding tackle, Eddie was there to clear it. But then Kulga got the ball again, and because of the size of them they were causing problems, just pushing the ball past. Blake the strongest player in the team was also pushing back at them, and when one passed him, he stuck out his leg and tripped him. The whistle blew, and it was free kick right at the edge o the box. This was dangerous, and Jack the goalkeeper adjusted the wall. Nolito could not make an impact on the team yet and Jack told him to stay in the wall. The Kulga captain stood up to take the free kick. After what seemed like eons, but was only a few seconds, he ran forwards to kick it. The ball flew towards the top corner and Jack could not keep it out. Greendale 0-1 Kulga. For the first time Greendale was losing, although it was not the first goal they had conceded. After the goal Greendale woke up. They tested the Kulga keeper with a lot of efforts particularly from Nolito. But the Kulga defence held fast. Then the referee blew the whistle for half-time. The players wearily walked over to their coach. Mr Morrison told them there was no need to worry, and there was still another half. He told them to put a lot more pressure, and when you have possession don’t let Kulga push you off the ball. With these words in mind Greendale walked out and took the restart. They started to attack with quick one-touch passing. As the ball started to stay in the Kulga half a bit more, they started making reckless challenges. As Tom their other centre-forward got the ball and beat a defender he was cut down on the edge of the box. The player was given his marching orders and Greendale was given a free kick, almost identical to the position in which Kulga had scored from. Nolito was their main free kick taker and he stepped up to take it. The Kulga wall was big, but Nolito knew he could get it over them and make it dip into the goal. He stood there, watching and looking. The referee blew the whistle and Nolito ran forward. He struck it, and watched as the ball curled away from the wall and back onto the goal. But the keeper leaped at the ball and made a remarkable save, and the ball went out for a corner. Nolito went over to take the corner. He spotted Eddie making a run straight into the box and whipped in the corner. It was perfectly timed and Eddie had no problem jumping and directing the ball into the back of the net. Greendale 1-1 Kulga!! They were back in the game. Greendale full of confidence again attacked. Shot after shot was fired at the keeper who was having the game of his life. More Greendale players came up looking to pounce on something or otherwise just pressure Kulga so much that they did a drastic mistake. Jerry cut in from the left, and took a spinning shot. It was saved and then the defender kicked it straight into the Greendale half. Their striker, who was very fast, received the ball. Because almost everyone was up the pitch, it was just Eddie and Connor. The striker ran straight past Connor who was too slow, before dummying Eddie, who was their last hope. Now it was up to Jack who ran out but the striker rounded him before firing into an empty net. Greendale 1-2 Kulga. As Greendale took the restart their morale, was down after this goal had been scored against the run of play. Yet they still attacked, and they got their reward. Nolito jinxed his way past 2 defenders before squaring for Tom, who struck the ball very powerfully. The keeper had no chance and Greendale equalised for the second time that day. As Kulga kicked off, Greendale players swarmed forward, searching for that winning goal they so desperately needed. Kulga was doing everything to keep them at bay, but Nolito and co, was everywhere. Adam got the ball, and then passed it to Blake. Blake narrowly avoided a tackle for a Kulga player before chipping ball over another Kulga player straight back to Adam. Adam jinxed his way past 2 players looking for the perfect opportunity to score. He found and unleashing a powerbolt. The keeper stretched but could not get to it. Adam was already celebrating but then watched as the ball rocketed against the post. It then fired back straight to Nolito in the box. He chested it down, took another touch to take it away from the reaches of a defender before firing into the net. Greendale 3-2 Kulga!!! As Kulga restarted the game from kickoff Greendale went straight into defensive. They stayed together giving no room for Kulga to advance. The game was won and Greendale celebrated. Nolito had scored his 3rd goal and it had turned out to be crucial. He was on top of the world. They all went over to the electronic board to check their place on the board.

Teams: Played: Won: Drew: Lost: Points: Westfield FC 5 5 0 0 15 Derfit FC 5 5 0 0 15 Greendale FC 5 5 0 0 15 Hull FC 5 4 0 1 12 Parcroft FC 5 2 1 2 7 Kulga FC 5 2 0 3 6 East Coker FC 5 2 0 3 6 Weymouth FC 5 1 1 3 4 Torquay FC 5 1 1 3 4 Preston FC 5 1 0 4 3 Stanchester FC 5 1 0 4 3 Narton FC 5 0 1 4 1

They were keeping pace at the top of the league and they were still 3rd on goal difference. The 2 goals Kulga had scored had cost them. But Nolito was very happy, to score the winning goal, and to have won. If they had not won, they would not be in the running still. As he walked back to the orphanage, he dreamed what going to Spain but be like. He imagined the huge Nou camp and the atmosphere. The amazing skills of players like Lionel Messi, Xavi, Cristiano Ronaldo and David Villa. He just wanted to visit Spain so badly. Without the football to keep him occupied Nolito was very bored. The orphanage had a few games consoles, and 1 of his favourite games FIFA 11. But he suddenly remembered that this Wednesday, it was the champion’s league semi-final leg 2, Barcelona vs. Chelsea. Wedensday night could not have come faster. Nolito hopped onto the sofa, ready to watch the game. His friend at the orphanage, Sam also joined him. Sam was also a avid football fan, but did not have anywhere near the skill Nolito possessed. He was very jealous and happy for the offer Nolito could have, if he won the league. The match kicked off. Whoever won this match would go through to the final, because the 1st leg at Stamford Bridge had finished in a 0-0 stalemate. As Barca was the home side they kicked off. They employed their beautiful one-touch passing, leaving the Chelsea players to tackle dirt. Very soon the match got competitive. Goal!!! Barca were down!! Nolito’s heart broke as Chelsea broke the deadlock. A cross in from Ashley Cole, cannoned off the back of Dani Alves, and Micheal Essian volleyed the ball, and it connoned off the bottom of the crossbar. It was a spectacular goal, but that meant Barca were down. Soon Chelsea adopted a very defensive stance, but Barca attacked with venom. They passed the ball well, looking for the correct openings. But they were still down at half-time. Barca started the second half well, and Lionel Messi hit the post from a long-range effort. Barca had the initiative and Nolito sensed they were gonna score. But the clock ticked on, and Chelsea were still due to go to the final. The firm defensive approach from Chelsea, had reduced Barcelona to long shots. And then suddenly Ashley Cole retrieved the ball from a Barcelona attack, and kicked the ball Upfield. Anelka beat Puyol to the ball and was through on goal!!! But then Eric Abidal, clattered into him. It was a straight red card. Now Barca were a man down, against a determined defensive Chelsea, needing a goal to advance to the finals. Messi put on another moment of magic, and got through the defence, and he was also through on goal. He cut in, leaving John Terry in his tracks and was poised to take the shot that would save Barcelona. Nolito held his breath, waiting and praying for him to shoot. However John Terry had got back to his feet, and then slide-tackled Messi, cutting him down. It was a penalty and a red-card for John Terry!!!! Lionel Messi stood waiting for the referee’s whistle. It came and he ran forward, and struck a sweet ball to the left. However, Petr Cech dived correctly and saved the shot!!! Nolito groaned in disappointment. There was 2 minutes left to go, and Barcelona was attacking with full power. Samuel Eto’s shot rebounded off the post straight to Xavi who passed it back to Messi. He looked up and passed it to Iniesta. He passed it to Theirry Henry, who passed it back, it Iniesta who shot. It was saved by Petr Cech, and Bojan quickly recovered the ball. Nolito looked away, and went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. He knew Barcelona were going out, and felt very disappointed. ‘Yesssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss’, screamed Sam from the living room. Nolito dropped the glass, and ran into the living room. Barcelona had scored, and was through to the Champions League Final. As Henry’s shot had rebounded off Ricardo Carvalho, it had fallen to Messi, who stepped inside 2 Chelsea players with his immense talent before passing to Iniesta. Andres Iniesta then shot 1st time into the top corner. They were through, and Nolito could feel the celebrations of the Catalan supporters. It was an unbelievable goal and an amazing piece of skill from Messi. He had most certainly redeemed himself for missing the penalty. Barcelona were through, to the final!!! Nolito went to sleep feeling very satisfied and happy. 2 Weeks went by, with Greendale winning both of their matches. However, in week 8 they would be facing Hull FC, who was behind them in 4th. If they lost to Hull, then they would need a miracle to get back in the title race. Nolito went to sleep, ready to verse another hard team. As the sun rose, so did Nolito. He did his Saturday ritual, of waking up, packing his boot bag and eating toast for breakfast. This match was also home, so Nolito only had to walk to the fields. He came in and joined the light training taking place. He spied the Hull boys. They were nowhere near as big as Kulga, so there game must be based around technical prowess. Mr Smith was using exactly the same formation as he had used against Kulga. That had worked very well, even against people that hacked you down as quick as possible, although Nolito had a feeling that Hull were not gonna do that. The game kicked off. Hull very fast, and used this to great effect. They moved around, and their positioning was perfect. Soon Greendale found themselves a goal down. But Greendale forced their way back into the game. Nolito tested the keeper with rogue shots, before they got serious. Nolito found himself in a very tight space, and used his technical ability and body power, to force a way out. He then turned his body away from the defender rushing at him, before threading a well-timed through ball to Tom who had cut in from the right. Tom’s first time shot was well-placed out of the reach of the Hull keeper. This was how they went into half-time, scores locked at 1-1. As the second half started Greendale dominated. Save, for a few counter-attacks Greendale had all the shots and chances. They were rewarded for this spectacular form, when they scored to take the lead. Adam as usual was troubling the defence, troubling them enough that they made a mistake. The centre-back’s pass was not strong enough to the midfielder, and Adam intercepted. He ran out wide, before crossing it in. Nolito knew that he could not twist his body enough to head the ball properly, so he directed the ball towards Jerry, who poked the ball home, with his left foot. It was 2-1 to Greendale, and they had all the momentum now. They kept thrating and 10 minutes before the end, Blake out-muscled a Hull midfielder, before hitting a perfectly weighted through ball to Nolito. It was a 1-on-1 and Nolito stayed calm and, hit the ball straight to the back of the net. It was 3-1 to Greendale, and they had commanded the second half to come out with an important win. Nolito and the boys went to check out the table as always: Teams: Played: Won: Drew: Lost: Points: Westfield FC 8 8 0 0 24 Derfit FC 8 8 0 0 24 Greendale FC 8 8 0 0 24 Hull FC 8 6 0 2 18 Parcroft FC 8 5 1 2 16 Kulga FC 8 3 2 3 11 Torquay FC 8 3 1 4 10 East Coker FC 8 2 3 3 9 Weymouth FC 8 2 2 4 8 Stanchester FC 8 2 0 6 6 Narton FC 8 2 0 6 6 Preston FC 8 1 2 5 5

They were 3rd, but it was so frustrating to lose out on goal difference, again and again. Oh well, Nolito thought. The next 3 matches are the most important. They had Derfit FC away, in their 10th match, and then they had Westfield FC, as their last match. This match was also away. These 2 matches could be the thing that separates us 3, and who takes home the title, and the coveted trip to Spain.

Nolito was very anxious through the next 2 weeks, as he waited for the big match with Derfit FC. They easily beat Torquay 3-1 but against Derfit this was going to be the hardest and also the most important match they had played. The big day arrived. Nolito as usual packed his bag, before going downstairs to get his toast. As this match was away, Nolito had to walk to the field, and then catch the Greendale bus. He did just that, and very soon they were on their way. The atmosphere in the bus was of excitement, but the boys also feared Derfit. They had lost to them 3-0 last season, Nolito learned, so it was up to Nolito and the other new boy Blake, to make the difference. Nolito needed to attack, and help the midfield, while Blake needed to defend and help the midfield. As usual after they arrived there, they had their 30 min training session. Then Coach Smith talked them through their priorities. He explained that this would be the hardest match they had ever played, and to stay in the title race they HAD TO WIN. Otherwise they needed a miracle to win. Derfit kicked off as they were the home side. They played quick, passing football, which allowed them to keep possession very well. They advanced into the Greendale half, and the defenders just could not get the ball. The ball was passed around very well. Nolito ran back to help the defence. Due to his bigger stature, this caused Derfit’s attack problems. Just after Nolito intercepted a through pass, and he was off. Dodging a defender he chipped another, straight into the path of Harry. Harry took one touch which took him away from a defender before shooting. The ball curved, and curved straight into where the net was. However the Derfit goalkeeper made a good save, and grabbed the ball. He threw it out, into the path of their centre-mid, who attacked. Their quick passing left the Greendale players chasing dust, and very soon their lone striker was through on goal. Beating the last defender, he rounded the keeper Jack, before firing into the unguarded net. They were up 1-0!!!! Encouraged by this they attacked ruthlessly, but could not find another goal that half. Greendale kicked off the second half, and began brightly, but they were pushed onto the back foot, yet again by Derfit. Their passing and movement was causing problems. Connor in sheer desperation brought down the attacker in the box, as he was preparing to shoot, an almost certain shot. It was a straight penalty. The Derfit striker stepped up. Jack concentrated watching the ball. The referee blew the whistle and the striker kicked the ball. Jack however, guessed correctly, and made the save to the right. However, the ball rebounded off Jack, and the striker was awarded yet another empty goal. He made not mistakes and made it 2-0. Greendale clearly had some work to do. Derfit were performing remarkably well as a defending unit. They marked well, and shut them down, making it difficult for Nolito and the other attackers to find space. The game was drawing to a close, and they desperately needed a goal. Nolito had a tame shot, which bounded around in the enemy box, before finally being cleared, by the defender. However it was cleared only as far as Will, who had come up to provide support. He crossed the ball straight back into the Derfit box. It was confusing as the ball, was kicked at, and it bounced at aimlessly in the box. Amid all this confusion Nolito muscled past a few defenders also fighting for the ball, and had a powerful first time shot. It flew into the net and Nolito had made it Greendale 1-2 Derfit. However after Derfit kicked off, the referee blew the whistle, and Nolito’s goal proved to be nothing more than a consolation. As they wandered off the pitch feeling sad, after their first loss, they went to the electronic table. They were still third but now by 3 points. Glancing up at the fixtures, Nolito saw that Derfit were versing Westfield in their next game. If Westfield beat Derfit, and then Greendale beat Westfield, then they could win on goal difference. There was still hope!!! Teams: Played: Won: Drew: Lost: Points: Westfield FC 10 10 0 0 30 Derfit FC 10 10 0 0 30 Greendale FC 10 9 0 0 27 Hull FC 10 7 0 3 21 Parcroft FC 10 6 1 3 19 Kulga FC 10 5 2 3 17 Torquay FC 10 5 1 4 16 Stanch ester FC 10 3 1 6 10 East Coker FC 10 2 3 5 9 Weymouth FC 10 2 3 5 9 Narton FC 10 2 2 6 8 Preston FC 10 1 2 7 5

Nolito was very angry, about the loss, but not at his teammates. He was angry with himself because, he did not have enough confidence, and because he faltered at the first big challenge they had. They needed to win both their next games to be in with a chance to win the league. Throughout the next week, Nolito was practising every trick, and move and practising set pieces, for the next match. They were going to play Parcroft FC, who was fifth in the table. Even though they were not considered giants, they had caused Hull, Kulga and Derfit problems. Derfit had scored the winning goal thanks to a penalty against Parcroft, and Parcroft had beaten both Hull and Kulga. If luck had gone their way, and had they not lost to some smaller teams Parcroft could easily have been sitting near the summit, at the table. They were going to cause Greendale some problems, if they played their best. So then Greendale would have to concentrate their hardest, and try their hardest if they want the title. Well, Greendale most certainly want the title, and Coach Smith, inspired them with his pre-match talk. Greendale walked out there full of spirit and excitement. They played very good football, the type the coach had wanted them to. Within a minute, they had their first very close chance. Blake had come forward closer than normal, and passed it to Adam. Adam, always the optimistic one had a long range effort. It was struck well, but the goalkeeper was on alert and saved it. However the rebound came right to the feet of Harry. His shot missed the goal, by a few inches, as the defenders made his work harder. Nolito was very influential in this game, running everywhere, passing and looking for opportunities. His bigger presence was also causing the defenders problems as he pushed past many of them, never getting the final killer touch. After many close opportunities both teams went into half-time neck and neck. Greendale kicked off the next half, and went instantly attacking. Parcroft were very resolute in defence, and they held on. Their goalkeeper was probably the best of any team, and he was constantly making saves. Also the defenders did their job very well, cutting out space and closing down their opponents. But Greendale were playing very well and soon scored their first goal. Nolito as usual was involved and had a beautiful chipped pass straight over the top of the defenders to Harry, who was presented with a easy finish. Winning 1-0 Greendale slowed down the pace, and was just passing it around. It was a comfortable 1-0 win for Greendale, even though they had not won by much. They walked of the pitch knowing that the result between Derfit and Westfield would probably decide who was in with a chance to win the title. Nolito walked slowly up at the electronic board and looked at the results. He mouth grew into a wide grin, as he saw that Derfit had lost to Westfield 1-0. Nolito remembered the league was decided on head to head results. Because Derfit had beaten Greendale by 1 goal, and also Westfield had beaten Derfit by 1 goal, if Greendale beat Westfield by 2 goals or more, they had won the title.

Teams: Played: Won: Drew: Lost: Points: Westfield FC 11 11 0 0 33 Derfit FC 11 10 0 0 30 Greendale FC 11 10 0 0 30 Hull FC 11 7 0 4 21 Kulga FC 11 6 2 3 20 Parcroft FC 11 6 1 4 19 Torquay FC 11 6 1 4 19 Weymouth FC 11 3 3 5 12 Stanch ester FC 11 3 2 6 11 East Coker FC 11 2 3 6 9 Narton FC 11 2 3 6 9 Preston FC 11 2 2 7 8

Now was the big game. The final match of the league was here, and it would probably decide the outcome of the league, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd. All through the next week, Nolito and the team practised at the Greendale fields. This match was away, which was a problem. They had had their toughest games away, and also lost a game away. This was the most important match, so they needed to be in peak physical and also mental condition. They needed to believe they could do it. That was very important as well. It was the eve, before the match. Nolito ate, before going out to the backyard, to practise some for. He whacked the ball against the fence then, used his amazing first touch to calm it down, before flicking it at the fence again. Soon after, though feeling tired Nolito went to sleep.

After waking up, he got everything ready. He ate very well, seeing as though this is the most important match of the season. He got down to the fields, and caught the Greendale bus. It was filled with hubbub and excitement at the upcoming match. Nolito knew that he was probably the most important player in his team, and that he needed to be at his best to beat Westfield by 2 goals. Greendale walked out on to the field. Nolito was made captain for the final match, and he knew responsibility rested in his shoulders. He led his team, out and they won the toss. Greendale kicked off and Westfield immediately attacked. This kind of pressure was what won them games, Nolito thought. They were definitely the hardest team they had played. There was going to be a lot of work, if they were to win by at least 2 goals. The Westfield striker was the hardest to contain. He was huge, taller than anyone they had versed. He just pushed aside the defenders when they went in to challenge. This was going to cause problems Nolito thought. Westfield were easily the better side, with 10 minutes long. Soon they attacked and the big striker was again the centre of attention. Drifting in from the left, he cut inside Will, before beating Connor. He was poised to take a shot at goal, but then Blake made an excellent challenge. Running in front of the striker from behind, he kept cool, and made a standing challenge. The striker attempted to shake his off the ball, but he successfully got away and then Greendale attacked. It was a lighting fast counter attack with Nolito, Adam and Jerry exchanging passess very quickly. Nolito spied an opening, and threaded the ball straight to Tom. Tom beat 1 defender with a dummy, before cutting in and beating the second defender. When the other centre-back was just about to make the challenge, Tom poked the ball at the net. The goalkeeper parried the ball, but straight into the goal. It was an unbelievable start, as Westfield had dominated and with Greendale’s first attack they scored. Westfield was shaken with which Greendale had scored, after their attack. They made much more mistakes, and they did not have the same confidence they had at the start of the game. Now Greendale started to dominate. They settled in and got their wonderful 1 touch passing game going, leaving Westfield to chase shadows. Then suddenly Greendale attacked again with pace. Nolito broke free of the defender, and then passed it to Adam who ran straight past the fullback, before crossing it in. Harry as usual met the ball in mid-air. Twisting his head he directed it goal-wards, but the keeper parried the ball onto the crossbar, before comfortably catching it. Another close opportunity to get that crucial second goal. Soon half-time came around. Greendale was truly on top and the form they had shown in the first half was simply brilliant. And they carried this form into the second half. Jack the Greendale keeper had almost nothing to do. However it was a very different story for the Westfield keeper. Constantly making saved trying to keep his team in the match. However it was only a matter of time before Greendale got their second goal. They were playing very well, and soon near the close of the game they got their second goal. Adam was put into space by Blake, before looking up and spotting Nolito lurking in the box. He put in a pin-point cross, which Nolito rose above the 2 centre-backs and headed. The ball looped away from the shocked keeper straight into the back of the net. Westfield knew they would lose the title, if Greendale won by 2 goals, and so they attacked. Greendale quickly changed mentality to a defensive side in which Blake shone. Putting in tackles, he didn’t let Westfield get into the box, reducing them to hopeful long-range efforts. Their defensive methods edged them closer and closer to the title. They were sweating, hoping, praying for the referee to blow his whistle, as the ball was cleared off the line countless times. The box was filled with Westfield trying to score and Greendale just booting the ball up. The whistle blew. The loudest cheer Nolito had ever heard erupted from the stands. Greendale had defeated Westfield. They had won the league. They literally sprinted to the scoreboard. Teams: Played: Won: Drew: Lost: Points: Greendale FC 12 11 0 1 33 Derfit FC 12 11 0 1 33 Westfield FC 12 11 0 1 33 Hull FC 12 8 0 4 24 Parcroft FC 12 7 1 4 22 Kulga FC 12 6 2 4 20 Torquay FC 12 6 1 5 19 Weymouth FC 12 4 3 5 15 Stanch ester FC 12 3 2 7 11 Preston FC 12 3 2 7 11 East Coker FC 12 2 4 6 10 Narton FC 12 2 4 6 10

SPAIN, HERE I COME!!!!!!!!!


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