sports

Football coach perfectly sums up all kids and parents’ thoughts in viral video


Kids and parents across the country are frantically scrubbing boots and washing bibs in readiness for the return of grassroots football at the end of the month.

The Government’s roadmap to ease the lockdown and return some degree of normality to the nation means junior sport can finally resume in late March/early April.

It is music to the ears of budding footballers who have seen this season and last disrupted by Covid 19 restrictions preventing them from training and playing.

And one football coach has nailed the widespread sense of excitment at the return of kids’ football with a brilliant video that’s gone viral on social media.

Culain Wood, a spoken word artist from Manchester, shared his poem on Facebook and it has since been watched more than 50,000 times and counting.

You can see it in the video below:


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And here’s a taste of it, with the opening verses:

Grassroots footballers from across the nation, It’s time to turn off the X Box and the PlayStation

There’s not much longer to wait, at last we have a date

The coaches are dusting off their cones and replying to the messages on their phones

From the parents who just can’t believe their eyes

Of the kids who’ve gone up at least one boot size

Since they last managed to get onto the grass, or the astroturf and played a pass

To their pal, their friend, someone on their team, a different kid with the same dream.

Culain, who runs the Hyde United juniors Under 15s team in Manchester, felt the poem was the best way to sum up the emotions of everybody involved with kids’ grassroots football.

“I’ve always done the spoken word stuff,” he said. “It’s something that I love and whenever the world is back to normal I”ll start doing open mic stuff again.

“I think it’s because I’m a frustrated musician! I can’t write music so this is the best way of expressing my feelings when I’ve got something to say.

“The poem combines my passions for the spoken word and football. I’ve never known a poem come to me so quickly. I think I wrote it in about half an hour.”



“Grassroots footballers from across the nation, it’s time to turn off the X Box and the Play Station.” Kids’ matches are on their way back at last.

Culain is a big advocate of junior football, having been involved in it as a kid and running his own boys’ team for the past 10 years.

He started coaching his current lads team at Under-6 level at another club before they moved across to Hyde United two years ago.

“I played grassroots from about six to open age but had a bad injury when I was 15 or 16,” he said.

“I wasn’t in football for about five or six years. I missed it so much that in my early 20s I went back to the team I played for and started coaching.

“It’s so rewarding. It’s a great community. I remember much more fondly all the things my football coaches told me more than anything my school teachers ever did. Football and sport is so important for the kids.”

The 32-year-old father of two daughters, one a keen footballer, admits he has had to get creative to keep his team entertained and active during the ongoing restrictions.

“It wasn’t so bad during the first lockdown as it was still a bit of a novelty, but this latest one has been tough,” he added.

“We’ve been keeping them together online, looking at their highlights and best goals of the season and things like that and my assistant has given the lads fitness plans to work on.

“There’s such a sense of excitement building now that we’ve got a date to return. We’ve only got one training session and then it’s our first match. We’re all raring to go!”

He was overwhelmed by the response his video has received on social media from parents and others involved in kids’ football.

Mat Shaw: Awesome that! Just showed it my lad who plays in my U8s team and he said ‘it’s brilliant’ and got him all excited to play again.

Angela Ellis: Love this, made me get a bit emotional.

Scott Hannah: This is MAGNIFICENT. Goosebumps Culain Wood. Congratulations and an amazing poem, and so well delivered.

Claire Almond: Little black dots – bane of my life!

Louise Ford: This is brilliant. My 8 yr old lad hasn’t touched a ball since they finsied at Xmas (has been sucked into gamer land). He heard this video, grinned to himself and went upstairs to grab his new (unworn) boots and was out in the garden kicking his ball – it was a truly wonderfu sight, so thank you so much for making this.



We have launched a new weekly newsletter all about kids’ football – and you can get it direct to your email for free.

Kick N Mix will drop into your inbox every Friday, packed full of everything you want and need to know about the junior grassroots game.

Millions of young footballers take to the field in the UK each weekend and we want to reflect these vibrant football communities in our newsletter.

It’s aimed at grown-ups and our goal is to celebrate your sporty superstars as well as helping to make your football weekends even more fun.

For those of us involved in kids’ football, it’s an obsession.



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If we’re not chauffering them to training or matches, we’re running the line, organising the raffle, sorting out refreshments, washing kits… the list goes on.

We know that up and down the country millions of you – parents, grandparents, carers, other relatives and friends – are doing the same and more.

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Much-missed kids kickabouts might be on hold at the moment due to the current restrictions, but with our weekly bulletins football dad Mat Kendrick and the Kick N Mix team are cranking up the excitement levels ahead of the imminent return of training and fixtures.

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