“What would you want to become once you grow up? “, asked a two-year-old David to his friend nick.
Nick replied that he wanted to be a doctor and then went on to ask the same question to David.
To which David replied that he also wants to become a doctor.
Time passed and their aspirations changed.
They used to play football together and this sport became their real passion.
Both wanted to become professional footballers.
They were getting trained by the best coach in the city.
Their parents were not very rich but were considerate of what their kids wanted.
While playing they were normally assigned coordinated positions as they had a great understanding of each other.
Today was a very important match for them as they were going to play against the best team in the city and this was also a knockout match in an ongoing tournament.
During the first fifteen minutes, it became very clear that David’s team is struggling against the opponent. It was not that they didn’t have good players. There was a lack of coordination among the players and at the same time they had very less experience in competing with tough teams.
Someone has rightly said that in a sport if you want to improve your game, play with the strongest opponent.
David and his team tried defending goals but after twenty minutes the opponent launched attacks into the goalpost. This resulted in three quick goals.
After the completion of the first half, the score was 6-0 (zero for David's team)
David and his team huddled and formed a strategy as to how to tackle the forwards and midfielders. They designated player-to-player marking to do so. Additionally, some players were kept free so that they can take advantage of this and launch goals in the opponent’s goalpost.
To everyone’s surprise, this strategy worked and they were able to dominate the opponent throughout the second half.
The match resulted in a win for David's team.
David and nick played a very important role in this win.
This match became the talk of the town as an underdog team defeated the best team in the city.
Next week state level selection trials were getting conducted in the city.
Both of them scored two goals each in two matches.
The final result came.
The coach was told by the selectors that they had only one position left to be filled and they were confused between David and nick.
He was in a dilemma as both were his favourites and it was a tough decision to make.
So, he left it to both to decide.
After long deliberations, David convinced nick that he would be giving up his candidature for the position.
Nick was very sad because he wanted his friend to play along with him which was not possible now. Both will now have a different path of growth as nick would be getting access to the best of the best resources and platforms to showcase his skills.
Nick went to the state-level training club and started playing matches on the national level.
Whereas David continued playing in his old club. He got a job as an assistant coach. He also started training younger boys now. No one knew the sacrifice he has made. The people around him assumed that since nick was in a better place he got selected at the national level.
Months passed like this.
One day when David was teaching his students, his coach approached him.
His face lit up with happiness while he started speaking.
Selectors are preparing a backup team for national trials and they have earmarked you for that. They have not forgotten your name since the selection trials.
You will have to leave for the camp tomorrow.
David was confused and happy at the same time.
Confused because he was unable to understand this new arrangement.
Happy because he would be able to meet his childhood friend and maybe get a chance to play along with him.
He reached the camp and selection trials started.
Results came and he was selected.
Back-up or reserve team players were only required because there is a shortfall of players in the main team.
As luck would have it there was a requirement for a strong midfielder and David got a chance.
Then there was no looking back for David.
He kept on playing match after match along with nick.
They had a chance to play international matches as well.
Their childhood dream evolved from being a doctor to being a professional footballer but the essence was intact.
That is being together always.