One day I was around Jeff's place catching up, having a few drinks like good buddies do, when suddenly he looks up and realises time got away from us, immediately yoinks out his cell phone and starts tapping away. Knowing my soccer crazed friend as well as I do, seeing the time, I didn't even have to ask what he was madly trying to find. It was obvious, Jeff needed the Canadian soccer TV schedule ASAP. While he was trying to find the schedule and figure out when the game started, utter silence, sheer concentration on his face. Then the second he found it, BOOM! Concentration no more. His club anthem immediately starts resounding out of his pie hole. Yep, been there once or twice before with Jeff.
Before the game started, Jeff reminded me of how much fun we used to have back in school, every lunchtime, kicking around the soccer ball. He eventually convinced me to join his team and play for the season, telling me how much fun it would be. What I didn't know was how much coin I'd be up for to buy all the soccer equipment, just to get started! Boy was I in for a surprise.
First thing I had to buy were the boots, which are by far the most expensive individual piece of gear. A great tip to keep in mind while trying on boots is to wear a double pair of socks. This is because of the shin guards. Some people, I'm one of them, prefer a sock then a shin guard, then another sock. So if you try on your boots with a single sock, you may very well find down the track the boots are too tight or uncomfortable. If you can, try on your boots exactly like you plan to wear them. For me that's sock > shin guard > 2nd sock.
Also don't be afraid to spend more money on something that fit your feet well. After all, they're your feet and they'll thank you for it when your ¾ of the way through a game they aren't throbbing with pain, like a loose, cheaper shoe would have your feet feeling.
Second piece of gear you need are shin guards. Shin guards also come in a vast range of shapes, sizes and fits. I tend to opt for something that hugs my shin and ankle nicely, while still having a solid amount of protection. Try on the different styles, with your boot if you can, and walk around in them until you find something that feels right. While I opt for a sock under the shin guard, you'll need to decide what feels right for you.
Lastly you'll need socks. I personally like to have 5 pairs. My under pair and outer pair for training. A spare under pair and outer pair for when the first pair are in the wash. Plus the club colors pair for game day. Some people feel 3 pairs of socks is enough, though it depends if you need under socks and how consistent your washing habits are. The good part about 5 pairs is mid way through the season, they shouldn't have worn holes in the heels if you are rotating and wearing all the pairs.
The shorts and shirts part of the uniform should provided to you when paying your club fees. Done with my purchases and wearing all my new gear it was time to head out and kick a ball. Let's just say there's been a few too many years between me chasing a soccer ball around a school yard and my new fitness level. Definitely no chance you'll see me playing soccer on Canadian TV anytime soon, I'll leave that to the younger energetic players.Learn more about soccer on Canadian TV at http://www.tvsoccer.ca.