If you happen to be a valued member of a 5,7, or 11 a side team, you will notice that being prepared for all eventualities on match day is crucial. And your teammates will thank you also. This is a definitive guide on what to pack into your bag every matchday.
First and foremost it helps to have the right bag. It needs to be large enough to hold all of your but still comfortable to carry, especially if you aren’t driving! We recommend buying a specialist football bag with a hard shell case, with a zipper section at the bottom. This will be key for storing your boots.
What footwear to bring
If the bag allows, there should be room for 3 pairs of boots. 1 pair of studs for soft grass, your favourite pair of blades/moulds and some comfortable astro turf trainers. That way you’re prepared for water-logged or hard/frozen ground fields. It will also help to carry a few plastic bags to wrap up any wet and muddy boots, to keep the inner material clean. On rainy days, it helps having plastic bags to put on your feet if you need to enter either your’s or a teammate’s vehicle.
If you are responsible for washing your kit, then don’t forget it!
Packing an undershirt will also be key in the winter months. It is also handy to pack 2 undershirts as when the first one gets sweaty, wearing it after the game when cold could cause colds.
Also pack a tracksuit top, jumper or hoodie to wear while warming up or if you happen to be on the subs bench. A nice stretchy pair of tracksuit bottoms will help keep you warm and will be easy to remove once you are playing.
In the winter we recommend having a “really big” and warm jacket as nothing can make a player shiver more than an early morning soccer field breeze. If you are playing as a sub, it’s crucial you stay warm either by warming up on the sidelines or wearing something that keeps the heat in. Many players have also attested to gaining “Thierry Henry-esque” powers while playing in gloves, so think about packing those if it suits you.
Equipment & Accessories
- Shin guards – these are compulsory for most sunday, saturday and midweek leagues. They also offer you protection from serious injury.
- Electric Rubber Tape – The most passed around piece of equipment in the dressing room. You will need a near unlimited supply from how fast it runs out. The tape helps to secure your socks and your shin guard to your favoured style. You can either put the tape over or under your socks depending on your preference.
- Water bottle – or you can bring a sports drink. Try not to drink too much before playing and evenly top up your liquid levels over the course of a game.
- Oranges – Optional, but oranges have been proven time and time again to rejuvenate even the most jaded players at half time!
- Heat/Cool Spray – Perfect for if you or a teammate suffers a knock to help you continue. Remember if you are seriously injured, playing on it while the spray numbs it can make it worse so use sparingly.
- A Football – You may get there early and need to keep yourself busy by playing with the other earlycomers. Having your own ball helps everyone as the more balls available before a match means more touches for everyone.
- A Football pump – Optional, as your coach should have one, but many times the match ball provided by the home team while playing away is under-pumped. Having a pump makes sure there aren’t any unnecessary delays in starting matches.
- Umbrella – On rare cases you may need umbrella to stay dry.