Amar and I like to play football. He is my cousin and my best friend. In the summer we formed the Supreme Team with our friends in my street. When you don't have to go to school there are always more people to play with and, better still,  there is no one to stop you from playing; no mums to shout "stop playing, it's tea time!", no school bells to interrupt you, and no rain (well, not as much rain!) to wash out the game right at the point when you think you are about to win.

Amar and I had been playing every day, all summer long, and our Supreme Team  were really great! The trouble was,  Daniel Parker, my next-door neighbour who is 8 and a half, and the rest of his friends did not agree.

I am not the best footballer on the pitch. For some reason I keep falling over. I get excited and I forget to look where I am going. I trip over my shoe laces, other people's feet or slip in that big puddle of mud that is always bang in the middle of the pitch. I try to get the ball, but sometimes I am usually too slow.

I remember that great summer day so clearly now. Amar and I woke up covered in warm sunshine, and I almost jumped out of bed thinking about the game, it was the perfect day for the football match.

By the time we arrived on the green Daniel and his friends were waiting for us. They all looked very serious, there was not a smile to be seen. They were ready for battle!

We ran up and down the pitch, trying really hard to get hold of the ball, but Daniel and his friends just kept grabbing the ball  and dodging ad diving around us. Daniel was just so quick he confused me. Before I knew it, he had dribbled the ball right around me and I was hooking my foot back between his feet and the ball and then"oops"... crash bang ... I was face down in the muddy grass.

I could hear the boys laughing. "Just give up now Mitali!", cried one.

"Let's face it, you lot are just babies, just little kids. You are never going to beat us.", shouted another.

"Look at Mitali, he can't even kick the ball without tripping up!"

They kept shouting over the top of me. I could feel my cheeks getting redder and redder, my ears burning.  I was still face down and my nose was still breathing in the mud. I was so angry with every single one of them and their laughter and their shouting...

"Come on Mitali, we are going to win, you know that don't you?"

Amar said pulling me up and smiling:

"We're the best aren't we Mitts?"

Amar always calls me that and Amar is always right. I was angry and fed up and my head really hurt but some thing about Amar made me believe he was right. Maybe we could just make it, maybe I could keep hold of the ball a little longer, maybe if we tried really hard and worked together we could get some goals in. We were the Supreme Team after all.

So we ran on, kicked the ball to one another, and some times Amar got the ball right down to the end of the pitch and some times Matt, our Supreme Team captain, almost just got the ball in the goal. I tripped up again and landed on my bum in the mud, but I didn't mind, I knew we were getting better and better. We stopped some good shots from Daniel's team. Then, one of his gang kicked the ball right in front of me, off to the side of the pitch and I knew it, my chance had come.

I caught the ball on my right foot and just ran, dribbling and kicking the ball, it felt like I had a free line without any one to stop me way up ahead. Daniel was running right for me now, looking really angry and ready to get the ball or maybe even me! I kicked the ball to Amar, he dribbled it clear of two boys right to the goal. I saw Daniel running closer and closer to Amar so I ran as fast as I could right behind Amar and just as Daniel was about to nick the ball from between his feet

"Amar", I shouted, "kick it over to me!"

I was in front of the goal now and I could hear the boys getting closer and closer, their feet pounding on the grass behind me, breathing hard. I brought my leg back, forced my leg forward and kicked really hard. "Whoosh" the ball must have moved forward but I had my eyes closed too tightly to tell.

For a long time I could not hear a sound. "Bounce, bounce, bounce". The ball had finally landed.


I could not believe my ears so I opened my eyes. Amar was running towards me with his arms wide open.

"Goal, goal goal" we shouted and screamed and ran around and around for a long time. Daniel and his gang got really fed up. We didn't actually win that game but we did win the next one against Daniel Parker and his gang.

Now the summer is here I know we'll play outside with the Supreme Team all day long in the sun (or the rain!) and this time it doesn't' matter how many times I fall over, I know one day we are going to win!