The Match Commander

Taking inspiration from the poem If by Rudyard Kipling. Here’s a version that is right up to date.

The Match Commander

“If you can read all about your new job, when others are rubber-stamping an operational order from the previous year.

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, or consider you to be unworthy of your rank and only wanting to enhance your career.

If you can familiarise yourself with the layout of the ground, asking vital questions of those at the clubs involved.

Whether previous concerns had been raised, lessons learnt or even problems solved.


If you can stay on task, but still find time to observe, looking out the control room window’s vision;

To see the obvious and think ‘that needs a decision’, seeking advice and not fearing derision.

Then keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and listen to the colleagues that you respect.

If you know the truth but cannot yet speak it, then wait and give yourself time to reflect.


If you can deal with crowds and keep your virtue, then neither foes nor the national press can hurt you.

If you can wait before blaming those turning up late, or in a state of inebriation.

With Mrs Thatcher and Mr Murdoch hungry for a story; accept the complicated truth and avoid the temptation to lie too!

If you can do these things, then one day you’ll be a Match Commander, my son.”


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