To manage the team, from picking players to letting them know when and where to be for games, to collecting subs, to reporting the score and any incidents to the club.
How many players can I use?
You can have three subs per game (5 for the vets) and it's roll-on, roll-off, so you have can use 14 in total with 11 on the pitch at any given moment.
Referees are usually appointed by the League or the County FA, but occasionally there just aren't enough to go round. If you don't have an appointed ref, you have to sort it out with the opposition. The most common solution is to have a sub from each side do a half. The people who ref should be paid (50% for doing a half, 100% for doing the whole game etc).
What makes a good captain?
A good captain is well organised, and has a weekly routine which helps them make sure everything is done when it needs to be. The captain will contact other officers if information is missing, or to confirm changes, and he will make sure all of his players know where to be and when.
In running the team you'll need to have a sense of humour and be able to get on with it even when people are dicking you about. If you need help, ask one of the committee members. They won't do anything useful but at least you'll get it off your chest. In all seriousness, if you have problem with someone refusing to play, or not paying up, etc, please speak to a senior member of the club who can gather a lynch mob and hang them upside down by their ankles, shaking all their valuables out of their pockets. We don't have a Welfare Officer anymore, so there's nobody for them to complain to.
What do I do on the day?
You should aim to get to the club before the rest of the team to set an example. Get match fees off players as they arrive to avoid them skipping off later and 'forgetting to pay'. If they need money back because they only played half a game they can ask for it after the game.
When the oppo and the ref arrive make sure you introduce yourself and tell them where their changing rooms are and which pitch you'll be on.
Ask specific players to put the nets up and who will put the flags out. The easiest thing to do is get the back four and the goalkeeper to put the nets up, the midfielders to put the flags out and the strikers to make sure the ball is pumped up and given to the referee. Substitutes are responsible for making sure there is a working lighter for half-time fags.
During the game
If you want you can get some other mug to lead the team on the pitch. There are usually a few out there who don't like doing the organising but do like bellowing mantras at their team mates. These include "come lads, we gotta put it in!", "110% lads, gotta want it!" and the classic "Take him out!!!!!".
If you do lead on the pitch, you are the person to speak to the referee. Everyone else needs to shut up and let the ref do his/her job. After the game, you should lead the team in a chorus of cheers for the oppo, eg: "Three cheers for Old Stationers, hip hip - hooray! hip hip - hooray! hip hip - hooray!". If you win you can always sing the club song and get someone to video it so we can tweet it and show how fucking great we are!
After the game
After the game you should get yourself to the side of the pitch nearest the clubhouse and play sheep dog to stop the lazy fuckers escaping without gathering the flags and the nets.
Back in the club you need to make sure you pay the referee £35 match fee. Linesmen get £27. You then need to complete your match card which you can submit via your phone. The match card is where you say who played, paid, got booked or sent off and scored goals. You also have to give the referee a mark out of 10 but beware, if you give him/her less than 7 you'll have to submit a report and that means writing, which few Vampires know how to do.
Reporting your result
You have to tell the club, obviously, but you also have to report your result to the SAL or the AFA.
Fifteen minutes after your match starts you will receive a text message from the FA's Full-Time admin system. It will give you instructions on how to report your result but basically you text back the score with the home team score first. For example, if it's a 4-2 win for the home team you text back "4-2".
If you have extra time and/or penalties you add these on as follows: "2-2 3-3 AET 3-1 PENS".
The Duty XI
For each week at home there will be a nominated Duty XI which will be indicated on the website and in the newsletter. The Duty XI is responsible for sweeping out the changing rooms and making sure all the showers are turned off and the lights switched out. They are also required to do the washing up after everyone has had their food and to provide a volunteer to work behind the bar for a period after the game, to help whoever is running the bar that day.
The Vampires has run a weekly newsletter on and off for almost a century and is one of very few clubs to continue to do so. The letter carries fixtures, results and league tables plus news sent in from around the world from former members. It's most popular feature, however, is match reports and for that we need YOU!
We appreciate it's another job to do but why not get a different players to write a report each week? It doesn't have to be long, just a couple of paragraphs will do, but it makes a big difference to keeping us together as a club and allowing the old boys to keep up to date with who is playing and how they're getting on. It might not seem like it, but there are dozens of old boys around who pop down now and then to see a game who genuinely like to know about your team. You can meet many of them at the annual Old Boys Christmas Lunch in December.
To submit a match report email the editor, Andy Copeland, at firstname.lastname@example.org and if you can include some photos - no matter how bad your phone's camera - even better!