It's 1:45 and I arrive to see that, yet again, the council have taken little to no care in the upkeep of the changing rooms but I don't care because i'm just here to play football, i'm not interested in facilities, though i'm sure health and safety would have a field day here.
Head to toe in a Joma tracksuit which my local Saturday League club have kindly subsidised for me for £30 (isn't that just the normal price though, gaffer?), I walk into the freezing cold, tiny dressing room which still has last week's tactics plastered all over it because nobody's bothered wiping them off, greeted by a sea of half-hearted high fives from the lads.
Some are sat down, ferociously flicking through Sky Bet to see which Price Boost they're going to back this weekend: "it's got to come in soon, surely?" says second-choice right-back, Dan Smith - known to everyone as "Smithy", so much so that he's forgotten his name is actually Dan.
Smithy knows that he's on the bench, he always is, but he passed up the opportunity of a post-work pint last night because "what if this week is finally the week the gaffer lets me show what I can do". His commitment to the cause is admirable, but he's crap. Always gets roped into running the line as he feels it'll give his chances of starting a boost, it never does.
Other players are stood up in the changing room, desperately attempting to complete an around-the-world with an under-pumped, weather-beaten Mitre football that's been in circulation for roughly five years now. It's usually the striker and creative midfielder refusing to sit down; they're restless, eager to get changed and get warmed up but the gaffer hasn't arrived yet which means neither has the kit.
Grime music blares from the speakers, much to the disgust of Andy Brown, known as "Browner" - a tough tackling centre-half who's been at the club for eight years. He's 34 and has been doing the rounds at county league level for years now, he's a seasoned amateur who once got paid £30 a game to play in the Evo-Stik north.
Browner hates Grime music, doesn't have any time for it whatsoever and hastily takes charge of the music duties with a bit of old school Garage. "This is better than any of that rapping bollocks" he tells centre-back partner Gareth Fricker, known as, you guessed it, 'Fricker'.
Fricker, or Fricksy, is a slightly younger but just as experienced player who has worn the same Copa Mundial's for ten years. He won't wear anything else, claims they've now "moulded to the shape of his feet" and to change them would be a foolish move. Together they've kept 14 clean sheets and scored 9 goals from the heart of defence, they always pose a huge threat from set-pieces, probably because they're both over 6ft 2 and built like brick shithouses.