For every player that makes it into the ranks of professional football there are many thousands of others that don’t. Many drift into semi-professional football, but that doesn’t mean their dream of playing in the top-flight has died. For the majority, the flame still burns brightly.
Matt is one of the thousands of players who juggle the demands of playing semi-professional football with a full-time job. Playing as a goalkeeper for Reigate Athletic in the Isthmian League, his life is further complicated when he meets and falls in love with Anna, an American girl, who initially fails to understand his obsession with ‘soccer’. But as Reigate Athletic make their way through the early rounds of the FA Cup, she slowly begins to appreciate what football means not only to Matt, but also to the club, and to the town.
Despite struggling with an injury, Matt continues to impress during the cup run and out of the blue gets a call from a scout representing Premier League side Crystal Palace, inviting him for a trial. Matt is also having to deal with his relationship with Jess, the football reporter on the local paper. During the course of the season, Matt and Jess come to realise that there is a chemistry between them.
Matt’s story charts the amazing highs of winning and the deep troughs of losing and dealing with injury that anyone who plays or follows sport will know only too well, set against a backdrop of an intense and complicated relationship with two women.