The Kick Off
Jamie Johnson series
by Dan Freedman
When Jamie Johnson starts at a new school he’s desperate to become the school’s star football player. But can Jamie cope with the pressure, at the same time as dealing with school, friends and his mum?
Packed full of footballing tips, fumbled free kicks and nail-biting penalties, every reader will be on Jamie's side.
Publisher: Scholastic Children's Books
Friday 21 July – Last Day of Term
UNDER 14s TRIAL MATCH
60:00 MINS PLAYED
BLUES 1 REDS 0
This was it. This was Jamie’s chance to prove himself. This was what he’d waited six months for. Kingfield School didn’t know who Jamie Johnson really was. They didn’t know the kind of talent he had.
Now he could show them.
Dillon Simmonds had no idea who he’d been messing with. Jamie could shove all his stupid words back down his big, fat, spotty mouth with one goal today.
That was the plan anyway. But these trials to see who would be in the Kingfield Under-fourteen A team next year were not going according to the script.
When he most needed his skills, nothing was working for Jamie.
There were only ten minutes left and Jamie hadn’t shown a thing.
People kept hoofing the ball to him in the air. He was never going to get anywhere like that. He was a winger. He needed the ball passed to his feet.
Jamie had been in pain since the first minute, too. He was wearing a pair of worn-out old socks that had holes in them and his boots were rubbing against his heels the whole time. He’d scored some of his best ever goals in these boots, but today they were hurting him. They had sawn off all the skin on the backs of his heels. He was sure he was bleeding.
Jamie bent down and undid his laces. Maybe if he retied them looser it wouldn’t hurt as much.
He had just done up his laces and was getting ready to stand up and get back into the game when he suddenly felt a knee jar right into his ribs. It knocked him sideways on to the ground.
“Oi, Ginger Minger – what you doing on the floor? Had enough, have you?” sneered Dillon Simmonds as he jogged past. They both knew full well that it was him who’d knocked Jamie over, and that he’d done it on purpose. You could see it in his evil smile.
“Shut your face, Simmonds – you fat numpty,” said Jamie, getting to his feet.
Jamie knew that Dillon wasn’t really fat. He was pretty much all muscle. But he also knew that Dillon hated being called fat so it was a good way to wind him up.
“Talk to me when you’ve actually touched the ball, Ginge,” Dillon shouted back, laughing as he went.
Jamie jogged back to his position on the left wing. He was shaking his head. The sad thing was, for once in his life Dillon actually had a point. Jamie had hardly touched the ball all game and he knew it. Mr Marsden probably didn’t even know he was on the pitch.
But then, out of nothing, it happened. A chance!
The goalkeeper on Jamie’s side belted the ball forward. It was a huge kick and when it hit the hard dusty ground, it bounced so high that it went over the whole of the opposition defence.
Jamie spotted what was going to happen before anyone else on the pitch. He dashed after the ball and was way too quick for any of the defenders to keep up with him.
It was just him against the keeper. He was in.
Latching on to the ball, he steadied himself as he waited for it to drop.
One sweet strike from his left foot. Then Marsden would know who Jamie Johnson was, all right.
He could have smashed it on the half-volley but he let the ball bounce to give himself that bit more time.
Then he swivelled and, with his right foot planted in the ground and his left knee bent all the way back, he got ready to snap through the strike. He wanted to rifle it into the net.
But, just as he was about to crack the ball home, he was hit by a cyclone of a challenge. Dillon Simmonds, a human truck, had driven straight into Jamie, catapulting him into the air. Jamie found himself lying winded on the ground. His dream goal had been ripped away from him.
“Get up, you diver,” shouted Dillon, grabbing Jamie’s shirt by the collar.
“Get your hands off me,” said Jamie, desperately trying to get his breath back.
Jamie wanted to knock him out but inside he was struggling just to breathe. Dillon had taken him out good and proper. It felt like someone was in his chest, strangling his lungs. The more he tried to gulp in the air, the more it hurt.
“OK, you two. Break it up,” said Mr Marsden, who was quickly on the scene. “I saw what happened.
“You didn’t make contact with the ball, Dillon – only the man. It’s a penalty for the Reds.”
Marsden handed Jamie the ball.
About the author
Dan FreedmanDan Freedman was born in London in 1977 and has been obsessed with football from a very young age. His passion was a constant through school and university and led him to doing work experience at Arsenal FC, Radio Five LIVE, Carlton TV, Mail on Sunday and Sky Sports. Dan...
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It was awesome.
it was good
The book is about a boy who loves football and he gets picked for a football team and he really loves the team. At training he does really amazing and his coach say's that you should play for the team and the coach puts him upfront. At the game Jamie is amazing upfront and he stays there for the team but things don't go great all of his team mates don't like him because he always hogs the ball and his mum and his friends isn't on his side.
This book is about a boy who is really good at football. He attends a school called The Grove. He is their star player but then he has to leave. At his next school he isn't as confident but he knows he has it in him. The author left the book on a good cliff hanger.
I think this was a good book to read because I myself like football.
this book is great
I liked the part when they do the dares. It had a good start to the book, I could not get off it I read it in 3 days .
brilliant, excellent, funny
Steven Gerrard read this book so I had a try and it was great, great tips and it will helps me with my football in the future
I like this book because its all about football and football is one of my favourite hobbies as I am in a football team.
This book is great I recommend this book for 8-13
This Kick off book is a oustanding book and I recommend this book to all ages.This book encourages you to play football and it gives some top tips and drills to practise. I love playing football and some of football legends have read this and said they love this book as well.This book makes you imagine that you playing football along side Jamie,and it paints a vivid picture in your head.
This book is a great way, on a rainy day to keep yourself getting bored, you can read this book, if you are a football fan, this is the perfect book for you, with humour, with brilliance and with a touch of weirdness
WOW!!!!!! what a great book the kick off.....very entertaining and tensionous too.......its all tense for Jamie Johnson.......I recommend this book...Its definitely a 5 star book
I have only read this book in the series and I found it a brilliant book I believe boys and girls would like this book gotta get the series for my birthday or Christmas
This book is good and I've met this guy before, go out there and play football
I so badly want to read this that why I've decided to ask for the series for christmas! I met the author, dan, a couple of weeks ago he came into my school and he was awesome! His books look awesome!!! I hope to be an author when I'm older!! I would certainly read his books too :)
I think this is a really great book. It is good for sporty and football lovers. It is an easy book and you get wrapped in it quickly.There are 4 in the series.
A very good book. As soon as you read it you will want to get out there and play football
I found this book a bit limited in vocabulary and imagination although I am intrested on this subject. This book is ok but not the best. Still a good read.
It is a good book and I would recommened it to younger readers who want a book to last and be fun to read.
I haven't been reading this book for long although from what I have read I can tell it's going to be a great book
I think this book is good is very good because it tell's you a lot about it in the story about Jamie Johnson.
I think that the book Kick Off is a good book for football fanatics like me. This book is a book is for all ages that want to be like Steven Gerrard or Pele.
I think that The Kick Off is a really cool book. I didn't really like football until I read this book. This is for children all ages who love football and want to be like Steven Gerrard or David Beckham.
It was really good, very enjoyable, the author has described how Jamie moves the ball very well. Top marks! Well done Dan Freedman!
I believe this book is incredibly good, giving it 4/5 stars. I love the way Dan Freedman gets questioned at the end of the book! This book is a must to read.
I found this book is interesting and I liked it because some parts were funny.
The Kick Off was really interestingI I liked it a lot. I hope other people do as well!
I like this book because the boy loves football and so do I.
It is a good book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The book was really good I liked it a lot it was very intesting and exciting
I this book it was exciting and fun, I would recommend this book to any one else I loved it
What a superb book. So inspiring, Stevie G.'s comments were spot on - gonna go out there for everyone
I really like this book because it's interesting and fun, this is one of the best books I've ever read.
This book looks brilliant and I want to read it
(: (: looks gooood
Didn't like it at all. :(
The Kick Off is about a boy called Jamie who plays for his school team Kingsfield. His dream is to be a football player, but he has still got along way still. He is improving his skills. I recommend this book to people who like football and want to be a football player when they are older. ps it will force you to get out there!
This book sounds really exciting and I want to read it
BRILLIANT book, once you get reading this book you will never stop. This book is for boys and girls.
I'm 11 and I'm obsessed with football and this book looks really cool!
I read the first one and I though it was great. We are looking forward to it and any other books by Freedman.
This book sounds safe.
This book sounds awesome, I can't wait to read it if Stevie G. likes it
I like it
I think this book sooo great, well it sounds great and excellent
hello I had read this book, it's ok but when I had read it in the half way I nearly got to sleep
Its a really good book and I even read it again that's one of the only books I have done that for, epic book, well done Dan Freedman
Its WOW. It looks really amazin'!!
I like a lot even though I haven't read it, looks like wow
This book looks really good
This book sounds amazing it might even make my friends come out more and enjoy playing football.
This book sounds good. I want to read it.
It's a good book I really like it its a good read, epic book
This book is soooooooooooooooooo amazing :)
Its a brilliant series of books
Super, I hope its funny
I'm looking foward to this book
I really want to read it is it good
I like it
We think this book looks great and it's suitable for people our age because we are 11. The book relates to football fans which is us 11 year olds
It is quality
I really want to read this book because I like to play football, although I am a girl I still am excited about the game.
this book is very good i have read it i like it
this is one cool book
It is a very good book and it is good for boys and girls
If you like footy it's a must read book
It sounds so great to read. Absolutely marvellous
It sounds great to read
sounds very good
this book is a great football story. i have read it before.
Girls and boys will love this book – you don’t need to like football, as the story is so engaging. Read it to find out if Jamie’s luck changes.