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Just for Kicks

TitleJust for Kicks
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsRayner, Robert
Series TitleSports stories 69
PublisherJ. Lorimer
ISBN Number1550288253 (bound)
DescriptorsChapter Book; Community; Conflict Resolution; English Language; Friendship; Games; New Brunswick; Sport; Unions

This chapter book by New Brunswick author Robert Rayner is the third book about Toby Morton. In this volume, a former professional soccer player spots the Brunswick Valley team and volunteers to be their coach. Unlike the Brunswick Valley players, Coach Fleet places a lot of value on winning, and soon the team finds that it is growing extremely competitive at the expense of the fun they once had. Toby has an idea however, and inspired by the labour negotiations at the local mill, leads the two teams in a strike against their coaches and parents which allows them to rediscoer the spirit of the game.


New Brunswick

Age Range


Author Profile: 

Toby Morton and the other kids from Brunswick Valley School get together every Saturday to play a friendly game of soccer with a team from Pleasant Harbour, and they never keep score. Then a former professional soccer player, Allan Fleet, sees the team playing and offers to coach. The games against Pleasant Harbour immediately intensify as the parents get more involved. The Pleasant Harbour team finds their own coach, and before long, the opposing sides are no longer speaking to one another. After a serious foul takes place on the field, and a Brunswick Valley player receives a red card, the parents begin insulting one another during a verbal altercation. The Brunswick Valley players realize that they are no longer having fun, and together with the Pleasant Harbour players, they threaten to go on strike unless the coaches and parents agree to behave and allow the games to be played for fun.


I was lagging behind Shay and Julie. I stopped, hearing something strange and ominous. It started again and, as I listened, I glimpsed my reflection in a car window. From where I stood, the angle of the window split the reflection so that there were two of me. I looked at one Toby. He wanted to attack the Pleasant Harbour kids. Then I looked at the other Toby. This one wanted his old Pleasant Harbour friends back. I walked on. As I came into sight of the field, I saw a crowd of adults from Pleasant Harbour. They were chanting as we crossed the playground: “Kick ‘em in the head. Kick ‘em in the shin. The kids from Pleasant Harbour are here to win!”