A WASTED JOURNEY BUT A RIGHT OLD CHINWAG!
BESIDES those training sessions ahead of a county final is there a nicer training session than the one where you turn up and it doesn't take place?
Ah the sheer bliss, the joy when the moment of realisation arrives that your journey has been a wasted one and you can throw back on the civilian clothes and take out the contact lenses.
It's a bit like those days when school was cancelled for whatever reason or when the bad-tempered teacher was out sick for the day or when you had successfully dodged the school bus and you could go home through the fields and innocently declare that you had missed the bus.
A handful of injuries and lads who were unavailable were the reasons for the non-training. It's never a good sign when you come to the top of Lambert's Hill and the blazing glow of the lights is not burning up the night sky.
It's slightly more worrying when you pull up alongside the wall and there's only two cars parked and it's seven minutes and counting to training time.
It was an interesting posse that did turn up though. The ' Paudge' was in the dressing-rooms talking to the 'Goose' when I ambled in.
The ' Paudge' is captain this year. Big horse of a man, works with windmills.
I don't know or care to know anything else about his job but I imagine him constantly being blown about, his hair being buffeted by a gale-force wind, his eyes halfclosed to protect him from the blasting air as he battles to fix a life and death situation high up on a windmill on some mountain or other. The reality is probably very different but you have to let the imagination run free.
He's an awful nice chap is 'Paudge', awful nice. My fondest memory of him is during a championship run under the managerial assault of ' Tyrell' a few years back. 'Paudge' has many, many positive aspects to his game but kicking the ball is not one of them. Now, at times he can kick the ball better than anyone but at other times the kick tends to go the opposite way to that intended.
But anyway, we were training one lovely summer's evening and 'Paudge' gets on the ball and one of the wild kicks is launched. The bauld 'Tyrell' calls the play back and instructs 'Paudge' that from then on in he is not to ever kick the ball again. He took the advice well in fairness to him but he has since returned to kicking the ball, with mixed results.
Johnny arrived in shortly after. Teak tough Johnny. Built like a big ginger-headed door. Sweet player. Plumber. Lives down a lane that is actually a road. An animal on the ball. Likes to hurt people at training. Is always up front on the runs. Always. I know the shape and contours of his back very well because that's all I see of him except when he laps me and he turns to smile at the wheezing auld lad.
The 'Humph' arrived in then. Casual as you like. Fresh from a practice match for the local group team the previous night where he was roasted alive (his words) at half-back.
The 'Breadman' traipsed in then. I could tell he too was secretly hoping that the training wouldn't go ahead. He looked at me at one stage and his left eyebrow lifted slightly. That's real excitement from the 'Bread'.
Then 'Beefy' stomped in. A farmer cum army tank cum randy bull of a man. You get the impression ‘Beefy’ is about 64 years of age but he's not long past 30. He has that worldly air, that learnedness about him. It's like he was here before.
So with the 'Goose' and 'Lang' (Chairman, plumber, handsome dog), and 'Beaker' (hard nut, recently bearded, club Secretary) our motley crew shuffled about the dressing-room discussing all things football and more until the blessing came from 'Goose' to go home.
We left with the threat of training on Sunday morning. What sort of a club have we become lads?
There was training on Valentine’s night and now on Mother's Day. Are we anti-women or something?