A WASTED JOUR­NEY BUT A RIGHT OLD CHIN­WAG!

Bray People - - SPORT -

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?

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