Mike doesn’t get recognised in Manchester! Friendy is revered as some sort of God as he returns from hell to the mountains of Nepal, and Doylie is once again lost at the bottom of a cheap bottle of red. Regardless of who, the Tigers are spread far and wide and weird shit continues to happen.
But before picking through the remnants of my mind of what actually occurred during the month of April, let’s dissect the prologue...
Memento on the pre-season
A trip to the Budge for a trial match against our own club. Promises of lush green hallowed turf turn out to be completely false, where the only solace found was under the meagre shadows of the giant grey gums stretching their arms across the corners of the field. Otherwise, the trip will be best remembered for the burnt devon. That wasn’t the BBQ. You could smell the burning skin of manly skull out on the field. Next time, how about we just play the game in the middle of Renwick St, move the posts – or not - when a car comes throttling down and do our bit to save on petrochemical pollution.
Prior to that there was a trial against, yep you guessed it, our club again. We were a shemozzle in the first half. At oranges, all and sundry threw their five cents worth in ‘structure’, ‘positions’, ‘jockeying’. Terms that mean nothin’ to no one. Cept, in the background, a little voice kept chiming in between each comment with ‘mongrel’…’mongrel’,…’mongrel’… Back out on the field and competing in the air for the ball, Walshy ‘The Mongrel’ forgets the ball and takes aim at his opponent. Some 3 litres of blood, 17 stitches, facial reconstruction, plastic surgery, ongoing concussive complications, crippling medical bills and a recurring nightmare of Walshy’s noggin up close and personal later, you have the term mongrel spelled out for you.
Jez liked what he saw, doing much the same to his opposite number, although it looked more like Frodo Baggins trying to out jump a Cave Troll. And the Cave Troll wins with yet another Liverpool kiss. All of a sudden a 0-4 score line becomes a more respectable 4 all result.
Prior to this the boys had had several runs down at Alan Davo to brush off cob webs. The first, being a sight for sore eyes, with almost the entire squad turning up, keen to reconnect the brotherly bonds that has seen this team go from arse slap to arse slap. Among them, No. 1 fan Tommy laces on the boots for a kick, Newbie Ned, Cupcakes, Walshy after spinal damage and Friendy, the bloke who died after our Grand Final defeat two years ago. In short, a fossil, Dr Evil, a bloke nicknamed after a ‘fart trick’, a cripple and a zombie. Sweet Jesus, who is head of recruitment around here?
Round 1 v UMINA 1-0
This is the very definition of a ‘get out of jail’, and Sanga flashed his monopoly ‘chance’ card late in the game to secure what was looking an unlikely victory for much of the match. They dead set squandered 29 shots at goal, either floating wayward, or finding our custodian, Bobby ‘It’s too hot to wear long sleeves’ Hay. Yet much of this match will be remembered for the 7 minute interchange fiasco, that saw a new team, structure, roll call, population shift, occur throughout the game, every bloody 7 minutes. Exhausting, without actually being exhausting.
Round 2 v Kariong 4-3
Again, and apologies for repeating this recurring dream, but it generally takes our team, on average, about 60 minutes to wake up and get into the fight. We are totally unflappable, completely mellow and have an undeniable caffeine intensity level of 3. This match again highlighted that. And a good thing on this occasion, when down 0-3, no one battered an eye lid. One bloke even asked ‘what do we need to change?’ to which the listener replied ever so casually, ‘nothing’.
Which is why, during the half time break, continuing to the resumption of play, Walshy and Kenno were engaged in some shit conversation that had nothing to do with the game. If Jez had hair he would have ripped it out, but this is the way of the team. Steady as she goes. And before long, Dylan, who has been threatening to do this from a free kick for the last four years, chips a ball over the defensive wall, with as much draw as a Jason Day 7 iron, to go over the head of the midget standing in for goalie (why, you ask, was he standing in as goalie – cause Walshy The Mongrel had taken out the other bloke) to take his team into the lead for the first time in the match. Hardly fair, but credit where credit is due. Bout f***in’ time Dyl!
Round 3 v Gosford 0-1
On a pitch with more bounce than the WACA, poor Johnny Eden tested his hand of God theory with 7 minutes on the clock, only to pile the pressure on Walshy, who was busy playing stuck in the mud. Next game.
Round 4 v Avoca 3-1
Really 4-0, but someone forgot to tell Stingers which way we were going. Post match What’s App goes berserk with talk of testicles and own goals. If we’re not careful, Stingers will take half the team away on an early end of season trip scheduled for the first week of the finals. Oh, what you weren’t invited? Sucks to be you. A stunt like this will not only leave a depleted Tigertown but send conspiracy theorists (and yes Sanga is one. Johnny probably is as well. The three coppers would have to be somewhere on the CT spectrum, and most of us cricket fans are whenever Pakistan take the field) into a spin. The dude hails from East Gosford, as does half his pals. All the kids play there. Rams are desperate to knock us off. You do the math on that one.