Match: BUFC 2 Coogee 0
Venue: Paine Reserve
Date: Sunday May 11th 2014
K/O time: 11am
Coaches: Wynton Fictoor (Wynners) and Alan Dowling (Al)
Captain: Fergal Gallagher (Fergs)
Self Appointed Vice-Captain: Niall Deegan (Nialler)
Starting team: Flanno, Bull, GI Joe, Wynners, Fergs, Marty, Seany, Marko, Wes, Stu, Danny H.
Subs: Alex, Joey, Chris, Anders.
10am – one hour prior to kick-off in the B household on Alison Road, Randwick an anxious Dan B is trying to relax ahead of the local derby.
Dan B: L O L, Kagami….get up, get up…you have got to see this….quick.
Kagami B: Ah Dan, would you get away from the window, put down those binoculars and come back to bed.
Dan B: O M G, that dog has the biggest head that I have ever seen. How do dogs get that big, Kagami?
Kagami B: I don’t know Dan. Have you got your footie stuff ready yet? You better be heading off soon.
Dan B: Yep, I slept in my shorts, footie socks and skin-guards last night so that I wouldn’t forget them.
Kagami B: What about your tennis shoes?
Dan B: Aaaaaahhhhhhh….my trusted, prestige, white, soft-on-the-sole, gripless, tennis shoes. I’ll grab them now.
Kagami B: Geez. Great preparation, Dan. Can I come down and watch you guys play today? Pleaseeeeeeeeeee!
Dan B (tying up his Boris Becker-signed tennis shoes): Hmmmmm, ok but hang back in the background. Just do what I enjoy doing: just watch from afar.
Kagami B: Sure, of course, no problem. Watch from afar and blend in with the background. You won’t even know that I am there.
Dan B: You got it. Actually I might do that during the game at some point as well. I’ll see how I feel.
Kagami B: Wahoo…I finally get to see you play.
Dan B: But no singing and chanting.
Kagami B (frowning): But it will bring you good luck, D-Master-General.
Dan B: Are you taking the precstascio? No, Kagami. Not in front of lads. They will think it is weird. By the way, nice use of the ‘D-Master-General’ pet name – I love that pet name.
Kagami B: What if I do it before the game? Away from the team. You won’t even know that I am there.
Dan B: Ok, ok. You can watch and do your singing and chanting from the north-east corner. We get changed in the south-west corner. By the way, I am only agreeing to this because you know how big a believer I am in random superstitious acts.
Kagami B: Yes!!!!!!!! I’ll bring my own lyrics for this.
Dan B (silent, thinking to himself): Thank God the lads will be too far away to hear this.
Dan B: Yeah, grand. No problem honey-boo-boo.
Kagami B: I love it when you call me that. How are we getting to the game?
Dan B: The Batmobile of course.
Kagami B: Your push-bike?
Dan B: Yep, I’ll give you a ‘backie’.
Dan B and Kagami B leave Alison Road and cycle to Paine Reserve. 100 meters out from the House of Paine, Dan B arches his head back and states the following.
Dan B (panting): Alright, I am pulling over soon. You jump off and walk the rest of the way to the north-east corner of the pitch.
Kagami B: Cool. I’ll see you after the game. Good luck, D-Master-General.
Dan B slows down and let’s Kagami B off his bike. A brief kiss and he is off again. He cycles round to the south-west corner of Paine Reseve whereas Kagami B scurries off up to the north-east corner. She pulls out her lyrics en route in preparation of singing good luck to Dan B and the rest of the Barney lads in her native tongue.
Dan B: Hiya lads. What’s the story?
Seany (in a high-pitched scourser accent): How are you, Dan? How are you feeling? Good?
Dan B: Sorry, what did you say?
Seany (laughing): I am not sure. But these dogs at my feet which have just turned up randomly after I said that seemed to understand it perfectly.
Dan B (puzzled): Right, sound.
Fergs: Right lads, let’s get the warm-up done. Follow me.
Fergs leads the way in the direction of the north-east corner, which is shaded by the high trees. Dan B’s heartbeat increases. He can see Kagami B standing near the shaded area with her lyrics in hand. As he runs around the pitch he gestures frantically to Kagami B to pull back.
GI Joe: Dan, are you ok? You look troubled.
Dan B (voice breaking): I’m grand. There was a wasp….buzzing around my head there….for a second….I was just trying…..to get rid if it.
Marko (in a thick Scottish accent): That was just me Dan mate eh. I am buzzing today mate eh. Hey eh de day hey hey eh de eh.
The lads pull up at the shaded area. Dan B knows the game is up.
Fergs: Lads, let’s get the stretches done. Hammies first of all. Also Dan, can you please explain to the rest of the lads whilst we are doing our warm-up what is going on with your bird who sounds like she is currently beating out her own rendition of ‘Danny Boy’ in her native tongue?
Dan B (cringing): Ah lads, sure you know yourself, she is my biggest supporter. It’ll bring us good luck.
Chris (absolutely furious): Good luck? Good luck? I’ll tell you what it will bring Dan. It will give us an ear-ache which will mean that we cannot hear each other properly on the pitch. Do you think I need that or Joey or Stu? Communication and hearing is so important in this game. Hey, you need to get your head in the game, work hard, run back and forward and back again, side-to-side, up and down. Hey, you need to get your tackles in, pressurise the man on the ball, talk to the man next to you, get water in for the lads to keep the lads hydrated, shoot on sight, hold the ball, pass the ball, be strong in the air, strong in the tackle, be positive, play the ball diagonally, play it laterally, play it forward, play it long but not too long, play it short, talk to Wynners, talk to the ref, talk encouragingly to yourself, go short for Flanno, go long for Flanno, be back-up for Flanno. Hey, do you understand Dan? Did you get all that? That’s all we are asking for.
Dan B (struggling to deal with Chris’ volley of information whilst hoping Kagami B will finish up shortly): Yeah, grand Chris. Sorry lads.
Joey (smiling to himself) : Jaysis, I quite enjoyed it like. Nice tone to it like. Has she released any tapes or DVDs like? I think she’d do well in Limerick boy?
Dan B (face screwed up due to his bemusement at the last comment, his South Dublin accent becoming more pronounced): Are you actually being serious?
Joey (dead-plan): I am like.
The lads finish their warm-up and take to the pitch for the start of the game. Dan B takes his place on the bench and flashes a disapproving stare at Kagami B who watches the entire game from behind a tree.
Wynners went with a flat 4-4-2 unlike last week when he went with an unorthodox 1-3-2-1-3 formation. We started well, pressurising the ball and not letting the opposition settle. GI Joe and Wynners were clearing everything up at the back. Big Stu was linking up well with Marko and Seany in midfield. Flanno-Dogg-Millionaire was growing into his role in goals as Jorge Campos. Wes was putting in a serious shift on the left wing: harrying, harassing, snapping and winning key ball. Marty and Bulli were producing some nice combinations on the right. Danny H was a great outlet for the advancing midfielders. All in all, we were unrecognisable to last week.
Chances were at a premium. Our first chance after thirty minutes resulted in the opening goal. Marko took a short corner to GI Joe who delicately scooped the ball to the back post. Big Stu was there to head the ball in from two inches out. 1-0 to the Barney Boys. We held firm for the rest of the half. 1-0 at half-time.
Chris – who was deputising for Al as Assistant Coach – gave the half-time team-talk. He spoke of being courageous and taking an extra touch. Seany thought to himself if that’s what he should have done with that auld one he pulled from the C&H on Friday night at the raffle.
The second half was backs-to-the-wall stuff. The opposition threw the kitchen sink at us but again we held firm. Their only real clear-cut opportunity was from a Flanno fumble and their striker slapped his shot against the cross-bar under pressure from Anders and GI Joe. With 90 minutes on the clock we won a corner off some committed play on the left by Alex. Fergs whipped it in to the back post and again Big Stu was there on the end of it to kick it into the roof of the net. 2-0 and the full-time whistle sounded. The debacle of last week was put to bed after a tough, committed, solid performance. Back at it to training on Wednesday night lads.
Man of the Match: Wynners – solid as a rock, tough in the tackle, cleared his lines, won all his 50/50 challenges. The loveable gonger is back!
Honourable mention: GI joe – commanding presence at the back, held the line, communicated extremely well and was immense in the air. Also Big Stu – scored two goals and held the ball up extremely well.
Comic gold moment: Dan B / Kagami B and their pre-match banter.