This is the slightly delayed blog that you should have been able to read by Friday at the latest. We apologise for any inconvenience caused – words come easily in a field at a music festival, sufficient signal to access the interweb less so.
In all the worry about new signings and the wringing of paws over the loss of crucial players one key element of a successful season seems to have been overlooked. Has the snackage, the refreshments, the pre and post-match refueling essentials been reviewed? Refreshed even to ensure they keep up with the demands of another season where the opposition will be wiser to the approach that worked so successfully the season before? Do we need to reconsider the formation, have opposition managers sussed us out – are we too predictable? Do we need to inject some youth and pace into a squad that has seen us through some tough times? Do we need to, dare I say it, TINKER?
To an extent, like a manager at a club with megalomaniac owner, a key decision was taken out of TLF’s paws. The heart of TLF’s match day ritual, the trip to Andy the Burger’s van for a crisped up bacon COB, is off. TLF doesn’t know the details but there was a new purveyor of fine fried goods on duty at the opening game of the season. TLF was too discombobulated to test out the new signing but there are tough tests ahead for this new member of the team; can they?
No, scrub that.
Will they crisp the bacon on request?
It has already been noted that like those who went before them they insist on calling a cob a roll but hey I’m not one to expect footballing miracles (I think I have had my lifetime’s allocation of those).
Easing the pain somewhat is the appearance of a cheeky, some might say, precocious new signing in residence at Clarence Park. The SACFC official donut. TLF was initially suspicious; too garish, too ostentatious for my liking – never keen on the flair player. Until the magic words, ‘lemon’ and ‘curd’ were uttered and small children were left scattered in TLF’s wake as I staked my claim. Excitement levels were such that I only remembered to pay for it at half time.
Like your reliable centre half who has just signed a new 3 year contract, the bacon fries and ‘that German beer’ ensure some continuity. And they go down a treat in the resplendent surroundings of the recently redecorated club house; new paint (two tone blue and white), new ceiling and floor tiles and some brand new prints. All funded by proceeds from the SBYS race night and installed by brilliant SBYS volunteers. All light and airy it looks bigger and seems to make us all look a bit thinner (might come in handy if the donut thing becomes a regular feature). Even the ladies loo door has been replaced – although it should maybe come with a health warning as I gave it the same weighty shove that was previously required and almost decapitated a woman using the hand dryer.
On the pitch things weren’t looking too shabby either, with two cracking goals against Concord giving the Mighty Saints a winning start to the season.
Twenty four hours later and it was time for Lesta City’s first trip to the new Wemberlee and first ever Charity Shield (as it was called in old money). I know that technically it wasn’t their first, but 1971 at Filbert Street for random reasons including Arsenal’s unavailability and the FA not liking Leeds does not properly count. Clearly the donut had gone to TLF’s head as all of a sudden a cheeky Italian rose is called up from the sub’s bench, replacing the veteran lager as the pre-match drink of choice.
More traditional are TLF’s hopes for the game ahead, “I’d just like to avoid humiliation.”
As it turns out there is no humiliation on the pitch, although I think Mr TLF might have questioned the off-pitch humiliation factor of TLF’s fox ears. The defeat is, in the grand scheme of things, an easy one to stomach (BOOM!), being all about a ‘good day out’. Not even wine consumed will deaden the memory of joining in with the chant ‘Champions of England’ as we step onto the platform at Wemberlee Park tube station or the celebrations when we equalised, “Lesta just scored at Wemebrleeeeeeeeee” I bounced and screamed at Mr TLF. He knew that but tired and emotional Foxes can sometimes do no more than state the bleedin’ obvious.
Post match recovery is aided by sausage COBS and a return to the more traditional beverage of choice, lager. TLF – keeping the winning formula going on the plate, if not always on the pitch.