09/02/14 Friendly v Troon at Holyrood Sports Centre

0-3 (0-1)


Alan Galindo; Ally McNaught, Calum Colquhoun (c), Allan Lennox, Allan Mackenzie; Gary Duncan, Raymond Ford, Graeme McQuarrie; Sean Connolly (David Blair), Adam Walker, Scott Macrae


There were dark clouds overhead at The Fortress as the team prepared for the gigantic game against Troon.


A 4-2 defeat to Giffnock Old Crocks, average age 75, the previous week had left the loyal support annoyed, perplexed, disappointed, pure fuming and a wee bit unhappy.


The main aim of their anger had been at mercurial Manager Andy Boy Wonder who had inexplicably left squad player Phil Neville on the bench against the Old Crocks.


As we all know Phil is a first half player, and not a very good one, so leaving him on the bench smelt of desperation and there were rumours, started by me, that Andy Boy Wonder may not be up to the job.


To compound The Boss’s week he had had to suffer a torrent of abuse whilst on a midweek scouting mission to watch Troon play Tarbolton City in the South Ayrshire Cup Semi Final at Fenwick.


A group of “supporters” had targeted The Boss and thrown rotten fruit, shouted obscenities and criticised his hairstyle whilst he was trying to watch the game.


Police were called and the culprits identified and it turned out they were all members of the Irn Bru Firm and season ticket holders at the Fortress.


It was far from ideal preparation for the massive game against Troon and The Boss called a team meeting in the Panini Café at the multi million pound CG Machine Pavilion at the Fortress.


Unfortunately the Panini Café was overrun by local pensioners who had come in for a heat and the special two for one cheese Paninis made by internationally renowned Club Chef Clarissa Dickson Wright.


The Boss had brought a DVD of the Old Crocks game, so that the players could suffer like the support had, but unfortunately he had to do one to one sessions as the TV can only be looked at by a couple of people at a time and is a bit of a tight squeeze for the larger members of the squad like The Great Marzinho.


Talking of The Great Marzinho, our floppy haired pin up boy had caused a stooshie by making himself unavailable for the Troon game as he is unhappy at the recent offer for his image rights.


The great man’s lawyers, Sir Montgomery Montserrat and Partners, had argued long into the night about getting a better deal so that photos of the Club Legend could be used

on the Club’s website.

Oficial Club Spokesman, Kenneth “Ken” Barlow, happily back at his desk after a recent leave of absence, announced, “we don’t see how we can increase The Great Marzinho’s offer as he generally only gets the last couple of minutes of a game and the photographers have usually all headed to the CG Machine Pavilion for Paninis by that time.”


I guess we’ll have to wait to see if anything develops with this story.


 The Great Marzinho wasn’t the only player missing from the squad for a game which could very well define the season, whatever that means, as Club Captain Andy Dicko, Craigy Boy McKenna, Grandpa Crossers, one of the McQuarrie Triplets and, worst of all, Wee Leggy were all unavailable for various reasons.


The absence of goalkeeper Wee Leggy through injury was the cruellest blow as Graham “The Cat” Carmalt, Raymondo Martinez, Warwick Davis and Bernie Cribbins were all still unavailable for a variety of reasons which don’t need to be explained here.


Even seventh choice keeper Dougay was missing as he is away at the Winter Olympics in Sochi competing in the Luge Pairs with close friend Rylan Clark. Good luck with that, and no holding hands.


In a moment which could be best described as “madness” Andy Boy Wonder declared that he would go in goals but luckily someone had a word in his ear to tell him it was a bad move.


That someone was new Club Kit Man Wing Commander Nobby “Perky” Perkins who had been a Spitfire pilot in World War 2 and was the sort of man that never shied away from important decisions.


“Mr Boy Wonder sir, I don’t think you should go in goals as we need your talents in the Technical Area, sir. Why not put the wee Spanish guy in goals sir, his knee is bad so he’s no use to us outfield sir.”


The “wee Spanish guy” in question was none other than Gelano “Gee” Galindo whose knee is apparently bad so he seemed the ideal candidate for goals.


The match day weather was atrocious with driving rain and wind blowing the state of the art “wee black baws” off the Fortress pitch and, as we were short of players, the game was going to be a struggle.


Despite the Old Crocks result and the weather the crowd flocked to the Fortress to give our young Legendary Manager another chance.


In the dressing room before the game there was a tension rarely seen on match day.


“Right guys, we’ve players missing but I am confident that we’ll still do awright and come away with an okay result.


“Galindo, you’re in goals.”


“Que, senor, Mi rodilla está dolorida y no puedo jugar en las metas.”


“That’s fantastic Gee and just the spirit I’m looking for. There will be a wee Tequilla for you later if you do the business.”


“Que, Pero, no puedo jugar, jefe.”


“Stop it wee man, you’re breaking my heart.”


Mister Andy Boy Wonder had to take a breath as tears welled up in his eyes but luckily Wing Commander Nobby “Perky” Perkins was on hand with a man size tissue, always the man for a crisis.


“Our full backs are the Neville Brothers with the lovely wee guy Wee Al, who’s my hero, in the centre of defence with Johnny Bairstow who is back with us after an all-conquering Ashes tour Down Under as some people call Australia.


“In midfield we’ve got Wee Gary and two of the McQuarrie Triplets with Seanelli, 8 Goal and Sebo up front.


“On the bench we’ve got LHD and the versatile Camzo.


“Now out you go in the rain and get warmed up.”


The players trooped down the tunnel to the sodden pitch all except Phil Neville who has his own way of warming up.


The Gorgeous Phil found a quiet corner of the dressing room and plugged his headphones into his laptop so he could watch an episode of his favourite TV Drama, Midsomer Murders.


Having the DVD Boxset had made such a difference to Phil’s life and he had been able to put all his Beta Max videos in the garden shed for safe keeping.


However, there had been an incident during the previous week which had soured Phil’s relationship with his brother Gary and one which could have repercussions for the harmony of the team.


Phil had proudly shown his brother the Midsomer Murders Boxset but Gary had unexpectedly said, “I’d hate to live in Midsomer as everybody seems to get murdered there.”


Trying to stay calm, Phil had been pure furious as he’d just bought a time share holiday home in Midsomer from a lovely young chap he’d met in the street, the best £10,000 he’d ever spent.


It was meant to be a surprise and he’d planned on telling Gary about it at the breakfast table over a boiled egg and soldiers (provided by Wing Commander Nobby “Perky” Perkins) but that wasn’t going to happen now and the atmosphere between the brothers was unusually frosty as they turned up at the Fortress on match day morning.


As the players trooped back into the dressing room soaking wet Gary said to Phil, “is that the episode where the Verger is the murderer ?” It took all of Phil’s mental strength to not react other than to say, “Go away before I burst you.”


Not the best start to any game, far less a massively important friendly against Troon, but Wing Commander Nobby “Perky” Perkins tried to raise the spirits by saluting the team onto the park and making sure they all had matching wellies and gloves on.


It would be fair to say that the conditions looked like they would be the winner, as well as Troon obviously, and we struggled to get going in the first half (and the second).


Troon took an early lead when a shot skimmed over the surface four times (one short of the record) past Gee in goals who was keeping the defence’s spirits going by constantly shouting, “Por favor, me quita.”

For a brief spell in the first half we had the bulk of possession but rarely looked like scoring with a couple of shots nearly hitting the street vendors outside the Fortress.


There was a huge moment of controversy when Man Mountain Sebo looked to be fouled in the penalty box but referee Jim Carberry (Troon) waved play on and then waved on a fishing trawler who threw down their net and winched Sebo out of the water.


Just before the interval Seanelli went down clutching his ankle and Doctor Kuntz waded onto the pitch to see if there was anything he could do, there wasn’t.


The First Aid Team escorted Seanelli to the sidelines in their dinghy and LHD came onto the pitch to great applause.


Half time and still one nil to Troon and Andy Boy Wonder had little option than to send the same team back onto the pitch as Camzo, or Mister Versatility as he’s known only to himself, was still going through a fitness test from the good doctor.


Eventually Doctor Kuntz declared Camzo “unlikely to make much difference if he comes on” (probably his first correct diagnosis) and so the defender/midfielder/forward was told to get changed although he complained loudly about the Doc being “far too touchy feely for his own good.”


Ironically this was a similar accusation made to Doctor Kuntz when he was Team Physician to the Saudi Arabian Ladies Team in the 90’s which caused him to be smuggled out of the country to Yemen in the boot of a car driven by TV’s Grant Mitchell, probably the bravest man in the world.






Saudi Arabia's left back Philomena Mohammed

 427 appearances, 2 goals (both penalties)








With their being no change at the interval it meant that Phil Neville was making a rare (in the uncommon sense) appearance in a second half. Brother Gary went up to congratulate him but all he got in response was, “so, what of it ?”


Not good, and the football didn’t get any better as Troon got their sea legs on and looked the better side.


It was freezing cold now but Gee, Gawd bless him, was still trying to encourage the team as he shouted, “Por favor, no puedo ir en mi rodilla y dolor es realmente.” What a guy.


The pitch resembled a river and up in the Director’s Box one of our visitors was heard to say, “time to get the subs on, eh Vlad ?”


How they laughed as Bobby Mugabe slapped Vladimir Romanov on the back as fellow visitor, the humourless Kim Jong-un said, “I don’t get it ?”


The reason why Bobby, Vlad and Kim where at the Fortress, of course, was because it was our turn to host the monthly “Dictator Roadshow.”


To be more precise, it was Club owner Victor Tanned’s turn to host the Dictator Roadshow and former Manager Mister C was acting as compere for the day.


Unfortunately there had been an unfortunate incident prior to the game when Miss Madonna McClafferty had turned up and asked to get into the Dictator Roadshow as she can type at a speed of 85wpm.


 Miss McClafferty, Garnethill Typist of the Year 2013, was asked to leave by security after Kim Jong-un had kindly offered to have her shot. It was just one of those silly misunderstandings that happen from time to time and thankfully nobody was hurt in the incident.


Back to the game and the visitors, having changed into flippers, were controlling the game.


On the sidelines Seanelli had said he was okay to come back on, despite Doctor Kuntz ordering an ambulance for him, and Andy Boy Wonder decided to change things around and took off Gary Neville. The laughing and shouting of, “nae luck” from the left hand side of the pitch did nothing to help team harmony.


Sadly the change never worked as Troon scored another couple of goals and most of the crowd didn’t even stay around to boo the team off as the water level rose.


A disappointing performance but lack of numbers and the weather certainly didn’t help although the scoreline probably flattered Troon.




Club Mascots Felix and Felice take shelter from the rain








In the dressing room after the game The Boss gave some words of wisdom. “Unlucky guys,” were the inspirational words, followed by “Gee you were magnificent although I voted for Johnny Bairstow as Player of the Day”.


The wee Spanish keeper could only say, “No estoy jugando en objetivos una vez más,” and the squad all applauded and gave him a big hug with the Boss saying, “No bother wee man, same again next time.”


So another defeat and it was time to face the press but Andy Boy Wonder is still not conducting post match interviews as he’s emotionally challenged, or “BOY WONDER IS A BIG FEARTIE” as the Gallowflat Gazette mockingly proclaimed.


So the names where put in a hat and 8 Goal was sent out to the Player Zone to answer any questions.


“Are the players disappointed with this defeat ?”




“With a double header coming up against Montrose and Fir Park Corner do you think you’ll win one of those games ?”




“Does Andy Boy Wonder still have the backing of the dressing room ?”


“No comment”


“Do you think the Boss is doing a good job ?”


“No comment”


“Are the Neville Brothers speaking to each other ?”




“Do you think Wee Al is really as nice as everybody says ?”


“No comment”


“Do you have a favourite McQuarrie Brother ?”


“No comment”


“Can you remember the last time you scored a goal ?”


At that 8 Goal stormed out the Player Zone although, without checking, I can’t remember the last time he scored either so a fair question in the circumstances.


The rain was still coming down in torrents so Victor Tanned organised a fleet of speedboats to take the squad home but the Nevilles decided to use their own transport.



As they got in their two man canoe, with a carry out Broccoli and Cheese Panini safely tucked away, Gary broke the silence.


“Phil, you seem awful quiet but I know how to cheer you up as I have a French Fancy and some of your favourite Earl Grey Tea for supper tonight.”


The Gorgeous One remained silent for a few moments but finally said, “Do you know how Earl Grey Tea got its name ?”


“No, Phil”


“Well, according to one legend, a grateful Chinese mandarin, whose son was rescued from drowning by one of Lord Grey's men, first presented the blend to the Earl in 1803……………………..”


At last peace was restored and they sailed into the distance with happy thoughts of a great night in.


But, with the worry of a Double Header coming up would things be as peaceful throughout the squad ?


Haven’t a clue, but stay tuned to find out………….

















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