BOOM. The doors of the van were blown off as a clearly sozzled Johan burst forth into the brisk morning air, an axe in one hand and a half eaten Ox in the other. As I fell to my knees, eyes wide, clutching my head, I could see Glen’s unconscious body lying amidst a dozen cans of Super Lager. It seemed that Johan had been locked inside the van with a crate of that poisonous brew and a signed picture of a smiling Fernando Ricksen and had been working himself up to berserker mode all night. He ran at us then, directly, screaming something about ‘smiting’ us. Now I don’t know what it means to be smoten, but I didn’t want to find out. I ran as fast as my deceptively languid running style would allow and hoped against all odds that he wouldn’t catch me.
As I ran, I recalled seeing a movie called ‘Godzilla’, where a huge green lizard trampled New York city and only Inspector Gadget and Leon could stop it. Now, as we scarpered through the corridors of Lennoxtown, I realised it was just like that movie and I was Inspector Gadget, except I didn’t have telescopic legs or a helicopter inside my hat…
Poor wee Shaun was the first to be caught. His little legs couldn’t peddle his trike fast enough. Luckily his shoe lace had managed to become tangled in the peddle mechanism and he’d fallen off just as Johan’s mighty foot trampled his beloved trike, mangling the frame beyond all recognition.
Joe Ledley had been too slow in his get-away and with a mighty swipe of Johan’s hand, had been flung into the laundry room, ending up in the box full of Bobo Balde’s old unwashed jock straps. Cha Du Ri had run so fast he reached the critical threshold of 88 miles per hour and with a trail of fire disappeared back to 1985. I watched in awe as Gary Hooper merely opened his arms, looked heavenwards and ascended into the safety of the clouds as Anthony Stokes was beaten unconscious with a half eaten ox. The rest of us scattered like ants and hid as best we could.
After roughly 30 minutes of running for dear life, hiding and dodging wild axe swings, Johan looked exhausted and with one last frustrated scream, fell into a snoring heap. The guys who had survived collapsed in exhaustion and thanked whatever gods they prayed to.
Just as we were all recovering from our morning of terrifying sprint training, Lenny told us it was time for shooting practise. I’m not a huge fan of shooting practice, as it usually involves me being tied to a post and the rest of them belting the ball at me as hard as they can. Lenny assures me it’s the best way to get their shooting accuracy up, but I wish it didn’t mess up my Pantene-clean hair so much. Just as we finished and I was untied from the post, Cha sauntered back onto the pitch. He was dressed in ripped jeans, a denim jacket and high-top Air Jordan trainers with bottle caps stuck in the laces and was carrying a huge ghetto-blaster with Hughie Lewis’s classic “Power of Love” blaring from it. I fixed my hair whilst the power of Huey Lewis’ love massaged my weary mind.
After a lunch of yoghurt and chicken kebabs, a tactics session was next. We were all seated before Lenny as he drew his tactical formation for the weekends game. Paddy McCourt got up, cigarette in mouth, and in his strange, unintelligible language, took the chalk from Lenny and, drawing a wave on the board between the opposition player markers, said “You give me the ball, I do this, this, this and goal…” Just as he said “Goal” he dropped the chalk, bent down to pick it up and put his back out. Physio said he’s out for the rest of the month…oh dear.
As I left I noticed that the protest (as Lenny explained it to me) had dissipated. I don’t even know what they were protesting about? Oh well. Nighty night.