There's not much happening at the moment so I thought some of you might enjoy reliving an old training session from 2007 that I never got around to posting.
Training in cool conditions at Windy Hill.
Session began with what I term the road safety drill. A player was stooped like a praying mantis with an Easter egg looking right, looking left, looking right again anxiously trying to work out who he could chip a 15 metre back pass to when a shadow fell across me. I looked up and beheld a vision of loveliness in a gold lame track suit, gold pom pom mules and a mass of black hair imprisoned by a scarlet band.
â€œHi Jackie! I bet you don‘t know who sent me.â€
â€œHugh Heffner‘s mum was cleaning out his bedroom?â€ I ventured.
â€œNo silly. Tiffany sent me. She loves the way you describe her clothes and thinks that you should do fashion reports instead of training reports.â€
â€œSo do several coachesâ€
â€œShe also also likes that you have a girl‘s name and she wants you to teach me about football training â€“ I‘m Fritzi Blitzâ€ she said extending a hand and a smile which extended from her mouth to her large brown eyes.
â€œHow did you know who I was?â€
â€œTiffany said to look for a badly dressed man with binoculars who looked like one of the Three Stooges thirty years on.â€
â€œThat could have been Sandbelt or Ant 555 even.â€
â€œShe mentioned a resemblance to Shemp.â€
â€œWell Fritzi whether you write training reports will depend on what the rest of Bomber Blitz thinks but the first rule to remember is that you must get to training on time.
â€œI was on time but when I came in this man who looked like Jock McHale in a base ball cap came up to me and said
â€œI‘m Kevin Sheedy where are you from?â€
â€œWellâ€ I said â€œCleo" (I write fashion articles for Cleo) but he must have thought I said â€œFreoâ€ so he said â€œYou‘re a spy come to film training â€“ take off your top.â€
A whole lot of players all wearing numbers like the Beagle Boys were starting to gather by this time and I said â€œWhy?â€
â€œYou have something hidden under your top â€“ I believe it is a camera.â€
Then number 10 said â€œI think its two camerasâ€ and number 1 added â€œWith zoom lenses.â€
I really wanted to help (people often want me to take my top off) but I didn‘t have a bra on so I said â€œI can‘t. I have looked every where but have been unable to find a golden bra to go with my outfit and so I would be bare chested.â€
Number 31 said â€œDon‘t worry its standard procedure everyone at training has to be photographed.â€ And several other players nodded vigorously.
Then number 21 said â€œI am often bare chested at trainingâ€ and number 18 said â€œI don‘t mind showing my armsâ€ and number 22 said â€œYou can see my thighs any timeâ€ and then one called Bolts said would you like to seeâ€¦ and I thought he was going to say my bolts like in the James Whale film of Frankenstein and I was thinking I was glad that â€œNutsâ€ Coventry had gone the same way as Jock McHale, ... my holiday snaps?â€ and number 25 said â€œNo one wants to see the cheese factories of Norway.â€
â€œHave you considered a golden veil to go with your outfit â€“ like in Jeannie its our favourite TV showâ€ someone said who was carrying a bottle of water and a bottle of Gatorade. â€œWe do early weights sessions so we can go home and watch it.â€ said someone else whose number I couldn‘t see.
â€œIt wouldn‘t suit meâ€ I replied â€œEveryone would start saying â€œFritzi Blitz show us your lipsâ€ and I wouldn‘t like that.â€
Then a nice man â€“ number 33 â€“ with an unusual haircut said â€ I have a haute couture fashion house in Ascot Vale. We have just received a big consignment of gold bikinis from deceased Gold Coast meter maids if you you allow me to take your measurements I will get some spandex lycra and fashion them into a personalised gold brassiere to complement your outfit.â€
â€œOh dearâ€ I said â€œWhat happened to the poor meter maids?â€
â€œTheir time was up and they just expired I guess.â€ said 33.
As he advanced towards me an Eskimo pushed through and said â€œI am a part time photographer and fitness adviser for Whom Weekly I will handle this.â€
â€œWhat the hell is Whom Weakly?â€ said number 13.
â€œIt‘s a topless grammar magazineâ€
â€œWhy does a grammar magazine need a fitness advisor? Asked 36.
â€œWhere have you been? Haven‘t you seen how footballers turned writers can fracture the language it all has to be fixed you know. Last week Tony Shaw caused tension problems when he kept swapping tenses and I had to repair six split infinitives from Wallsy‘s article alone and we employ Mike Sheehan just to run the clichÃ© column.â€
â€œWell why does Whom Weekly need a photographer then â€“ do you photograph commas or something?â€ I asked.
â€œFor the centrefolds. We are currently running a series on the best Greek and Latin roots.
Aren‘t you aware of the relationship between grammar and fitness?â€
â€œJackie hasn‘t taught me to do training reports yet I thought fitness experts dealt with injuries.â€
â€œYes but fitness is related to grammar. I‘ve been working on this theory for some time.. Look at that modified group over there doing handballs. JJ is suffering from abbreviation.Campo has a gay vowel. Laycock has a ham e (pork and vowels don‘t go well together â€“ good vowels and regularity are most important) and Tommy is having trouble with a pronoun at the beginning of his name. It all comes down to grammar in the end.â€
â€œWell what‘s wrong with number 40 he looks fine to me and number 4?â€
â€œNumber 40 has a very bad alliteration and number 4 just loves to handball but he has a question mark hanging over his kicking that we need to get rid of.â€
â€œThat‘s fascinating â€“ how do you treat them for bad grammar?â€
I put them in a group and give them 1000 handballs a week for 2 â€“ 6 weeks. If that doesn‘t work I send them to Japan at the end of the season. Their English is so much better than the Japanese and they gain confidence so quickly that we can put many of them straight into our leadership group.â€
Number 29 pushed to the front of the group. â€œHi, I‘m Froggy â€“ if you kiss me I will turn into a prince.â€
â€œWere you a prince before you were a frog?â€
â€œNo he was a tadpoleâ€ said 7.
â€œShut up Leroy. I am the Prince of Pace.â€
â€œOh yeah! Well they call me â€œLeroy Jetstarâ€ said 7 â€œcause I‘m so fast.â€
â€œBecause you‘re so cheapâ€ said 15 â€œFritzi can see that I am the fastest by far.â€
This discussion was interrupted when 44 saidâ€œLook out here comes G.O.D..â€
â€œYou have GOD here?â€
â€œYes. He comperes training. A bit like the Bert Newton of training really. We have the Messiah too â€“ he‘s going to lead us out of the wilderness.â€
Suddenly a shaft of golden sunlight speared down from the clouds and number 5 emerged illuminated in a golden halo. My knees trembled I could see at once that he was a living legend.
â€œWhy are you here my child?â€ he said.
â€œLady Tiffany has sent me to seek the wisdom of Jackie Mihocek in the arts of training exalted sire..â€ (You suddenly felt you had to talk like this.)
â€œMy child don‘t you realize that Jackie is not a real person.â€
â€œIs he a hologram then?â€ said number 6. â€œMy uncle started a hologram greeting card company which was really cool. We had three dimensional greeting cards that we called â€œHellogramsâ€ but the card market collapsed after Whom weekly accused â€œHellogramsâ€ of prostituting the language for financial gain and now he sells insurance.
â€œHe‘s not a hologram said 24 he‘s an alias. Jackie‘s not his real name it‘s a guise to avoid detection like Tony Mokbel might use. Suppose Tony Mokbel came to the club. He wouldn‘t say â€œHi I‘m Tony Mokbel.â€ Because some one would ring Henneman and he would be arrested.â€
â€œWhat would he say ?â€ asked 30
â€œProbably â€œHi, I‘m David Calthorpe.â€ And he could watch training and Henneman wouldn‘t find out unless he noticed the Armani suit.â€
â€œNo, noâ€ said 38 â€œJackie‘s not an alias its an alter ego â€“ like the Superman and Clark Kent.â€
19 said â€œI was reading the gossip column in Whom Weekly and it said that JFK (who was suffering from abbreviation) had an affair with Marilyn Monroe but what people don‘t know is that Jackie Kennedy was also having an affair with a famous film identity.â€
â€œWho, who?â€ said 39 like a demented owl.
â€œNot who, who but whom, whom.â€ Corrected 20 whose grammar was impeccable.
â€œWellâ€ said 19 leaning forward confidentially â€œAccording to Gary‘s gossip it was Shemp Howard and Jackie is their illegitimate son!â€
One of the coaches gave a gasp. â€œI thought Jackie didn‘t have a life, or was just a hologram but he is the son of a Stooge.â€
â€œThat explains a lot said 11.â€
â€œI‘m going to see if he will give me his autograph after trainingâ€ said 3.
Suddenly 5‘s voice cut through the babble â€œDon‘t you see who this golden girl is? She‘s a Madonna, the Bomber Madonna!â€
â€œRogers and Hammerstein are going to have a ball with this said 28 who was an expert on musicals â€“ Fritzi Blitz the Bomber Madonna, If we look like the spoon in June the year might turn into a musical.â€
â€œNoâ€ said 5 â€œNow we have G.O.D., the Messiah and the Bomber Madonna â€“ the Holy Trinity to take us on paths of glory to the flag. 13 will win the Brownlow and with Tiffany, Fritzi and 33 to advise us on fashions we will be winners there too.â€
â€œIs God sending madonnas to spy on training?â€ gasped Sheeds anxiously searching the sky for Gods or martians.
â€œNo, noâ€ said 5. â€œHe told Ron Evans (who was such a good person he went straight to heaven â€“ he had first played football for his church with Ken Fraser before coming to Windy Hill) that he wants you to win the flag and break Jock‘s record before you are called and he wants Jackie to show everyone how you did it. Go and see Jackie, Fritzi and tell him I said to show you what to do.â€
â€œSo here I am Jackie and that‘s why I‘m late for training. Can I write training reports for Bomber Blitz?â€
â€œI‘m sure the Blitzers will like that I said and so will I because I can see that I am spending too much time at training â€“ I just saw a white rabbit with a fob watch saying he was terribly late for a very important date.â€
................Fritzi never did write any training reports despite me spending many long hours assisting her with her grammar and other matters until Tiffany found out. They are no longer friends but if Caro ever retires don't be surprised if she pops up.
Hope you enjoyed this journey down memory lane.