On the savannahs of Adelaide High the Whites gathered to take the field against the Afro-might of UniSa. The Glamour was riding high after a couple of ego-boosting victories, the team beginning to gel after the experimental phase of the embryonic season.
The day began with a serious emergency when our new best player – Titus Yap -revealed he had a scuff on his new white boots. He had been up all night trying to scrub it off using everything from toothpaste to bleach – but to no avail. After some counseling he was convinced he should play. With this emergency averted we took the field.
With Superman flying to the South of France for the winter a huge cultural gap was left in both the arts and the Uni Whites. Ok so it wasn’t that big a gap…but there was gap and it was filled pretty quickly by the dual centre-back powerhouses Paul ‘Polski-Ogorki-K’ and Harry ‘Michael Caine’ Smith. The Golden-Triangle (George ‘Super-2’ Tan, Titus ‘Pretty-Boots’ Yap & Alan ‘Train’ Evans) cemented the central midfield, with myself and ‘Long-Lost’-Lewis coming in at left and right back. On the wings the mercurial Korean Jidan and whippet whitey Chris Neale. At the South and North poles the hat-trick kid Amir and Keeper-Callum. Walking the sideline were the twin Yodas Frank and Crab who imparted this pre-match wisdom – ‘play as one and yours’ will glamour be’.
The first 15 minutes saw the Whites stroking the ball around the square kilometer of the UniSa field. Bossing the game we stuck to the pre-match plan of using both sides of the park, switching play with some great exchanges between our back four and the mid-field. Amir and Titus took turns storming towards the Afro-Asian lines and creating a few shooting chances. Amir’s tactic of running like a baby Rhino into their defenders while keeping the ball at his feet through the blood and broken teeth almost worked a few times. But the 3–foot-nothing-40-something UniSa centre back Souk was doing a decent job halting our progress. The diminutive dwarf was confidently intercepting our attacks and distributing the ball to his midfield. We quickly went from Boss to Bitch when to their credit UniSa caught us with our shorts around our ankles and weenies in hand, with a series of incisive short passes and a through ball to a runner who split our defence and put one past Callum. With flashbacks to a horror game against this team last year we went 1-0 down.
But the Glamour knew we had it in us to pull this back and shortly before half-time Jidan knocked a nice chipped ball to Chris Neale who pranced down the right wing cutting in and bearing down upon the orange-clad keeper smacking the ball past him into the bottom left of the old onion bag. 1-1 at half time.
The Force felt like it was back with us as the twin Yodas gathered us together under the increasingly hot sun for the half time pow-wow. I don’t speak great Yoda but it went something like this: ‘Playing good team football, we were, although guilty of over playing the final balls in our attacking third of the pitch, were we. Proud they were of us not dropping our heads to pull it back to 1-1. Our game to win, was it’.
The second half began with the Whites taking the momentum into the play. Our second goal came in the first 8 minutes of the half, with a strange bit of play that saw Amir hit a shot at the keeper who seemed to save then fumble the ball back into the invading Turk’s path for a simple tap in. Praise Ataturk! 2-1. The chronology of the next part of the game is hazy (I’m old and smoked too much of Wez Reid’s good stuff in the 90’s) but at some point Longy came on for someone, Justin Kanga appeared for Chris , another Turk appeared in the form of Jay, and Jidan moved from the wing to d-mid (although the D-bit was lost in translation).
In an almost exact replica of the 2nd goal Alan Evans found himself shooting at the keeper only to have him generously hand the ball back into Alan’s path for a simple shimmy-around and slot in. Choo-Choo went the A-train! 3-1. The final 20 minutes saw the African 11 change tactics, playing their preferred 1-3-7 formation. Harry ‘Michael Cain’ Smith channeled the heroism of his screen namesake (see this clip for a sense of what things looked like from his point of view) as he held off both the marauding hordes and the pain of his hangover to clean up every wave of the Afro-assault. But we knew we had it in the bag.
As the final whistle blew we breathed a collective sigh of relief. The 3 points were ours. I’m not sure if it was the lactic acid burning in my veins or flashbacks of the smiley-face acid I dropped at the Ultraworld 6 Rave in 1994, but I swear I saw a vision of Superman Harris walking the Cannes Croisette and pumping his fist in the air like a hipster Judd Nelson in a Breakfast Club freeze-frame.
The final word must go to twin-Yodas with this parting message to the elated 11 (well 14 but that isn’t as onomatopeic as 11)…“Take this momentum into next week and beat those Rossie bastards, we must. Yeesssssss”.