Having made the supreme sacrifice on Friday (i.e. no beer at lunchtime, no beer in the afternoon, in fact no beer all day till I reached the Stable) in order to make sure I got to the game, I still managed to arrive 5 minutes late and missed the first goal.
To make matters worse, I was almost refused entry to the club by a doorman who didn't recognise me in my (sober) state. Already running late, I bypassed the bar (please don't repeat that to anyone) and went straight into the ground and wandered round to our usual spot behind the far posts, only to find that Forza had gone off to the bar. It gets worse - Forza did not have his mobile phone switched on and so was not able to be contacted to place an order for one extra beer.
As if this wasn't bad enough, our usual positon had been usurped by a band of mad drummers, whose sole purpose in life seemed to be to drown out any crowd cheering or polite advice to the players From forza or myself. Now I know that Julian and some others believe that drums or any other musical(?) accompaniment add to the football experience but really... these guys just had no idea. They were so bad that Forza & I made our regular half-time trek to the club 10 minutes earlier than usual.
Inside we had a couple of quick schooies with ex-team mates, big Pete, Davie Pearson, Freddie Taylor and Richard Houston - don't know where Peter Pan or wee Jack were - then sauntered back out to watch the second half, filled with a feeling of doom & gloom because Costanzo had limped off at the break looking like he wouldn't be back.
We grabbed a couple of beers in plastic cups each and wandered back down our end of the park, but couldn't bring ourselves to sit alongside the "orchestra". Instead we plonked ourselves directly behind the net where Fred's helpful goal-keeping tips could be passed on more easily to the Wolves custodian.
Oh! You want to hear about the game. Well, it ended in a 2-2 draw, after two good strikes from young Alex Brosque who teamed up well with our new number 7 - Can't think of his name at the moment but he really puts himself about and may work out to be a very good buy. Don't know, don't care who scored for Wollongong though 2 all was probably a very fair result. Michael Turnbull in goal had a pretty good game, no doubt relying on Forza's tips, apart from one glaring error when he was caught off his line and could only punch the ball into the net for Wollongong's first goal.
The crowd - somewhere between 3-3,500 I'd guess was quite respectable for our first Friday game, though I was a bit disappointed that the cost cutting measures appear to include no cheergirls and no white horse mascot. The Wollongong team brought their mascot, though what a grey rat has to do with wolves I'll never know.
After the game we adjourned to the club where we atempted to ensure that the Stallions can afford cheergirls next match by drinking copious quantities of the amber brew and depositing most of our remaining dough in the pokies.
Friday night football IMHO was not the disaster some have predicted, though if I'm to continue my new pre-game tactics I'll have to ask the boss for a raise - after all I'll be working an extra half day every second week - and doesn't it make the afternoon seem long, coming back from lunch sober.
See you all next week at Cronulla - I believe the Sharkies club sells a nice drop.