Each year around this time I take a trip to warmer climes with a group of footballers and a bunch of coaches and back up staff on a pre-season training camp and while I’m there I write about it. In the past I have been a little old fashioned and respected people’s names and usually given them their full names when writing about them. I’m probably a little old fashioned in this regard but I’ve got thinking that I spend a whole lot longer on the keyboard by doing this, so in the spirit of being around football players and in this environment I have decided that “if you can’t beat em, join em”, I will also hopefully not spend as long on the keyboard. I think all these character names will send my spell check in to overdrive but I’m just going to ignore it and not yield to its suggestions.
To ensure you know who I am referring to, in this prelude I have listed all the people in our party and alongside their names I have put the names that they may be referred to in the next 7 days in my diary, if you like this is our list of characters and I reserve the right to add names to the list if I feel it appropriate. Some characters will have more names than others but again this is because it would be appropriate, this has nothing to do with favouritism and no offence is intended unless specifically stated at the time.
Abadaki Godwin - Godwin, Godders
Allen Jamie - Jamie (just his Sunday name)
Barry-Murphy - Brian Brian, BBM, Murph
Bennett Rhys - Rhys, Reece (as I will get the spelling mixed up)
Bunney Joe - Joe, Bunney, Crouchie
Cavanagh Peter - Pete, Cav
Collis Steve - Steve, GB2 (Gell Brother 2)
Donnelly George - George, Georgie, Georgous George
Eastham Ashley - Ash, Ashley
Gray Reece - Reece, Rhys (see Bennett above)
Grant Robert - Bobby, Robert
Henderson Ian - Ian, Endo
Hery Bastien - Bastien, Bassie
Hogan Scott - Scott, Scotty
Lancashire Oliver - Oliver, Ollie
Lillis Josh - Josh, Lills
Logan Joel - Joel, Joe (for when I miss the L off)
Lund Matt - Matthew, Matt, Matty
Maynard Lois - Lois (as Allen above, and I don’t know him that well yet)
O’Connor D’arcy - Darce, D’Arcy (shouldn’t be a capital A) or D’arcy
Rafferty Joe - Joe, Raff, Raffers
Rose Michael - Mike, Michael, Rosey
Tutte Andrew - Tutts Tuttey
Tanser Scott - Scott, Scotty
Vincenti Peter - Pete, Peter, and probably Vince
Ellis Tony - Tony, Tone, GB1 (Gell Brother 1)
Thorpe Andy - Andy, Thorpey
Thompson Gary - Gary, Gaz, Tommo (unlikely)
Preston Ross - Ross (just Ross from me but I think the lads might have other names)
Fradley Dan - Dan, Daniel, Frads
Hill Keith - Keith, Gaffer, Hilly (but I only use that when he’s not looking)
Northover Jack - Jack, I’ll stick with that as my other names for the little wap are unprintable
Dunphy Chris - Sir, Your Worship, Master, Boss, Mr Chairman, Chris
Kelly Andrew - Andrew, AK
Garlick Colin - Me, I, Myself and now the not so Fat Controller
Beech Chris - Chris, Beechy
Hill Senior Keith - Keith, Senior, Dad
Hobson Gary - Gaz, Obbo
We only have three duplicate names in Rhys Bennett and Reece Gray (sound the same) and then Andrew Tutte and Andrew Kelly but I don’t think we’ll get those two mixed up. Then Gary Thompson and Gary Hobson but Obbo is only here till Saturday.
The planning for a trip such as this is done months in advance and we had this Tenerife Camp booked around May time. We used our usual Agent Gary “Obbo” Hobson and this time he recommended we try the facilities in La Caleta. Obbo also recommended flying from Leeds/Bradford with Jet 2 and so all this was originally booked for a party of 30.
As you will be aware we have been signing and resigning players and in the main we had our squad for camp sorted out. Lois Maynard was invited some weeks ago and we thank Winsford United for their cooperation in allowing Lois to come with us and he is very welcome.
My first nightmare with this sort of trip is trying to hang on as late as possible in giving the airline our passenger list as experience tells me this will change a few billion times and that can be quite costly. In recent weeks I added an additional 5 places to the part and on Monday I added another one to that. I dodged the airlines and Obbo until Tuesday of this week before submitting names and even that didn’t work as I changed a couple and then changed them back late on Wednesday, (gotta keep these boys on their toes).
My next nightmare is usually the baggage situation. I give the players and staff a 15kg allowance and they all have to take their own kit as well as one ball, a couple of water bottles and some drinks. We then get on to other kit, equipment and medical bags. Thorpey and Gaz told me they only needed three other bags and Jack had a couple. Then on Tuesday Beechy called a staff meeting and they decided they had actually got 9 additional bags at 15kg each but they could get this down to 7. In the end we had 9 bags, none of which were less than 20kg and one big long box with mannequins in, what a good job I didn’t tell them they had a 22kg allowance.
Our programme editor Mark Wilbraham gave me my “homework” for while I am away as he is well in to the planning of next seasons programme and he is hoping to bring in a few new features, which I can’t say too much about but I have some pens and some pieces of paper that I will be handing out to the players and then getting frustrated with them in trying to get them back, and probably even more frustrated when I see what they’ve put on the paper.
So with bags packed thanks to Mrs G, who can’t help herself from thinking and poking fun at the trip as she thinks I’m going on holiday without her and it’s the one thing that she can wind me up about. I’m always careful in the sun now so in addition to packing my factor 50, I did a belt and braces job and packed my “Onesie” as well.