Saturday, 6 April 2013

A Team Called Rory

Fantasy Bob is walking more gingerly than usual following Carlton's first outdoor practice of the season. The calendar may well say April, but the thermometer is still stuck in January. Nevertheless the Doughty Groundsmen had ensured that any lingering snow had been cleared and the ground as always looked a picture, basking in something like sunshine.
FB demonstrates new hands on hips technique
to astonished team mates

This was most welcome to FB, since an important part of any practice session for FB is standing looking at the ground. Over the years FB likes to think he has reached a high level of proficiency at this standing-looking-at-the-ground part of the game, generally employing the classic two hands in the pockets stance. Younger players of course adopt a more modern approach based on the one hand holding an i-Phone to the ear technique. But that is for them and not for FB.  FB would happily have stood looking at the ground for a bit longer but he was required to demonstrate some other more elusive skills.

Practice sessions these days have lots of fielding drills.  FB is sure this is highly admirable and helps the release of youthful energy.  Jerome K Jerome author of that undying comic classic Three Men in a Boat wrote 'I love work; it fascinates me; I can sit and watch it for hours.'  That's how FB feels about fielding. It fascinates him and he can watch it for hours. 

Sadly for FB his efforts in the field increasingly end in disappointment, embarrassment or serious injury.  Fielding practice is an opportunity to perfect all three, sometimes simultaneously.  It is a walk on the dark side.

This was the club's first session with its new coach Matt Crowther. FB extends a hearty welcome to Matt and looks forward to working with him during the season.  He is sure Matt will rise to the challenge of improving FB's batting.  For his part FB is willing to reciprocate and any time Matt wishes advise on empire biscuit purchase, he will gladly organise a session.
Carlton's new coach Matt Crowther

Matt hails from Lincolnshire, so the top of Carlton's world famous outfield hill is the highest point above sea level that he has ever been.

From Lincolnshire to Edinburgh might not seem so far.  But as he went round with the skippers meeting the players, Matt found just how different somethings are:

Matt, this is Rory..........Hi Rory........

Matt, this is Ruari.......Hi Rory...No, not Rory, it's, right......

Matt, this is Ruardih......Hi Ruairi.........No, not Rory or Ruari,  it'sRuardih.....................

And so on but that was only a few of them.   Matt has yet to meet Ruaidhrigh, Ruaidrig,  Ruaidhri,  Rhuairidh, Ruaridh, Rhuaridh, RuarĂ­dh,or Ruairi................

The name is of course from the Gaelic meaning red headed king (who couldn't spell).

Welcome to Scotland Matt - you'll love it!


  1. This is an ingenious device, initiated by the Dewsbury Young Stars team of 2009, who were all called Patel. It aids the umpires and older players, whose memory may not be what it was. FB should be grateful that his team-mates are so considerate.

    1. Many thanks - a good reminder - FB remembers the Patels XI - particularly when they played another team also all Patels. More Rory's needed?