A new year, a new league, many new opportunities to squander.
Aside from the Squanderers’ Social Secretary racking up a £1800 late fine for ‘interning’, pre-season has been quite uneventful.
Fresher Owain assembled his squad to indulge in a team feast at Nando’s; it is common knowledge that peri-peri chicken has a performance enhancing effect on the Squanderers. Wilde was a bad bloke and didn’t pay for Owain’s chicken. Although, our 100% post-Nando’s win record was soon to be short-lived. After the meal we went to spoons for some soft beverages, and got an early night, apart from one wayward squanderer who descended upon ‘Vinyl’ for a large bender.
Saturday morning came around, fresher Owain and experienced squanderer Ally got a train to March due to some late Zipcar action from Patrice. However the team managed to arrive on time and were ready to win.
We didn’t win. After getting an early 1-0 lead in the match, we managed to squander to 3-3 and March were awarded a corner in the last few minutes which they put in the goal. It was a good performance from a mostly new team, but we know where we need to improve for the coming weeks.
Anyway, Saturday evening, the first team social of the year. Impeccably dressed all around, the team convened to play some games before going to the Hawks’ Club. Patrice decided to attend a 20+1st instead of the squock: another bad bloke. Fred was not a quick learner, I would have thought George would have helped his twin more. More fresh than resident Squanderers resulted in the box being deleted faster than usual, but some new games introduced by our Scottish postgrad put everyone on a more level playing field.
Social was good, hockey could be better, bring on next week.
DoD: Harry Brignal
MoM: Ethan Francis
Friday Night Dinner was frustrated by the understandable popularity of Nando’s peri peri chicken. Nevertheless, the Sqs managed to find a suitable alternative in the form of GBK. To cut a long story short, I was aghast that our generation is so offended by the presence of tomatoes in burgers; countless Squanderers would pick the flavonoid filled fruit out of their burger, and then proceed to douse it in ketchup… no explanation was provided for this conduct. Furthermore, the poor gherkin was subject to a similar fate, and a remark about my appreciation of the pickling process was apparently enough to secure me DOD: I think quite unjustly.
We played well which is promising for the future weeks and were unlucky not to get a goal in the first half. Unfortunately, we switched off for the first five minutes of the second half and conceded two unlucky goals. We did well to pull it back to 2-2… players deserving of a mention would have to be myself for hitting the ball hard at Owain on the back post, and Paddy for his Youtube-worthy O2
Let’s get three points this weekend. IFLTS
The Squanderers faced a challenge early in the week when our sponsor JMAN decided that their advertising was more important than our training. Fortunately, the Squanderer is a versatile and adaptable creature and the problem was quickly solved through rearranging the session and communicating well, leading to a productive Monday evening training. This also gives Squanderers another example of where our “organisation skills helped to overcome a setback”, I have no doubt that this will be successfully utilised in job and internship interviews this term leading to a future stream of income for the team via ‘cash to splash’ fines.
Unfortunately, on Friday problems arose again, the Squanderers are yet to appoint a Friday Night Dinner Secretary and consequently our usual teambuilding and nourishment at a culinary establishment of our choice failed to materialise this week so many Squanderers were left unfed and demoralised. The discontent in the ranks of the team is a potential explanation for the lack of numbers at our customary Corners training on Friday. Nevertheless, a few team members made an effort and orders Domino’s pizza to Brignal’s house and this stood them in good stead to perform on the pitch the next day.
We then reached game day and the team made their way to the Wilberfortress, tired eyes were visible and it was soon revealed that in the absence of Friday Night Dinner some Squanderers had turned to PMB as an alternative. The questionably early meet time of 9:22am led to some discontent in the team and regrettably several team members were a few minutes late. At this point, for reasons that are beyond me, I was informed that I was to wear a classy CUHC vest for the duration of the match despite the fact we had sourced an adequate number of shirts. Fortunately, the sun was beaming down and while other members of the team complained about heat, I was at optimum temperature. We began to warm up and disaster struck, within minutes the bright sunshine was replaced by darkness, howling wind and steady rain. The Squanderers are a reasonable team and due to fear of death from the cold, I was relieved of the vest and given a warm t shirt.
We dominated the first half and the score line of 1-0 at half time did not reflect the control we had over the game. The second half was slightly more heated, with poor quality chat from both teams throughout (as usual) a highlight being an enraged Wisbech player referring to a slightly questionable Squanderers tackle is a situation of no danger for either team as a “horrendous, cynical foul”. Due to strong willpower we pushed through and came out with a 2-1 win, thus adding 3 points to our collection.
After a “strange” pasta dish for teas we moved onto more important matters. It was decided by democratic vote that we were to indulge in some Squock on Sunday evening before descending to the fine establishment known as “Curry King” for a full club social. Clearly, the Squock is going to result in some Squanderers getting it very, very wrong, I look forward to seeing the results tonight.
After a number of somewhat disappointing results over the past few weeks where Squanderer have forgotten how to score more goals than the opposition a different approach was required. Having completed an in-depth literature review including the works honourable Squanderers Mr Diesel and Mr Houghton we came to the conclusion that in order to succeed on the pitch we needed to perform well off the pitch.
After some incredible admin by the Shocial Sec, the Squanderers and Bedouins descended on Selwyn JCR with the aim of not getting banned from yet another College. An excellent vintage was created with the difference being attributed to the premium orange juice. As I was already in line for DoD due to some questionable mixology at a previous Squock I wrote down the highlights of the evenings as they occurred.
- 815 PM – In a pre-social speech by an anonymous captain made an interest claim that “it’s much better chirpsing grills in clubs, you don’t have to talk to them”.
- 830 PM – Fresher proposes a game of Black White Black out of nowhere in what is one of the boldest moves ever seen in Squock history.
- 915 PM – Whilst playing ‘take me out’ hockey Fresher gets offended when grills sit down as they have boyfriends stating “I have a girlfriend but that isn’t stopping me” (confirmed bad bloke).
- 930 PM – Anonymous ex-Squanderers captain is wearing his “clubbing Burberry shirt” as his clubbing Ralphy got ruined at the previous squock.
- 932 PM – In an attempt to get the spotlight of him HB proposes a game of down and point. No one joins in.
Squock was a success. Someone fell in the river Cam. Training the next day was both a mental and physical challenge with Sides and Jim attempting to get 16 very hungover boys to do an extremely complex deflections drill.
The match on Saturday was a pleasure to watch, champagne hockey all round. Many goals were scored by Squanderer and we managed to keep a clean sheet.
Unfortunately, there will not be another Squock this week as Mr Shrignal has a College social and is going out dressed as a ‘sexy fire fighter’. Hopefully that image does not put the boys off at the weekend and we can come back from St Neots with 3 points.
Recovering from a Concussion:
- Get some rest
- Avoid strenuous activity
- Don’t drink alcohol
After a trip to Addies last week with our captain, I have been researching what should be done in such an eventuality. Having adhered to very few of the above points, courtesy of a trip to hawks (he insists he only had soft drinks) and minutes on the line, it was good to see Owain was fit to play at the weekend. As was our most experienced squanderer, Elliot Wilde, having recovered from his strenuous 5 minute appearance 2 weeks ago.
The match was a close one against a skilful cam city vets side. After a nice deflected goal from Owain, it looked like we might squander all 3 points after conceding 2 in quick succession – and my input to the umpiring was (understandably) not appreciated. Fortunately a debut goal from Aaran “not out” earned us another point towards promotion.
Following the match on Saturday, both the squanderers and Wblues headed to catz JCR for a squock. Having been awarded DoD in part preemptively for my behaviour, I instead chose to make note of the mistakes made by squanderers both past and present. Our Captain was on fine form, as even early on whilst David Gibson (squanderers hero from last year) suggested a game of 1 frog, this was misunderstood to be a game of fives. A long standoff ensued before sides provided yet more coaching, allowing the games to move on. Not long afterwards a curse was uttered by Mr Brignal. He sent the decision upstairs, and after the input of far too many officials he was deemed incorrect and forced to put his head on the table for the umpteenth time, much to the delight of Shocial sec Alex Bird who also had trouble with this rule. Later on in the evening as many squanderers found themselves in the bin, Sides was heard to proudly claim, “I’ve kissed more guys in this room than you”. To whom this claim was directed was unclear, but no one dared challenge him on it. Another interesting remark overheard was “Owain’s bum was a bit too close to home!”. I’m not convinced that this would be reflected any better by giving the context.
Following the squock we descended on spoons where we encountered Pez (former squanderer) sqwandering the dance floor, attempting to relive his days in the best team in CUHC. His exuberant dancing was unrivaled, and perplexed the young freshers who were unsure what to make of it.
Overall the squanderers performance levels were high throughout Saturday, even if we couldn’t turn it into a win.
MoM: Tom Whitworth
DoD: Ally Macdonald
Pre-match on Saturday Ed Sides delivered a precise, measured and effective team talk; or at least he did before his comedic genius got the better of him and he proclaimed the squanderers must not ‘squander’ their chances. It would probably be fair to say the proceeding reaction saw the average squanderer far more amused by the coach’s own amusement than by the joke itself.
Post team talk there was minor panic, as there was concern prior to pushback that the club circulated time of 10:30 for the game would see the numerous supporters of the squanderers miss the first 15 minutes of the match, which indeed commenced at 10:15. As it turned out, this was not an issue. One can only postulate that the droves of crowds normally attending games assumed the squanderer would easily vanquish their opponents and thus did not see the need to attend.
Alas, strong opposition, and two squandered chances at open goal, saw the opportunity for three points squandered. The game was tight throughout, finishing 2-2, with both teams scoring in each half. The opposition’s seeming lack of structure proved particularly effective in perplexing the home team at the Wilberfortress. Overall a frustrating day for the squanderer.
Special mention must go to Lewis for jumping out of bed to play with no notice, having been ‘watching Mamma Mia’.
Post match saw some squanderers eventually descend upon the cultured institution of ‘Spoons’. Reports by anonymous squanderers testify the odd squanderer became ‘very loose’ throughout the evening. MoM Bird DoD Sam
- Microphone (preferably bluetooth) – I really found my beat on Sunday and I think I could really make it on the big time. I just need some more practice.
- Keyboard – Writing lyrics is a talent that not many are blessed with, but with my mate Ed providing a sick tune, I’ve got all the lyrics in the bag. Stay tuned for my next big hit.
- Nice Photograph – Although Pyman’s effort at getting me a new profile pick was commendable, I probably should get a new one, so a quality photo would be good, maybe without Tim and fresher PMA.
- Coat hook rack – I think they’re all back in their owners possession now, but since the cloakroom lady was not very happy with me (it was cold but admittedly I didn’t need that many jackets), I could do with a coat hook rack or arms as long as Tom Whitworth’s.
- Goals – The squandies are playing some really good hockey, but we just need to score more goals. A solid performance today against CoP gave us 3 much-needed points.
- Facial hair – I tried really hard this Movember, but there’s more grass on a wicket in Mumbai than my moustache. I’d like to put in a solid effort next Movember.
- Light Blue fleece – I can’t get enough of these. They’re so nice and just the perfect colour. I hear you may have outsourced these to CUHC, so please get Paddy and Bethan something nice to say thank you!
- Guy – A quality addition to the squanderer, and he has a quality skill move. However, he’s becoming a bit of an Arjen Robben, so a divestment of his skill portfolio would be appreciated.
- Sides – After having worried the MBlues keeper enough to result in major post-match enquiries, this fella really needs a keeper kit. Fancying himself as the new Manuel Neuer, with distribution to die for, he could do with some tips from Keylor Navas on shot stopping
- Wilde – The Wblues may have had a ZipCar with a ‘flat bat’ this weekend, but it’s still more reliable than this fellas hamstring. Sort him out with a new one please.
- Brignal – A man with eyes for only one thing. It’s very clean, has a tall slender outline and is sparkling with joy. Get him a few bottles of San Pellegrino.
With the unerring nose for a good deal that helps Squanderers consume their weekly quota of VKs, I have been chosen as DOD to write three match reports, not one! So seriously did I take my winter training that I cajoled family and associated friends into playing some ‘casual’ hockey over the Christmas break.
Of the three, the Squandies game was by far the most successful. We seemed to have made some New Year’s resolutions to not squander pressure we create, and four goals was the result. El Capitan would want me to give a shout out to his spectacular diving back post deflection, although the extent to which it was a spectacular diving back post deflection is questioned by everyone else on the pitch. Admiration must also be extended to the clinical finishing of the Leadenham centre back for a stunning top-bin volley. Shame it was into his own net. My Land Rover Defender even managed to make it all the way to RAF Cranwell and back without the radiator exploding, the windscreen wipers fusing out or running out of fuel (fines were particularly heavy this week to cover the carbon offsetting).
The first of my winter practice games started equally promisingly. Some good hockey was played, particularly surprising given that at least half of the players had never played hockey before. I was camped out at centre back, mostly out of fear of having my legs scythed off if I went anywhere near my brothers. We even got a couple of cheeky transfers in. Unfortunately, early in the 2nd quarter someone slipped over (I would claim due to my silky skill, but that would be stretching the definition of silky). When he got back up again, his leg was not at an angle a leg should be at. A dislocated knee and two broken bones…
The second was more of a family affair, which made it brutally competitive. I definitely should have been carded for a shoulder barge on not-so-little little brother. He definitely started it by shoulder barging me. Fortunately for the pair of us, the umpires (the dogs) were more interested in the post-match bacon baps than on-field discipline. With seconds to go my team was trailing, so I decided to smack a long ball up front. It would have been a great pass. Unfortunately, it encountered the obstacle of my mum’s ankle. It broke. It was Christmas Day. And I wonder why my parents didn’t bring me back to Cambridge…