Stone the flamin’ crows – Ricky Nixon and his mates have got the GAA spewin’.
Blind Freddie can see Gaelic football could be in more strife than Ned Kelly after those no-good mongrels from the footy are hot to trot to find the next little ripper they can coax into shooting through Down Under to make a quid.
And when they get to these training camps, our young blokes don’t just spend their time running round like a bunch of chooks.
We’ve got the lowdown on what exactly goes down. Fair dinkum.
Nothing too demanding here. Ricky just makes sure these drongos haven’t got a kangaroo loose in the top paddock. So after a dero’s breakfast – a yawn, a leak and a good look round – the lads are set a series of psychological posers to ensure they’re cut out for life in Oz.
Sure enough, Ricky is soon grinning like a shot fox when none of the lads register the slightest interest in fine cuisine, good music or international culture.
Dispute resolution techniques
Or more commonly referred to as; Handling Yourself in a Blue. The boys are encouraged to pair up and kick off some agro until some sook is creamed. But Ricky is cross as a frog in a sock when all the bouts end prematurely with one of the lads going down like a roll of lino as if he’s carked it.
A stern warning follows that any gutless wonder continuing to employ the O’Mahony Method will be thrown out on his clacker.
Again better known in-house as Handling Your Grog – a devilishly simple eliminator where the boys are required to ingest a selection of coldies and tinnies and a drop of turps until someone is full as a butcher’s pup and produces the evening’s first technicolor yawn.
Unfortunately for one promising wing-back, a simple request for a Bacardi Breezer brought a premature end to his hopes. “Don’t come the raw prawn with me, mate,” barked a furious Nixon.
Dressing room etiquette
Day two promises plenty more bloody hard yakka so Ricky chucks a couple of snags on the barbie for the bunch of dills. A gauche young defender who had earlier sneaked a packet of Monster Munch is soon suffering badly from flatulence. Ricky is impressed; “A bit more choke and you would have started, mate.”
But it brings up the important area of dressing room decorum where Ricky emphasises how, postgame, an Aussie player must first put back on his shirt and jacket, knot his tie, blow-dry his mullet and shoot the breeze for 20 minutes before he can consider putting back on his underpants. In the rare event, of course, that he sports an underpants.
The session ends on a sour note when one galah who preferred a blast of Lynx to a dip is lambasted for having a Pommy Shower.
In the avo, the boys are given a basic grounding in sledging. After a video session featuring Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Adam Selwood and a team of lip-readers, there’s an interactive exercise where the hopefuls have to rearrange the words Sheila, Kick, You, A, Like into a suitable sequence.
Patience and calm under pressure are two of Ricky’s watchwords. Despite pleas from some of his colleagues to give the lad a fair go, he dismisses a midfielder who lets slip that he simply couldn’t wait for the unbearably tense Summer Bay stalker storyline to play itself out on RTE and instead checked Australian websites to identify nurse Zoe as the evil scourge of the oft-traumatised community. The youngster earns a late reprieve when he reveals how he used the information to distract his marker in a county minor final.