Just twelve months ago, with the exalted Greg “Grizzly” Mellor in tow the Tigers were in with a chance.A group of battle hardened men stepped off the plane in Jakarta thinking maybe, just maybe. But, again, it wasn’t to be. Again they were left wondering “What if?” as a rampaging Singapore outfit swept them aside in a terrifying opening display. The brave Tigers fought back against the mighty wombat machine but when every player of every team heartily lines the pitch in readiness for the Australian national anthem and Alan “Yoda” Sutherland is scurrying down a hill pulling up his gruds then it’s probably not going to be the best day. For the record a number of players were holding footballs as the last strains of advance Australian fair boomed across the Bintang’s home turf and all except one marked the occasion by slamming their ball through the big sticks. All except one. Yoda somehow was also in possession of a ball but when everyone else scored he missed the lot; a tragic irony that would echo the Tigers fate that day.
Fast forward twelve months and the Black and Gold Army are ready to go again. This time however the Tigers will field the strongest (and youngest) team in their short and turbulent history. An exuberant brigade of youth, unofficially represented by Michael “toot-toot” Sammons, are getting behind the Tiger’s ethos and their wily old captain Geoff “Dog” Everett. Speak to any one of these tiger cubs on any day of the week and you would be certain you were in the Hawthorn dressing rooms and the year was 1989.
“Whatever it takes!” That was the simple response by Toot when asked why this Tiger’s side might exceed where all else have failed. According to Michael “toot” Sammons that’s what his boys are prepared to do to win, whatever it takes. This point was punctuated by exciting big man Jesus Rogowski who did nothing more than wink when asked if the tigers were a legitimate chance in 2007. Jesus then immediately began sprinting in random directions for no other reason that you coulddeduce than just because he can.
This manic exhibition of physical prowess spanned approximately five minutes before a striking green and gold soccer team wandered onto the grass and Jesus strayed from his dynamic display to methodically overwhelm their entire formation (at soccer). The time was 4.42 pm and a player that could only be identified as Harry and spoke in a confused English – Australian accent enquired as to whether “…this bloke (Jesus) was perhaps the son of God”
Yes, a rousing sense of belief seems to have crept into the tiger’s camp and before too long a crowd in excess of 1000 strong (including Mark Viduka) could make big financial gains by getting behind these perennial underdogs. Sportsbet has the Thailand Tigers at the tempting odds of 75-1, meaning if you wager 1100 baht you stand to win this journalist’s monthly wage. Viduka might spend that a week on fish and chips but for the average citizen it’s worth the punt.
Particularly if you consider that David Patterson has been renamed
“Disco”. Disco Patterson, it’s worth the punt!
What else are you gonna do?