Saturday 20th December 2008
Nursling 7-1 Burridge AFC
The children in Burridge are beside themselves with excitement at the prospect of Christmas. Those little scamps have been busy with their crayons, scribbling letters to Santa Claus. Take poor little orphan boy Jonny Simpkins. He wrote to Santa asking for the United Nations to bring an end to the suffering in Zimbabwe, by administering intravenous rehydration to those with cholera, whilst simultaneously implementing new sanitation practises to prevent any further outbreaks. Although when pressed further, Jonny confessed that above all else he would like a decent Burridge performance, that and maybe a set of foster parents.
Carers at the orphanage say they play an important role in managing the children’s expectations, no matter how unrealistic they are. Jonny loves being told bedtime stories, his favourite’s the one about the energetic Burridge side who play as a cohesive unit and sometimes even win football matches. It doesn’t matter if the stories are far fetched, like the one where Burridge, equipped only with a new brand of total football, go and help rebuild the tattered infrastructure in Sudanese capital of Darfur; to the preposterous, where Burridge work effectively for ninety minutes and keep a clean sheet. Such is the imagination of a four and a half year old the stories become real.
He always makes me do the voices of the various characters, particularly Sam Schwodler. Now apart from asking what bastard means, all Jonny can think about is Christmas. Perhaps he oughtn’t worry about the plight of the Zimbabwean people, as President Mugabe, who’s a grown-up, says the cholera situation has now been arrested. Elsewhere some Burridge players brushed aside their 7-1 defeat away to Nursling, denying that it reflected on their current league position three points off the relegation zone.