Masters success raises many questions

A journal entry from a member of the Melville Masters Games squad…

Friday, January 31 2020, and after a year of planning and organising, the Melville Over 45s finally flew to Dunedin for The NZ Masters Games – where they secured bronze medals.
Let’s be honest, getting 17 Old Boys to turn up somewhere at the same time is like herding cats.

However Gaffer Pommy Allen did an amazing job of arranging the trip ably supported by Gaffer In Training, Shawn Rogers.

Somehow 17 fit… (okay walking) players turned up at Hamilton airport ready to depart and other than Air NZ getting the weight ratio slightly wrong on one side of the plane, the trip was largely uneventful.

The team ensured they were well hydrated before leaving Hamilton and at the stopover in Wellington sampled some Little Creatures and arrived in Dunedin without losing anyone.
Thanks to Darby Macdonald a limo service (team van) was on hand to get us to our accommodation.

A special thank you to the sponsors of the team – without them this trip would not have been possible and their support is greatly appreciated.

Advance Joinery, Watershed Accountants, Research Motors & RFM Vehicle Rentals as well as TDO and Dragon Community Trust.

The Leviathan, a historic Hotel would be home for the next 4 nights. It’s just a brisk two minute walk to the NZ Masters games village and The Octogon with its many drinking and eating establishments. It’s normally a favourite for students, but forthis weekend was frequented by a slightly older generation with visibly more disposable income.

Everyone in the Octagon was, like us, looking to hydrate properly after the strenuous sport played each day. The international cuisine of Indian, Japanese, Italian, Belgian (fries for player of the day Phil Wheatley) were sampled by many and may have broadened the eating habits of a few from beyond meat and potato.

Room allocations were on a first-in, first-served basis. Some team members are clearly closer than others and while no behaviour was frowned upon, the innuendos of players cuddling did cause plenty of head shaking from our Gaffer Pommy (Ironman) Allen who clearly has been brought up with good family values which he thought were in danger of being corrupted.
With rooms of two or three somehow Shawn Rogers ended up rooming alone, nothing to do with his snoring its just that he is not well liked 😉.

A far better prepared squad took the field in Dunedin than in the same tournament in Wanganui in 2019. That had been a wakeup call for a number of players and after a strict regime of low cal beers, some exercise and apparently some running, the team arrived at least 100kg lighter than last year.

Two training runs, including a tactical session put on by Shane Comber, saw us all understanding what was expected of us in each game.

Unfortunately for many breathing and thinking meant the game plans – including the corner drills – went out the window.

Prior to each match the Brains Trust of Allen and Comber came up with the game plan. This may or may not have included asking everyone if they could still walk? Their inspirational team talks, “righto lads not long till beers and remember to pass the ball” had us fizzing from game one.
An awesome and enjoyable tournament with a great group of guys topped off with a Bronze medal, 17 goals for and 8 against in five games.

There was a disappointing default by the opposition in the 3rd v 4th play-off match, but otherwise we were only outclassed by the mighty Coasters in the semi-final and they were clearly a class above every other team in the Over 45s, winning the final 6-0.

The tournament offered many memories, but also raised a number of questions…

Why can’t Lance Bauerfeind score with his feet? Does a shoulder even count as a goal? Does he just not like Darby putting balls on a silver platter for him to score?
Did Phil Wheatley really play a full 60 minutes and score a goal? Or was that all a bad dream for everyone having to relive his glory days?

Based on fitness and pace, is Bruce Timings really the older of the Timings brothers?

How was Darby McDonald out octopussed by a keeper? Did he just have more tentacles than him?

How did Sniffer Shawn Rogers get his nickname? Could he just sniff out the best bars to frequent?

Did anyone hear Tony Govorko call keeper? Ever? Did Shawn hear him at the bar?

How did the goal of the tournament get scored by a backup goal keeper Joseph Beuker?

With so many one way streets in Dunedin, “why not make another one?” asked bus driver Todd Nasmith while the rest of the team were crossing themselves, with traffic heading straight for them.

Is Julian Ford’s knee brace the only thing that holds him together? When not scoring goals how do his team mates on the sideline keep thinking he is Shane? Shane is clearly more grey than him.
How does Shane Comber look so tanned all the time? Does he have a tanning studio? While on Shane, is scoring four goals in one game not showing off?

Merv “The Ghost” Williams hauntingly roaming the Hotel at night…. Or was that a real ghost?

Was Kris (Pommy) Allen really injured or just strategically substituting himself to ensure the team would listen to him on the side line and perform to his standards in the second half?Also can anyone look as disapproving as Kris (Ironman) Allen did with some of antics of his team mates?

As the elder statesman, Steve Wheatley clearly has issues with his memory, not realising his wife would pick him up from the airport.

How could Darrien Jamieson be upset after his belly clearly fouled a player nearly breaking the poor guys back? Can anyone have a head that is more polished?

After Wytse Bouma scored two goals it was very nice of Darby to tell him “I never realised you could play football – I thought we had to bring you along because you are the chairman.”
Is Gary Monaghan just the nice guy of the team? Does he ever get upset? Can he play any musical instruments? Does he even have a right foot?

Does Stu Timings own an entire wardrobe of Melville shirts? Is the reason he is so slow these days because his calves are the size of most peoples thighs?

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