Versus Merrill Lynch Bulls - 15/10/07

After the heroic victory last Monday night will be looking to build on that momentum tonight in Sandymount (kick-off 7pm) against this pack of investment bankers. A number of the squad players and trialists who filled in so admirably in the absence of a whole host of regulars last week have been jettisoned in favour of the returning first teamers. The side is nearing full strength with only the injured Rocko (ankle) and Juhniallio (groin / attitude towards referees) remaining on the treatment table. Colly is the other absentee and in a Stephen Ireland like scenario there has been no explanation offered as to his whereabouts. ClarkeyCat returns after three weeks out with his thigh/groin/hamstring/ankle/ neck expected to snap early on in proceedings while Smelly makes his seasonal debut fresh from having ridiculously being deemed worthy of a Blackberry by his new employers.

Squad: Bandage (gk/acting captain/inspiration), Fats, Tinnion, Farmer, ClarkeyCat, Jugs, Kylo, Smelly, Ro.

Sounds like a Rafa Benitez regime here.

I make no apologies for jettisoning those loan signings in favour of the returning heroes. It’s not blind loyalty, it’s a recognition of the conceptually difficult gameplan employed by TFK and the difficulty in instilling the methodolgies of same in the mindsets of loan signings.

That said I hope to make concrete offers to John and/or Ruaidhr with regard to summer contracts.

I have spoken with Colly and travelled to Dawson Street to meet with his employers. We had a frank discussion and while I endeavoured to secure Colly’s commitment to travelling to Sandymount for the Merrill Lynch game, I have to accept his decision to stay behind. If he doesn’t feel he can contribute to TFK at this time that is a huge shame. Maybe it will be a wake-up call for the boo boys on the terraces but sadly I doubt it.

Clarkeycat is unlikely to start after failing to impress with his recent attitude. Normally I’d be reluctant to start a player after a long absence but Smelly is a fit individual. Looking forward to seeing him devour every blade of astro turf tonight.

A clinical and classy performance tonight saw thefreekick claim a 6-1 victory against Merrill Lynch Bulls.

We streaked ahead from the start with a brace of coolly taken goals from the returning ClarkeyCat.

Tinnion then marauded forward to smash in a fantastic third before sloppily neglecting to track back and mark for about five minutes afterwards such was his arrogance upon scoring.

Smelly slotted in the fourth after a sublime through ball from the consistently outstanding Bandage. The athletic and good looking shotstopper made several superb saves to keep the lead intact. Though he’s a very unassuming character and would be embarrassed by all the praise thrown at him, I wonder if there’s a better 'keeper in world football than Bandage at present?

The fifth came just before the break after a quick counter ended up with an unfortunate defender putting the ball past his own 'keeper.

The standard slipped somewhat after half time and tfk suffered the expected blow of losing ClarkeyCat / Darren ‘Sicknote’ Anderton to a recurrence of his thigh strain.

Eventually even Bandage was beaten before Jugs knocked in a cracking sixth, again on the break.

Plenty more chances went abegging at both ends before the finale but thefreekick can be well satisfied with their 3rd victory in succession, all of which conincidentally enough have come since player / manager, Rocko, has been out of the side through injury.

Starting Team (1-3-1):
Farmer; Smelly; Jugs;

Subs (on/off):

I thought my presence on the sideline was crucial tonight. From a couple of stale, scrappy victories in recent weeks when I was receiving medical treatment I returned to the dugout tonight and organised the outfit superbly.

Very solid at the back early on until Tinnion started to showboat. Midfield ran themselves ragged and indeed it was our ability to break forward at pace that caused so much damage.

Devestating blow for Clarkeycat though. The arrogant upstart had the cheek to accuse me of feigning injury before the start of the game. If I was a bitter man I’d have grinned as he hobbled from the field.