Our dedicated Editorial team are hard taskmasters when it comes to meeting print deadlines so they’ve made me write this from my holiday destination in Spain. Hola.
Being on holiday and thinking/dreaming about Theesel comes naturally to me. I was in Spain this time last season when I received a message from ex-goalie coach Andy Jack.
I’d been out for a few beers on the Wednesday evening, as you do, and read a fuzzy message on my mobile. Andy was over the moon telling me that we’d beaten Beith 8-1, our first league victory over them since 2011. Unbelievably the visitors took the lead after 4 minutes only to make us angry and annihilate them. As one would expect, I had a few more beers to celebrate. Andy became goalie coach when Bryan Slavin was Manager and Arnie was Assistant. His understudies were Ross Lundy and Darryl Matthews, I’m sure you’ll agree he helped them both become cracking goalkeepers.
That reminds me of another Theesel game when I was abroad, this time in Lanzarote. Slavers was Player-Manager and we were looking to be promoted from a VERY competitive West 1st Division during season 2015/16. Final game of the season away to Kilsyth Rangers, win and we’re promoted with a real chance of winning the league. Lose, we’re bust!
I was glued to Twitter as I paced around a table by the pool, occasionally asking Mrs Swanny to get refill beers. Honestly, I must have walked miles during the 90 minutes, nervous energy is a real thing. We dominated but couldn’t score then the home team scored midway through the 2nd half. I became very quiet until I was allowed to jump about like a mad man when James Marks equalised in 88 minutes. Then I got confused, Twitter said the scorer was Sean Pierce. Wow, Sean had actually scored a last-minute winner, we were going up! Glad to say that the table was able to take my weight whilst dancing and singing.
If I remember correctly, some comments from the Thistle Podcast at that time were along the lines of- Bryan “It’s a fairy tale ending. If Hans Christian Andersen had written that you’d have called him the Toon Loon”. Not strictly PC but you catch his drift. Arnie wasn’t quite as exuberant but said “I brought my smart shirt along just in case we’re going out to celebrate”. When I look at the celebration pics I see a 12 year old Lewis Davidson invading the pitch and Theesel supporters climbing on the crossbar. My mate Russell McKay, ex-president of Kilsyth said our supporters were a credit to the game of football.
Going back to Andy Jack, he’s returned home to Midlothian, happily married to Awel and watching young Alfie enjoy his fitba. He helped arrange a pre-season friendly for us at Tranent in 2019 and was very impressed by our team, particularly enthusiastic about our trialist striker who scored in a 2-0 win, a young fella by the name of Will Sewell.
Otra cerveza por favor.