Craig Priest reveals some of his memorable moments on the road with the Mansfield Matters team...
I’m often asked what the best thing is about being a commentator, sometimes it’s the football and getting to whiteness glorious matches and moments, but as I’ve remembered today midway through editing our ‘2011-12 Goals’ audio, it’s the banter between the boys which makes every show thoroughly enjoyable.
Sometimes it’s the slightest of things which are remembered, for instance all season long I’m constantly reminded off Hednesford away during pre-season when a Tom Naylor clearance knocked my headphones off – well today I get revenge, it’s not just me that has the odd awkward moment on air! Here are a few of my favourites...
Scott’s pink shirt love
As you’ll all be aware, Scott’s been fore filling every boys dream this past season by donning the infamous amber and blue, rightfully picking up the player of the season award along the way. However at the start of the season Scott was still dreaming of a run outfield after originally signing as a goalkeeper, meaning he had to put up with the Grey top and have no colour to his match days. A trip to Barrow mid-September gave Scott other ideas as first team goalkeeper Alan Marriott ran out the tunnel sporting the now famous pink strip, I’ve never known Scott so in awe of something, in fact his drool nearly electrocuted us all. It’s difficult to explain why the moment was so awkward and funny, however there are times as a broadcaster as in life when you say one thing and everyone knows what you’re saying, but they way it’s said makes the whole situation funny and awkward, a prime example is the phrase “there sneaking in around the back” or “the penetration of this time takes my breath away” – there is so much innuendo between commentary teams no matter what match it is there watching.
As I mentioned it was the audio from Scott’s declaration of love for all things pink which has led to today’s blog, as a special treat we’ve made it available to listen too by clicking HERE
During the same commentary we we’re discussing the work rate of defender Ritchie Sutton, this lead to another awkward moment as Scott described, in somewhat graphic detail, his “encounter” with Sutton in the gym earlier in the week, the phrase “he’s got a great physique” may have been taken ever so slightly out of context – fortunately for Scott I can’t find the relevant bit of audio at the minute!
Nick Hegarty’s my brother & voldermort
Obviously I never let Scott forget his little bit of innuendo amongst other, unrepeatable, things – however that goes both ways as over the course of the season I’ve had my share of awkward moments, one in particular during a mid-season friendly with Eastwood when Scott noticed a resemblance between me and Nick Hegarty who’d just signed a short term deal. Obviously with the crowd being a little on the small side and the game being a little lacklustre due to its nature, jokes we’re flying around – first we we’re both being quite childish and embarrassing a girl we knew with more innuendo commentary lines, getting points for the bigger laugh from those around – my gamble on the girl watching Hegarty change backfired with Scott chirping in with the comment surrounding looks and the matching ginger hair. From there on in, every time he touched the ball or was included in a Stags side, the ginger jokes we’re out in force! Fortunately Nick, or Craig, moved on at Christmas and failed to feature more than twice.
During the same game Stags we’re casting their eye over a trialist whose name Paul Cox didn’t want to be revealed on air, you may remember us changing his name to ‘Voldermort’ and me throwing in a few puns here and there, click HERE to hear more from both incidents.
Get out my cupboard!
It’s not only on air where things can get awkward, I promised you I’d write about myself and Wayne’s trip to Kettering and will do during the week, however looking back over the season I remember another moment when things got a little awkward – an august bank holiday in Stockport for one.
Stockport is one of the rare clubs to have an area for press and photographers to grab a refreshment, creating a little room underneath the stand which in fairness was quite cosy – when I arrived I found James Williamson and Scott say with their feet up eating custard creams. At half time we went back down to grab a cuppa however I discovered that there we’re no cups left, I was told to look in a cupboard by a fellow member of the press and had discovered a couple of mugs only to be shouted out like a naughty school boy “get out of my cupboard!” Needless to say we didn’t get a cup of tea during that particular half time interval and, not one for being caught twice, have since opted to take my own refreshments which James, Scott and Mark Stevenson (the clubs press officer) tend to raid at the half time break. Not contempt with taking my stash, James and Scott have also landed themselves in hot water by going in random rooms at various clubs over the course of the season, I have to say I haven’t been with them when on the search for tea, however I’m told there marked men at such places such as Southport.
James’ love for all things Andy Todd
As you can imagine there are plenty of tales to tell with me mainly being the subject of the joke, I’ve revealed an admission from Scott today so it’s only fair to do the same about James.
Similar to footballers on the way to training, we tend to car share with James and besides getting lost, often enjoy sensible conversations about team selection etc. On the way to Kidderminster at the end of the season we knew there’d be changes because of the play-offs and Andy Todd’s name came into the mix. What was said by James was said in such a way it’s unrepeatable, let’s just say that James was trying to make the point that Andy Todd keeps his fitness up, it sounded so different and made Scott’s pink shirt and Ritchie Sutton love sound tame.
Let’s just say that James took it to another level which will scare all involved for life – at fear for your own sanity I will not repeat what was said. However in a bid to squash certain rumours, James was at the centre of a whole new storm days later on the way home from York.
At the local McDonalds we we’re enjoying a nice late snack when we noticed James heading back to the counter to order more food and subsequently flirt with the young lady behind the counter. Sat around the table we’re myself, Scott, Wayne and two others who, with childlike mentality, showed James up with comments which went around the table, each of us trying to better the other and not ruin it – easier said than done when eating Ice Cream! We we’re there for a good half hour with this continuing as everyone else left, in the end there was our group, the young lady and the store manager left in the store, a middle aged unimpressed man with a face like thunder. As we finished our meals in the midst of innuendo inspired laughter, we decided to set a then single James up, writing his name and number on a piece of paper ripped from a food bag, making sure the young lady wasn’t looking we placed the number at her till and promptly left the store, leaving just James inside! Fortunately for him, he left in the nick of time as the number was picked up – mid sprint back to the cars, we explained what we’d done; unfortunately the rest of this story will have to be left to the imagination as again it’s pretty much unrepeatable from that point onwards – be assured folks that we won’t forget that nights events in a hurry and won’t let James forget either!
Truly great times and there are plenty more in the locker maybe for another day, just remember folks that if you’re ever in the same Gym as Scott, it’s best to keep your distance – if you ever see a footballer with ginger hair, we are not related – if a footballer ever has magical powers, the Harry Potters books could actually be fact rather than fiction and last but by no means least, if you happen to work in a McDonalds, be prepared to receive James phone number on the corner of a Doughnut packet, that lads got romance in his soul!
Until next time, thanks for reading!
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