Tuesday, April 01, 2008

DEH March News

Football Kit Saga

Towards the end of 2006 I started to swirl the idea around that our beloved little football team needed a new kit. It was becoming somewhat embarrassing (not to mention looking like we were auditioning for parts in Oliver Twist) as our band of players were turning up in shirts that were vaguely blue, that we needed to be kitted out anew. So, I decided to check out different options and prices and discover exactly what were facing.

Now the Internet was designed purposely for this adventure. Thousands of pages dedicated to an endless plethora of options, colours, designs, patterns, material and of course the crux – prices. I eventually came down to a couple of options, one with a Greek Goddess as its name, the other a hybrid of the founders’ name. I sent options to trusted sages (well Dan and Dave) and in consultation with the skipper (my old student Daisuke) we decided on 3 options.

As the total price was edging towards £300 including coloruful numbering, a shiny new badge and sponsorship branding, a decision was reached to tap up our team’s founder and benefactor. After originally agreeing to cough up, he cried off a week later mumbling something about having money only to pay the teachers at his school. Now, obviously any balanced person would conclude that the football team, the representatives, nay shining beacon of the school should take priority. But there you have it, that’s the sad state of the world.

Thus the idea was benched and we plodded on into the new 2007-08 campaign continuing to resemble a ragtag bunch of outfits than even a Vivienne Westwood model would thumb her nose at.

As we started to exit 2007 I once again floated the idea that buying a new kit would, perhaps help us bond a little better as a team. It is difficult as most of the team are young, overworked, heavily hung-over Hiroshima Univ. medical students, which means we tend to see them only at games or my wedding party – and even then not so much as there were young ladies awaiting their smooth charm. (It seemed to work as well as by all accounts the team actually now has supporters!)

I proposed a splitting of the final fee, if the 3 (ever so slightly richer) gaijins would stump up ¥30k, could they rustle up the remaining. This was agreed I went forth to locate a kit that a) would be reasonable in summer and b) not more than about ¥2k per shirt. This I managed to do without too much time spent and then out of the blue our team benefactor contacted me willing to pay 50% of the final total if we emblazoned the schools’ name on our breasts. Obviously this was agreed to, I mean DEH isn’t that bad, does anyone remember Crystal Palace circa late 1980s..?

So the long saga was nearly complete and our order was sent in to a company located in Devon, south east England. As price and the coulour blue (the chairman’s order) were binding details, the £30 (basic) ultra cool, ultra breathable space-aged clima-cool something or other was out of the window. As Dan didn’t want a round neck our choice was reduced further. We settled on the Adidas Tabela footbal shirt £9 a pop plus numbering, (new) badge and sponsorship.

As the declining yen and pound had suddenly lifted 15% off the price I found myself with a little extra cash so I purchased an “away” shirt as blue tends to be a popular choice.

So, sometime this week the new DEH 2008-09 shirt should be arriving to be debuted as the tradition seems to go these days, in our last game of the 2007-08 season, which confusingly occurs in May, which is after the opening games of the 2008-09 season.

A little side to this elongated tale is on our way down to Fukuoka last week with the missus I was telling the dear beloved the ins and outs of purchasing said kit (she was riveted to her seat), I casually joked that I should have just asked the old father-in-law for sponsorship infusion. As I chuckled she replied casually, “That’s a good idea, if you put the name of his museum on the front he would have given you about ¥100k. Several expletives were uttered at this point.

Ghostly Draws

We had 1 game scheduled for March, a nice local ground in Inokuchi at a reasonable evening KO time. Due to rain preventing play the game was cancelled and as I perused the league’s webpage the next week to find out the re-scheduled appointment I was surprised to learn that despite nobody turning up the game ended 0-0. We should not turn up for a few more games, we would then rest assuredly in mid-table all season long!

As it is, a respectable 8th place is where we currently lie with one game remaining and to be honest, win lose or draw, 8th place is where we will finish, unless we win by 7 clear goals. So as I said, 8th place we will remain.

The Mummy Retires...Maybe.

Dan, the 3nd oldest member of our erstwhile team is pondering retirement as the old body is no longer held together with miles of bandages as it once was. Shy of his 40th year, it sadly seems he won’t be following Dave into his 5th decade of playing football. He is attempting to line up once more, if nothing more than to model the new kit for our game in May. But maybe he will do a Mark Twain on us yet.

The New “Away” shirt – handy for those Hiroshima summers. (OK, OK it's a bib! But still...)

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