2002 Round 3 - Reserves vs Noble Park

Author: John Jhoomun

The Number 14 guernsey is a highly prized one at Monash. Notable wearers include Grant ‘ Poster Boy’ Davies, Michael Thoman and the ‘Frijole Kid’ Pasco de Rosa. Over the weekend 2 of those players scored 7 goals between them. 14 is not a number I particularly like to wear, as the number 11 seems to be doing alright at present.

Turning 30 has been a watershed for the boisterous bohemian. Roast dinners, Guinness Cakes at school, and a gala Karoake night have left me feeling closer to age 40 than the age where it was once stated famously ‘to trust no one over 30’. Monash historians will remember Bob Wests coaching edict of seasons past where he regularly stated that no team should have more than 3 over 30 players unless you were Peter Trembath.

As time ravages my battered body and in order to protect against a ‘ Colts inspired ‘ West led ‘coup detat’ I enlisted the Monash genetics department to come to the rescue. In a fortnight where the visionary Gough Whitlam was asked to donate his brain for scientific purposes, Monash physicist Tuan ‘ Rolls’ Le and his sidekick, Dr ‘ Nick’ Danilo Acosta have been working to come up with a Monash ‘ superplayer’ which will revolutionise team selection. The ‘superplayer’ will have bits of various Monash players and personalities. Simon Serebryanikov’s right foot will be cloned and the left foot will be Pasco’s. It will have Tuan’s elegance and Alex De La torre’s statistical knowhow which will have a databank of every player that has ever played for and against Monash in order that the ‘superplayer’ will be able to probe weaknesses. Timmy Smuthwaite was asked to donate his heart, Nick Mallios his looks, Yogi his smile ,Cedric his handkerchief, Matt Mumme his speed and in a surprising move , Johnny Jhoomun was asked to donate his self confessed ‘love for Monash’ . A request by Bob West for the ‘Superplayer’ to contain only Under 21 body parts was dismissed by the ageing club hierarchy of Smurthwaite and Jhoomun. At training on Thursday , Danilo announced that ‘ the operation was a success but the patient died’ . The Brazilian doctor turned up late on Thursday morning for the operation after a drinking session with Tuan and mistakenly connected the operating machine to the training floodlights , causing Sports and Rec to cut the power. As A result, Johnny Jhoomun had to use his existing body for Saturday’s game and Danilo was deregistered and his passport stamped -"not allowed to practise forever".

The Monash Reserves played the Macedonians of Noble Park at the not so Macedonian sounding Norman Luth Reserve. It has not been a happy hunting ground for Monash generally but there was a great build up for one History schoolteacher. After being asked in my Year 12 Legal Studies class by one of my students as to what number I would wear and replying ‘11’, the female of Macedonian descent told me ‘ I was dead’. I merely smiled and said that they would have to catch me first………

As the ‘ Montezuma Mobile’ pulled up at 11.40 on gameday, Johnny and Pasco eagerly plotted the demise of Noble Park. Using inside knowledge Johnny gave Pasco information pertaining to Noble Park’s goalkeeper involving photocopiers which the record Monash season goalscorer eagerly lapped up. As we strolled onto Norman Luth reserve , a motley bunch of individuals were assembled . Coach De La torre picked the scruffy haired Alex Lockie in goal. Or it might have been Duncan, I still can’t tell them apart. At Centre back was Yogi and His Mauritian sidekick Cedric. After scoring a goal last week while blowing his nose ‘Stephanie’ was on top of the world and had not even missed the absence of his mate Patto in Denmark. At right back was Peter Panagiotopoulous , seething at having a penalty stolen from him last week. At leftback was ‘The Pancake Kid’ Peter Hodkinson who was the subject of a late night visit by Alex on Friday , where the subject of thespians and their role in modern society was discussed. In the middle was Steve ‘90210’ Sanders who finally managed to fill in the registration forms correctly. Fresh from an oil change and service was Tuan “Rolls” Le who informed the team that his car had just been serviced and he had changed his own internal oil while waiting . Tuan was ready to partner 90210 in his official Monash debut. On the right was Simon Serebryanikov who in his exclusive pre-game interview told me that ‘ Pussy Galore were robbed on Tuesday night and that his new boots were eager to perform‘. On the left was Johnny who was looking to advance his goal tally ahead of his yellow card tally . Upfront was the “ Frijole Kid’ Pasco de Rosa who had to attend a wog wedding later that day and played in the reserves and Peter Kandyliotis who was told pre-game by someone that ‘ his dreamteam place was up for grabs’. On the bench were Garry making his Monash debut, Stefan looking to atone for his volleyed miss last week and Timmy, who had a difficult week refeering Steve and Michael Jhoomun’s grievances.

Running onto the pitch , some students in the crowd were recognisable to the 30 year old. As the game started, Monash started brightly with Steve sanders looking particularly impressive. 90210 and rolls were running the show and despite the physical approach of Noble Park , Sanders was keen. Serebryanikov was winning his flank and De Rosa and peter kandy were lively. Monash had some opportunities early but were thwarted by young Dario in the Noble Park goal. The breakthrough came when Peter Pana ran onto a corner and headed the ball home which was to become an unusual pattern. 1-0. Four minutes from the end of the half after a corner, the increasingly left sided Serebryanikov switched flanks with Johnny and the move paid dividends when Pasco’s previously unknown right foot swung over a cross designated as a birthday present after Parkdale’s finest heard his sometime barman desperate calls inside the area. The Vice-president headed home to make it 2 in 2 games and teenage girls were heard to mutter ‘ how could jhoomun score ‘ as Monash went to the break 2 up.

After a first half were Monash were in truth dragged down By Noble Park , coach De la torre gave a less emotional speech than last weeks effort. Exhorting all to enjoy the game at the finish, Monash turned it on in the second 45. Pasco scored one to make it 3-0 and was the cue for him to show what finishing is all about. Garry, tim and Stefan came on for Peter, Cedric and Steve respectively. In Steve’s final act he took a corner. After checking with peter pana whether he could cross the halfway line , Johnny sprinted 30 metres and rose unchallenged to flick in a header from the right side of the box from 12 yards out that landed in the topleft corner. It was a perfect cross and Johnny has found a new best friend in 90210. Running back to his position Johnny shouted out ‘ well that’s stuck it up ya’ and ‘ you can kick and kick me, but it ain’t gonna make any difference you bastards’ as a surprising emotion fuelled Jhoomun Snr ran back to left back. Then the game became a de Rosa showpiece as the ‘Frijole Kid’ slotted 3 in 5 minutes to finish with 4 and stick it up the centre back who was attempting to paint Pasco’s legs blue and purple. The best of the quadrella was a header (again) from a Timmy cross that appeared to be slightly behind Pasco but he arched his neck and headed past a diving Dario in goal. Headers were appearing from everywhere and Simon narrowly missed from a corner. Garry, Tim and Stefan made contributions as it finished 7-0 to Monash with 3 players scoring and 4 of the goals coming from headers which is most unusual. The defence of Yogi, Peter , Cedric and The Pancake Kid protected Alex to such an extent that he resorted to blowing kisses to 17 year old girls in the crowd. I will follow that up for you Alex. Everyone of the 14 ( that number again) played well and unselfishly , always for the team with Tuan, Steve and Pasco impeccable . As the whistle blew, memories of shocking tackles were forgotten by the author as a Ziggy, Ziggy , Ziggy chant that nearly blew the roof off was commenced. It would put the two occupants of ‘ The Montezuma’s Mobile’ in a great mood for Karoake later in the night where guests included Timmy, Simon and Nick Cameron of which the former had the misfortune to witness a rendition of Wham’s ‘ Careless Whisper’ by yours truly.

So all in all, lifes good. At least till next Saturday. Having been involved in many regular disappointments involving Monash Uni Soccer Club, two young men consumed alcohol and enjoyed the success of the team. Or something like that. Grant Davies tells me that he was inspired by pasco’s performance and scored a hatrick later on , wearing the number 14 and giving the seniors their first victory of the season. So whose superstitious now ?

The events have been exaggerated to a small degree and should be taken tongue in cheek. It is extremely self indulgent but Timmy said I deserved to be ! Viva Monash !