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Saturday: Charlie's Spanish Diary

28 July 2012

During Albion's week-long pre-season training camp, first-team coach Charlie Oatway will be writing exclusively for seagulls.co.uk...

I wasn't planning to do a column today, but there has been such a demand from the players and the fans at home, I thought I would have one final go before we fly home tomorrow.

The gaffer took all the staff for a fantastic meal last night. It was a great meal, but with the menu written only in Spanish, Gus ordered for everyone. Tano and I were okay reading it, but the rest of the staff struggle with the lingo. Stretch can speak a little bit... Ketchupos, beeros, cashpointos and so on. 

The gaffer asked everyone if they wanted a fish or meat main course, those who went for fish had a panic up when the thing came out with head and tail intact, in fact it was so fresh a decent vet might have saved it. So much so Deano didn't know whether to eat his or give it the kiss of life!

I didn't want to give him any today, because he's been crying and moaning about it all week, but Beas has left me with no choice. He isn't speaking to me after I poured the gaffer's wine at dinner last night. He was really cross and I overheard him saying to Tano, "Someone needs to tell him that at Leeds I always poured the gaffer his wine."

He's also stirred up the goalkeepers, and now they aren't very happy with me. Last night they all texted me with threats of violence - but I have warned them they'd better come for me altogether. 

Ashley Barnes has got a new nickname after the gaffer asked him why he's so miserable all the time. So we've started calling him Alf Garnett, and I've seen Ash's clothes and they match Alf's too. 

While on the subject of nicknames, we've christened the club snapper Paul Hazlewood 'Turkish', because he looks like a kebab shop owner. All the staff keep asking him for chips with chilli sauce. 

Craig Mackail-Smith is really pleased we are heading home tomorrow as it means he doesn't have to wear his ear muffs anymore. His ears are so big that he has to wear the muffs because they're too close to the sun and suntan lotion isn't enough. 

Dunky was late for training last night, and I heard that he told the lads he'd turn up when he wanted to. We sent James Clarke-Reed up to get him, but when there was no answer as he knocked the door, James went to reception to get a key and unlocked the door to find Dunky fast asleep cuddling his teddy. One thing's for sure - Dunky would have slept like a baby that night after all the extra running the gaffer made him do!

If the gaffer is happy after tonight's game he will let the lads have a night out after a week of good work. However Gary Dicker is still waiting for clearance from his missus before he can go. She's not happy with him because he hasn't been doing the night feeds with their new-born baby this week. Come on Gary, just grow a pair of kahunas and tell her you are going out!

Finally, the Football League have been onto the club about me. And no, before you ask, it isn't another fine. They've actually been onto the media boys and praised the column as they've seen web traffic go through the roof!

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