Danny Chips: Week Two

DANNY CHIPS is back for the second instalment of his new column, where he discusses illegal visas and initiating freshers.

All the lads bath salts Chips colleges Division 5 Duncan Ferguson football Freshers Hot Chip Mark Viduka Sam Allardyce superior tactical nous Trials

Let me begin by saying that my ruthless and longstanding commitment to examining the most controversial topics of our day hasn’t always been popular. Often people just don’t seem to get it, and from a young age I’ve had to reconcile myself to the fact that most of the time the world just doesn’t want to know.

At just ten years old, this was a lesson I first had to learn the hard way – after repeated Freedom of Information requests to the Foreign Office asking to see a copy of Mark Viduka’s bullshit visa and clearly fraudulent work permit, and just as many incoherent and obviously evasive replies (“Dear Mr. Chips, For the 10th time, please contact the Home Office, and not us, for information regarding the documents you refer to in your letters…” “Dear Mr. Chips, We have absolutely no reason to believe your assertion that Mr. Viduka is working as an operative for the Baader Meinhof Gang in the Leeds/Bradford metropolitan area…” etc etc) I developed a bloody-minded determination to expose the truth at every opportunity, as well as an enduring hatred for former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

Suspected of trying to radicalise Norfolk

Suspected of trying to radicalise Yorkshire

So no, Danny Chips is not a man to dodge the hard issues, and in my role as the Julian Assange  of Div 5 (set to continue until my eventual arrest by the Swedish authorities) I’ll be attempting to (slide) tackle one of the hardest issues of them all: freshers – who are they, and what do they want?

You’ll probably have seen them about, those curious, gangly youngsters who initially crept around college looking as vulnerable and confused as Sam Allardyce on a treadmill, but who now strangely seem confident enough to completely disgrace themselves in Ballare at the drop of a VK. Never fear, however – this confidence can be exploited by any Seconds captain with a bit of sense, and I must say I think I’ve done a pretty good job of letting this year’s batch of freshmen know exactly where the hottest Chips in this little town are. In fact, this was actually surprisingly easy to do.

These lads won't be playing in Cambridge any time soon

Sadly these lads won’t be playing in Cambridge any time soon.

The trick was just to fool them into thinking that I was genuinely interested in them as human beings, and not as just worthless, pitiable labourers in my structurally dubious and dangerously poorly regulated footballing Fukashima, so I invited a couple of the fresher lads to my room for drinks the night before trials. Nothing overly aggressive, mind, but over a few tinnies I calmly told them about how things were in college, how the trialing system was rigged against genuinely gifted footballers, and how if they wanted a spot in the Seconds all they had to do was hold tight with the old Chipolata over here. Unfortunately most of them had to leave pretty early to finish off some translations (which was weird, because lectures hadn’t even started yet and I think they were all NatScis) so we couldn’t play all the great drinking games I had in mind, but I think I got the message across.

Trials were pretty good fun in the end too – a couple of the cockier newbies did try and banter me for my unorthodox tekkers – but that wasn’t a problem. Just as with angry mountain lions, you can ward off seemingly hostile freshers by waving your arms about and appearing to be a much bigger name than you really are (neither of which I personally find that difficult to do). Luckily for them I haven’t yet had to resort to the forehead-only version of this tactic, known as the ‘Big Dunc Ferguson’, but they best be warned that my patience could snap at any moment like a crisp curly fry.

Kenneth Branagh. Really?

Kenneth Branagh. Really?

At any rate, by the time the session had finished I was pretty sure I’d made my mark on all the first-years present, and I was confident about the noble bunch of players whose idiosyncratic skills and unconventional style of play would surely see them cast out of the comfortably dull tellytubbyland of First-team football and into the Wild Wild West of the Seconds (starring yours truly as Will Smith’s character and any opposing side as that fucked up mechanical spider which gets tamed by the end). Awkward-looking and superficially devoid of basic hand-eye coordination, but internally brimming with the spirit and resolve to attack the fifth tier like an injured samurai on PCP, I know these lads will do me proud. I don’t care if they’re freshers, they’re teammates now.