Okay, it’s not something of which I am proud, but yesterday I followed Dean Pay around a Westfield shopping complex.
He was doing a little Christmas shopping I think. He stopped for a piccolo at a coffee shop, bought the newspaper and spent time in a variety of stores; picking up a few gifts for the family. I tried to be aloof and distant and I’m pretty sure he was oblivious to my presence.
In the middle of the centre was the traditional Christmas display, with the fat, jolly fella on duty. Saint Nicholas was ably assisted by two elves and a rather pushy woman on camera duty. Kids lined up, screamed and frankly, made the entire place sound like a day care centre on a windy day.
Pay approached the area and slipped a small piece of paper into the red letterbox alongside Santa’s chair. It was at that point I realised that I was not the only adult who still wrote a Christmas wish list.
I’m not proud of what I did next. Using my skills as an investigative journalist, I crept around to the rear of the letterbox, reached in through the large opening at the back and took Dean Pay’s list.
I can feel your burning eyes of judgement as I write these words but it was tempting to discover what the coach wanted from the big fella.
In perfect handwriting, this was Pay’s message to Santa.
It’s been a tough year and I am really looking forward to spending some time with my family and friends over the festive period. I know you and the elves are busy with the building of toys and wrapping of gifts and all that, but I was wondering if you might be able to bring me exactly what I need this Christmas.
1# Could you please look after Kieran Foran for me? He is a really nice guy, training hard and wants to prove himself to the fans and the entire rugby league community. He has a beautiful family and a lot of people are suggesting that he is finished. We really need him. Any medical assistance you could give would be appreciated.
2# As you know Santa, we have a lot of new guys at Canterbury this season. Any chance you could wave a little of that magical Christmas dust over all of them and keep them fit. I know if Dylan Napa, Nick Meaney, Jack Cogger, Sauaso Sue, Corey Harawira-Naera and Christian Crichton are healthy, they will show the competition just how good they are.
3# Finally Santa, if you could help out Kerrod Holland, John Olive and Marcelo Montoya with their defensive reads, protect Lachlan Lewis from those big, ugly thugs who threaten to damage his pretty face and let the bulldog faithful see the best of Michael Lichaa it would be appreciated. Oh, just keep a check on Rhyse Martin’s eyes as well, he needs 20/20 vision if he is to keep slotting those kicks from the side line.
I hope you and Mrs Claus have a wonderful Christmas and I’ll put out two schooners and a meat pie for you on Christmas eve like I always do.
PS – One other thing. Is there any chance of some Grecian 2000. I’m looking a little grey around the edges. This is a bloody stressful job.
So that is what the coach is hoping for to get the Bulldogs up and running this season. Something tells me that he might do a little better than many people think.
Merry Christmas to the Board of Directors, players, coaches, staff and most importantly, the fans of the Bulldogs. As Peter Moore famously said, it is indeed the people that make a club and that might never be more relevant than in 2019.