After much media speculation, inside rumours and cloak and dagger secrecy, the Auld Alliance teams for 2009 were announced on Easter weekend. Aptly, as it turned out, as some of last years players have, indeed themselves, come back from the dead.
The Scottish team have gone with the experienced stalwarts, who, after dominating the event in the early years, succumbed to the French onslaught last year. The toll of heat, alcohol induced dehydration and average squad age, finally tipped the balance in French favour, when all was on the line. Do they have one last battle in them?, only time will tell.
Do not be surprised, however, if this Scottish team has a few tricks up their sleeve. At their training camp in Muckart Golf club, Club President JC, commented “The team have been putting in additional coaching sessions and we have been working through our resident club medals, at posting poor scores to raise our handicap indexes”. Mr Stewart, Christie, Roberson and Miller have been outstanding in this respect, with neither of them breaking 95 in any medal so far”. “It augers well”.
In an attempt to motivate the team, Scottish Legend and Ryder Cup Captain, Colin Montgomery will broadcast a ‘Braveheart … they will never take our Freedom’ message via satellite to the team headquarters on the eve of the event.
JC goes on, “It was a chance meeting with Monty in Glasgow, I had the Double Cheese Burger with Chips, he had the Waldorf Salad, then I suddenly realised why I never made it as a pro”. A firm handshake later and a promise to stop stalking him, Big Monty was signed up for the cause.
The Scottish Team have been on a meat-free, wheat free, carbohydrate-free, alcohol –free diet, with a Celibacy clause strictly enforced. They may look healthy, but boy oh boy are they hormonal and strung as tight as a drum.
Meanwhile on the other side of the Channel, the French team have retained the core spine of their team that ran rampant last year and, like an Arsene Wenger inspired youth policy, introduced some wonder-kids into the ranks with handicaps higher than their age. This is a gamble, no doubt about it. Will the debutants swing hold up under pressure?. Will the liver and bowels hold up under pressure?
The French talisman and THE Legend, Xtoph G commented, “We have adopted our own Marseille God’s (Eric Cantona), philosophy to follow the trawlers, drink lots of Pastis, superb wine and eat as if there is no tomorrow”.
Indeed, the team plans to light a candle at Cathédrale Sainte-Marie-Majeure de Marseille, on the day of departure. “We are the holders, we have higher handicaps, we speak better English… We are French”.
The French are so concerned about the Scottish weather, that they have employed the services of former Canal+ weather girl and Hollywood starlet Louise Bourgoin, to predict events. “If it blows a hoollie with horizontal rain in Fife, then like the Spanish Armada over 400 years ago, I despair for my boys” the blonde bombshell predicted.
The Events Management Teams have ignored the current global credit crunch and have built the Auld Alliance 2009 campaign from the ashes of last years defeat.
Fife’s legendary hotelier and international entrepreneur, Finlay Kerr, takes up the story “ I was sunning myself in the Italian Alps, drinking Grappa and watching the girls go by, when the call came in”
Realising that their campaign required the professional touch, the Alliance committee turned to the Crail maestro for the real Homecoming Scotland touch. “All I heard was my country needed me and I was on the first plane back to Scotland, although six weeks on they haven’t paid me a bean yet”
So the French will roll into town, confident and wearing the cloak of Alliance holders, with the Alliance Trophy at the head of the caravan. The Scottish, meanwhile, lie in wait to repel the invader and re-capture the Grail, in Crail.
These two ten man teams will slug-fest it out in three days of match play doubles and singles competition, over the legendary fields of St Andrews.
Only the chosen and righteous, who can overcome all of the elements, will prevail in this test of wills.
Let the games begin