Pre-season tour

Plane home to Tassie has just taken off and the boys are a little dozy. Brendan Drew is fast asleep next to me and I can tell he is dreaming of lifting weights. His right bicep is tensed and he has a smile on his face. Big Ray Marsh is reading Golf Digest looking for tips on how to play perfect Matchplay. Butts has a book in front of his eyes, I doubt he is reading though. On second glance it’s Clifford - The Big Red Dog. Man he loves those kids books. New boy Snakes Irvine is chatting to fellow newbie Bogan Jones about their night out at The Bayview in Perth last week. I heard the words, dance and kebab. Two words that are synonymous with a good night out. Skipper Bailey is reading a self help book on leadership and Gerald Denton is about to start on his cup of tea and his new book "How to Age Gracefully" written by Assistant Coach Ali de Winter.

Pre season came and went in a hurry. It’s a shame really, what’s not to like about drinking the odd beer, eating pies and watching the footy? Pre Season tour took us to the sun in Brisbane, the macadamia trees of Lismore and the chilled atmosphere of Mooloolaba. The highlights; Cowan 100, Wells 100, Bailey 100 (2nd Innings runs) Maher 100..., No Balls and Butterworth 100, with 4 doubles and 3 triples at the infamous Brookewater Golf Resort. That day almost brought about a punch on between Captain Bailey and myself. Being a golf enthusiast I took my clubs on the Pre Season Tour. Bailey did not. On the 16th green Captain George requested the use of my putter for his 8 foot bogey attempt. After missing that one and then the tap in double bogey he threw his ball in the air and with my brand new putter took a swipe at the ball in mid flight. Connection was made and the ball was sent flying into the trees at pace. The alignment of my putter went flying as did my temper. I was furious. Even more furious when George tried to justify his actions by saying "Isn’t that what it’s for?". A red mist crossed my eyes and I did well not kick him in the shins or put him in my trademark figure four leg lock. Could be an eventful year in the relationship of Bailey/Geeves. Stay tuned.

The real highlight of the Pre Season tour came in the form of the high profile ground announcer for the Lismore Festival of Cricket... Lenny Pascoe. Big Lenny's only flaw as announcer was that he neglected to research any of the players/coaches involved in the mini tournament. A reasonably important part of the job in my opinion. The last time I heard more um's, aaaahs and self correction was during Ben Hilfenhaus mid game interview with new Fox commentator Sarah Jones. Hilf was clearly put off by Sarah's piercing blue eyes and stuttered accordingly. Lenny says... "With me for a brief chat is PKF Tasmanian Tigers coach and former quick Tom Goolies" Lets break this statement down. Tom Goolies real name is Tim Coyle. That’s a pretty big error in terms of holding a live interview over the PA system in front of 500 people. FORMER QUICK!!?? I understand that common sense isn't everyone’s cup of tea but come on Lenny. Have a good hard look at Goolies and tell me he is not a wicket keeper. He stands at not a centimetre over 156, that’s 4 foot 8 in old speak. Goolies was offered the ride on MP Rob Hulls in race 3 of the Cranbourne Cup, there is no way he ran down the hill at Bellerive and bowled rockets. Baffling... "Leading the players onto the ground is the Captain of the PKF Tasmanian Tigers George Benson". Lenny... I’m pretty sure that George Benson sang a Disco hit in the mid 70's called "Breezin". Plus, George Benson was not a fair skinned chap like our captain George Bailey. Fair to say the person responsible for appointing Lenny Pascoe as Chief Ground Announcer was not welcome at work following the otherwise superbly run Festival of Cricket.
I would like to quickly acknowledge Peter English for giving this blogg a good plug in a cricinfo article he wrote about a fortnight ago. Speaking to Peter was like chatting to an ex girlfriend.

Once you get past the flirtatious eye contact and the wandering hands, it turns into a pleasant experience! It’s not often that when speaking to members of the Media you get into such a relaxed zone. It’s pretty obvious when speaking to a guy like Peter English that he is not out to damage anyone’s reputation or glorify things you have said. A true professional. Although, I wasn't too happy with Peter when he released to anyone reading the article that I had been working on an In Swinger during the off season. I would have liked for the opposition to have worked that out when their off stump was bending slightly backwards. Thanks for letting that one out of the bag Peter!!

In other news, you may have seen the recently released Men of Cricket Calendar. If you think the same way as my parents; you were also shocked to see that Mr September is some chip eating fat kid from Hobart. Previous to doing that shoot, my thoughts on male models were pretty standard for a guy who hails from the northern suburbs of Hobart. As kids, in my part of town if you showed any sign of being good looking you were swiftly beaten up until you were no longer good looking. For the record, I was never beaten, I am just naturally a poor looking dude.

Taking my shirt off is not normally something that draws a crowd or any positive attention. So when I walked on set and saw ex Olympian/Photographer Simon Upton motioning to his assistants that this one was going to be an "above the roof shot" as WE say in the Industry, I was a little concerned with how things would pan out. Simon, consummate professional and darling that he is made me feel very relaxed about my burger designed body and proceeded to take the best shot he could. What you can’t see in the picture is my left thumb pressing on the back of my right bicep to make it look massive. A little something I picked up in Milan while shooting with Miranda and Megan - Darlings they are. I have copped a remarkable amount of stick for posing like a Watson as we say in the burbs, but it’s for a great cause and I hope everyone gets out there and buys their mum a copy.

In brief; Gibson and Burgoyne welcome to the Hawks nest. nakemiin, zayt gezunt to Mark Williams, Ben McGlynn and Josh Kennedy - Drew Gooden and Kris Humphries impressing everyone at Dallas - I beat Dan Marsh 3 and 2 in straight up Matchplay, he is off 2 I am off 5. The big winner was the tuck shop, scoring record highs for Lunch time earnings.

Behave yourselves x x