26th May 2017
The Middle Rispley end of season holiday/tour to Cyprus was hailed by acting manager Jamie Chalk to be a huge success, despite a loss, an abandoned game, and Aaron Noble being mistakenly arrested for indecent exposure in an Aiya Napa nightclub.
With hindsight it could be said that it was something of a mistake to base the team at the Cypriot party resort of Aiya Napa, but with the trip arranged by Mark Winters’ brother at local travel agent Cheaptrips.net, it offered the best deal.
Nor was the first game of the trip an outstanding success. The fixture against a local Cypriot 3rd division club was arranged via email, with it seems both parties communicating via Google translate. This resulted in the awkward situation of Middle Ripsley FC turning up at the address given, only to find a local park rather than a stadium, and fixture arranged against an U21 women’s team. To be fair, both sides seemed game for going ahead with the match anyway, but the officials said such games were not allowed under FIFA rules, and he’d report both clubs if they played.
As it transpired the referee vowed to report the club to FIFA anyway for an off-the-field incident. Angrily, he failed to believe that the MRFC hired team bus blocking in his car, and driver Ben Lewis being unable to remember where he’d put the keys for three hours while the squad chatted to the women’s team in a nearby bar, was the unfortunate accident Ben claimed.
The second game, also against a Cypriot 3rd division side, a male one this time, ended in a disappointing defeat. The extreme heat of the afternoon for a game didn’t help, and was no doubt a contributory factor to the 0-2 defeat. Much blame though must also be attributed to the decision to accept an invitation from the women’s U21 team they’d met three days earlier for a tour of the local clubs the night before. Ben Lewis was also unhappy to find his goalkeeping kit had been removed from the kit basket after losing a bet the previous night, and he had to take the field wearing a mankini.
Reports of the rest of the trip are sketchy, with Jamie Chalk issuing a “what happens on tour stays on tour” directive, but suggestions that most of the squad had a good time for the rest of the week can be taken as you see fit.
Most regrettable was Aaron Noble being arrested for indecent exposure in an Aiya Napa nightclub. In truth it wasn’t his fault. With him being slightly worse for wear than his teammates, he fell victim to a prank which saw him glued to toilet seat, semi-dressed, in a cubicle of the women’s toilets, with the door wedged open. Fortunately the police, after initially arresting him, let him off with a caution after realising he was stuck rather than just resisting arrest.
Despite that incident, he insisted the week was a great bonding session, no pun intended, and Middle Ripsley will be fired up for the new season.