The family fun day is a great event for the kids, but I get the impression it is a great event for the players too. It helps them to bond with the younger fans, and this year I noticed a much lighter air about them. Maybe that`s down to the new regime and the fact that they are not all scared of saying something that`ll be frowned upon. Maybe it`s just because they are all feeling confident. Anyway, it was great to see all the favourites and the new faces mixing in with the kids so readily.
I had to phone on Friday to make sure it was still going on. Not sure the event is advertised particularly strongly…and certainly approaching the ground from the South Africa Road end there was little sign of the activity inside.
The day began with the usual fun in my family – trying to get my daughter out the house in time! – so we arrived a few minutes late, and the training session was in full flow. My kids are 11 and 14, so much of the activity outside was too young for them, but there were competition and facepainting – pretty high quality Rangers crests – galore.
Sitting in the family stand watching the pretty light training session was good, with some quality touches and movement finishing (usually) with a cross from alternate side and a shot on goal. Kenny and Cerny took turns between the sticks and there was a huge cheer when Buzz slotted the first goal after a couple of failed attempts. Interesting for me was the fact that Ephraim, in the goalscoring form of his life, we in the centre with Buzz, Mackie, Kaspars et al and not providing the crosses. Conversely, Rambo was crossing from the right, suggesting a right back rather than central defensive role. Of course it could all be just random!
After this routine (and a swap so lefties were on right and vice versa), the players had a gentle warm down routine – while I pointed who was who to my Mrs and she decided she rather liked Mr Buzsaky! – and then split into two groups at either side of the loft and signed autographs working their way into the middle.
Robbie encouraged his cuter (read “pushier”) blonde sister to the front as he strategically felt she would have more luck getting the book signed…and she got a full house. Only squad players missing from our book is Bradley Orr (who was there) and Leon Clarke (who I didn`t see at all). Then Rob got Kaspars to sign his 13 Gorkss Menace shirt and Hannah got Akos to sign her 10 Buszaky home shirt. Both were well chuffed. Finally had their picture taken with kindly Uncle Neil (who had his son Will with him) and wandered off to the club shop.
No new shirts – to the kids distress and my wallets relief – but saw Cookie wandering around outside. He will be back in 6 weeks, Rowly will be about another month.
Finally we heard from another Dad that he and his son had bumped into Adel and been told he`d just signed a two year deal, which finished off the day nicely!