"Lads, it's deja vu all over again."
"Deja who?" Fructose asked.
"'E woz a Bretonnian Ogre, Fructose." Legneck tried to explain. "Saw' im once, smelt of garlic, had three arms."
"A mutant Bretonnian?" asked Fructose.
"No, he'd just bitten the third arm off some geezer. I distinctly remember it, he was - "
"What's an ogre got to do with anything? Those orcs had a Troll -"
Ladyshape and Manshape both began to growl.
"Fructose!" Avo shouted. "You know we don't use the t-word here!"
While the two largest members of the team continued to seethe Fructose blushed and started stammering. "S-s-sorry, Ladyshape, 'gentle-forest-person-with-elegant-habits'."
"You finished?" the coach grumbled. "I'm not talking about some pasta-eating ponce from Bretonnia -"
"Tilea" said Legneck. "Pasta is from Tilea. Those Bretonnians only eat snails."
"Ooh, I'd love some snails to eat" pitched in Bogan Picnic. "They sound right sophisticated."
"Nothing but posh slugs, love" retorted Fructose, trying to gather his self confidence again.
"I'm not your love" spat Bogan, adjusting her mini skirt. "And you can stop treating me like some kind of object. I'm a proper person, with feelings you know. And what's more, this is an equal-opportunities team, and I think you don't give us ladies enough respect!"
Ladyshape made a booming sound of agreement.
"Leave it out, Bogan" said Pinkeye. "You're giving it all that feminist chat now, but where were you last night?"
"Well, there wasn't much female solidarity when that geezer with the ball knocked Irene into the middle of next week, was there? You were too busy grinning and smiling at that Fungus, just cause he's a Star Player or some such claptrap."
"Me and Fungus are very good friends, and -"
"Stop!!!" the coach screamed, stamping his foot. "It's bad enough that I spend a fortune getting that pumped up pumpkin of a so-called 'star player' to come and attend our match -"
"Do you mean the bloke that hit your girlfriend in the face with his massive balls?"
"Ball! Fructose! That lovely lady is my fiancee, not my 'girlfriend'! What do you think I am, a schoolboy? For the last time, he hit Irene in the face with his massive ball! It's enough work trying to manage you unskilled reprobates without your schoolyard innuendo! And if one more of you morons asks what an innuendo is, I'll get Manshape to give you one! Now quiet!"
A hush fell across the assembled goblins. Had the coach just announced he was marrying Irene?
"I've been looking. Clearly, we're acting under some kind of curse. Every game we've played this season has been exactly the same as the game we played last season. You had that temporary anenome and played the Denizens by accident? Well, it wasn't an accident, was it? Is it any accident that you lost 2-0? The exact same score as the first game you played last season?
"And then what happened yesterday? You lost 5-1
, just the same as the second
game of last season. I can't believe you idiots! We had a chance to go down in history as the first team to have a flawless record in the Southern Waste Regionals, and then one of you, yes, Bogan, I'm looking at you, persuaded Ladyshape to throw you in the air and then run into the end zone with the ball."
"Isn't that what we're meant to be doing?" Bogan was confused.
"Not at the price of our place in the history books, you wretched little gimlet! I'm beginning to wish we'd never hired you! Or fired you and then rehired you just because you had an extra fancy new hat!"
"It's a pretty good hat, you have to say" Legneck interjected.
"Legneck, enough! Aren't you meant to be studying for your medical exams?"
Legneck withdrew to the back of the room, dragging his pogo stick behind him.
"Now listen, and listen hard. We're cursed, ladies and gentlemen, and the only way to break this curse, is to not lose 2-0 to the next team. That shouldn't be too hard, it's a 'Trial of Puppies and Candy' according to the schedule. Probably more of those nancy boy elves. Now get back to training!"