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The Bet

July-August 2009, no. 313

The Bet

July-August 2009, no. 313

‘How many times?’ the voice on the other side shouted. ‘How many fucken times? Will youse ever listen?’ The brick wall between the two change-rooms might have been cardboard.

On this side – the visiting team’s side – the boys sucked on their orange quarters, all ears. Dom Russo, the team manager, screwed up his face and glanced towards the wall. ‘He’s taking it a bit seriously, isn’t he?’

Paul was still contemplating his own peptalk. Half-time, no score: there was nothing he was taking more seriously. But the shouting next door made it difficult to concentrate.

‘As for you, Jase! Get into the fucken game! You want the ball served up on a plate? Use your speed, you lazy bastard!’

Dom winced again. ‘That’s his own son. The little winger.’

‘Good player,’ Paul murmured.

‘Considering he has an arsehole for a Dad,’ Dom murmured back, and they both chuckled.

‘As for that little pissant in the other team! The fucken number ten! Go through him, Jase! Straight through him!’

That’s my son, Paul realised.

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