A Dinner With The Mad Magyars

Last night, I sat down with our two newest arrivals, Hungarian defender Janos Paling and wingback Abel Jonas, to see how they’re acclimating to life in the big city.  Other than hoping that the rickety-looking chairs didn’t crack under their considerable bulks, the dinner conversation eventually turned to how the Wild Fenland Rovers took an immediate shine to both of them, which I attributed to their both having similarly, let’s say robustly physical, styles of play.

“Similar styles? No way!.  Unlike kopasz barat [bald friend] here, I play football like man,” said Pailing, ducking a bread roll.  “I don’t go bombing up wing like Arjen Robben or something.”

“Jani, we’ve been over this,” responded Abel with a grin, “there’s more to football than kicking forwards.”


“Egan! I keep telling you, if you go up the wing, you can kick the defenders too.”


“Besides, when I do an overlapping run like that, Alex [Barton] has to play defense, it’s hilarious.”

“Yeah, Jorgensen’s face turn so red when Alex tries to tackle someone,  I wonder if he having stroke”

“Nah, its good for him. Its cathartic”


“Cathartic?” [a brief discussion in Hungarian ensued] “Ah, egan,” continued Pailng, “like when Malolepszy hit that guy last match? Must have added years to Jorgie’s life!”

“I told them not to call him Leslie…”

“Nah, was good for everyone.  The Rovers loved it, Leslie loved it, even if he say no, Boston not so much, but who cares about them?”

Before they started to think of more ways to improve the gaffer’s mental health, I tried to steer the conversation to safer ground by asking Abel how SSW’s facilities compared to his past stops.

“Well, unlike in the Montenegrin Fourth Division, you don’t have to chase chickens off the pitch before practice.  Still, they had much better omelettes on the training table there.”

“Ah omelettes,” Pailing chimed in, “would you believe that its impossible to get a decent calf’s brain omelette here?”

As it turned out, I had no trouble believing that.

“Oh well, maybe our next stop will have some.  Or maybe a decent cabbage soup,” said Abel.

I asked if they were homesick.

“No,” said Abel, “we like it here.  Great place to hang out for a season or two.  But, lets face it, nothing’s forever.”

“We’re mercenaries,” added Pailing, “but we’ll have fun while we’re here.”

“Doing what?” I asked.

“Hunting the Most Dangerous Game,” said Pailing, “Forwards.”

“Jani, again with the kicking people…”

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