Introducing The Fat Lummox, RGL, The Lord, Sweeney and Ron Weasley – and the rest of the US Portsmouth FA Vase heroes
Meet The Fat Lummox, RGL, The Lord, Sweeney and Ron Weasley … just some of the players who have helped take US Portsmouth to within 90 minutes of a sensational Wembley appearance.
The club from the 10th tier of English football are preparing for the biggest game in their lives, the FA Vase semi-final against Binfield at the Victory Stadium on Saturday.
On the pitch, the team have beaten six higher-division clubs in seven rounds. But what are they like off it? Here, striker Dec Seiden provides a light-hearted look at his team-mates, including revealing the vainest members of the squad, the worst dressed, the one who is always complaining and the one who sends videos of themselves being sick ...
Probably the best goalkeeper I have played with, comes and collects anything in his box. Never misses team nights out. Has the worst taste in music among the squad; I’ve been on car journeys with him and could not wait to get out! He’s a bit older, but that’s still no excuse for me - I couldn't even name the stuff he listens to.
Right wing back
Was at the club in Glenn's first year; never really fitted in and soon left, but has come back a completely different bloke. Now one of the most likeable players in the changing room. Is always telling us about his Pompey days and about playing at Goodison Park against Seamus Coleman. Even warming up for the game against Flackwell last weekend, I was still hearing him telling people! Second vainest player in the squad; just recently, he has had his hair cut once a week so it’s on point for the cameras. It’s always perfect, never a strand of hair out of place - not even at training!
Nickname: Fat Lummox
Given his nickname by an opposing manager in a friendly and it has stuck ever since. Loudest and most hyper man in the changing room, before games he’s like a kid who's eaten a packet of smarties. Always the voice you hear first when you walk in the dressing room. Is the biggest moaner as well, a Saturday will not go by without him finding something to moan about, whether it be the kit we are in, the balls we are using, the warm up we are doing, the fact he isn't the first on the treatment table, he will find just about anything to moan about in the changing room before games.
In terms of dressing room pranksters, Caino is always trying to hide people’s boots along with TJ (Tom Jeffes), but the trend we have at the moment is getting hold of players’ bank cards, taking pictures and ordering funny things to their houses without them knowing!
On the coach on the way to Tavistock we got hold of Josh Hazell's card and ordered a big crate of Dragon Soop, as he wouldn't stop going on about it, and then last Saturday we got hold of Tom Cain's card. He gives Callum Glen some grief about his dress sense, so we ordered some of the clothes Callum would wear to turn up to Tom’s house.
Another big member of the changing room, one whose voice you can always hear. Always sending videos of himself being sick, but a top man and a top player.
Brilliant captain, probably the single biggest member of the dressing room. He keeps everything ticking, even if he is robbing us blind as he is in charge of the fines kitty. To be honest, I've been questioning whether we do have a kitty or not. We have built it up to a few thousand (I thought) but in two years some of us have had no more than a round of Jaegers on a team night out in Hereford!
I am probably the worst for getting fined, whether it be for dirty boots or having no item of the week, TJ just loves to take mine and anyone's money.
Left wing back
Never played 90 minutes in his life, big dressing room member/ joker. Strange obsession with Dragon Soop. Every week a player is selected by the manager who picks an item that everyone must bring along with them; if you don’t, you get fined £5. This week Josh chose Dragon Soop as he loves the stuff. Vainest member of the squad, has literally given himself the RGL (Really Good Looking) nickname. Always jokes about players not letting their girlfriends see pictures of him!
Hard man, big tackler, never seems to tire.
Blown over by the wind on a Saturday trying to win free-kicks, can’t drink soup, meaning he can’t handle his alcohol very well. Worst dressed member of the squad is a tough one as there are a few runners, but I’ll give it to Callum; I’ve known him for so long and he has had some shockers over the years, the latest one being a ‘No Fear’ hoody. There was also a classic green and white shirt from a few years ago that was horrendous.
Nickname: The Lord
Our saviour, everything we do in an attacking sense comes through him. Serious player, has turned into a lethal finisher. Franko can be quiet, but when he speaks words of wisdom in the dressing room people listen to what he has to say.
Absolute unit; considering he is in his mid-30s, he keeps himself in top, top shape. Is someone you don’t want to mess with, a player gave him some grief at Littlehampton and he threw him on the floor and shouted ‘I’ll take your head off your shoulders’ in his northern accent - it’s still something we laugh about now. Likes his boots polished.
Nickname: Ron Weasley
Given his nickname because he looks like the character in Harry Potter. Is the best trainer in the squad. As for the worst? Well, that’s probably me ...
Great bloke, do anything for anyone in the team. Very unlucky due to working away to not be in and around the side at the moment.
Someone I’ve known and played with for years, very good set pieces from dead ball and delivery in general
Nickname: Kyle Liam (in joke)
Can play in the back three or add good balance as a lefty at left wing-back. Great to have around and unlucky that working away cost him being in recent matchday squads.
One of the best technical players in the squad, great in training and very unlucky to have missed the Christchurch game through suspension. Is the best dressed member of the squad; on team nights out he's always in the nice designer stuff - usually funded by mummy's credit card! Most of the team are Pompey fans but Jordan follows Southampton - hence his nickname - and we remind him at every training session and on every matchday. Every time he puts messages in the WhatsApp groups, someone will reply giving him abuse - rightly so as well!
Good aggressive defender, unfortunate our back three have been so good his chances have been limited. Normally in control of the dressing room music, along with Elliott; because the majority of the squad are around the same age range we all like the same type of music. We played Joel Corry’s ‘Sorry’ for the whole of last season when we won - we celebrate when we win league games as if we had won the league, it’s not just for the big games believe it or not! As for the quality of the singing, I can't imagine it sounds too good. It gets a lot worse when everyone has had a drink after the game, that’s for sure.
Nickname: The Kit Man
Nickname: The Lump