Diary of a Yooyuballer – Rinok Fitel
Also by nature_luver_462
With the Altador Cup now in full swing, the Neopian Times has asked various popular players to keep a diary of one day of their tournament. First up is Rinok Fitel, Terror Mountain’s star Bori defender, on the first day of tournament matches.
7 am – Early start today. Horrible. Don’t much like early mornings unless there’s snow outside. You know, when it’s all crisp and clean and no-one’s trodden in it yet. Never any snow in Altador, though. Breakfast soon…
8.30 am – Had breakfast now and feeling a bit more alive. Selwick [Phoss – Left Defender] overslept and Prytariel had to go and drag her out of bed. She’s never liked early mornings since she joined the team. Of course, young Osi [Osielle Lidel – Right Forward] has been up since 6 am, been out for a jog around the Altador city walls and is still full of energy. Wait ‘til the middle of next week – bet he’ll be tired by then!
9 am – Off to the stadium for practice now. The full team is here, of course, and Vaydo Pohz, our reserve Forward, and Tico Tems, who you might remember was on our team last year. He’s had loads of injury problems in the last year, though, which is why Osi is on the team now and he’s not. He’s still here to help us practice, though.
11 am – Practice went okay until towards the end. Bertie Shurtz, the Kougra who plays for Mystery Island, came to watch us, and we’re friendly so I waved to her and that let Vaydo get past me to score. Prytariel wasn’t impressed – she yelled at me about ‘having to keep your mind on the game’ and thwacked me with her catcher. She does that a lot when we don’t win actually – I think I’m her pressure valve. As long as she hits me on the back I’m okay, but sometimes she catches me on the head and that hurts!
12 pm – I am not a pirate. I have never been a pirate. Even after a match I don’t get dirty enough to be mistaken for a pirate. So why did I find myself being followed round by a gaggle of girls who kept calling me ‘Garven’ for the last half hour? How can they mistake me for him? Aside from that we’re both Bori we don’t really look very much alike! Actually I think I caught a glimpse of Dasher Soley laughing at me a few minutes ago. I wonder if he put them up to it? It’s lunchtime now anyway.
1 pm – Lunch was interesting. Someone, and I’m thinking that Krawk Soley was involved again – ordered a huge plate of donuts for our table in the hotel restaurant. You might think that’s a nice thing for someone to do for us, but the problem is Minae Mitora, our goalie. He likes donuts… no, scratch that, he loves donuts. Especially those ones with bits of Tigerbuggle in them. Trying to make him stick to his diet and only eat the vegetables on his plate is difficult enough at the best of times – he always seems to manage to smuggle in a bag of Chia treats somewhere in his kit bag. When there’s a plate of his favourite donuts on the table in front of him it’s a hundred times harder!
Bertie was sitting at the next table and shooting me sympathetic looks while we were trying to pry one of the biggest donuts out of Minae’s hands. Nice girl, good to talk with after a tough match. Not that we talk tactics or anything like that. Prytariel would really thwack me if I started doing that!
2.45 pm – Our first match of the tournament starts at 3 pm. We’re playing Maraqua – or rather, we’re playing Elon Hughlis. I don’t blame Jair Tollet for moving to Roo Island with a player like Hughlis on the team. There’s a joke doing the rounds at the moment:
Q. Why is Elon Hughlis like a toy car at a race track?
A. Neither of them’s ever going to make a pass!
Okay, maybe it’s not that funny, but we’ve been making a point of sharing it loudly in the locker room whenever the Maraquans are there. It’s not gamesmanship or cheating – if you can’t take the criticism you can’t play professional Yooyuball. Everyone does it to everyone else all the time – I reckon that’s what Dasher was doing earlier when he persuaded those fangirls to ‘mistake’ me for Garven Hale, but it’s just banter. I can take it, just like the other guys on the team. And Hughlis could do with changing his game play anyway – the rest of his team aren’t too impressed with his hogging of the Yooyu all the time!
But anyway, the match starts soon and it’s time for all those little pre-match rituals everyone has. In our case, it’s always the same. Everyone unpacks their bags and gets changed, and then Prytariel will lose something. Sometimes it’s something minor like a hair band, but she has been known to lose her catcher, her gloves and even her shorts once. Anyway, today it was her shoulder guard and we found it in Selwick’s bag. We don’t know how Prytariel manages to lose so many things because usually she’s really organised!
After we’ve found whatever it is she’s lost the next thing is to stop Selwick being sick. She gets really bad pre-match nerves so we have to keep a supply of bottled water around for her to sip. She’s usually okay after the first play has been made on the pitch.
Next we have to listen to Osi gargling. We still haven’t got to the bottom of why he insists on doing it before every match – I didn’t think you needed fresh minty breath to play Yooyuball. It wouldn’t be so bad but he tries to gargle tunes, and he’s completely tone deaf so it sounds like he’s being strangled!
And while all this is going on we still have to stop Minae from pigging out on any snack food he may have managed to smuggle into the locker room. It’s always interesting pre-match!
Finally Prytariel calls us all together for a quick strategy prep talk, then it’s off into the match.
4.30 pm – That was a good game – we won the match by quite a hefty margin and the fans all turned out in force to cheer us on. I think we have more supporters than last year, which is great. We stopped on the way off the pitch to sign some autographs and chat to the fans then headed back to the locker room to change. Minae had a bit of a shock when we got in there though – one of the mutant Yooyus had got in there and was lying in Minae’s locker eating his way through a huge pile of snacks he’d got hoarded in there! Prytariel thought it was hilarious until she found it had drooled all over her sweater. Me and Selwick thought that was pretty funny until she picked up the poor Yooyu and threw it at us. I think it’d eaten too much ‘cause it was sick all over the locker room after that and Selwick had to take it back to its pen. Osi left the room at that point – he’s still not entirely used to us as a team, I think... And this was a quiet day!