Hope in Holland: Helping Hans

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IT went something like this.

“Here, pal, do me a favour will you, go and see if you can get the name of the scorer?”

And with that my new Dutch comrade was off in pursuit of the answer.

An English voice quickly happened upon my ear, “You do realise that’s the mayor, don’t you?”

By Craig Hope - email craig.hope@northeast-press.co.uk

I didn’t, of course.

And not just the mayor it transpires, but also a senior director of last night’s opponents, Telstar.

Nonetheless, he – Hans Romeyn – was back in double-quick time with the information I desired.

By this point, feeling a tad embarrassed, all I could do was to remark on what a wonderful town he had under his care.

But things got worse when, try as I might, I just could not understand the name of the said scorer.

And so, without a moment’s hesitation, Hans – we’re quite pally by this point – takes charge of my humble Hartlepool Mail pen and jots the name on my shorthand pad.

I mustn’t have offended him too much, however, because within moments he was back with his business card, duly exchanged with my own, somewhat less impressive equivalent.

Still, a match report minus the names of the scorers is no use at all, and so I’ll live with my momentary shame.

There’s another game on Wednesday, however, and another set of Dutch players I know absolutely nothing about – sounds like I need a spotter doesn’t it? Now where’s that business card ….

Follow @hansromeyn on Twitter.

NOW, Ivan Ash, of BBC Tees, has a unique way of manipulating a player’s name during his commentaries, hence the birth of Neil “Orrstin” Austin.

But dear old Ivan now has a rival in the form of his Dutch counterpart at last night’s game in Heiloo.

Reading the teams before the game, the local PA announcer treated us to his take on the Pools boys’ surnames.

Colin “Neesh” Nish, Jack “Boldween” Baldwin and yes, you guessed it, Neil “Orrstin” Austin were all introduced – I wonder if he listens to BBC Tees after all …

● THE Netherlands does have a reputation for leaving some of its visitors in a somewhat intoxicated state – and it appears Neale Cooper is no different.

It’s nothing to do with Heineken or any other local fancy, however, it’s Benylin Four Flu which has knocked our favourite Scot sideways.

Travelling to Holland with a heavy cold, Neale has been on the strong stuff for a few days now in a bid to beat his bug.

I won’t repeat the words he used to describe how he’d be feeling, but I do hope the lads produce a better performance this Wednesday to perk their boss up …

FINALLY, I must thank the Café Gruter for use of their wi-fi in bringing this column to the good folk of Hartlepool.

The password for said wireless network? Heineken.

Simple yet suitable.

I wonder if many establishments back in Poolie land have “Parmo” as their network key ???