Any excuse to post a nice picture – Misses Wales (left) and USA
Wales boss Gary Speed has got his players taking lessons from current Miss Wales winner, Courtnay Hamilton, on how to hit the right notes when the team lines up for the national anthem against England on Saturday.
Not content with his players putting in the sort of ‘half-mumbled-slash-stony-faced-glare’ shift the England team’s scouse members (and Gary Neville) have mastered over the years, Speed has given everyone a phonetic version of Land of My Fathers, so his side can at least make the right noises, even if they don’t have a clue what it is they’re actually saying.
Says Millwall’s Steve Morison (who hails from the sleepy Welsh village of The London Borough of Enfield):
We are all learning it. We have been given the Welsh version and the phonetic version. The lady who is singing the national anthem this Saturday gave us a lesson. We all had to get up and sing it on Sunday night. You can call it the X-Factor if you want. Wayne Hennessey and Aaron Ramsey are Welsh speakers, but Gary lightened the mood by saying that he used to mime because he didn’t want to get the words wrong. Our big aim this week is to get the fans back behind us and get the belief back into the squad. If it gives us an extra one per cent, then that can only be a good thing.
Wait, if you don’t know the lyrics to a song, surely miming random vowels and consonants would look even worse?
Look, whatever, according to the players this sort of thing matters. ‘Keeper Wayne Hennessey:
Back in the day I was the only guy singing the national anthem and it didn’t feel right. Now Gary wants all of us to have a go at singing it and that’s got to be a good thing.
Gary handed out the sheets before our game against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin and I think something like that can help in the long run.
Yeah, I mean it worked well enough in that match, right?