Congratulations Paul Santinon who play his 100th game for the Rangers this weekend.
Stats courtesy of the Ranger Info Centre.
Ranger #: 368
Club Debut: 2014
D’s Players’ Player: 2020
E’s Captain: 2021
Words by Leigh ‘Rowinho’ Rowan
So when I first heard that it was Paul’s 100th game this week and the club wanted me to do a write up, naturally, my first thought was: which Paul? With the 5s fielding a team with no less than 4 Pauls in pre-season this year meant this wasn’t a stupid question (a rarity from myself). It was only when Ali told me it was “the good Paul” that I was sure who he was talking about. Unfortunately, I was about 800 words into my write up about Tankosic that it tweaked he couldn’t be up to 100 games yet and it was in fact the Paul of the Santinon variety who was about to get into triple digits for the Rangers.
Rarely known by his nickname of “Seafood”, I first met Paul about 20 years ago. Far from the suave and sophisticated gentleman you guys know now, that day he was rocking a shiny polyester Collingwood tracksuit (with matching track-pants of course). Naturally, my first thought was “who’s this dickhead?” little was I to know at the time, but that dickhead would turn out to be a ripper bloke and damn good footballer.
He’s played in most of the grades for the Rangers, being a stalwart at the back for the 2s for a good few seasons (although, it has to be said, when Paul was a member of the 2’s they won 18% of games, since he’s left, they’re up to 69%…) but it’s with the degenerates in the 5s that he’s truly found his calling, consistently cleaning up after our mistakes and making dashing runs the entire length of the field that generally end up in some sort of skyed shot. So much so, that he won the player’s player award last season in an absolute canter (yet somehow didn’t make the top 5 of the B&F, surely some inter-Paul jealousy going on there).
I would genuinely love to dish some dirt on Paul and spend the next 300 or so words insulting him (after all, that’s kind of my thing) but the fact is, he’s not arrogant, he’s not pretentious, he’s not dirty (somehow knowing how to stay on the right side of the line exactly, without ever going over), he’s a bit of a dick (but by 5s standards, not really) but he’s just a good, successful person which is really infuriating. He could probably get a bit louder on the field if I was to really pick a fault with him, but I guess we wouldn’t listen to him anyway.
It’s absolutely no coincidence that we lose most of the games Paul misses, and it’s also absolutely no coincidence that Paul plays best down back (if you’ve ever seen him shoot). A thoroughly inspirational leader to have, congratulations on the 100 games mate, it’s great to have you back where you belong. I’ll be sure to make enough mistakes so you have a busy day on Saturday, but try and score a goal (or 2) and ensure we beat those (edited for decency) from Rostrevor.