The first members of the Goannas Touring Party are already on the ground in China for the return of the Shanghai Cup! We last crossed the Sea of Japan (or East China Sea, depending on where in the world you are reading this from) in 2010. Lots has changed for the club between then and now, but one constant remains the same; Lizards love an away tour. Let's break down some predictions for the weekend with the return of Sliding Shoji.
IF you're flying the peach fuzz red eye on the day of the tournament... THEN you certainly don't want to be snuggled up under the armpit of ruckman Sam Ghirardello. Sweet dreams Elite Pete Chalmers.
IF you can talk two of your three-peat WAFL mates into flying to China to play footy for the Goannas...THEN that has to be a ringing Endorsement about what it's like to me a member of this club. Looking forward to seeing Bretty Whyborn's original Brat Pack in action!
IF there is anyone else in Japan more chuffed than Player/Coach/Legend Matty Gale this weekend...THEN, we'll be surprised/shocked/gobsmacked - BIG MG has put a mountain of work into this event and getting our team sorted and he's looking to slot more than a few sausages.
IF you thought 'sausage' was the perfect way to segueway into mentioning Soren 'sozza sausage' Lumins...THEN, you would be right! CULT HERO and best Goanna at last year's Asian Champs THE SOZ MAN himself is back in the Goannas red and white this weekend!
IF you look close enough...THEN you can see the blood, sweat and tears of Goannas' captain Dan Last in the new Japan Goannas jerseys, but jeez they look good!
IF you were looking for the perfect example of imitation as the highest for of flattery...THEN look no further than Jarrod Woodward returning to the Goannas team after a self imposed ban that rivaled the Bombers Ban in its length of time!
IF you are a Shanghai local looking for a new shirt... THEN hang around outside the hotel window of the Goannas. Big Al Wyatt is sure to throw you one!
IF you still haven't organized your flight over to Shanghai...THEN have a word with forward Owen 'Boots' Kearney. He's a pilot you know.
IF you're looking for a good way to spend your whole weekend in Shanghai...THEN ask Goannas elder statesman Dave Oges about his career ending injury in his last game for the Goannas.
IF you're and AFL premiership medalist and hanging around Shanghai this weekend, (ahem Gablett). THEN look out, because Oceans Huynh is more than likely to take a courageous contested mark you ala his effort over LIBBA in Vietnam last year.
IF there is a bloke that loves a footy trip more than Goannas veteran Trav Wilson... THEN we'd love to meet him. Pre-season ghost - footy trip GOAT!
IF you are looking for a way to avoid shouting a round at the Camel... THEN make sure you get engaged a fortnight before a footy trip! Crafty maneuver from the original Shinboner Andrew Shinners!
IF there are two Goannas and two Goannas alone who are capable of backing up the Shanghai Cup tournament with a full exhibition game as the curtain closer to the Port v Suns match at Jiangwan Stadium... THEN it's Yuji Yamamoto and Kuno Yosuke. Go well in your match for the Asian Lions, all of Japan is behind you!
IF it's even half as hot in Shanghai as sources are reporting... THEN Mitch Stacey would do well to leave his fluro leggings behind.
IF your nickname is Dezzalenko... THEN we welcome you to the Goannas fold with open arms!