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BOTN Classic: Seagulls 'optimistic' over sardine chances

Eric Cantona seagulls trawler

Our resident chuckle squad remember Eric Cantona’s legendary fan-assaulting, seabird-citing antics

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In their final press conference before flying out for their meeting with a North Sea fishing fleet, a flock of Manchester-based seagulls have talked up their chances of upsetting the odds and picking up some valuable sardines.

“At the end of the day, this game is about one thing: sardines,” said a seagull spokesman. “Everyone in the flock has shown they are capable of eating sardines, but we’re lined up here today because we want to eat more. Now it’s up to us to get out there and make that sardine-consumption happen.”

The seagulls plan to intercept the trawler at around 6.30am, after which they will pursue it for the rest of the day, eating all the sardines that sailors decide to throw overboard.

They dismissed any doubts that the trawlermen would voluntarily surrender their catch, insisting that they were confident trawler-following would pay off in the long term.

“Obviously, when we follow the trawler, it’s because we think sardines will be thrown into the sea,” the largest seagull, who appeared to be in charge, told FourFourTwo. “And frankly it’s ridiculous to suggest otherwise. I mean, why else would be following the trawler?”

Tough competition

The seagull acknowledged that their biggest obstacle could come from the presence of some experienced kittiwakes, who are also targeting the sardines, and who most pundits expect will make life difficult for the seagull flock.

“We know all about the kittiwakes and they know all about us,” the lead seagull continued. “But so long as we stick to our gameplan, show a bit of passion, and don’t let ourselves react to their provocative, onomatopoeic caw, I’m confident we won’t be coming home empty-beaked.”

The trawler is expected to catch more than 30 tonnes of sardines, which will be packed together like angry footballers around Andy D’Urso, before being sent on their way like a combustible French striker.

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