Ok then Sweepers. The draw has been made for #WCSweepSocialCare so let’s have a quick look at the runners and riders. Oh, and I have found prize! Around the back of my desk, between the cable wires and manky biros, I have found a pure box of Cadburys Roses*, which are a discarded gift from Christmas 2017 no doubt. The chocolates will be delivered to the winner when you next see you or meet you for first meet me dependant on you proving me with a a good two weeks notice.
Group A – Predictions
Group A – Meet the teams and the sweepers
Tough draw for me personally given that three of the sweepers are friends of mine (and I also am aware of Ian’s works online).
Uruguay, a 33-1 chance for Nina Riddlesden. Likely to make it through the group and if their star centre forward doesn’t decide to literally take a chunk out of opposing defenders. Biting is a thing that Nina knows well but that usually relates to other peoples lunch. Russia, not everyone’s cup of tea, particularly if you live in Salisbury, are a 66-1 shot for Elaine and are likely to raise their game as host nation and should get through to the next round. Elaine is no stranger to controversy and turmoil so it’s a match made in heaven. Egypt (300-1), is lovely this time of year and was a holiday destination favourite with Ian Burgess right up until the Spring Uprising when he bottled it and started going to Majorca. Whilst Saudi Arabia are the rank outsiders at 2500-1 for David Wilkins and are expected to be safely back home long before their postcards arrive at their slightly embarrassed relatives after three disappointing group games.
Group B – Predictions
Group B – Meet the teams and the sweepers
Another tough draw on a personal level having to face Julie Robinson Joyce across a meeting table just 12 hours having matched her up with 750-1 outsiders Iran. If looks could kill! Iran are an entertaining team. That said, I don’t expect them to score a goal in their three games. Morocco are the 500-1 pick for the enigmatic Michael Lee (who is an egg on here and possibly a bot!). Again a good team on their day but unlikely to get past the big guns. Speak to us Michael so we know youre real! First big gun of the group is Spain(13-2) for Rebecca Shearing. Her ‘is that a good draw?’ tweet after been given the previous World Cup and European Championships winners was either reflective of a total disinterest in world football or a cunning ploy to play down the chances that she will be soon to be feasting on nearly out of date strawberry creams* shortly. And finally Portugal (28-1) were drawn by Human Writes. Known to be a one man team, who singularly carries the expectations of many and drags others around them up standard. Portugal on the other hand are a decent team.
Group C Predictions
Group C Meet the teams and the sweepers
AMHPs know their onions (and when they don’t they read Jones) so it was no surprise to see 444blackcat voice their quiet pleasure at drawing (my personal tip) France (7-1). Thankfully Jack Skinner is a Scotsman who was born too late to shriek with terror at the very mention of Peru (200-1), which is handy because that’s who he’s got. Best kit in the tournament doesn’t win you the nearly out of date Roses* though Jack (and Nina would only eat them all anyway). The genial Mark Harvey of the PSW Pontificators brigade stopped his onslaught of offering breathtakingly decent CPD to the beautifully giddy social workers of Herts and drew the mercurial Denmark (125-1) who are a game for anyone on their day. Whilst everyone’s favourite barrister (and our future nomination for the President of the Supreme Court) Steve Broach was sentenced to a miserable four weeks having first drawn Sweden in his works sweep and following it up with the hapless Australia (1000-1) on here.
Group D Predictions
Group D Meet the teams and the sweepers
When Peter Hay isn’t galvanising the Social Work Awards (incidentally, a reminder, get your nominations in asap!) then he will be sat quietly at home, comfortable in the knowledge that he’s got Argentina (10-1). When they go out in penalties in the semi finals we all look forward to the footage of Peter drunkenly warbling rude words to Don’t Cry For Me Argentina in his disgust, which is mandatory. Caffeine addict Maxine (em1stuk) drew the unpredictable Croatia (40-1) and like me seemed mightily impressed by their beer mat shirts. I’ll slip in a couple of extra coffee creams* if they come good for you Maxine. As if the football season wasn’t tough enough on Bolton-mad Louise she only went and got Iceland (300-1). The country with the smallest population in the tournament will need a minor miracle to progress. Iceland did beat England in Euro 16 but in truth my sons u14 team could beat England and their team usually comprises of a midfield trio that have to be subbed at halftime due to wheezing, eczema and X box withdrawal symptoms respectively. Finally Nigeria (300-1) were drawn by my dad, Colin Mitchell. From him I inherited a lifetime of misery supporting Leeds. From me he gets 4 weeks of nothingness and not a sniff of the slightly foisty caramel kegs*. He’s got away lightly.
Group E Predictions
Group E Meet the teams and sweepers
Sometimes it’s good to challenge. Sometimes it’s good to schmooze. The Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care randomly got drawn the hot favourites Brazil (9-2). Who’d have thought it? <sheepish glance>. The chocolates* are in the post ma’am. Everyone’s third favourite professor (after Brian Cox and Snape) Chris Hatton couldn’t produce a graph and a load of numbers big enough to describe how disappointed he was to get Costa Rica (1000-1). Reports from Lancaster University say that he was seen running down the corridor after the draw screaming ‘I am not f***** having this s***’. He’s not wrong. I’ve seen Costa Rica. They’re awful. Gary Pickles proved that been drawn first out of the hat counts for nothing when he got the sullen Serbia team (200-1) who according to one of their own journalists are just as likely to beat someone 6-0 or storm off the pitch at halftime in protest at the length of the grass if things aren’t going their way. It’ll be exciting to see which way they go though, Gary. The last team for this group were Switzerland (150-1) who decided not to be neutral for a change and actually nail their colours to the mast. Helen Franklin got them and so did her son in the school sweepstake. There might be something in that. Cow bells a plenty in the Franklin household.
Group F predictions
Group F meet the teams and sweepers
Warren Belcher is the social worker we all want if and when we need a social worker. Especially because he might come to your house armed with the chocolates* I sent him when he wins this sweepstake on penalties. He got Germany (5-1). Enough said. Richard Brown 34 fared less well in drawing Sweden (300-1). Workmanlike, no superstars, good at thrown ins and goal kicks and ultimately disappointing everyone concerned, reminiscent of his beloved Bristol City. Mexico’s odds of 150-1 look generous to me. That said, you also wouldn’t be surprised to see them go out after three disappointing games. Picked up by Social Worker Gaz he describes himself as a lover of curry and rugby, which might come in handy particularly if the experience is accompanied by 12 cans of Special Brew. Finally David & Karen Maude got their comeuppance by drawing the lamentable South Korea (750-1). Did they really think they could get away with taunting us with photos of semi-retired life watching the cricket in the sunshine? No, the totally random #WCSweepSocialCare draw struck a blow back for the oppressed full time workers!
Group G Predictions
Group G meet the teams and the sweepers
Football’s coming home. As will the England team (20-1) after a second round knockout on penalties to Colombia. Don’t tell that to Lucy Ward though. She was positively glowing at the prospect of supporting England to a World Cup final win. She’s always got Dewsbury Rams to fall back on. Ryan Cowley, AMHP, BIA, AP & new blogger has a chance. Belgium (11-1) are many peoples tip to win it without really having good reason to think if other than people in England know their players a bit. Gym-goer Ryan is a good lad who if he wins is likely to donate the nearly out of date Roses* to a good cause. Jamie Spencer was last out of the hat and drew 1000-1 Tunisia. At least the England v Tunisia game gives Jamie a win-win scenario before he sees his team go out to lose 5 and the 6 nil to Belgium and then inexplicably Panama. Talking of Panama (plucky 2000-1 outsiders) the usually mild mannered Catherine Mawn could not hide her furry at the outcome of the draw. She was heard cursing throughout the day and was last seen trying to swap Panama for a bag of spice outside the ladies toilets in Debenhams at teatime.
Group H Predictions
Group H Meet the team and the sweepers
Anyone’s group this. Poland (80-1) were drawn by Ingrid Richardson, consultant SW and lead professional for MH Herts who thankfully had no idea whether Poland was the best or worse possible outcome for her. That said, she can spot goalkeepers who are moonlighting from Homeland with the best of them. Poland might actually surprise a few and do well. Colombia (50-1) used to be what the World Cup was all about. Players with huge hair, goalkeepers who ran out of their penalty area for a laugh and ultimately losers to the likes of big European teams. Not anymore. They’ve gone all serious on us which is good news for Beverley B Jones who describes herself as a ‘street level bureaucrat’, which might come in handy for me as I continue to struggle to complete the admin for this! Ermintrude is Twitter gold. Reliable, entertaining, insightful and full of social work values. All of which helped her not a single jot as she drew a Senegal team (200-1) who have really struggled since qualifying for the finals. And finally Positive Simply is Simply Positive on here and that’s extremely useful given he’s drawn Japan (500-1) who I think have the best national anthem in the tournament but that doesn’t win you chocolate that is on the verge of going off. This group could be full of surprises so expect absolutely anything. So there’s the runners and riders. If I get chance I’ll do a couple of updates as we go on. Please remember to use the hashtag #WCSweepSocialCare to keep in touch. We really want to know how your team is doing and how you are feeling throughout the tournament. Remember, there’s a big prize on offer here that’s not to be sniffed at.
*The chocolates are significantly out of date in truth. Eating the chocolates is done at your own risk and is not the responsibility of the event organiser. Be careful with them.