Behind the scenes at the Baggies
It's BAGGIE SHORTS round three! You are well aware of the drill by now - it's our fresh sideways-look behind the scenes at all things Albion.
Why waste any more time, as usual there's plenty to get through...
Albion Under-21 stars Jack Rose and Alex Jones were under the spotlight as the BT Sport cameras rolled into the training ground on Thursday morning.
The pair, who have each been with Albion since their school years, were asked a series of quirky questions about their time at the club and personal attributes.
Academy Manager Mark Harrison was also in front of the camera, chatting about the club's development programme in general and the duo’s main attributes.
It is due to be shown on BT Sport this Saturday morning ahead of their live game, Newcastle v Liverpool (ko 12.45pm). So make sure you tune in before heading to Leicester - or if you're having a pre-match pint somewhere near the stadium, ask the landlord to turn up the volume.
You know it makes sense.
Speaking of talented youngsters, our Academy will be proudly represented by a record number of players in the forthcoming Victory Shield tournament.
Four players from the club's youth system - Jonathan Leko (England), Tyler Roberts and Adam Pryzbeck (Wales) as well as Dan Meredith (Scotland) - will participate in the international schoolboy tournament which is also screened live on Sky Sports.
This is the first year Albion have had four youngsters represent their respective nations in the Victory Shield, but we have a long list of players who have previously been involved in the competition, including Saido Berahino.
The action kicks off on Friday night, with Wales taking on England. Scotland also host Northern Ireland.
We wish all of our lads the best of luck. Come on boys, do the Baggies proud!
If you didn’t guess it last time, surely you can now identify our Baggies star like you’ve never seen him before.
What do you mean you still can't? Come on, look closer.
But what is our mystery Albion man up to? It’s all part of an exciting new initiative overseas in December which we will tell you more about soon.
So, just how does a director of communications spend his well-earned day off?
Probably wishing he’d switched his mobile on to silent.
Albion’s Martin Swain was given an early-morning wake-up call from a well-known radio station as part of their follow-up to a major breaking story.
“What on earth has gone on? Has something major happened at The Hawthorns?” mulled our panicked comms leader as he frantically reached across to take the 6.45am call.
We shall be kind enough to afford our broadcasting friends the privilege of anonymity, but Martin wasn’t exactly overjoyed to be asked to go live on air at the crack of dawn to discuss Blues’ pursuit of Gary Rowett.
“But why do you need to speak to me?” sighed our clearly agitated and confused gaffer.
All became clear during the subsequent exchange.
It seems somebody at this particular radio station got their Albions mixed up….
Speaking of mix-ups, this Saturday's trip to the east midlands has reminded us of an unfortunate case of mistaken identity.
Those of you who have been around Albion a while will recall, I'm sure, the great Bernt Haas, he of the punishment substitution after ten minutes in a friendly at Bristol City.
One year, the usually abstemious Swiss international found himself at the players' Christmas party, dressed as Robin Hood - you'd have thought he'd have gone for William Tell - and, quite against type, taking drink.
Unaware that such hydration can play havoc with your system, and feeling mildly unwell, Bernt took himself off to casualty, still dressed for defending Sherwood Forest.
You don't need to be Piers Morgan to recognise there was a scoop in the making here.
At such moments, the media department leaps into a phone box and comes out, clad in finest Lycra, capes billowing. It's not a pretty sight. By beavering away behind the scenes, the press hounds were taken off the scent. Success!
The news then had to be transmitted to the Albion hierarchy. Bear in mind this was the middle of the night, so all phones were off and a message was left with assistant manager, Nigel Pearson.
"Hi Nigel, we've had an incident with Bernt going to hospital after the Christmas do but it's ok, none of the media have got it."
All's well? Not so much.
Eight o'clock the following morning, the phone goes.
"Morning mate, Nigel Pearson from TalkSPORT. What's this message about Bernt Haas getting hammered?"
Remember that song - "There's only one Andy Johnson"?
Well we could have a variation on that, along the lines of - "There's only two Baggie Shorts."
The Supporters' Club London Branch's fanzine also carries the same name as our recently-launched diary piece.
Albion fans, if you are based in the capital or thinking of moving down to the big smoke, find out more at @LondonBaggies.
And last but definitely not least.
Match of the Day might have turned in to ‘The Neil Warnock Show’ last weekend following Saturday’s 2-2 Hawthorns draw, but it's good to see a discerning view from surprising quarters. Even Crystal Palace fans.
A big Baggie Shorts thumbs up to Alisdair Kemp, who writes an Eagles fans’ column in the Croydon Advertiser and wasn’t afraid to take issue with his club’s manager over the Craig Dawson challenge which so angered Warnock.
In quicker time than it takes to say 'The Battle of Bramall Lane', Alisdair dispatched this view to his local paper:
“Concerning the Dawson incident, despite my obvious frustrations in the away end at conceding such an untimely and soft goal, I was pleased for football that Mark Clattenburg – whom in my opinion is plainly the best referee in the country at the moment – allowed the goal to stand.
"It was indeed aggressive and painful-looking but I dispute any sinister intent or even recklessness on Dawson’s part…”
Baggie Shorts makes no further comment.
See you all next time! BoingBoing