Thursday, 1 September 2011


So we're about two days ahead of the first official Sale Hockey Club action of the season, the Club Day! Club day, is essentially a practice game between all the players of the club with guys of various abilities all jumbled up and thrown together. The format always depends on how many folks turn up, could be one big game could be a few small. Essentially the club day serves two functions. Firstly it's a chance for all members to meet up again after the long summer off, have a bit of a social and blow off some of the dust and rust from their sticks. It's also a chance for the leaders of each team (and this season we have 4!) to have a look at what kind of ability level each player falls into and try to attribute them to a squad and team.

For me, coach and el Capitan it will be crucial for us to see what kind of squad we are going to see shaping up and who will be filling the 17-19 places who we will be thinking about when we draw up the team sheet for 1st team games. Of course, it's not some sort of trial by fire and players always push themselves in and out of contention over the course of a season.

This season I think the competition for places will be at its highest ever, and that is a great asset for us. In my opinion there are about 6 lads who I would be very surprised not to see start the majority of our games and no, I don't count myself in that number. After that there is somewhat of an open field so there's a lot of hard work to be put in all around, especially if we're looking at taking an average of a squad of 13 on match days. This should be encouraged but it is also somewhat tricky ground. This isn't professional sport and we are not a marquee team playing national league hockey. Many of our players are giving up a huge chunk of their free time and money to come and play for us and when we have games all the way in North Wales the last thing we want to do is give the impression that players do not matter to the team. It is insulting to them personally and it is also bad for the team both on and off the field, after all, what is a team without its players?. That said, those guys who fit into our system, who work hard and show they have both the ability and dedication to our cause and our seasonal goals, will never be far away from a first team game.

And even for those lads who miss out on a 1st team game our 2nd team is looking to be a lot stronger this season as a result of the competition for places. Last season they got promoted from their division and now with an influx of players should hope to prove they can more than compete at that level and continue to narrow the gap between 1st and 2nd team standard of play. Hopefully there will be a lot of guys working hard to do that in their league and give us on the 1st team a nasty headache in selection meetings.

I'll be watching the numbers we manage to get down on the club day closely as well to see what kind of a 4th team we may see shaping up for the new season. It is the first time in over a decade Sale has entered a 4th team into the league and it's going to be a big test for the club to pull it off. I'm wishing them all the best and will be supporting them in any way I can.

Anyway I'll sign off for now and will hopefully update you all on what happens after Saturday when I'll hopefully do some shameless promotion for this blog. Adios for now.

No comments:

Post a Comment