Monday, 24 December 2012

2012 Mighty Sale Xmas special

Ding dong merrily on high everybody and welcome to the 2012 Christmas special edition of The Mighty Sale. What a year it has been for Sale. Sealing promotion as league winners, going up two leagues, having some great fun and games along the way, we've seen new players come in, old players return, and gone through great highs and lows. A fantastic year coming just before Sale Hockey's 125th anniversary year. Last year's Christmas special went down as a resounding success so this year I decided to repeat the format and once again roll out the Champagne and Turkey moments for each and every player of the 1st team league this season. I of course committed to this before I realised that the squad has grown sizeably larger and that I have missed games for the first team and have thus missed out on crucial pieces of banter that may make this years effort less detailed than last. Fear not readers, for I still have plenty of Christmas cracking material to shovel down your throat like an unwanted batch of sprouts. The main problem is that by the time I've finished and you've read all on offer in this jumbo edition Christmas may well of come and gone and we'll be back playing again in the new year.

A bit of housekeeping first and foremost. Our last game before Christmas was a bore 0-0 effort against bottom of the league. I don't really want to talk about it. For an attack to fail to score in any hockey game is utterly unacceptable and I think we were all furious and ashamed with ourselves. No excuses, we'll address that in the new year after we've worked off some mince pies and ham. I would like to give big credit to our opposition though, they were every bit as good as we were bad it was a monumental effort from them, and they should be proud of stopping us.

Anyway let's crack on. For those unfamiliar with the format of champagne and turkey moments let me inform you. It is a run through of all of our squad members and what I believe to be their finest moment (or achievement) and also their most embarrassing moment (or achievement) of the season so far. Last year we had some corkers and frankly it is going to be a tough act to follow. I'll give it my best though and let's start, as always, at the back.


H aka Harrison (Captain): The big man himself, captain and leader of the pack. H is the undisputed king between the sticks for us and proudly so.
Champagne Moment: Clean at last- H has has much much more to do this campaign from last year due to the increase in competition. For this reason he's got to savour those clean sheets, so for the first clean sheet against Bebington. Pop a cork.
Turkey Moment: Fish on the ship deck- Having much more to do means there's plenty more opportunity for the team to indulge in one of our favourite activities; slating H for any mistake. With that in mind his turkey moment is for when he went down early like a sack of spuds off the back of a wagon in the cup game and let the striker go round him and slot home a third goal. H was left like a dead fish on the floor. Useless! Bit harsh? That's because he often refuses to accept criticism, the only logical response to which is to intensify the slander.


Nick (Vice-Captain): A rugged Mesolithic defender, Nick is the rock at the back with an interest in the stone age. I'd call him a balls-out defender but he wears a cup, which should tell you all you need to know about his tackling style.
Champagne moment: IN THE FACE!- Saved a short corner with his face, not with one of those cop-out masks on either, full on in the face, bruises and everything. Also, got away with it, some scholars of the rules might suggest that should have been a penalty flick.
Turkey moment: Let off- As relates to the above lucky break Nick received a green card for a pretty blatant foot. Should have been a yellow card but wasn't. For that let off and the other one he can have some Turkey instead of some sin bin time.

Martin: Persistent and quick Martin has a habit of popping up in the smallest of spaces at exactly the right time to stop a shot or pass. Widely derided for being the smallest man on the team, most of which is egged on by 2nd smallest man of the team Marky.
Champagne moment: Crouchy Crouches- Readers from last week will of seen the picture themselves but Martin was 'lucky' to bump into Stoke City player and all-round tall man Peter Crouch on the team Christmas party. Cue a fantastic picture that was photo-shopped by Coach almost as soon as he got home. Inspiring that kind of commitment from Coach has got to be commended
Turkey Moment: Oh Gosh- Martin and the cup don't mix too well. This year it came back to haunt him again as he put in an own goal in the first half (stupid new rules!). It was a cracking finish and bamboozled H, just a shame we couldn't recreate it at the other end. We ended up losing 4-3. One goal difference. Just Saying.

Kiwi aka Adam: Adam, as no one knows him, is our resident beast defender and scourge of all young players in the league (not like that you filthy people)
Champagne Moment: Missing game.... nope- Kiwi has missed a few fixtures at points this season, being a dad of two and trying to justify hanging out with us reprobates every Saturday is tough. It was made even harder with the birth of his new son Sebastian. A true cause worth celebrating there though. The real Champagne moment though has got to be him playing a match the day after the birth, dedication.
Turkey moment: Widowmaker- Kiwi is a tough tackling defender but also likes to indulge us with a bit of flair by pulling the aerial pass out of the bag. The only problem is how bad it is, usually nearly taking someones head off and giving the ball away. In Kiwis defence I did see him pull out an aerial of a decent height this season. It went straight out of play and over the fence. Keep it on the deck.

Ben: A late addition to the defence Ben has spent most of the season further up the pitch, but switching around the pitch are just some of the perks of being official youth of the team and one of the best all-round players in the side
Champagne moment: Picked off- In our new league we come across quite a lot of jolly defenders who love nothing better than to attempt to kill me by throwing long aerial passes over the top of the midfield. Most of the defence have struggled to get to grips with a controlled take-down of this pass, but not Ben. In defence he has picked off these passes well, and let me tell you there is nothing a team like less than seeing their best outlet made ineffective.
Turkey moment: Finger lickin' Chicken- A moment of world-class stupidity. Ben was chowing down on some Chicken coated with the colonels famous blend of herbs and spices. He pipes up to remark 'That Ken must be well rich'. Cue questioning from bemused team-mates... turns out he was referring to Ken Tucky, the white haired, chicken murdering old man off the KFC packaging. I can hear the colonel laughing all the way from the lowest circle of hell, where he is surely interred. Needless to say Ben deserves a big bucket of Ken Tucky's finest turkey for this one.


Marky: The sixpence in the Christmas Pudding that is the Sale midfield Marky is reigning player of the year and professional giver of backchat to opposition players.
Champagne moment: Screaaammmerr: I wasn't there to witness it myself but apparently Marky lashed a goal into the roof of the at some point. I wouldn't know much about that though because I have definitely not heard anything about it.
Turkey moment: Tomahawk: I was there to see this monstrosity. Marky 'lashed' in a furious reverse stick goal that was so good it bamboozled the keeper. He was so taken aback by how poor the shot was he let it go in; and so did the top sliced trickled ball unfairly become an addition to Marks goal tally. Work on that reverse, make it so you don't hit it with the back of the stick for starters.

Dave: If someone is getting ripped on Dave is never far away... as the guy getting ripped on. Re-deployed at left-half this year he's made the most dull position on the park all his own, with slightly less bitching that we've seen before too, result!
Champagne moment: The time is now- Got to commend Dave for his turnaround, he openly admitted to not enjoying them game at the start of the season but has knuckled down and worked hard to get himself back into the swing of things. To stick his head above the parapet and document this in the form of a blog is a brave thing to do. I'm ashamed to admit I don't read it as much as I should, particularly as a hockey blog writer myself. Just wanted to say that so you all know how awful a person I am really.
Turkey moment: The worst flick in history- Now when it comes to Turkey moments Dave is a man that can rival Bernard Matthews himself at times. A late contender was (apparently) winning £3,500 in a casino over Christmas and giving it away to some homeless man outside, in an act of Ballotelli-esque stupidity (£20 to shelter would've been better lad!). However, I cannot award him his big portion of Turkey for that as instead I had to go for Dave's solitary league goal this year, the worst penalty flick of all time. It was flicked straight at the keeper who, in an act of surprise bounced the ball off his leg pad, then arm pad, then kicker, and let it roll (just) over the line. Really it was the keepers own goal but Dave has claimed it and so can claim the Turkey that comes with it.

Jim: Midfield utility man Jim is always a useful man to have in a tight spot. Until recently I would've said that Jim'll fix it but given that he already has the nickname Uncle Jim we best steer well clear of that one.
Champagne moment: The Unfineable- A great achievement this one given how much he dishes out. Jim has a remarkably good track record of not getting hit with big money during the fines meetings, and being generally unfineable. Some might not think that's too good but I can tell you from personal experience it is the way to go.
Turkey moment: Missing piece- always tough to find a decent Turkey moment for Jim. So I'm going to have to plump for that most devilish of scourges that gets Hockey players with actual responsibilities in their lives, sketchy availability. Jim misses more than his share of games thus depriving us of the chance of seeing him do something proper stupid and getting a decent Turkey moment.

Charlie: Our first new boy on the list Charlie is possibly even the newest member of the club overall and the only student on the team (PHDs do not count properly, it is known).
Champagne Moment: Rapid rise- No messing about from Charlie when he joined he was quickly up into the first team after one appearance for the 2's, a 14-0 win.
Turkey moment- Catching the greens- I am told that for every game Charlie has played for the 1's he has managed to both fall over and receive a green card, in one case I think he got a green card as a result of stopping himself from falling over, bad times. The fines tin loves green cards but its the definite stuff of Turkey.

Jon O: Cat Man is back! The buzzing midfield hornet that is Jon O has seen some 1's action this season but like a few of us has drifted between the teams, but there's always room for our feline friend here.
Champagne moment: Duracell Cat- Despite being a man between teams Jon Os energy hasn't dropped one bit, his intensity is a great asset, it's easy to get lazy out in the half-back positions but Jon Os relentless desire for goals and pitchtime always see him working hard, a great credit.
Turkey moment: Nose bleed: Jon Os above mentioned desire for goals and pitchtime often leads him up into the lofty heights of the back post of the opposition. This is sort of a positive but also a very ambitious position for a defensive midfielder whose man is near the halfway line to be in. I personally find it funny watching the mad dash back into position, can't say the defence agree.

Inside Forward

Lyndon: We've so many Inside forwards now I decided to make it a category of its own and at the top it's none other than Sale legend and Voice of Reason and fair play (most of the time) Lyndon. A huge asset to the team many a forward has scored off his well timed balls, indeed I'd go so far as to say we're always looking to get on the end of Lyndon's balls.
Champagne moment: Lyndon mode- First discovered while drunk on tour Lyndon mode is the strange berserker mode that Lyndon sometimes goes into, but instead of swinging wildly for the ball and taking on too many men (as I would do) he manges to wriggle out of a 3-4 man midfield press hole and play a pass away. Sublime
Turkey moment: Mr. Glass- Without doubt our biggest injury saga of the season Lyndon's back deserves a blog of its own detailing it's exploits and mood swings. This Turkey is more for your back Lynners in the hope that it will cheer up over Christmas, do backs like Turkey? Guess we'll find out...

Mike H: Sneaking onto last years list with one appearance before jetting off to New York Mike H is back, and hopefully I'll be able to say something more substantial about him this time.
Champagne moment: Wait a minute Mr. Postman- Being the fittest man in the squad through the pre-season fitness weeks deserves a credit of its own but Mike has to get the glory for being the man who loves getting a diving back post deflect goal. The kind of goal that makes coach weep tears of gritty North Eastern joy. The undisputed highlight in this was his goal in the cup vs Knutsford. Great stuff
Turkey moment: Gooner- Mike has the misfortune to be an Arsenal fan, as if that wasn't enough he also had the misfortune to have to miss a game to go and watch them get totally outplayed by the Red Devils down at Old Trafford. Proper Turkey stuff that, on the plus side though he's not as Turkey as Arsenal's attacking options.

Mike P: Another new boy and another Mike, both playing in the same position. Not confusing at all that, I personally blame coach for not picking the team different, though it should be said if I were at inside forward we'd be bottom of the league.
Champagne moment: Release the Dragon- Mike has brought us a drag flick outlet actually capable of scoring us a goal, sorry Neil, Nick, Ben, and... Marky (lol). After a few cracking saves through the season Mike finally managed to stick one away, and there was much rejoicing. Apart from H, H said he would've saved it. Scrooge.
Turkey moment: Backdoor- Sale Christmas Night out. The boys are feeling rowdy, time to hit the dance room and throw some serious shapes. where is Mike? Oh he's only gone and back-doored it, bad form. 40-year-old Kiwi was out at 4.30am. Lad.


Danny: Finally onto the business end of the team and here we have Sale 1st team veteran Danny. Despite a gammy knee he's still sticking them in left right and centre. He's yet to score his once a season zero-angle goal but I'm sure it won't be long before we see it.
Champagne moment: Reverse bag- Everyone loves a reverse stick goal and Danny's reverse bag across the goal and into the opposite corner with one touch was just about as good as it gets, he may of admitted it was a fluke but I say it was pure class.
Turkey moment: Dragnet- Never shy of a controversial fashion choice Danny decided to push the boat out on the Christmas do and rock the trilby, which was loved by all the lads but did make him look like a 1940s US police detective. It's something most of us have wanted to dress as probably, but having seen what it looks like now I'll know to give it  a miss.

Goldsie: Much derided for his choice of intimate partners Goldsie has blown very hot at time this season (insert your own joke here) and been a revelation over on the right.
Champagne moment: Goals galore- Goldsie has manged to turn possession into goals this year which is nice, already he's surpassed his total for last year by some distance, but according to Fixtureslive he's NOT the top scorer for the team, never mind eh!
Turkey moment: Passively aware- Two goals scored by... passing the ball, it missing it's intended recipient, and going into the goal, fantastic stuff, but unintended, making this a positive piece of Turkey. Like Turkey with cranberry sauce or something.

Neil: Prolific goalscoring machine last season Neil has taken a bit of a step back this year, not played as many games etc. His presence has been missed it has to be said, but it's the only way I'm getting into the team it seems so every cloud has a silver lining!
Champagne moment- Goal King- Despite missing games Neil has still manged to be the top scorer for the 1's according to fixtureslive. Now I know there is some dispute about the goal scorers and accusations of dodgy admin flying about when it comes to updating those stats but as of 23rd of December that's how they read. The man is prolific and Goldsie is gutted he's not top.
Turkey moment: No treble- Neil was a hat-trick specialist last season, but so far all has been quiet on the jug-front. I'm sure he's just stalling for a new year comeback.

Lewis aka Ice Cold: Ice cold, the coolest customer of all the forwards, he sends a chill down the spines of the opposition and always gives them a frosty reception. He's as fleet as a winter wind, leaves his markers frozen to the spot, and never thaws out in the heat of battle. I'll get on with it now as I'm struggling to 'Arctic'ulate any more puns into this description.
Champagne moment: More goals- Yet another forward who must be commended on improving their goal scoring numbers, It's a good sign that our goals are coming from a diverse range of options. We all know where the goal is, but wait! Put the champagne on ice! Lewis has indeed scored more already than he did last season but he's not top scorer, his generosity in goal is good though and has benefited me directly, so can't have a go.
Turkey moment: Squatters Rights- Such is his dedication to the Sale cause Lewis has been living- in an unspecified location- on his girlfriends floor. He has his own patch right next to her bed, it's touching in a way and a tale of true romance but it's the stuff of grim festive Dickensian fare and most definately qualifies as Turkey.

George:  At last we get to me, the all-star talisman and spear head of the attack. The knife in the dark and the shadow in the D. Scoring goals and fighting for justice as I do it, truly I am the unsung hero of the team.
Champagne moment: Hat-trick hero- Coming back into the side after a little stint with the 2's and scoring a hat-trick. The only Hat-trick on the first team this season I might add. did I also mention I'm the top scorer of 1's and 2's combined... oh yeah... only every week. Pretty sure it was my first 1st team hat-trick though so I am pretty happy, even if the jugs are expensive.
Turkey moment: Bad defence- The most obvious bit of turkey would be me getting dropped and floating between teams, but I'm going to avoid that and go for a classic turkey moment. The moment I drifted back into our own 25 trying to help out in defence. I gave away a short corner for blocking a clearance with the back of my stick. Don't think it was converted but it certainly made me feel like a right turkey.

Coaching Staff

Rob aka Coach: The real leader of the team right here and the man we all look up to (except maybe Jim as he's quite tall), Rob is our Sunderland-loving coach and the heartbeat of the way we play. we've certainly frustrated him this year but hopefully we can step it up for his sake and our own in the new year
Champagne moment: Knees up- Poor old Coach has been having a bit of trouble with his Knee this year but I'm pleased to say he's now been in for his op and is hopefully on the up. A real bit of champagne-worthy stuff there. I'm sure I speak for all of the lads when I say get well soon Coach.
Turkey moment: Seeing Red- Now let's get down to business. Coach will not tolerate any of us giving lip to umpires, and rightly so. I've been hauled off the pitch by him myself for it and I'm one of the most placid guys out there. It's is with great delight I get to dish up some great turkey for the moment Coach saw a red card given to him (subsequently rescinded) for heckling from the touchline at the umpire and had to leave the arena. Now this didn't happen with our team but let me be the first to say that it doesn't matter to me one bit and is proper hilarious. The whole team found out through Dave and now I'm telling the Internet. Looks like mine and Dave's blogs could be telling you all about life in the 4th team as of next year then!

Team: Bit of a mixed bag for us this time round, not really hit the highs of last years campaign yet. Is it because we're playing better teams? Are we more tired? Less hungry? I don't have the answers but I'll try and pick out two moments that serve as a high an a low so far.
Champagne moment: Derby day- A big game highlight has got to be beating the Brooklands in the first game we've played actually in Sale for years. Local bragging rights are always good value and I think this was a hard fought win that goes down as our best result, not our best performance, our best result. 
Turkey moment: Barn doors and banjos- In a similar vein our worst moment has got to be our 0-0 draw before Christmas. We swaggered into the game and forgot totally how to play, how to control a ball, time a pass, or get a shot on target, an awful grim day that I'd like to put behind us quickly, I'm really hoping for a big reaction in the new year from that.

Well there we are folks that is another mammoth Christmas special blog done. I hope you've enjoyed it and I'll repeat what I did last year and say that I can't promise I'll do this again. It really does take a long time and I have to scrape my memory right out at times to find material, hope no one is disappointed with their moments, if you've got any better suggestions hit me up with a comment, please try and keep it clean though, this is a family blog after all!

I guess that concludes this years..... but wait! There's BONUS BLOG! You didn't think I'd forget the features surely...

Song of the week

It being Christmas it has to be a Christmas hit for this week. I toyed with the idea of going for some kind of dub-step Christmas carol remix (they actually exist, humanity hits yet another low). In the end I went for a song with a connection to our team, in that Nick has introduced it to all of our lives, all credit to him for this selection then and zero credit to anyone involved in the production of the song. This weeks song of the week is the frankly surreal track: Bob Dylan- It Must Be Santa

and now for our favourite...

The Teas League

A disappointing result for us and most of the boys headed straight home for the club Christmas meal, but The Teas League survived and some of us wen back to have a taste. Turned out to be an excellent choice.

Disclaimer: This is only a bit of fun. I am an appalling cook myself and in no way a food expert. All criticism will be tongue-in-cheek and if any people/clubs choose to take offence please know that all reviews are intended to make no negative reflection on the friendly welcome and hospitality that all teams always provide us, for which we are very grateful and thankful for.

15/12/12 Oxton Away

Roast Beef/Ham with roast potatoes, mashed potatoes, carrots, peas, sweet potato AND mince pie dessert

Jesus H. Christ I'm starting to think the word is getting out about the Teas league, what a feast!

Substance 10/10- I'm not sure it can get any better than this. Absolutely blown away by this effort. Perfection

Taste 7/10- No roast lives up to a bit of home roast but it gave it a good go the Beef was supposedly better than the Ham, but I had ham so this remarkable meal falls back ever so slightly.

Presentation 9/10- Our highest score in the all-important category. Plated up, table service, condiments, places laid, really don't know why I'm scoring it 9 it should be 10 but what's Christmas without a bit of bah humbug!

Above and beyond the call of duty this excellent hospitality this from Oxton, it is just a great shame that there weren't more of the team to witness this. let's look at the table now...

1. Oxton (Roast Dinner, Trimming and Mince Pie)- S: 10 T: 7 P: 9 Tot: 26/30
2.Colwyn Bay (Chilli & Chips)- S: 8 T: 9 P: 7 Tot: 24/30
3.Chester (Chilli, Chips & Rice)- S: 7 T: 7 P: 6 Tot: 20/30
4.Brooklands (Sandwiches & Chips)- S:5 T:6 P:8 Tot: 19/30
5.Timperley (Spag Bol with Rosemary & Salt Focaccia)- S:5 T: 2 P:6 Tot: 13/30
6. Bebington (Jacket Potato & Maybe Turkey Chilli)- S:4 T:2 P:1 Tot: 7/30

Number one with a bullet! The Welshmen are knocked off the top in brutal style, with a great effort. Congratulations Oxton, you may be having a hard time in the league but you're on course to be the Teas League champions and have won a place in our hearts.

Right folks, I feel like I've been writing this for most of my life now so if you've made it this far down I thank you from the bottom of my heart, wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy new year when I'll be back with more tales of THE MIGHTY SALE.

As a final present here is a freshly stolen picture from the Internet of the perfect combination of hockey and Christmas...

... Oh. Coach says don't eat too much as well.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Getting Festive

So there it stands behind us, half a season gone. It wasn't so bad, could've been worse, but there's still a hell of a lot of work to do going forward. Luckily we're still winning and 6-2 last weekend was a great looking result on paper. It was a little more scrappy than that though and only by virtue of three of the worst goals I've ever seen (and I've seen and scored plenty dreadful goals!) was the scoreline so flattering. I really don't know which goal to pick out as the worst: we have the worst flick of all time (Dave), the 16 attempt tap in (Danny), and the miracle of the topped reverse stick hit that somehow wasn't backstick (Also known, incorrectly, as the tomahawk- Mark). A tough field, though maybe I'm just being jealous as I didn't grab a goal myself and now my 4 goals before Christmas target is becoming a bit of a stretch.

One target well within sight is the winning all games before Christmas. We're off to face bottom of the league tomorrow so we're up for a win for sure. It's also the first game after the turnaround, which mean it's the first team we'll be playing for the 2nd time this year, so no more surprises. It'll be a good chance to see if all my guff about our attacking improving is actually true. Last time we scored 4 goals, so let's see if we can get a few more this time around!

When we get this close to the Christmas break it can be feel like a bit of an effort if you've got a late away game like we have but I know the boys will want to lift themselves and go away happy. We've all had a week to sleep off the hangovers from the team Christmas night out. That's a night that never lets my expectations down and this time was no different. The highlights include some lovely buffet food, gangnam style line dancing, and lots and lots of bottles of vodka. It was madness, such a good party even Peter Crouch popped up for a cameo!

I thought with this being a festive edition I should spend a bit less time talking about the game and share with you some lovely photos taken by me (I think) from the party last week. Don't worry they're all family friendly! At Sale we're all about having a good time and we're a really good social club on to be a part of I think. So here we go...

1st Team Christmas Party 2012

First let's deal with the bit most of you will be interested in. Some of the boys happened to bump into the Stoke City FC Christmas party on Deansgate. Unfortunately for Martin he was one of the guys there and was forced into this 'little and large' photo by Marky. Mark can count himself lucky as only 1 inch separates him and Martin in height. if he'd not been there, he'd of had to step up.

We started off with some pretty standard posing shots: This is (left to right) Me, 'Ice Cold' Lewis, & Goldsie.

Here we have Martin, Charlie, and Nick. Martin gets a lot of stick for being the shortest guy in the team though I feel I have to point out that the other two are on a ledge at this point.

Here's Jim and Dave 'other blog' Wynne. Jim was the only man not to partake in the vodka free for all, a wise move.

In ascending height order are Martin, Marky (the guest teas league reviewer), and Me. For the record those aren't my fingers behind Mark that would've required me having the worlds shortest arm.

Here's the life and soul of the evening in Danny. I didn't get a picture of it but Danny chose to come out rocking a trilby, making him look like some kind of 1940s US cop. He's almost, but not quite, as drunk as he looks in this shot.

And here we have the alcohol that fuelled the whole evening. We gorged ourselves on bottle after bottle of vodka and pitcher after pitcher of 'energy drink'. When we ran out we decided to stuff a random persons shoe into the pitcher, as you do, and much to Dannys delight.

 Not sure why Dave is on the floor, there was an accompanying shot to this one but it was censored.

A round of the infamous drinking game '5s' is in play here with Lyndon and Mike H facing off in the final. Judging from this shot Mike P has lost a few rounds earlier on.

Here is the Gangnam Style dance-off. On your far right is Captain H. Mark had an absolutely legendary video of this incident but like a fool deleted it from his phone at 5am. Fail.

As the evening wore on it all got a bit much for some. On our way to the dance floor we spotted this lady having a bit of a kip.

The lovers Danny & Kiwi were in full flow when we reached the dance floor.

I tried to muscle in, don't think it went down well with Danny.

Very generous of the boys to lean back like that in the shot for Martin.

Probably my favourite shot of the evening. We have no idea who this guy making some kind of gangnam style effort is. I can promise you it was very dark in the room we were in and this man could not have been able to see anything. To be fair most of the team were in a similar state then. If you're wondering who is making the rude gesture that would be Ben.

The next day. Says it all really...

So there you have it. Can't say if we won or lost that evening really, only that it was fun.

Song of the week 

In homage to the friend we made on the Christmas party and the lost dance video, this weeks song of the week can be none other than the Internet sensation that is Psy- Gangnam Style.

Thanks for reading folks. Hope the lack of content was made up for in an abundance of pictures. I'll be back again soon, as I've now got to go away and start planning this years 'Christmas Special' Blog. Jingle Bells!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Mixed Bag

The big weekender has left me feeling a little under the weather so apologies for any delay in service, I've been hacking up half my lung and gasping a death rattle breath that sounds like a rejected Darth Vader audition... but other than that I'm great!

The big weekender turned out to have just about a little bit of everything in it. It was a big game for me coming back into the 1's after a few weeks away, the cup was a huge game with a lot to be said about it, and I've also got to spare a little time to offer commiserations to the 2's. So, lots to get through.

Let's start at the beginning with our journey down to Chester. A second trip to the old Roman town this season for me but with a far happier return as we came away 7-1 winners. Big news alert on a personal front was the fact that I returned to the 1's and managed to score a hat-trick! Exciting stuff and I'm very happy with that result I can assure you. I should also point out that it was a hat-trick of my typical style of goals, which is essentially the finish on a good bit of teamwork and movement from less than 5 yeards out. Nearly every single goal I score is the result of at least one other players good work and skill, so to start going both barrels about being a deadly threat and lethal to the opposition is probably a bit rich really. That said, I will credit myself with all the hard work I put in to beat markers and sneak in to get into those key positions in the first place, the vast majority of which takes place off the ball when no one is watching to quote Mo I'm 'like a ninja'. Normally I subscribe to the rule of 'Self praise is no praise' but I'm going to let myself off this time, why? I scored a hat trick.

Funny thing was we didn't totally boss the game and got put under the cosh a few time in the second half, I can't say how much of that was due to us being 7-0 up with an eye on the Sunday game at the time or not. It's a good thing then that we found the goal so well, that really was the plus point, we scored nearly all of our chances. That is something we have been working on in training (if that doesn't sound ridiculous, when are you not working on that?). There have been some very frustrating nights at training in pursuit of that 'goal' but it is certainly having a slow and steady effect I'm pleased to say. We're not there yet though, as we'll now find out...

So Saturday done and dusted, jug bought and drank. All the boys in for an early night for big game Sunday. When we woke up it was cold, icy cold, pretty much cancel the game cold. Still, we rose up and loitered outside the pitch until someone finally rocked up to open it (my feet were numb by this point). The verdict turned out that the pitch was playable, so a bit of creative warming up to remove the top layer of frost and we were good to go. Then the heartbreak, We ended up losing 4-3, a real real tragedy for us as I think as the weeks roll by we'll think we really deserved to win. Two things that could've gone better for us: 1. We could've played a better first half, 4-1 at half time is a big ask to come back from anytime. 2. We could've/ should've took our chances. Now the quality level of the keeper we faced on Sunday was superb (some have speculated it may even have been better than H- though he's having none of it), but that doesn't change the fact we had well more than 3 chances but no more than 3 goals. The worst of it was just how dominant we were at the end, when a last minute Penalty Corner dropped I really thought it was going to extra time. Instead I watched from the subs bench in agony as it went wide. I was stood on the sidelines the last time a last minute short didn't go our way in the cup, although that one hurt a lot more I must say and the less said on that the better. So the cup run is over for this season but we've had a fun time again, proved our value and that we belong in a higher league I think so we'll be back next year for another shot, though I must say I really wanted us to bring it home in our 125th anniversary year... c'est la vie.

In more disappointment news the 2's didn't manage to bounce back from last weeks loss going down 2-1 to Bowdon. I don't know too much about the game but I wanted to express my sympathies, coming back from a big loss like that is never easy. I did also hear chance conversion was an issue there too though. I see a theme developing here...

To bring it back to a happier spin I managed to put another goal in on Sunday which gives me 4 goals for the weekend. That's lovely as I can remember scoring 4 goals in a season once and finishing as joint top-scorer for the team (yes, we got relegated). For those interested in following the tally of this elite attacking predator that is me my seasonal tally is now at 12, which is only 3 behind my final tally from last year. The target is to beat that by Christmas (4 goals in 2 games essentially). For me, as a forward, my currency is goals. Not man of the match shouts, not clean sheets, and not pitch time. Goals. That's just a personal thing really, I'm not a technically gifted player nor the fittest, tallest, fastest, or strongest in the club, I'm a poor tackler and dreadful at controlling aerials. I am however the current top scorer out of all 1st and 2nd team players, so for me none of the previous matters and business is a-booming!

Song of the week

Well I think you can see the theme glaring through all down this weeks blog. Scoring goals and taking chances. It really is an obvious song choice that I should have to explain no further then I think. The only change I've gone for is in selecting a cover of this song and not the Abba original. The reason for this is the pure hilarity of the music video, seriously you have to check this out, Camp-as-Christmas it is... and watch out for the 'reggae' breakdown at the end. This weeks song of the week is Erasure- Take A Chance On Me

Well I have no words for that video so let's move on swiftly...

The Teas League

I'm back in the hot-seat this time folks so Mark Holmes reign of culinary judgement terror is taking a brief hiatus. I only hope I can live up to the high standards of review we have set before. I trembled at the thought but I had the advantage this week, I'd eaten these Teas before...

Disclaimer: This is only a bit of fun. I am an appalling cook myself and in no way a food expert. All criticism will be tongue-in-cheek and if any people/clubs choose to take offence please know that all reviews are intended to make no negative reflection on the friendly welcome and hospitality that all teams always provide us, for which we are very grateful and thankful for.

1/12/12 Chester Away

Chilli, Chips and Rice

I'm starting to think we should re-name this feature 'The Teas League- Sponsored by Chilli', anyway let's see what we have.

Substance 7/10- Can't fault a Chilli in the interest of fairness and the addition of chips AND rice is a big bonus. Bit of grumbling about portion size though. A 7 it is, and a harsh one at that.

Taste 7/10- We're becoming something of a bunch of Chilli connoisseurs these days so opinion was split on the Chilli taste, some harsh words flying about. I thought it was passable and the rice was good stuff. Never underestimate a well cooked rice. A more generous 7 this time.

Presentation 6/10- self-service plastic plates and cutlery. No home comforts there I'm afraid, but service was easily done and dished out so it claws some points back for proper serving utensils. Playing on my conscience with a with a cheeky 6.

A pretty solid if unspectacular performance here. I was expecting big things for Chester having sampled it before but the quality wasn't as high and as we all know it's the performance in the test that counts. So let's check that league table...

1.Colwyn Bay (Chilli & Chips)- S: 8 T: 9 P: 7 Tot: 24/30
2.Chester (Chilli, Chips & Rice)- S: 7 T: 7 P: 6 Tot 20/30
3.Brooklands (Sandwiches & Chips)- S:5 T:6 P:8 Tot: 19/30
4.Timperley (Spag Bol with Rosemary & Salt Focaccia)- S:5 T: 2 P:6 Tot: 13/30
5. Bebington (Jacket Potato & Maybe Turkey Chilli)- S:4 T:2 P:1 Tot: 7/30

A brave challenge from Chester but NOT ENOUGH to topple Colwyn Bay as their superior Chilli quality held off the lure of added rice. Can Chester hold a respectable 2nd place for the rest of the year? Only time will tell. One more stop on the Teas league Train before Christmas, I'm hoping something festive is served so if you're reading this Oxton, mince pies please!

Thanks again folks for joining me in a week when I'm happy to be back in the side and scoring but sad to see us drop out of the cup. I've started to think about this years Christmas Special too so if you're around the first team squad and have any Champagne or Turkey moments you would like to nominate for anyone please give me a shout at the weekend or on the Christmas do. See you next time!

Friday, 30 November 2012

The Big Weekender

What an intriguing weekend of action for Sale. Three fantastic wins, one terrible loss. Focus on the positives first. The 1's kept rolling with a 6-2 win, the 3's kept smashing their league with an 11-0 demolition job, and best of all the 4's got a 7-1 win, yes 7-1! The 4's are where I'd like to start because I think that they're such an important aspect of our club going forward. More than just our club, I see the philosophy and what they represent as crucial to the wider game. The 4th team are the bottom team of our club, playing in the bottom league in the region. It's a development team where what you'll hopefully get is a good mixture of social players, young kids picking up their first stick, and old heads who have to choose between the hockey or the housework of a weekend. I think they're great as it's where almost every player starts and where all those that have a real love for playing the game will end up. I started on the 3rds (then the lowest team) as a geektastic 12 year-old boy. We had a man who once told his wife before a match he was going out for some milk come and play for us, a 67 year-old marathon runner, an umpire with an eye patch, and half-time oranges soaked in whisky (I found out about that last one the hard way). We sometimes won 10-0 one week and lost 14-0 the next, visited pubs before and after the game, and generally tried not to take things to seriously (while still trying to win of course). Those little nuggets of magic all added together is what takes a sport like hockey from being a pure physical game that keeps me fit and challenged into something I have a passion and love for. My off-pitch memories are just as vital as my on-pitch ones when it comes to looking back like that.

The point is that the 4ths represent the heart and soul of what I think hockey really is, and what makes people want to play it. Over the years we've seen the subtle vulgarities of the culture of football bleed in a little bit but keeping that friendly attitude and desire going is what sets hockey apart. The 4ths were shafted by the league re-structure in a way that I've covered in previous weeks, shafted to the point that when the season-long goals were set it was survival as a functioning team that was the number one target. To see them get a win and such a great win as 7-1 is fantastic news that brings a smile to my face and something really worth celebrating across the board at the club. For the record, I'm playing down any suggestion that my Dad dropping himself had any part in the 4th team win.

Now after covering my love for the game and last weeks wins I have to regrettably cover the result I was a part of last weekend. It was a heavy defeat, the heaviest I have been involved in for nearly 3 years. I take no pride in being a part of it and feel embarrassment that it came in a week when all the other teams did so well, yet a part of it I was. We played against a very very strong team who were very experienced and knew what they were about in terms of how they wanted to play; we came totally unstuck. Any suggestion that it was a close tie is quickly non sensed by the 9-2 scoreline (yep, read it and weep). We did have our moments of quality but the outlook was overall bleak, with those moments being the hint of sunshine in an overcast day. I wouldn't go as far to say we ever gave up but we were certainly outmatched and punished brutally for it. I personally thought I was awful and despite tweaking a hamstring that limited me to the same pace as my late 40s marker (which to be fair isn't much slower than normal for me!) I can only criticise myself for being a part of a poor loss. With results like that though I think it is best to adopt the simple mentality that it didn't happen and focus on coming back stronger and harder. Of course there is always something to learn from every game but a 9-2 can suck you in and impact your next game by reflecting on it too much. I hope the 2's can come storming back this weekend in another local derby match up against Bowdon... but I won't be with them as I'm back off to the 1's this week!

Slightly bizarre that I'd find myself back amongst the 1's after probably my worst outing of the season but sometimes that's just the way the availability falls, and I'll be determined to do my very best to make amends for last week. The 1's have nothing short of a huge weekend coming up (The big weekender), and I want to cover that next. On Saturday it is league game time and hopefully the 4th win in a row to keep the pressure on the top of the table on and keep that initial target of winning every game before Christmas alive. Then when that is done and dusted it is time for the big one on Sunday: The semi-final of the Cheshire Plate. We're facing off against Knutsford 1sts at home at 1pm. I would love to see as many people as possible turn out and show their support, this really is a huge game for us. Our opposition are a league above and with a place at stake in the final will be fighting just as hard as us. We need to make home advantage count and hopefully make it to the final, which would frankly be the biggest game many of us will of ever played in. Before that though comes this tough test. It is a chance for us to raise ourselves and show us what we can potentially be and how well we can play, and I think that is often when we are at our best. I'm unsure if I'll be playing or supporting myself as yet but regardless I'll be there, hopefully you will too!

Song of the week

Big week coming up for all teams but focus has to be on the 2's with 'OPERATION BOUNCEBACK' and the 1's with '#CUPSETpt2'. Hopefully both will deliver. Fight, fire, and mental mastery will all be essential to victory so I'm going all out for pure motivation with a song from one of my favourite bands. Their last album was roundly panned by many fans and rightly so in some respects but this is a blood pumper that I have seen used for at least 5 'football preview' montages in the last 2 months. It must do something to inspire then. Advice: PLAY IT LOUD. This weeks song of the week is: Muse- Supremacy

So we come to the end for this week. Thanks for reading. I hope more than anything to bring tales of #CUPSETpt2 being a success. You won't need to wait until next week to find out how it went though as I'm sure you'll be down there supporting...

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Slave to the system

Anger is a gift. So says fiery counter culture orator Zach de la Rocha; lead singer of Christmas chart topping metal band Rage against the Machine and teenage hero for all angsty left leaning ex-teenage dirtbags (like me). When in full flow and fury his words are hard to disagree with. Anger is a gift, and we should use it to fire ourselves up and attack challenges... and scream down microphones if they're in the vicinity. Anger has it's limits though, depending on the context. In Mr. de la Rocha's world of violent revolutions it's a pretty big plus point, though quite a sad one when attributed to students bouncing bins off the windows of the local Barclays. In sport anger is a fire that needs to be contained. The obvious example is in boxing. If a fighter gets angry in the ring and loses his discipline then most of the time he will be finished by a swift punch to the temple. In hockey, a rash challenge or a needless dribble from ill discipline can damage the overall team effort. All players have done it, regretted it, and beaten themselves up about it. While they're right to reflect like that it's important to remember that to have passion to control you must possess it first.

My own passion has run high this season, omissions and frustrations bearing heavy on my mind. For the record I am fine and enjoying things quite merrily now, ploughing along this year and hoping to do the best I can to win games. I think over the last few weeks my words here have become a little severe at times in that I appear to have been reacting to my situation in a negative way. I apologise for that impression and it certainly is not my intention. Many weeks ago when the prospect of hovering between two teams first popped onto my horizon I stated that any anger and passion at such decisions needs to be directed at the pitch and not in becoming dismayed or arrogantly railing against the perceived 'poweres that be'. I haven't lived up to that mantra in its fullest it would be fair to say; but that forest has been walked through and I must say I'm out the other side and enjoying every second of Hockey I'm playing at the moment and ready to make those points nowhere but on the field of play. Perhaps my most enjoyable moment this year came last weekend during a 6-1 win (I scored 2, set up 1, thanks for asking) when an opposition defender bellowed at his team mates to mark me tightly as I was the 'danger-man'. Now I've been called a lot of things in my time but that's got to be a new one!

For the record I would never ever intentionally label in a negative light anyone who is prepared to take the plunge of the challenge of organising, shaping, and running a hockey team or club. It's not an easy thing to do even at the best of times and those people never get enough thanks for it. I've helped to run teams for years and sat in more that my fair share of bleak committee meetings facing the prospect of this marvellous club I play for dropping a team from competition or even winding up altogether. I have the fullest respect for all of the guys making those tough tough calls at the moment on selection issues and would like to point out in a season where our teams are regularly facing 10-man sides and witnessing clubs drop out of leagues altogether, Sale is going from strength to strength with full teams and subs, players who have a great time, and fantastic passionate training sessions (which I urge all non-attending players to attend... 3rd team I'm looking at you!). This is due in no small part to the effort and commitment (mental as well as physical) that those folks on the committee put in and I thank them all for that, and if you play you should too.

You may be feeling a little misled by now at my title and opening comments. Perhaps you were expecting some barnstorming 'arab spring' revolutionary talk. No, not here. The system I'm talking about being a slave to is not the free market neo-liberal capitalist economic doctrine that is slowly eroding both the welfare state and the concept of Social democracy in Europe. It is the system of play that we operate under here at Sale. Now I'm still not daft enough to divulge the details of that here but the point I wanted to make is that only through complete commitment and embracing of that system are we going to perfect it to it's devastating maximum potential. That was the message of coach after another frustrating drill for our attackers, that we need to all do our specific jobs, whether hard or easy, and place complete faith in the system. What this means in a nutshell for example is: if I receive a ball and look to play the ball to a winger, but that winger isn't where he should be, that isn't my fault. What it also means, crucially, is that just because that winger isn't there doesn't mean he won't be next time I get the ball, or the time after that etc. etc. It takes trust in each other, discipline, resilience, and dedication to play our system, we need to be slaves to those emotions. The attackers have had a tough time when it comes to taking chances this year but if we commit to the system and stay on task we will finish those chances and we will be irresistible.

Last weeks 6-1 win for me was a great game and great fun, I was pleased to see it trumped by the 6-0 win the boys on the 1st team managed. A special mention for the first clean sheet of the season for the 1's too! That winning every game before Christmas target is still good and i'll hope to see them pick up some momentum now and drive on with another win this weekend.

I'm heading into a pretty tasty top of the league bash this weekend and hoping that us 2's can come off with a win, it really is a must to keep pace in our division and I know we can do it if we start right from the first whistle and play the system with dedication, I hope to bring you big tales of grandiose wins next week.

Song of the week

A tough choice this week as I'm not feeling any puns coming on. For that reason I've decided to plump for a Rage Against The Machine Song. I'm certainly NOT going to be going for 'that' Rage Against The Machine song. Instead I'll treat you to the song from which the quote that begins this blog originates from. Anger is indeed a gift, but my present to you is this weeks song of the week : Rage Against The Machine- Freedom

The Teas League

I may be absent from the 1's currently but it's going to take much more than that to kill off the legendary teas league! This week we've got our guest judge Mark 'Michel Roux' Holmes taking up the reigns again. So let's see if it was a taste-tastic whirlwind rally down the path of adventure or a congested grey commute around the circular motorway of blandness.

Disclaimer: This is only a bit of fun. I am an appalling cook myself and in no way a food expert. All criticism will be tongue-in-cheek and if any people/clubs choose to take offence please know that all reviews are intended to make no negative reflection on the friendly welcome and hospitality that all teams always provide us, for which we are very grateful and thankful for.

17/11/12 Bebington Away

Jacket Potato and Maybe Turkey Chilli

Substance 4/10- Potato and Chilli filled the gap for those that braved a full portion.

Taste 2/10- Basic food (as in Sainsbury's basic) and questionable meat, maybe turkey, whatever animal it was it certainly hadn't seen much seasoning. Some of the boys had to visit Colonel Sanders on the way back to fill up.

Presentation 1/10- Plastic bowls and forks. It says it all.

Another blunderbuss review from Mr. Holmes, a hard man to please. Have to express solidarity with the plastic bowls though, what's all that about?

Well let's take a look at where that leaves them in the league tab- STOP THE PRESSES!- We have a late extra tea from last week to bring to you attention from last week. This 11th hour entry cannot be reviewed as it was brought in from home packed lunch style by 1st teamer and fellow blogger  'The New Dave Wynne®'. And here it is:

Chicken Salad! Now don't panic folks the Teas league is not going to be sullied with something as downright scandalous as a salad, but it is a good time for me to point you once again in the direction of Dave's journey blog which you can get here:

RE-START THE PRESSES! Let's look at that league table:

1.Colwyn Bay (Chilli & Chips)- S: 8 T: 9 P: 7 Tot: 24/30
2.Brooklands (Sandwiches & Chips)- S:5 T:6 P:8 Tot: 19/30
3.Timperley (Spag Bol with Rosemary & Salt Focaccia)- S:5 T: 2 P:6 Tot: 13/30
4. Bebington (Jacket Potato & Maybe Turkey Chilli)- S:4 T:2 P:1 Tot: 7/30

Hard times for Bebington there with our lowest score so far. I think they could be set for a bottom of the table dogfight as the season progresses. Next up is Chester, which I've had a sneak preview of and think could be a very big contender at the top!

As always thanks for joining me this week. I enjoyed clarifying a few things this week and stating how proud I am to be part of a club that has such dedicated people as members. I'm no voice of dissent and my whole purpose here is to show what a great club Sale is to be a part of. I only hope that those who have read my blog over the weeks have that impression in the forefront of their minds. It is the truth.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Quarterly Review

So we're a little bit over a quarter of the season gone now so I thought I'd have a look at how we're doing this year down the teams. Starting with my lovely 1's; things have gone a lot tougher this season so far. Not really anything surprising about that as we've shot up two leagues, but to go from winning and winning well to losing tight games has been tough to take. I'm not as on the pulse with collective 1's mentality this season but I'd say that overall we're disappointed but not disheartened, and hell, it's still good fun! Targets are tough to define for the 1's at the moment but I'd of thought winning every game from now until Christmas should be a good place to start.

The 2's are having a decent time of it so far. Had some silly losses to be fair, but some right good wins too. They're a little bit back in terms of points in their league but well in the shake up at the top. The hard yards are yet to come for them this season and the key ingredient for them is going to be desire. Last week I played for the 2's and they put in a 2nd half display that proved to me they have the technical and physical ability to impose and dominate games if they want to, it was a joy to be a part of and I hope we get much much more of it as we go forward in the season. For me, anything less than promotion is a failure this season.

The 3's are down on the bottom of the leauge pile bossing Div 8 SE. That's to be expected if you ask me seeing as they are rapidly becoming less the third team and more like the 1st team: vintage edition. The spanner in the works for them will be the fact they have to win their league to get out of it, but they're managing it so far being 4 points out in front. My old man is the 3's captain and is also 50 this year and I think (though the records are hazy) this could be his 10th year at the 3rd team helm, so a promotion should be just the ticket and an absolute nailed on target!

The 4's are in the same league and having, ahem, a slightly tougher time than the 3's. In fact they kicked off their season with a 16-1 drubbing off the 3's; how sporting of the 3's!. The aim for the 4th team is simply survival and trying to get some points. I don't mean survival as in not going down (there is nowhere to go), I mean fulfilling their fixtures and having the will to go out there every week. It is my belief that the 4's, only in their 2nd season, have been utterly shafted by the league who pandered to the complaints about long travelling time by a noisy minority of clubs to restructure the league in a way that is frankly, if left unattended, going to be the death of grassroots level social hockey in the North West region. That anyone could pick up a stick after either not playing for a long time or having never played before and come up against teams of the quality of the 3's (for example) and not get disheartened seems impossible to me. I hope the league looks at this madness at the end of the year, and I hope the 4's keep sticking it out and enjoying it, It could well be the best achievement of all 4 teams if they do.

So that's my two pennys on where we're at in this moment now. I think it is important to remember who and what we are. At Sale we're all about playing as hard as we can and being as friendly and social as we can along the way. All you need to do is look at some of the team numbers the 1st team come up against in their league to realise that we are a long way from being the biggest club in the region. Right now we're building and we're moving forward even when it looks like we're standing still. As long as we can turn out and enjoy playing a game of hockey the right way (the right way being the way Coach tells us to play of course) and the fair way, with 4 full teams of up fot it players then we're doing something good. A happy atmosphere we'll win more than we lost and move up accordingly.

Lastly on the issue of quarterly reviews I suppose I should I should turn the spotlight on myself. I'm a bit disappointed with myself this year in that I haven't personally taken as much a step forward from last year as I'd of liked. I've got frustrated, made mistakes, and worst of all missed chances that I should score (which I can genuinely lose sleep over!). My playing confidence has suffered and bobbing from one team to another probably hasn't helped that. To be bluntly honest on my own feelings for all the talk of competition and players interchanging from teams when you've been dropped (or provisionally dropped) for 6 weeks in a row, without explanation or constructive criticism it's difficult not to feel singled out and hurt by that process, especially when you feel you've contributed. Motivation can suffer, dedication can be questioned, and all sorts of strange and dark and unwelcome feelings can be felt; I know I'll not be alone in saying it's an uncomefortable place to be. The good aspect about that is that while I don't ultimately control what team I'll play for I am in control of my play, my attitude and my effort and enjoyment. I can say that I'll not be going anywhere anytime soon and whichever team I play for I'll be giving 100% of my effort and bringing my unglamourous but effective game to bear wherever I can, with a smile on my face and a spring in my step (unless we're losing 4-0 or something, anyone smiling then will be getting a slap)!

That's enough reflecting. Back to this weekend now. I'll be hoping to see at least 3 Men's wins on the board. Playing away for the 2's last week I was fortuitous enough to see two other teams in the 1st team's league go against each other. I won't name the teams but it wouldn't be too difficult for anyone to work it out if they fancy a bit of fixtures live based sleuthing. The 1's have played neither of them yet but if they don't dispatch them both with ease it will be nothing short of unforgivable (I am of course not recognising the fact that teams can change wildly from week to week), they were poor and it struck me as to how much teams really now have to raise their pace to compete with us now. It used to be the other way around. Be proud of that guys. A bit more clinical in the D and we'll be smashing teams for 10 (no, really).

Song of the week

What I'd love to see for the moment is all of the lads in all the teams get on a run of wins and start to dominate games and show ourselves to be the winners we are. Not the winners we can be, the winners we ARE. Anyway this seems like a good time to drop some dirty UK grime, back from my youthful misadventures of one-leg skanking and shouting blap blap for no real reason (yes, I was retarded). This is one of the better tracks from back in those halcyon days (as the top comment on the Youtube video correctly surmises it is a: 'dope tune straight up' (sic)). So for your audio pleasure may I present to you, this weeks song of the week: Ghetto feat. Katie Pearl- Run the Road

No teas league this week of course, though getting a tasty treat of what some future teas last week may be The competition could be very strong up at the top of the table (we could be looking at a chilli battle).

Final point from me now. Dave, another one of our 1st team squad lads has started dropping a blog all about his fitness attempts. As a man who once took that undertain first step out into blogging I knew I would take some inevitable stick from't lads but I'd hope that Dave will ride that out and keep it up. You get out of it what you put into it, though I'm sure from the language he's using he's well aware of that.

Constructive criticism #1: Sort the design of the page out Dave lad! The people need bright colours and pictures, get a bit of that famous Sale Yellow knocking about.

Please spare some time to check it out folks here's the link:

Dave Wynne: The Time is now!

Thanks for reading once again, I hope those in the know agree with my assessments and honesty! See you next time.