Monday, 27 February 2012

A Date With Destiny

So here we are, having travelled so far and worked so hard for so many weeks, we have finally risen over that last rise and now our goal is in sight. Real, actual, sight. I woke up Sunday in a beautiful world, a world where only one more win shall separate us from the league title, the prize for which we have striven these many months, and striven we have. We have had to battle and rally, we have been down in the trenches as well as flying high on the winds, we have been staring down the barrel of a gun and we have been putting teams to the sword. We have had to have words both with ourselves and each other, we have had to stop having words with umpires and now here we go, crossing the line once again and hearing the bell ring out as it does in those long, incredibly dull, athletics races. One more lap to go.

We have had to fight complacency and arrogance all season, not because we are vain and lazy, but because we didn't want to bastardise our confidence into something that works against us. We haven't so far and I thoroughly expect that to be the case next week, the stakes are no higher than normal and the challenge will be the same as always; win the game. I admit the team talk in terms of motivation might be a bit easier than normal, because frankly if you can't get motivated by the words 'win this game and we win the league' you don't deserve to be in the room.

I hope we can match and build on our play from last week. Our dominance in a 5-2 win was great against a team that really deserves to be pushing higher up the table, and that beat our chasers the week before. It was great to see Neil re-igniting his claim for top scorer of the division and hopefully he'll take back sole possession of the top spot this weekend. My only concern for us were the two sloppy goals we conceded. Although there was much 'debate' about the second goal and why we shouldn't have let it in I must admit I was more surprised by the first goal, to my memory it was the first time we had conceded on a break from the other side this season. Now let me say that I think the back line has been outstanding all season and the rock on which our fortunes have depended but having only come away with 2 clean sheets since the Christmas break I would hate to see their superior stats chipped away at by some late season fatigue setting in (and if you're wondering boys, yes, that is a challenge).

As for this weeks game itself, we couldn't ask for a better setting. Having been denied the chance to win the league at home we instead must travel up the road to the commonwealth pitch at Belle Vue (in my opinion the best quality pitch in the region) to take on our opponents and (for the geographically uncertain) local rivals in an away game. Except, I don't want this game to have any away feeling to it whatsoever. For all those who have backed us all season I implore you that come Saturday don't head down to William Hulme (sorry 2's) but travel the extra 2 miles up the stretch and come and live the moment that we have all been waiting for, there is even a stand for gods sake! All hockey associates should know where Belle Vue is, but if you don't play, or are an idiot it is ... HERE. Push back is 3pm sharp!

So please come one, come all, bring replica shirts, flags, signs, rattles, bells and vuvuzelas and show us some love because we've got a date with destiny and we wouldn't want you to feel left out.

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