Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Curtain Call

The show is officially over folks. It's tailed off a bit in terms of thrills and spills at the end but this season's journey, which began all the way back in last July (A mere 8 months ago), has reached it's final resting place. I remember back then setting out with all of the burning ambition and confidence of a team certain of its ability to achieve its promotion goal ready to take the fight to the league 22 times in a row, and I stand here slightly ragged and worn, but on a field of victory, proud of myself, and more importantly, proud of my team.

It represents a coming of age for our team I believe (yes, even the older players). It was the proof that we can triumph, proof we needed. Whilst the memories of moments where we won this league will boil down in our minds to great goals, skills, tackles or saves, the finer truth is that the win has come over the hard work that has been going on for the last 2 seasons. Ever since the moment where we got relegated a few seasons ago when it was sink or swim for the entire club. We chose to swim, and it has turned out OK right about now! Of course, it's not enough. The quantum leap that we made in this campaign has to be matched and improved upon as we go forward. I read an article recently written by a man who had interviewed a slew of multiple Olympic champions. They all said that it was the thrill of the journey that equipped them with the ability to repeat it, rather than the prize itself. I hope that we can understand and adopt that mentality. I have enjoyed all of the improvements we have made this season, and my own personal improvements. It has been my most productive season on terms of goals by some way, and I am determined that is not something which is going to be a flash in the pan.

As for the last game, well if you didn't know, we lost. I think the mood was one of disappointment rather than dejection and devastation. Our opponents, chasing us for so long had a major point to prove and turned up highly motivated. Now in an ideal world we'd have matched that fire; but being 2nd for so long and wanting to stick one over us just simply outshone our motivation of having a 16 point lead rather than a 10 point lead at the end of the season. A shame yes, but worse things happen at sea. Lest we forget that there has not been a single moment from the start of the season when Sale hasn't occupied that top spot. That's a pole to flag championship right there, I've had the 'beating top of the league' achievement and I know where I'd rather be stood right now.

So what now? Well most immediately we have to deal with the section annual general meeting (AGM), on Friday night. I'd urge all members who read this to please make an effort to attend. It is the most important meeting of the year and a great chance to get your voice heard and also volunteer yourself to help out, there are always positions available on the committee so why not spare some time and help out? Any effort can only help us to improve and move forward together as a club, which is the only way we want to move forward.

After that it's the presentation evening! We'll be handing out the top scorer award and the much sought-after players player award will be revealed (I do know the result already, obviously I'm not going to say it here, but let's just say that H won't be taking the shield home this season sadly for him). Of course a few jars of the finest will be had too! If you're not busy in the Saturday I urge you to come down to the pitch at Parrs Wood at 13.30 to watch (my)Dad's Army the 3rd team try and win the league, they've had a great season and hopeully can polish it off with a championship.

After all the sobriety (AGM ) and merriment (presentation night) comes the well earnt break that we deserve. Of course the Hockey never really stops and between tournaments, tours, and summer league I'd expect you can all get as much (or as little) of a fix that you want before we come back around for pre-season training and the trials ahead.

As for me and this blog well I have to admit that I've immensely enjoyed writing about our journey and sharing my thoughts and whims. I'll be honest, when I started I thought that there was a chance I'd be ridiculed constantly for my efforts but all of the compliments and constructive comments I've received have been genuinely humbling to hear. I am lucky to have such a good readership and am hopeful that there are some of you our there reading this who find the sport of Hockey a little more appealing and interesting than maybe you once did. I'm certainly not going to stop writing now. I think the next you will hear from me will be sometime next week where I'll offer up a 'season in review' edition similar to my x-mas special where I'll talk you through some of the best moments of the season as well as the most ridiculous too! After that? The Hockey world is my oyster and I'll hopefully give some insight into what we get up to in the 'off season' including summer league, tours etc. and maybe even some Olympic stuff, in case you can't tell I don't really know what I'm going to do yet.

Well that is for the future and for the now I'll just sign off by saying thank you to all of you. Yes you! You who is reading this right now, thank you for reading it and I'll see you soon in the bright tomorrow!

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