Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Suddenly.... September!

Hello my old friends. I know it has been a while, sorry about that. As the months of summer began to wash over me (rain-pun very much intended) I drifted away from the lovely life of hockey and into the doldrums of inactivity that I think can be best summed up by the image of an empty can of Pringles. The break was certainly necessary, for more mental than physical reasons. Last season began before the one before had even ended and it was a make or break one for us. We totally dominated it from beginning to end, it may have looked easy on the table but it wasn't, not when all you really have to fight is yourself for 6 months. It takes it out of you, and it took it out of us as a unit. As a unit we all needed a holiday, and what I can tell you is the Ice Cream in Croatia is both delicious and moderately priced.

Anyway I awoke in horror the other day with the sudden realisation that it was in fact now September and the new season is pretty much on the doorstep. Now I've not been totally ignorant of that fact and we have been doing some punishing pre-season fitness work for a while now, which has either made me fit or brought me closer to death. I don't think our preparation has been quite as good this season than last year (for a thousand poor quality reasons) but the good thing about that fact is that it can be changed at any moment when a group of individuals decide to graft together and remember the team that we are.

I'm writing this after 2 consecutive days of 2 hour training, no problem for an athlete I suppose, however I have never professed to be such and in fact I may end up sleeping in my computer chair tonight due to an inability to remove myself from it. It is all good really though, no pain no gain, carpe diem etc. And despite the pain I am excited that the new season is here, so please let me do a brief preview.

Those that followed our adventures last year will know all about our glorious league winning antics, but what you may not know is that when we gained promotion, due to a serendipitous league re-structure we ended moving up two divisions. So this season the 1st team will be competing in the lofty heights of Division 3 (South) of the Barringtons North West Hockey League, happy days! Of course moving up like this is exactly what we wanted but I would also spare a thought for the poor 4th team who have been dumped with the brown end of the re-structure stick and have been moved up 3 and a half divisions (don't ask me how you go up half a division, I don't know), and will play teams the 2nd team played last year. I just want to say keep smiling boys and remember, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger (plus they also play the 3rd team which is a nailed on 6 points surely!).

As always happens between seasons we lose some guys and gain some guys. Some people choose to have things like families, jobs and careers and such nonsense that is against all team-working principles. Despite this outrage I'm happy to report that the competition for places looks like it is going to be hot once again with stronger 1st and 2nd teams looking like the likely scenario overall. There are no safe or certain places in any team (especially mine!) and all the guys are judged by the effort and commitment they provide to training and the results they produce on the weekend, so embrace the privilege of pressure if you find yourself in the 1st squad in the early season, and if you're in the 2nds squad, hunt those squad places down mercilessly and without complaint and you'll likely get your chance.

This would also be a good time to mention that I am no longer understudy and chief-organiser vice-captain extraordinaire for the 1st team for this campaign. The 'poisoned chalice' has been passed on to our zealous defender Nick, a man who if he approaches the role with the same zeal he does a 50/50 ball will do a far better job than me. On a personal level I'm happy to see the team develop, get the opportunity to focus on my own (technically-limited) game and more importantly not have to sort out collecting subs and providing directions every week any longer!

Our first game is at the weekend against local opposition and fellow league adversaries Timperley, we're walking somewhat blind into this league so it's going to be a good chance to see what the standard is like and blow off our match rustiness. It's only a friendly but I think I can speak for most of the team in saying we want to hit the ground running and pull off a win.

Thank you guys for reading and I'm sorry if this blog doesn't flow too well this time. It's my first post since April (despite claiming at the time I would post during summer, sorry!) so I'm just getting rid of another kind of rustiness. I will be keeping you guys up to date as the season goes on so if you have me on Twitter or Facebook then prepare to have your news feeds invaded for the next 6 months because...

No comments:

Post a Comment