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.

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