Firstly, apologies for the Chumbawamba album reference. If you don’t know Chumbawamba: Good. I’ll plead ignorance and total lack of knowledge of the group.
Confidence, hunger and determination make for a great combination in sports. If judged by the last few results and training sessions, I think the hard work put in by the coaches and the players is starting to pay dividends. After claiming our first win against Chelmsford we had a few difficult games and undoubtedly that hurt us, but now it seems to be going OK, dare I say it good.
As I haven’t updated for a while here’s a quick run down of the recent games.
Bit of a nightmare to start with. Traffic was bad for South London (as it is always) and then to get there, we were told we didn’t have a changing room available due to a ladies game that was on before ours. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against women’s hockey, but the rink management should’ve arranged a room for us as this put our warm-up nearly out the window. Thankfully the Bruins (Streatham not Boston) were kind enough to let us do our near-full warm-up after they had gotten off the ice.
Despite a slow start and a good dressing down from our coach we did claw back and won the game 7-2.
Personally quite pleased with the way I played, despite missing on a breakaway opportunity (OK I hit the team logo on the goalies’ shirt) and missing on a few opportunities.
The team was 3rd in the league before playing us so it was a real challenge and always was going to be a tough game, but we made sure we came out the gate really hungry and made sure we played our systems and everything.
By the end of the 1st period we were up 2-0 and never really looked back. There were a few times when we let the other guys play in our end and that cost us. Thankfully, Adi Smith has come alive and in the last 2 games he’s scored 8 goals for us. Kind of reminds me of the Adi I played against. Like I wrote in one of my match day programmes, I’m happy to play with him than against him. He used to drive me up the wall with his scoring prowess so good to see that he’s on fire.
Again no goals but I should’ve gotten an assist on Sakick’s goal. If it wasn’t marked for me, it’s not the end of the world. Would’ve been nice to score one though from the number of opportunities that were there, but no cigar.
I’m not worried about the goals so much right now. I’m having fun on the ice and I feel comfortable with where I am, compared to the start to the season when things were a bit shaky with me and trying to learn positioning. Being relaxed has definitely helped and I’m sure that once I’ve got a few goals in the next couple of games we’ll see a minor opening of the flood gates.
But like said, we’ve been confident and hungry and I think most importantly we’re having fun. The changing room is a totally different place now than it was about a month ago. It definitely has more life in it. The only bad thing is that we’ve lost a couple of players to injury. Our captain, Eggy is out with a lower body injury for a good couple of weeks and Adam Young is sidelined with an upper body injury until the new year. Still waiting on a word if J Chilcot is OK after he took a hit to the head in the Peterborough game.
Otherwise I’m not really sure what to update you. We’re 12 or so weeks into the season, we’re having fun and things are working out again, so it all seems good. I just had a holiday with the wife, which was nice and relaxing. Bit odd to go on holiday mid season, but I tried to make most of the free time there. Our hotel (we went to Tenerife by the way) was built on a side of a mountain, or a XXXL hill so I thought that the terrain would be ideal for bit of running. The hills there reminded me of my old army times and the classic ‘motivation hill’ so it proved an ideal training ground.
Just as reference and back-story: ‘motivation hill’ was a hill by our shooting range and the distance from bottom up was approximately 300 meters. Not too tall, but man was it steep. What made it difficult to climb was that the hill was just fine sand. If you threw a tantrum or the platoon had not behaved that day, you would be running up motivation hill. With your gun that would invariably be full of sand by the end of it. A real delight to clean up afterwards, not to mention your boots that would be full of small hitch-hikers and enough sand to build a small beach at the barracks. I suppose it was one of those things that builds character, much like any good, old-fashioned bag skate.
I covered approx 5km per day (apart from two days when I had a cramp in my hamstring) and I tell you, even without the fine sand, those hills were difficult to cover, specially towards the end as no matter what direction you had ran, the climb from the beach boulevard was always the same.