The struggle continues
By Scott Ferguson
Next Year Rodney...
On a positive note, we got to play at Epsom's brand new ground at Old Schools Lane. A lovely new surface, perfect for modern club hockey. A good model for something we might aspire to. Anyone know any friendly benevolent overlords with some spare cash they need to invest? We are a registered charity now you know...**
Unfortunately Epsom don't yet have the cash for the surrounding facilities so the car park was full of lakes and a couple of porta-cabins. All in good time they say...
The match itself was a little frustrating. Players running late or not even turning up makes a mess of the team structure when you spend plenty of time during the week fussing over selection and formations. Epsom were the far better side but it's unlikely they've had that XI on the field too many times before this season. We know how much disruption it can make to a team to have best players out - we simply faced a strong side for this league, defying their previous results.
The makeshift defence were under the pump the entire match and I want to single out Jonty for a tireless performance in shutting down Carlos, Epsom's evergreen striker (who also plays summer vets for us). He is very hard to defend against at this level, and Jonty ("I'm not a defender"'s performance in closing him down was fantastic.
The other performance I want to highlight was Joe, playing as an inner in the structure most of the colts are still becoming familiar with. Tireless running all day, D-to-D, presenting every time for defensive free hits, setting up play with forward runs etc.
So now we come to the realisation that, barring miracles, this side won't be in Division 3 next season. Which means the focus becomes even less on results and more on the development of each player. So expect to see some more experimentation with positions!
Next weekend is a 2.30 home game against the other NPL team. Please reserve some time to a) arrive early to complete a proper warm-up and tactical discussion, and b) return to the club for teas and a drink, before taking a break over the holiday period!
**Provided the Treasure has put in the appropriate paperwork!