Before we get started, I would like to take the time to thank Marky Holmes and Adam “Kiwi” McCarthy for planning and organising our Christmas doo. I have been told last Saturday was epic. Some of the night is still coming back to me.
Friday I spent the evening at the Hockey club. It was Christmas quiz time. George was dressed as Santa, festive beers on tap and there was a wide variety of PIE and PEA to get stuck into. Okay, when I say a variety I clearly mean, PIE with meat. PIE with no meat. But tasty nonetheless.
Our team composed of Paul “1 answer” Golds, Sophie “Clueless” Stephenson, Jenny “My minds on Cayman” Maroulis and Myself. We called ourselves The Quizzee Rascals. Let’s be honest we were not going to win. But that wasn’t the point. We were all there supporting our club. As time went by we soon realised that there was no hope for us and we finished 2nd from last. The Highlights of the night were Team Sterlini or should I say Team ‘George’ Sterlini winning the quiz and knocking Team Coach of the top spot. Unlucky rob.
The night in whole was fun but emotional. It was time for me say my goodbyes and good lucks to a friend who has meant so much to me over the past years. But I can’t blame you Jenny. If I had the choice between the Cayman Islands or Manchester...I know where I would be. Rum, sun and more rum. Again good luck Jen and keep in touch.
Its Hockey Time. This week we entertained Northrop Hall Men’s 2s. Sale were going into this game as favourites winning their last 4 fixtures in the league. There was something to prove, a sense of excitement and determination in the air. We let ourselves down in the first half of the semi final of the Cheshire plate. We didn't want a repeat of that so we had Start strong, start quick and score goals. The game stated well for sale. We fort well to control most of the early possession. The strikers were causing real havoc for Northrop’s defence. This pressure paid off when we were awarded a Penalty Stroke early in the half.
Now for me this was a big moment. I have worked so hard in the last weeks, and months to build up my confidence, my mental strength. No matter how much you talk a good game, you can never really explain it until you are in the situation. I looked at H and he gave me the nod to go. I felt a sense of gratitude that he again entrusted me with the responsibility of dealing with this flick. As I walked up to the spot, for the first time ever I started to doubt my own ability. I started to focus on my misses against City of Manchester last year. I looked at Mark, Ben and Goldsie all eager to slot this home. The walk up was taking forever. It was like I was walking in thick snow. Every step I took, I fell deeper into doubt. I started to sweat from my forehead, my mind playing tricks on me. Reminding me I haven’t practiced any flicks all season. Should I have given the flick to someone else? Maybe. But for me right this moment I needed it. I needed to prove to myself. So I decided to take it. I got to the spot. I could feel the cold breeze on my back. It was off putting. Time to focus. Breathe. Relax. Focus. I set myself. My footing was wrong and it played on my mind. I Heard H Shout “play it simple. Bottom right.” . I have never played it simple. I have always went for the other corner. As I took the flick I was caught in two minds. I hesitated and miss queued the flick. I fired the flick off target and off pace into the keepers pads. I was so angry with myself. I immediate turned and walked away.
With My head down I started the long walk back. I was genuinely gutted. I took a quick a glance over my shoulder and to my surprise saw the keeper somehow bundle it through his own pads and over the line it went. The whistle went. 1-0 To sale. Nobody will understand the overwhelming feeling of relief that flowed through my body. It was like a massive weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was angry but relieved.
Even though it was a terrible flick and I doubted myself. I still believe I am the man to take that mantle. I reflect back on the whole situation and think to myself. It take guts to walk up to that spot after missing your last two. It takes a strong character to accept that responsibility with the pressure that was bestowed upon it. It takes honesty to admit doubt. But it takes the right man to put all that aside and execute it. I fully believe I am the right man every-time. My mission is to convince the rest of the squad in what I believe. I have said it before and I will say it again for the benefit of Mark..” I am the best at what I do.” I will not take any credit from this flick it was truly poor. What I am going to take from this experience is to be more prepared. I need to practice them more. I will find the time.
We went onto win the game 6-2. The win now propelling Sale 1s to 3rd in the league.
We started the night as standard back at the club house. Our club house is special and unique compared to the other modern equivalents. It offers a unique warmth to all that reside in it. The authentic design and friendly atmosphere creates a homely and endearing personality. Its home. It’s our home.
The seriousness of the day is over. It’s now time to let the banter take over. First up Man of the Match and Dick of the Day. This is the perfect opportunity to praise and ridicule members of the team in respect to how they have played during the day. Or on special occasion, on something remarkably silly that’s happened outside of the game. Next is Xmas fines. The concept is similar to above however its more personal and it’s how we LADS relate to each other. Nothing is held back so chin up take the banter, pay your fiver.
Now the banter has started...The drink is now flowing pint after pint. Finger fines are in effect. Drinking rules are being enforced. The night begins now.
We were booked into Red Hot Buffet courtesy of Mark Holmes. It was brilliant. It catered for all tastes in cuisine. Really recommend the establishment. The Drinks seemed to go down very easy in here, easier then say my 3rd plate. It was really good to see a squad of 18 regular players all out having fun and socialising. I think it was excellent to see coach out as well. The night was defiantly going to be one to remember.
After a few more shots. We moved onto Tiger Tiger. Thanks to Kiwi, we entered again free of charge and with a very healthy 200 pound bar tab ready for our disposal. It wasn’t long before Captain H decided this would best go down if we just bough shed loads of vodka bu the bottle. Vodka = Drunk. Result.
From this point on, my memory is very vague. I have been informed there is a very embarrassing video of oneself performing Gangnam style. Hmmmm.... So to cut the story short, Martin Earl in quite comedic style bumped into Peter Crouch that night and ....Well when opportunities arise you must deliver the goods. So if anyone has not seen the picture. The picture is attached.
Okay that’s enough from me today. It’s been a different style of blog this week. Mainly because my own personal agenda is on target and to be honest quite boring to talk about at the moment.
I am feeling good, confident and on form. More importantly I am still working hard to achieve the goals I have set out. The Christmas holidays are a massive test for all of us. So it’s really important we balance the good times with the gym. We need to be on our game for the return boys. The first 3 weeks in January are massive for us and will decide the outcome of this league.
Anyway its 10K Wednesday.
Off to the gym.
No pain no gain.