|Date||28 March 2015|
|Venue||Erasmus Darwin Academy, Pool Ln, Burntwood, Staffordshire WS7 3QW|
|Result||W 3 - 1|
WE WON!!! After an incredibly tough season, the badgers put to work all the skills, experience and knowledge of how each other plays to great effect. This is still a young, but is a well drilled and positive team - as team captain I couldn’t be prouder. The badgers started well, with Callum taking up the central midfield position, with Jack to left and Thomas to his right as normal. Recently appointed players’ player of the season, Ben took up the centre forward position with Paul to his left and Sahib to his right. Billy, Harj, Andy and James made up the defensive line with Dan looking solid in goal. The team started very positively, on a high from the awards night from the previous night (it seems the badgers followed the instructions of no gallivanting late into the night). The midfield had all the possession and dominated; but would this be yet another game of lots of ball, but no finishing? Fortunately not! Both Callum and Ben found the back of the net in the first half, Callum finishing strongly after returning to centre forward and Ben pinching one too. Lichfield scored a soft goal in a break against play, the half finished 2-1, and the buzz in the team on the side line was awesome.
Lichfield came out firing, sensing a potential come back. However, the badgers have time and time again performed better in the second half and this was no exception. Rajveer and Bhav gave the team more options and with the ability to rotate most players around, the overall resilience of the team was sound, absorbing the rising pressure from Lichfield. Jack and Thomas dominated the midfield and found some great passes through to the D. In one break from midfield Ben, having had a shoulder to should barging contest with a (his words) ‘chuckling large bald man’, had another chance on goal and took it. The game finished 3-1, fantastic! Callum and Ben were voted joint man of the match by their team.
This team has had an amazing season, the results themselves are largely irrelevant as the teams we have been up against have been, on the whole, older, too experienced and too strong. I have been impressed and am incredibly proud of the positive attitude and resilience of the team, the second half of games have seen improvements in play and score; the work rate and fitness level is impressive for the age of the players; and each and every player has improved massively, they have listened to advice and responded well to coaching.
The players who have been central to the team week in week out have now formed a solid unit, Jack, Callum, Thomas, Dan and Ben have developed together and form the backbone of the team. They have helped and welcomed the newer players Sahib, Paul and James who are now established in the team, together with the younger players, Billy, Harry and Rajveer. Bhav, Anya and Rhea have been welcome additions to the team when they have been available.
Finally a huge thank-you to Andy and Harj for not only supplying hockey playing sons, but also supporting and coaching on the pitch and working their socks off (and providing transport!).
Thanks and well done everyone! Ian.