Along the way we have lost 2 players, Ben Fisher and Owen Winn and I would like to thank them for their contribution to the Arrows for the short time they were with us this season.
Going into the new year we remain top of the league, some way ahead of our nearest rivals and in the process hitting the back of the net 91 times whilst conceding 32.
We are 9 points ahead of Manchester currently although they have 4 games in hand and we still have to play them in Altrincham. The game in Altrincham could be the one that decides the destination of the league title and promotion to league 1 next season. Before we even get to that point we have the return game against Sheffield who showed that they can match us and push us close. We also have 2 games against Sutton Ashfield, which on paper we should win but you can never tell when it comes to game day.
At the start of the season we really didn’t know what to expect, but we new with the players we had that we could put up a strong challenge for almost every team in the league.
Season started well with big wins against Blackburn and Grimsby with over 40 goals coming in the 1st 2 games. The return game against Grimsby was a tough game and they as a team have really improved over the season to date so in a way we are glad that we got the wins against them early on.
Our Games against Coventry unfortunately have been none events with Coventry unable to get a team together to travel to Hillheads, and Our bus breaking down at Woodall services, causing our return fixture at the Skydome to be cancelled. The Coventry game has no chance of being re arranged and as such has been declared a 0-0 draw with each team getting a point.
Manchester were next and this was the first chance to see how we were going to fair against a team that we knew would be pushing us all the way his season. To be fair it wasn’t the hardest game we have had this season and we made them look ordinary, and having spoken to their coach since then he was well to aware of that fact and is working hard with his team to repay the favour in Altrincham.
The 2 games against Flintshire were really tough, they always are against the team from North Wales who always bring a physical edge to the game. We still came through though taking the 2 games 16-8 on aggregate.
And so to Sheffield this past weekend, it was a great game of hockey with 2 evenly matched teams going at it for 45 mins, giving their all for their teams. Any time you go to Sheffield and come away with a win, at any level it’s a good result. To put it into perspective between us Troy and I have been coming to Sheffield with various teams for the last 6-7 years. The Arrows victory over the Swapfrogs yesterday was the first time one of our teams has beaten a Sheffield team in Sheffield and that makes the win all the more sweet.
Looking at the remaining 5 games it is in our own destiny to get to the end of the season unbeaten and win the league. We have some very talented individuals on the team that can win games on their own, BUT and here is the but, to get to the end of the season unbeaten and top of the league, it has to be done as a team. Over the last 2-3 games we have seen the team, which is smaller now than it was at the start of the season, start to play for each other as a team and that is re assuring going into the last 5 games of the season.
In the New Year we will be bringing some of the top age 10s up to start training with the team to bolster our ranks and help us start our preparations for next season.
On Behalf of Troy, Cathrin, Dean, Kate and Myself I would like to Thank You for your continued support and look forward to the rest of season in 2012. GO ARROWS
Gary Asst Coach Whitely Arrows u12s