I have never been to a séance, but this is what I imagine one is like to attend. Your calling out, trying to communicate to some spirits, waiting for something to happen or receive a message from the other side (of the line in my case), but nothing happens.
Skeptics or non-believers were plenty, for the 1st qtr as the energy and enthusiasm of the majority of the team was that of a tortoise coming out of hibernation. Beside the few who tried to pick up their game, the1st half could not have gone any worse.
Besides some steady play, lapses in all positions especially in midfield meant that our defence remained under pressure. Our ability to transition from defence to attack was extremely poor and with lack of movement up the wings, meant no real threat in the other half. The response in character for some was surprising and I did not know whether to bring out the Weetabix or the firework set, to get them moving.
Yes it’s a cold morning, but they all are. When they players have the warm up skirmish game pre KO, they seemed to show more enthusiasm and energy.
Ultimately a good goal and the lack of closing down, put us 1 down. Our usual ability to hit back quick was on vacation and this continued non interest from some of our key players was a further cause of being 3 down by half time.
Half time the séance held hands and I asked “is anyone there, if so please move a football or call out a name”. I made it quite clear that they were being bossed on their own pitch and that if they don’t start to make a physical presence, that this will get worse and they will regret the point of putting on their boots.
The 3rd qtr brought some response, with nothing conceded and some close chances. Corner work needs to be improved, after 2 crosses came through the pack and no one on the back post (even though asked) could have responded.
4th qtr started as the 1st with yet another goal and at 4 down, even I was becoming the king of skeptics.
What happened next, was what we all know lies within this team and when the positive mental attitude cracks the surface, we can recover and turn around and bite the opposition (not like Suarez). The trouble is that we need to do this as this opposition did to us, in the 1st half and command the game. The learning curve is then to maintain and control the game, not chase it.
That aside, the 4th qtr was one hell of a chase and positively the best we have done, when asked upon. Like an angry spirit in a darkened room, the lights started to flash, bells ring and Vikings started to play football. The 1st goal from Michael, who latched on to a Noah corner, gave some belief and spark to the team. Michael then dealt a quick second sucker punch with a good assist from our guest player Keyan. With the defence not being so pressured, the midfield started to intercept the ball and allowed our attack to start turning the screw and pile pressure in the last half of the pitch. This ultimately paid off with a further calm goal from Guy, this time Michael assisting. The panic of the opposition was a reproduction of ours in those first 2 qtrs and efforts just wide only prevented us for drawing the game level.
To little to late unfortunately and if we had started to play our game earlier, we may have even won this. Thankfully this late resurgence, spared our embarrassment and it could have been a lot worse if that commitment and drive to play our game had not surfaced.
The lessons here are: show your commitment, less hard work as an individual, strength in body & mind and turn up to listen & react.