There is much to say following this match and whilst it was exciting and end to end at times, I would like to draw on the positives of this team rather than dwell on the numerous contentious points that surfaced during the match. These points are being addressed concerning a) the standard of refereeing (in a sense of lack of duty in care to younger children on the pitch & the ref not being above anybody else in such moments, by talking & waving a 43 year old man away like he’s his infant son, when there is a real concern) and b) the sheer nastiness of 1 player to all others.
Yes I know different abilities in skill will mean a late challenge at times, but one thing the Vikings approach a match with is to play it in the right spirit.
They never intentionally go out to hurt another person. Anyone who is seen to do so, should be subbed immediately with no further participation in that game and perhaps the next.
I won’t stand for moods, sulks, frustrations coming out by kicking the ball away or cheeky chat backs and if seen it will be challenged. I am thankful and respectful to the team that this rarely happens and that they do conduct themselves in a proper manner.
Despite the distractions in the last qtr, all the boys managed to maintain their focus and whilst the match had already degraded into a chase and kick approach due to 1 players continual influence in the match, I thought they did well overall. If fact, I think that they were unlucky to walk away without a draw and whilst the opposition had chances, they seemed to be the most frustrated and less composed.
We must though be livelier in these 1st qtr’s, as we have some great ability in speed and movement, but some players have seemed to be turning up tired.
Everybody knows Matt & my expectations. They aren’t that we expect 100% pass connection, tackles made or every chance scored. We just expect 100% effort and concentration for the time they play as a team. When they do this, we know we can play and put on a good show. The trick is to do this for 48 minutes, not just the last 24, which we constantly do.
Our conceded goal in the 3rd qtr was simply because we switched off for a moment from a throw in and the opportunity was taken to move the ball in front of our goal and test it. Re-organisation at such set pieces and continual focus / reaction is the next learning curve. For someone to have their back to a corner being taken, whilst shouting at our own defence of where to stand is not organising, but distracting.
There are however now some previously hidden strengths coming through from some of the boys and Matt and I have a growing respect in players like Wills & George, who are demonstrating their keenness to listen & do; the versatility of James in a play maker / scoring role and one of the finest qtr’s in defensive midfield by Michael. Absolutely everywhere in the 2nd qtr, with strength, pace to get to the ball and great execution of what he intended to do.
Loss is not bad thing to feel, as you should want to change the feeling next time you get the chance. We all have this chance at home on Saturday (rain permitting).