A Fresh Start
Being a player, committee member, and captain in the mere 3 years I’ve been a part of the club, it was only a matter of time before I dabbled into the management of the team, and despite the season abruptly ending, it was an absolute delight. It was the second successive season where Covid has been our enemy and rival to having a successful season. As well as Covid being a second year in a row, this was only the second year the current “B” team existed after being formed in 2020. The team and club had welcomed new additions to make up this year’s team, and I felt it was definitely the strongest B team I had seen in my 3 years within the club, and the results proved exactly that.
With only 1 Pre-Season Friendly being able to be played due to wet weather, a strong showing in the early training sessions gave me the confidence that we would have a great year.
Our first game saw us match up against a familiar team in Concord which despite lack of game time, allowed us to prepare accordingly. That first game saw me having to step in and referee the match, and a contentious Roy Keane-esque tackle from our rock at the back, Mr Esposito, forced me to award a penalty to the opposition late on. The term squeaky bum time came to my mind for the last 15 or so minutes but we saw it out. The regular trainers were both improving on an individual basis, and substantially as a team which was evident in the following two matches on a double-header weekend as the points started rolling in.. We started that following weekend with an incredible match that made my referee performance seem like I should be officiating the Socceroos. Despite the endless contentious decisions in that match, they didn’t put us down. If anything they ignited the fire in the lads to push on and get what we fully deserved, and we did exactly that with 2 goals in the final 10 minutes to come away with a 3-2 victory – a match I was most proud of this year. After picking up another 3 points, we went on to play our familiar opponents of Balmain and another incredible performance saw us hold on to secure another 3-2 victory thanks to a couple of stunning goals from Nico and Ahmed. Our success continued, scoring another 18 and conceding only 3 in those following 4 matches before we hit a few hurdles. In a performance that I would only deem as crazy, a quick reverse fixture vs Balmain then saw us fall to a 4-1 defeat, and that unfortunately wasn’t the end of our bad luck. The following two matches saw us play brilliantly, but take no points losing in both by just one goal. With injuries happening left, right and centre we faced a Concord side out for revenge. Having not long gotten back from injury himself, our other defensive rock Lloydy leapt up in the centre circle, landing awkwardly resulting in an ambulance being called and the abonment of the game. Much to our amusement at the time to try and lighten the mood, in the days after we found out that the rules in place meant the continuation of that fixture soon after, would result in us having to continue on with only 9 men. This meant our next match against then top of the league Strathfield A, was vital in our bid to claim the title. Yet again we were short on players. Despite Mr Quarisa standing in as CB for the first half (a massive thank you once again), injuries and a last minute withdrawal left us with 11 in the first half and only 10 in the second half. We pressed on in playing conditions as what I would only describe as playing on a cold Tuesday night in Stoke, and overcame the odds to comfortably beat them 2-0. That was what I hoped to be the turning point of the season, back on track to winning ways but little did we know, that would be our final game of the season.
Covid started ramping up in Mid-June in Sydney, and we were preparing to face Concord with only 7 players as we weren’t able to use any of the other 5 players who weren’t present in the abandoned game. Fortunately at the time for us, the game was postponed due to the covid outbreak and the season never continued. Despite the season coming to an end so soon, I absolutely loved coaching the boys this year. With a whole heap of new additions to the team, luck going against us with injuries, debt collector Ellis keeping us all in check week in week out, and some Covid driven virtual hangs – it’s been a class year.
Although not everyone will be joining next season (take care in Spain Ilias), the current B team are excited to get back to the pub shortly after the restrictions ease on Oct 11, and shortly after get back on the pitch and show our unbelievable tekkers at Waverley Oval.
A big thank you also goes out to my partner in crime and B Team Manager Mr Hunt for stepping up to expertly help steer the ship.