It’s been a couple of months since the 2016 season finished, and looking back it was another epic battle to keep the title in our back yard!
It’s hard to imagine in the 6 years the club has been formed, we have won the BSHA League Championship 4 times, along with the Play Off Finals twice, as well as earning the double twice in those 6 years. When I read that back to myself, I can now see why the other teams in the league don’t like us very much, we’ve been so dominant, that the only thing missing from our repertoire was a 50 shades of grey tribute act in a gimp mask, on the ice!
The truth is, I can see their point of view, I would hate going up against us, and I don’t want that to sound like I’m bragging, but the truth is that we are very fortunate as a team to have so many of the best players within the UK at our club. At the last count, we have 6 current Great Britain players, whereas most of the other clubs have no more than 3. When we have our full strength team on the ice, it’s not far off being a full GB team, but it hasn’t always been that way.
Our first 2 seasons, was all about learning. Each game we played we were being schooled by the established clubs, and at times it wasn’t the best feeling when you go back to the changing room to lick your wounds. However, this all served to help us improve, to find a way to play against the big boys and once we started to click as a team, the mentality wasn’t so much of being afraid to play against them through fear of getting a hammering, but instead it was a genuine anticipation that we could beat these guys – all that said, it did help that we started to attract some of the best players in the UK, that will always make a difference!
So what was my point, well basically despite our success in the last few years, this is all based on the hard times we’ve experienced to help show us where we needed to improve. My point being that despite all the titles, this season was one of the hardest defences of our championship, because every other club is working their nuts off to improve and take away our crown. It’s a great thing to see, it means the sport in this country can only benefit from the healthy competition and I have no doubt, next season will be even tougher, especially as we are losing some of our key players to different teams, including the new addition to the league in Endeavour Eagles.
So I’ve come to the end, and I’ve realised this is anything but a recap of last season, so what was the good and bad from last season? The good was being pushed by every club, and having to work until our very last league game to win our 4th League Championship, it just goes to show the other clubs are hot on our heels. The bad, the play off finals – sadly, one of our players put in a massive hit on Russell Willey, and duly knocked him head first in to the boards rendering him unconscious and braking a rib or 2 in the process – it was Russell’s last game on the ice after many many years playing in the league and for the national team & 50 seemed to be the ideal time to retire, it was a sad way to see his long career in the sport come to an end in such a way – so personally, I think Russ needs to do another season just to see it out in the right way, yeah Russ?? 😉