Evening rains, travels and injuries have meant a loss in quite a number of hours of practice on the football pitch. With the open league season kicking off in June-July, our team has their work cut out for them as we race against time to garner as many hours of practice together. An elbow injury would definitely mean that I need to give up the gloves and move to take up a defence or mid-field role for the time-being. Fitness is the key, as last season a combination of lack of stamina and coordination led to a poor league season. Even though we made it up by reaching the quarters in our next tournament, there was scope to go further than we did.
This year, we need to focus on three key objectives: fitness, strategy and a strong bench.
Power play is important and we realised it a bit too late as we entered last years league. Result – strained hamstrings, twisted ankles and a ragged physique by the time the game got over. Fitness really let us down and though a few of us players managed to withstand the onslaught, our lack of scoring stemmed from the fact that the strikers lost their breath within the first few raids on the goal.
The strategy needs to be on defense. Lack of coordination between goalkeeper (self) and defenders resulted in me fetching the ball more times than expected from the back of the net. We had our moments where the defence held well, but as the game moved on the positions scattered resulting in a brittle and unsure defensive unit. This year the focus needs to be on defence and we need to work on breakaways to score goals.
A strong bench was what we consistently lacked and with minimal player rotation we got stuck with injuries. This year a viable option would be bringing in regulars with enough to sustain the midfield and defence. While we have developed a reasonable pool of players, a strong team management needs to ensure that a disciplined approach needs to be followed when it comes to presence for each game.
With such a formula we may just be able to move up the league a bit and ensure that our company team gets its share of accolades on the pitch, not that it would translate into anything in our end of month kitty’s 😉