The Off-Season: Withdrawal Level – Minimal

So we’ve played all our games, done emotional end-of-season interviews with the coaches (well, I found them emotional. You know what those fellas are like) and we had the privilege of watching two of our country’s greatest teams battling it out for BritBowl on Saturday, ending in a 20-19 victory for the Warriors.

We had a one-point victory this season (away at Wembley Stallions, in case you missed that one), so our sympathies to all involved – ‘tense’ isn’t the word!

Our mates over at Bury Saints are storming off to the Championship final this coming weekend too, after an almost unheard-of triple overtime victory (we reckon that was probably quite tense as well) against Sussex Thunder. They’ll be playing Bristol Apache and we wish them all the best.

And we’re not jealous that they get to play more football into September – of course not!

After all, we’re extremely busy already – or do I mean, ‘still’? Sometimes it feels like the seasons never really do stop. We’ve got so much to look forward to still, like our Annual General Meeting which is coming up in just two weeks, with all the guys back in the same room to discuss how the club performed as a sports team and as an organisation.

Then we get to celebrate all that, and triumph some individuals too, with our annual Awards and Presentation Evening next month. Always a fantastic night with excellent dad-jokes from our Chairman, powerful speeches from our HCs about how awesome we are, awards for our MVPs and other excellent personalities and of course, drinks.

After that we need to start thinking about recruitment for next year and putting our Come & Try sessions back on the road! We had a great turn out last year with more than 100 people attending in four locations, and we’re expecting even bigger numbers this year. We already have a mailing list of 18 interested players who have been in contact with us since July to look at joining, so we’re thrilled that there is such massive interest in our sport, and in our club in particular. Everyone is welcome at training, whether you’re male or female, 15 or 50, a former rugby star or a born-again exercise enthusiast.

So it’s almost like the club never sleeps – but I think we’re all missing game day already. The sting of the deprivation was quenched slightly at the Bank Holiday weekend, when we were lucky enough to be invited down for one of the Maidstone Pumas’ Associate fixtures. In a week of rain it stayed dry, both teams had a ton of support and it reminded all of us how much fun we have when we’re out there playing, or out there coaching, or over here live Tweeting the game.

If I see one more ‘X Number of Sleeps Until Christmas’ post on social media I may well have a massive tantrum; or I could just start one myself that says, ‘Approximately 176 Days Until Pre-Season’ with an enormous close-up photo of the D-Line.

Because I do miss it all, just a little.